Special Counsel

Ashleigh Cowper

Ashleigh assists clients secure development consent in a timely and cost effective manner – from pre-acquisition due-diligence and initial advice, to representing client interests in Court - whilst focusing on delivering succinct, strategic and commercial advice.

Ashleigh regularly provides advice to clients in respect of controversial large-scale residential,  commercial and seniors-living developments, planning proposals and re-zonings, licensed premises, and the regulatory aspects of pollution legislation, including contaminated land. Ashleigh is also experienced in negotiating voluntary planning agreements and conducting planning and environmental due diligence reviews.  

Ashleigh appears extensively in the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales and the Supreme Court of New South Wales, with experience in complex merit appeals, land valuations, criminal prosecutions and civil enforcement, easement proceedings and questions of law.

Ashleigh also holds a Master of Environmental Law from the University of Sydney.


Ashleigh’s expertise includes:

  • Appearing in all class of the Land and Environment Court, with a particular focus on Class 1 (merit appeals), Class 4  (judicial review) and Class 5 (criminal enforcement)
  • Providing advice for clients in all aspects of environmental  and planning law, including site specific development  issues and (re)zoning amendments
  • Preparing and negotiating voluntary planning agreements
  • Planning and environment pre-acquisition due diligence advice
  • Advice in respect of and appearing in the Local Court for environmental offences, including in respect of breaches of development consent and the unlawful clearing of land

Recent Projects

  • Land and Environment Court proceedings seeking consent for mixed use development comprising of approximately 400 residential apartments and 2000m² of retail floor space across three properties in Rockdale.
  • Land and Environment Court proceedings approving 6-storey mixed use development with high-end ground floor retail and 21 residential apartments in the Double Bay Centre, achieving height control exceedances of over 40%.
  • Land and Environment Court proceedings for a 10-storey mixed use development containing a club premises and 78 residential apartments in Bondi Junction.
  • Advising on alleged breaches of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW), including in relation to alleged unlawful transportation and land application of asbestos waste.
  • Advising and representing in Land and Environment Court proceedings relating to breaches of a project approval, and the alleged unlawful carrying out of bulk earthworks.
  • Supreme Court proceedings seeking an easement on neighbouring land under s 88K of the Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW).





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