Michelle Keen | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice

Michelle Keen

Partner, Melbourne

T +61 3 8486 8000

E [email protected]

Overview

Michelle Keen provides clients with strategic advice on environmental approval processes, risks and land acquisition for the development of major infrastructure, mining and renewable energy projects. Michelle can advise on international permit processes and compliance of a project with IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability.

Michelle works closely with her clients to develop the right approvals and land access strategy for the project.  Clients benefit from Michelle's 16 years of experience across sectors, in particular rail infrastructure and renewable energy, which enables her to identify risks and tailor solutions.  Michelle prepares the project for public hearing approval processes and ensures that the environment approval and land access strategies align with the project's procurement strategy.

Michelle has advised and represented government authorities on complex land compensation claims in both the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Michelle provides environmental due diligence and transactional advice in particular advising on the regulatory and contamination risks associated with the financing, divestment or acquisition of infrastructure, mining and renewable energy projects.

Bars and Courts

  • Supreme Court of Victoria
  • High Court of Australia

Education

  • LLM, Environmental, Australian National University
  • LLB, Monash University
  • BA, Environmental Science, Monash University

Languages

  • English

Experience

Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel Project*

Michelle advised the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority on all environment, planning, land access and acquisition matters. Michelle assisted the Authority to prepare the environmental effects statement and acted at the independent assessment committee hearing into the environmental effects of the project. Michelle is also advising on complex land access and acquisition strategy and over station development.

Stockyard Hill Wind Project*

Michelle advised Origin Energy in relation to its planning and environmental applications for the Stockyard Hill wind energy facility including associated transmission line, and quarry applications.

Lal Lal and Moorabool Wind Farms*

Michelle has advised WestWind Energy in relation to environment and planning approval processes to obtain amendments to planning permits for Lal Lal and Moorabool wind farms and advising on the sale of these assets. Michelle represented WestWind in the recent public panel process to obtain the planning permit amendments for the wind energy facility.

Stockman Mine Project*

Michelle advised the Independence Group in relation to its environmental impact assessment process and approval of the mine work plan for its Stockman Mine Project in East Gippsland.

Regional Rail project*

Michelle advised the Regional Rail Link Authority on the management and resolution of numerous complex compensation claims associated with the Regional Rail Link Project. Michelle engaged and consulted with experts to advise the client on all issues that may impact compensation from engineering, valuation, contamination, native vegetation offsets, planning land use issues and disturbance losses.

High Capacity Metro Train Project*

Michelle advised Public Transport Victoria on the environment and planning approvals and land acquisition strategy for the new train depot in Pakenham East (including a train maintenance facility and a stabling yard) and service facility at Calder Park required for the future rolling stock maintenance.

Port of Melbourne Acquisition*

Michelle advised a bidder in relation to environment and planning risks associated with the acquisition of the port. In particular, Michelle worked closely with the environmental consultant to advise the client on historic contamination liability for past land uses and port dredging and dumping and the allocation of that liability in the transaction documents.

East West Link*

Michelle advised SP Ausnet on the implications to its assets of the East West Link Project.  In particular, she advised on the approval processes under the Major Transport Project Facilitation Act.

Wind Energy Projects*

Michelle advised Pacific Hydro, Meridian, AGL, West Wind Energy, Proventum, lnvestec, International Power, Acciona and Origin Energy with respect to their successful development applications for over ten wind farm projects in Victoria and associated applications such as transmission lines and terminal stations.  She has also advised on the environmental issues associated with the acquisition and financing of wind energy projects throughout Australia.

*Experience gained in a previous role

Awards & Recognition

Best Lawyers in Australia in Climate Change Law and Planning and Environmental Law, 2017

Best Lawyers Financial Review 2015-2016