Our Team

Grant Christmas, Principal, Apex Planning and Environment LawGRANT CHRISTMAS

The principal of Apex Planning and Environment Law is Grant Christmas, an Accredited Specialist in Local Government and Planning Law (Law Society of NSW).  Grant is a highly experienced and respected practitioner in the areas of town planning, local government and environmental law with over 30 years experience in local government administration, town planning, environmental assessment and planning and environmental law. Grant was a Board Member of the Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation Board (2018 – 2022); a Committee Member of the Law Society of NSW Environmental Planning and Development Law Committee (2009 – 2010); and the Local Government and Shires Associations’ Representative on the Land and Environment Court Users Group (2006 – 2010). Grant is currently a Member of the Law Society Specialist Accreditation Committee (Planning and Environment).

In 2018 Grant was appointed by the Minister for Planning to be the alternate chair of a number of Local Planning Panels in the Sydney region. Grant is currently the Chair of Sutherland Local Planning Panel, and the alternate chair of the Canterbury Bankstown Local Planning Panel. Grant also currently sits as an expert member on the Camden, Central Coast, Cumberland, Liverpool and North Sydney Local Planning Panels. 

Grant was Marrickville Council’s Principal Solicitor (from 2001-2010) primarily appearing as the Council’s advocate in the Land and Environment Court as well as providing written and oral advice to Councillors and Council staff on all manner of local government legal issues.  Grant was previously the Principal Environmental Lawyer at Sutherland Shire Council (from 1999-2001) and appeared as the Council’s advocate in numerous Land and Environment proceedings and providing day to day written advice to Council staff and councillors on all facets of local government law.  Prior to his in-house roles at Marrickville and Sutherland Councils, Grant was employed as a solicitor in the Local Government and Environment Group at Phillips Fox Solicitors for 4 years.  During this time, he appeared as an advocate and provided written and oral advice to local government, state government and developer clients.

Grant completed his Bachelor of Laws at the University of Technology Sydney during which time he was awarded the Abbott Tout prize for Local Government Law.  Grant is also a qualified town planner, holding a Bachelor of Town Planning from the University of New South Wales.  Grant spent a total of 6 years working as a development control planner at Manly, Hurstville, Marrickville and Randwick Councils.

Grant has:

  • a unique understanding of the workings of local government;
  • a particular skill in settling planning and building litigation by alternative dispute resolution;
  • experience as a mediator in planning and building disputes; and
  • extensive experience as an advocate and practitioner in the Land and Environment Court.

Grant has the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Town Planning, University of New South Wales, 1989;
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of Technology Sydney, 1995;
  • Diploma of Practical Legal Training, College of Law Sydney, 1996; and
  • Specialist Accreditation (Local Government and Planning Law), Law Society of NSW 2010.

Grant is a Member of the Law Society of NSW.

 

JILL MARSLAND 

Jill is an Associate Solicitor at the firm. She was admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in December 2020.

Jill holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Sydney and is currently undertaking a Master of Laws (Environmental Law and Sustainable Development) at the University of New South Wales.  Jill has a particular interest in planning and environmental law and undertook her Practical Legal Training for her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice with the firm.

Jill has previously worked in the construction and real estate industries, giving her a unique insight into property and development issues. Jill volunteers as a Unit Leader with Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT and was a nominee for the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award 2021.

Jill has the following professional associations:

  • Member Law Society of NSW;
  • Member Environment and Planning Law Committee; and
  • Member Property Law Committee.

     

     

© 2021 Apex Planning and Environment Law • Sydney • Australia • Tel: 02 9939 8880 • office@apexlaw.com