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James has extensive and varied experience in planning and environmental law and works in Pikes & Verekers’ Planning & Environment team in all aspects within its practice for private and public clients. 

James regularly appears in the Land and Environment Court but his expertise also extends to conducting the prosecution of local government offences in various jurisdictions. James is adept at providing advice in a range of areas in relation to land development, environmental issues and local government matters. 

James worked at the Land and Environment Court during his law studies. After his completion of law studies, he worked as a tipstaff/associate to various Judges of the Land and Environment Court. These roles required James to be familiar with all classes of the Court's jurisdiction and he brings to Pikes & Verekers Lawyers this breadth of experience. 

James applies his knowledge and expertise as a contributing author of various planning, local government and environment-related publications with LexisNexis Australia. 

Outside of work, James was previously the Chair of the Young Lawyers Environment and Planning Law Committee, and currently sits as a member of the Law Society’s Environmental Planning and Development Committee.


  • Experience in all classes of litigation in the Land and Environment Court as tipstaff/associate to various Judges of the Land and Environment Court including civil enforcement proceedings, criminal proceedings, valuation of land, judicial review proceedings, Class 1 development appeals and section 56A appeals 
  • Working as a team member on planning and local government matters for applicants and councils in the Land and Environment Court, including appearances before the Court at final and interlocutory hearings. 
  • Appearances before the Local Court for Canterbury, Canada Bay, Hawkesbury, Kogarah and Burwood Councils as prosecutor for environmental, planning and local government offences including appearing in defended hearings against opposing counsel.
  • Appearance as solicitor advocate successfully defending application for costs in Brennan v Leichhardt Council (No 2) [2013] NSWLEC 199
  • Acting in civil enforcement proceedings in which our client asserted existing use rights where significant issues were raised in respect of commencement, abandonment and characterisation: Wilson Parking Australia 1992 Pty Ltd v Council of the City of Sydney [2014] NSWLEC 12
  • Successfully obtaining approvals for development of luxury single dwellings including a single property of 4000m2 in the eastern suburbs of Sydney with significant issues raised as reasons for refusal.