Services

Expert Advice – Specialised Practices
Legal, Mediation & Advisory Services

Legal advice on environment, planning, water, waste and climate change law.
Online mediation to help you stay out of court.
Tailored research and policy advisory services.

Legal

Environment & Planning
Water & Waste
Climate Change

Mediation

Easy 5-step
Online Mediation Process

Advisory

Research Programs
Policy Advice
Government, Industry & Business

Practices

Gibbs Advisory provides legal advice, mediation and advisory services to help you navigate your legal obligations, resolve disputes and keep you out of court.

Legal Advice
Specialised legal advice practices

Gibbs Advisory advises on a wide variety of environmental and regulatory issues, executive officer liability and risk management, responding to regulatory notices and prosecutions, contract drafting and advising Boards.

Meredith Gibbs, Principal of Gibbs Advisory, is adept at providing clear, simple advice concerning complex legal, commercial and practical risks. She works with a range of corporate clients in the real estate, energy, resources, agriculture, mining, extractive industries and telecommunications sectors, together with private developers, local councils, water corporations, government departments and other statutory bodies, and community groups.

Meredith is currently working with businesses to prepare for the commencement of Victoria’s new Environment Protection laws in July 2021.  The new laws will radically transform the legal landscape and introduce a range of new duties to protect the environment that will impact all businesses, directors and executive officers.

More detail on our services:

  • Victoria’s new Environment Protection laws (due to commence 1 July 2021)
  • Commonwealth and State environmental compliance and approvals for major projects, including Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic) and Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC) approvals and offset agreements
  • Contaminated land and groundwater, environmental risk allocation and indemnity drafting
  • EPA notices and prosecutions
  • Commonwealth biosecurity notices and prosecutions
  • Pollution incident response and notification requirements
  • Environmental issues in sale and purchase of land, leases and M&A transactions
  • Environmental risk audits 
  • Training for boards, executive teams and employees on environmental law obligations
  • Water regulation, flooding, and drainage matters
  • Water shares including trading and mortgaging, water rights in M&A transactions
  • Water sector contracting arrangements, such as PPPs and BOOT contracts, O&M contracts, recycled water supply agreements, trade waste agreements, and biosolid re-use arrangements
  • Water Authority powers and responsibilities
  • Environmental incident response (e.g. sewer spills) and notification requirements
  • Environmental water holdings and environmental flooding, landholder agreements
  • Plastics, recycling, packaging, hazardous waste disposal and clean-up issues
  • Victoria’s new Environment Protection laws (due to commence 1 July 2021)
  • EPA notices and prosecutions
  • Commonwealth biosecurity notices and prosecutions
  • Pollution incident response and notification requirements
  • Planning advice and advocacy, including environmental audit overlay requirements and contaminated land
  • Heritage advice and approvals, including heritage overlays and Victorian heritage registrations
  • Restrictive covenants 
  • Compulsory acquisition
  • Crown land matters, government contracting and procurement arrangements
  • Climate change law including carbon capture and storage (CCS) regulation, carbon soil sequestration and forest carbon rights, emissions trading, NGERS compliance, green financing and professional liability in the context of extreme weather events
  • CCS: liability for geosequestration of greenhouse gases, permitting and administrative issues relating to onshore and offshore underground storage of carbon
    dioxide
Mediation and Facilitation
Helping businesses, organisations and individuals resolve disputes

We offer a structured mediation process to assist parties to identify the issues in dispute and to create practical, workable solutions that allow them to continue their relationship in a positive manner.

Gibbs Advisory provides mediation services across all sectors with a focus on disputes relating to planning and environmental approvals and processes; development and construction; general commercial; landlord and tenant; and administration of wills and estates.

Gibbs Advisory is also available for facilitation of public meetings and consultation processes with a focus on planning and environmental approvals and processes.

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How does remote dispute resolution work?

Gibbs Advisory offers an online dispute resolution service that ensures all parties can engage in the process from the safety and comfort of their own environment.

We conduct half-day and full-day mediations using a central online meeting room for the parties to talk to each other and break out rooms for the parties to hold separate, confidential discussions during the mediation. You will need access to a computer with a camera and stable internet connection.

The process is completely confidential.

Easy 5-step online Mediation process

Step 1

DISCUSS YOUR DISPUTE WITH US

Step 2

WE Contact the other party

Step 3

Both parties agree to mediation

Step 4

Access our online meeting room

Step 5

Dispute Resolution Agreement

Contact Us

Share your case to get started

Online Mediation Step by Step:

We will ask you a range of questions to understand the dispute. This is a free service

We will contact the other party on your behalf and ask them similar questions about the dispute and whether they are willing to be part of a mediation. This is a free service.

Provided that both parties agree to the mediation, the parties will engage Gibbs Advisory as mediator of the dispute. A Mediation and Confidentiality Agreement between the parties and Gibbs Advisory is signed and the mediation fees are paid.  Find out more about fees in the FAQs below.  The parties agree to the rules of the mediation.  Depending on the complexity of the dispute, background information may be provided to Gibbs Advisory prior to mediation.

Both parties will have access to a central online meeting room where the main mediation discussions take place. The mediator, Meredith Gibbs, facilitates the parties to discuss the dispute and explore solutions. Meredith is impartial and ensures that the process is safe and fair for both parties.  Your mediation will be conducted in accordance with the Practice Standards for Mediators operating under the National Mediator Accreditation System.

We share screens and use virtual whiteboards to assist with defining the issues in dispute and negotiating solutions. Online break out rooms are available for each of the parties to hold separate, confidential discussions during the mediation, with the mediator able to join each room to assist parties. 

Generally, mediations are either a half or full day in length, although different length mediations can be arranged.

In many cases the parties are able to reach a mutually agreeable solution to their dispute. The parties decide whether this is then reflected in a binding or non-binding agreement (see FAQs below).

Mediation Process Download

Easy 5-step Online Mediation / Dispute Resolution

Research & Policy Advice
Tailored research and policy advice

You will benefit from Meredith’s strong analytical and conceptual skills and her ability to formulate effective research programs.  Meredith’s research skills are informed by her academic work at the University of Melbourne, Australian National University, University of Otago and Massey University (New Zealand).

Some of Meredith’s research and policy work includes:

In 2016 Meredith was appointed as the Global CCS Institute’s inaugural Legal Fellow and delivered a research program on the Effective enforcement of underground storage of carbon dioxide for the Institute. As Fellow of the Institute she attended international forums on CCS in Tokyo and Paris at the invitation of the Japanese Ministry for the Environment and the International Energy Agency (IEA) respectively. Meredith was the keynote speaker at the Paris IEA CCS legal and regulatory network meeting in 2016. Meredith has published many articles and book chapters on the regulation of CCS.

Meredith co-authored the 2012 “Coastal climate change risk – Legal and policy responses in Australia” report commissioned by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency to inform the Coasts and Climate Change Council of the extent and status of state and territory laws and policies addressing coastal climate change risks in Australia. The report was used by the Coasts and Climate Change Council to advise the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency on the potential for the Australian Government to provide national leadership in this policy area. Meredith presented her findings as a keynote speaker at the Resource Management Law Association of New Zealand’s annual Conference in 2011.

Meredith’s doctoral thesis, Are Treaty of Waitangi Settlements Achieving Justice? The Ngai Tahu settlement and the return of Pounamu (greenstone), investigated the reparation of historical injustices of indigenous peoples and indigenous rights to management of natural resources. During her research, Meredith worked with Maori tribe, Nagi Tahu, using a culturally appropriate and collaborative approach to cross-cultural research (Toward a Strategy for Undertaking Cross-Cultural Collaborative Research). Her research was supported by a SYLFF Young Leaders Scholarship, a University of Otago Postgraduate Award and a study grant from the Resource Management Law Association of New Zealand.

Meredith regularly presents training, seminars and workshops in her areas of expertise.  Get in contact if you would like to engage Meredith to speak at your event or undertake in-house legal training.  

Representative presentations include:

  • “Advising commercial operators and Water Authorities operating within the new Environment Protection Act framework”, LegalWise Water Law Forum, 19 June 2020 (link)
  • “PFAS-related legal liabilities and considerations”, seminar with ADE Group, April 2020
  • “Managing climate risk through developing clear climate change disclosure”, Social, Economic and Environmental Risk seminar series, French Australian Chamber of Commerce, 11 October 2019 (link)
  • “Managing environmental law risks: Victoria’s new approach”, Social, Economic and Environmental Risk seminar series, French Australian Chamber of Commerce, 6 September 2019 (link)
  • “Director’s duties and climate change”, Baker McKenzie in-house client seminar, 2019
  • “PFAS in Australia: update September 2019”, Baker McKenzie in-house client seminar, September 2019
  • “Incident response and dealing with regulators”, in-house legal training delivered to multinational waste company, August 2019
  • “Greenwashing claims in Australia”, Baker McKenzie International Environmental Law Conference, Chicago, 20 June 2019
  • “Environmental emergencies: A practical guide to emergency response and liability mitigation”, Baker McKenzie International Environmental Law Conference, Chicago, 21 June 2019
  • “The Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018”, in-house legal training delivered to leading Australian food manufacturer, 2 April 2019
  • “Business Briefing: Victoria’s New Environment Protection Laws”, French Australian Chamber of Commerce, 7 February 2019 (link
  • “The Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018”, in-house legal training delivered to multinational waste company, 3 September 2018
  • “Developing Contaminated Land: How to make it worth the risk”, UDIA seminar, February 2017
  • “The Drover’s Right to Water and Contemporary Water Quality Management: Coliban Water’s Drinking Water Storages and Land Management Plan 2014-2019”, paper presented to the Australian Water Association annual conference OzWater 2016 (co-author with Francine Noble), May 2016
  • “Responding to climate change: Managing your professional liability risks”, paper presented to OzWater ’15 (link)
  • “A novel approach to the outsourcing of operations and maintenance services in the water sector” (co-author with Jeff Rigby, Neville Pearce, Mike Duell, Paul Collier and Damien O’Brien), paper presented to Ozwater’ 14 (link)
  • “Carbon Capture and Storage:  An Essential Element of Australia’s Response to Climate Change”, Enviro 2010, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne (with Evan Stamitiou), July 2010
  • “Carbon Capture and Storage – Legal Issues”, Thai Government Visit, Melbourne Novel on Collins, Melbourne, May 2010
  • “The Regulation of Geological Storage of Greenhouse Gases in Australia”, CCS Global Legal Symposium, New York University, New York, March 2010
  • “Considering cumulative and indirect greenhouse impacts: how far should decision makers go?”, paper presented to the National Environmental Law Association 2008 National Conference, Perth
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Phone: +61 439 479 904
Email: info@gibbsadvisory.com.au
Mon – Fri: 09:00 -17:00
Location: Melbourne, Australia

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Frequently asked Questions

FAQs

Most parties want the agreement reached during a mediation to be legally binding.  However, it is up to the parties to decide at the start of the mediation whether this will be the case.  Either way, any agreement reached during the mediation will be recorded in writing. The parties can then choose whether this is converted into a formal legal agreement containing legal releases, for example, or whether the written document produced at the mediation will suffice.  This will depend (in part) on the complexity of the issues involved.  Formalisation of the agreement is usually undertaken by the parties’ regular lawyers.

Gibbs Advisory offers half-day (9am-12:30pm) and full-day (9am-12:30pm; 2pm-5:30pm) sessions.  Mediations of other lengths and at other time slots can also be arranged.  For example, some disputes are best mediated over a series of half-day sessions.

Gibbs Advisory offers half-day and full-day mediations at standard rates:

  • Half-day (9am-12:30pm)
  • Full-day (9am-12:30pm; 2pm-5:30pm)

For complex matters, for example where review of legal documentation prior to the mediation is required, additional fees may be applicable and will be agreed with the parties prior to engagement.  For disputes requiring a series of sessions or different lengths of time, please contact us to discuss an appropriate fee arrangement.

There is no charge for use of the online dispute resolution platform.  If a face-to-face mediation is required by the parties (and permitted under relevant COVID-19 restrictions), room hire will be the responsibility of the parties.  

All fees must be paid before commencement of the mediation

Gibbs Advisory believes that it is important to give back to the community.  As a result, we will consider requests for pro bono or discounted mediations involving under-represented or disadvantaged individuals, community groups or NGOs.  Get in touch using the Contact page and provide details of your case.

Any type of dispute, provided that the parties agree to mediation.  All parties must come to the mediation with an open mind and a genuine desire to find a solution.   

Mediation can take place at any point in a dispute.  For example, in the early stages of a dispute or after Court or arbitration proceedings have been commenced and the parties believe that the matter could be settled.  Often, the Courts will require parties to try mediation before their case can progress through the Courts.

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Melbourne, Australia

+61 439 479 904

info@gibbsadvisory.com.au