"Gary Green has been providing us with excellent planning advice for over 25 years. This advice has enabled us to gain a competitive edge in a very tightly held market and he is responsible for some good Land and Environment Court victories, such as the classic case Winten Property Group Limited v North Sydney Council (2001) 130 LGERA 79. More importantly he has enabled us to negotiate some good planning outcomes without going to court which is always our preference."
Winten Property Group
"My experience with Gary Green and his partners at Pikes & Verekers Lawyers was exemplary. I highly recommend Gary to anyone requiring assistance in the design and planning of a complex project. Not only is he a pleasure to work with, but he is also highly likely to deliver successful results."
"I have found the service provided by Rob Tassell at Verekers on matters of great personal significance to be extremely high quality from a legal and professional perspective but equally important from a personal point of view. I was referred to Verekers in the first instance by a colleague and thoroughly recommend their work myself."
Executive Central Group Pty Ltd
"We have been working with Pikes & Verekers for over 30 years. As specialists in the Land and Environment Court they do a terrific job in putting together the right experts and running a case, in a cost effective manner. They can also put together strategies to avoid court proceedings. They are however, unusual in that they are prepared to tell clients things that they may not want to hear; such as, there is not a hope in hell of getting up on a case. If you want honest and realistic advice, you can rely on Pikes & Verekers Lawyers to provide it."
Platino Pty Ltd
"As a local government client of Pikes & Verekers Lawyers for over ten years I am delighted to provide this reference for the firm, and in particular, for Mr David Baxter. In a highly competitive market for the provision of legal services, Mr Baxter has consistently delivered an outstanding level of service in every regard - comprehensive legal advice simply explained; clear and logical drafting of legal agreements; a strategic and sensible approach to complex problem solving, and an appreciation of Council budgets for legal fees. Council staff have frequently commented on the benefits of Mr Baxter’s common sense and plain English approach to legal matters, and how, as a result, they become better equipped themselves to deal with legal issues as they arise."
A Sydney Council
"Pike, Pike & Fenwick (now Pikes & Verekers Lawyers) have been the solicitors for this Council since 24 May 1994 and in that time have provided Council with efficient and cost effective legal services. Pikes & Verekers Lawyers deliver reliable and accurate advice in a timely manner. They have always been willing and able to provide urgent advice at short notice. Their broad experience in Local Government is advantageous to Council because of the resultant savings in time and costs. Their verbal and written advice is comprehensive and precise. Their legal documents are clearly and logically drafted."
A Country Council
"This Council has used Pikes & Verekers Lawyers over the last five years to provide specialist planning advice on a range of matters, in particular advice pertaining to development applications, Land and Environment Court attendances and general planning matters. Council has found this advice to be accurate and timely and has assisted Council in effectively carrying out its operations, duties and functions."
Group Manager Sustainability
A Country Council
"Pikes & Verekers Lawyers have advised and represented Council on a variety of local government law and planning law matters since 2009.
Pikes & Verekers have advised and acted for Council on the following matters:
A breach of contractual matters by a planning consultant;
Planning agreements for mining and aged housing developments;
Validity of a modified development consent;
A condition of consent imposed in a s96 application;
Inspections and certificates by Council Accredited Certifiers; and
Review of a determination under s82A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The firm has provided excellent service to Council on all of the above matters and their advice is timely and of a high standard. Pikes & Verekers Lawyers regularly attend regional professional conferences in the Western Region and provide training for building surveyors and planners."
A Country Council
"We are a firm of Architects with 28 years in private practice, specialising in residential design, located in Willoughby. Our professional practice encompasses new single dwellings and luxury apartments as well as a multitude of alterations and additions to dwellings across Sydney’s north shore. During that time we have had need to consult with and seek advice from Pikes & Verekers Lawyers on general property matters both large and small, specialist planning issues and matters involving representation in the Land and Environment Court. We have always found Pikes very approachable, timely in their response, extremely capable and professional in their advice and representations as well as their dealings with us and our clients. Their extensive experience and depth of knowledge places them, we believe, amongst the top lawyers in this field."
Registered Architect & Managing Director, Albion Design & Construction Co Pty Ltd
"We write as interested parties to the recently concluded Land and Environment Court proceedings 104526 and 104527 of 2009 (Vlahos v Leichhardt Municipal Council), to express our appreciation of the strategic clarity, tactical tenacity and human empathy embraced on our behalf throughout by your colleague Ms Julie Walsh, acting for the Council. Although strictly speaking not primarily legal protagonists at the denouncement of what for us has been a complex, drawn out and often draining affair, the outcome successfully secured yesterday by your firm, in conjunction with the Council legal team, is of the greatest importance to us as LMC residents, and especially our three year old son."
"Sydville Pty Ltd has retained the services of Pikes & Verekers Lawyers over many years, during which time I have dealt with a number of the practice groups within the firm. I have always been impressed by the depth of legal knowledge and commercial aptitude displayed by members of the Pikes' team. Pikes ran a lengthy and complicated property litigation matter for Sydville, and I was thoroughly pleased with the effort and dedication demonstrated by all of the team involved. I have no hesitation in recommending the firm to potential clients, and in fact have done so on a number of occasions."
Marc De Stoop
Managing Director, Sydville Pty Ltd
"I have known David Baxter in a professional capacity since mid-1997. This was when Pikes successfully tendered for inclusion onto Council's panel of legal service providers, being one of two firms chosen by Council at that time. Since then Pikes successfully re-tendered for Council's current panel's membership (comprising three firms), being the only firm with membership of the original panel re-appointment in July 2002. The types of legal services Council receives from Pikes include conveyancing and other real property transactions, administrative law, public land management compliance, environmental; control and regulation and matters requiring specialisation in Land and Environment Court representation and development assessment control."
Manager Corporate Support
A City Council
"Until August this year, I was the Manager of Legal Services of a Sydney Council. For over 15 years, I was responsible for the management of all of Council’s legal services, including instructing Council’s external lawyers.
During that time, I had extensive dealings with Pikes & Verekers Lawyers (previously Pike Pike & Fenwick), and in particular, Gary Green, Julie Walsh and Roslyn McCulloch. Pikes have been Council’s lawyers since the 1960s.
Pikes handled a variety of litigation for Council including planning & DA matters from small residential development appeals to complex multi-party lengthy litigated matters. The cases handled including:
Administrative law challenges to decisions of Ministers and other public authorities adverse to Council;
Defence of administrative law challenges to Council decisions;
Multi-million dollar Class 3 valuation matters;
Class 4 enforcement proceedings (including urgent interlocutory proceedings);
Class 5 prosecutions; and
Class 1 development appeals.
Pikes also provided advice on numerous complex matters including amalgamation, new planning instruments and highly political DAs. Given the nature of the Council Municipality, Pikes developed extensive expertise in the areas of heritage, foreshore development, contamination and adaptive re-use of buildings.
I was able to rely on Pikes to engage the best consultants and Counsel when needed particularly in the Land and Environmental Court.
Pikes are a specialist local government firm with highly competent and experienced lawyers, (especially from my experience Gary Green, Julie Walsh & Ros McCulloch) who have a practical and commercial approach to matters, as well as being keenly aware of political imperatives. I also found their approach to the delivery of legal services to be economical and to the point.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Pikes & Verekers Lawyers."
Manager Legal Services
A Sydney Council
"As a follow up to the contribution made by Pikes Lawyers to the development of a new suite of planning controls in our Council area. I can advise that the LEP was recently gazetted.
Building work on some of the major sites identified in the LEP has commenced, with applications for the remainder of the sites progressing through the Joint Regional Planning Panel.
I am very pleased to advise that the planning for one of the sub-regions has been awarded a commendation at the National Urban Design Awards in Canberra.
The contribution of your firm to the achievement of this significant national award is both recognised and appreciated by Council.
Thank you for your valuable contribution."
A Sydney Council
"I have known Mr Peter Jackson, a Partner of Pikes Lawyers, in a professional capacity since 2000.
Pikes were nominated Legal Service provider on the Council's Legal Service Panel. Since that date, Pikes successfully re-tendered for the Council's current panel membership.
Peter has a most detailed knowledge of environmental law and is highly respected by the Council in the advice provided often on complex matters of law. He was successful in dealing with the Court proceedings he was involved in on behalf of the Council and was always conscious of minimising the costs incurred by the Council in those proceedings.
I have been personally involved in a number of the Land and Environment Court proceedings which Peter conducted on behalf of the Council as an expert witness. I always held the utmost confidence in the manner in which Peter conducted the Court proceedings. He was constantly trying to seek the best outcome for his client Council. Peter is, in my opinion, highly respected by the Commissioners in the Land and Environment Court.
Peter is a dedicated professional who is very approachable and accessible and has always provided me with practical and timely legal advice in my role with the Council."
A Sydney Council
"I am writing to you to advise that I will be leaving my position as General Manager at this Council to take up an appointment as General Manager of a neighbouring Council.
Before leaving this Council I would like to record my personal thanks to Peter Jackson and Pikes Lawyers for assistance in building communication channels and facilitating discussion on key developments and initiatives. This has helped relationships between the Council and key community/business organisations."
A Sydney Council