Duncan McGregor

Duncan McGregor is a specialist environmental, planning and climate change lawyer. He is co-leader of MinterEllison's National Climate Change Team.

Duncan acts for major developers and government sector clients. He has advised extensively in relation to requirements for environmental licensing and pollution control, including in relation to major industrial and infrastructure projects. He has significant experience in obtaining complex environmental and project approvals for developers, and advises on other environmental issues including pollution licensing and contaminated land.

Duncan has also acted for defendant companies in a number of significant prosecutions for environmental offences, and advised in relation to investigations of pollution incidents by regulatory authorities. He has also advised extensively in relation to the potential liability of directors and managers under environmental legislation, particularly in relation to contamination and remediation liability.

As one of MinterEllison's climate change specialists, Duncan advises clients in relation to climate change law and policy, and the likely operation of any carbon tax or emissions trading scheme. He also advises in relation to the operation of other Commonwealth climate change laws, as well as State – based climate change laws, particularly in the areas of renewable energy and carbon abatement projects.

In recognition of Duncan's climate change expertise and experience, in 2010 he was appointed by the Minister of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency as Chair of the Commonwealth Governments' Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee under the proposed Carbon Farming Initiative.

Duncan also has extensive experience as a planning lawyer, having acted in that role on some of the most significant developments in NSW in recent years, particularly including acting on the recent redevelopment of the Westfield Centrepoint site.

Duncan has also undertaken or supervised a large number of environmental and planning due diligence investigations, and assisted in numerous large corporate transactions by drafting environmental and planning warranties, indemnities and releases. Duncan has significant experience in negotiating with significant environmental regulators to ensure the smooth transfer or grant of relevant environmental and planning licenses and approvals.

New South Wales Interstate Rail Network Restructure

Advised NSW Government in relation to a major restructure of the State's non-metropolitan rail system which included an investment of A$800 million+ in rail infrastructure by the Commonwealth Government. The arrangements effectively incorporated 3000kms of NSW interstate and Hunter Valley mainline railway track under the same operation and management as the interstate standard gauge mainline railway track. We also subsequently advised on commercial arrangements in relation to the take up by ARTC of the Metropolitan Freight Network and the Southern Sydney Freight Line.

Next Capital Aged Care investment

Advised Next Capital on its acquisition of five aged care facilities in South Australia and a subsequent sale and lease back.

Sydney Ferries Franchising Project

Acted for Transport for NSW on the Franchising Sydney Ferries project. This follows on from acting for the NSW Department of Transport & Infrastructure in the Sydney Ferries Market Review project in 2010. This was a high profile and politically sensitive project to implement the recommendations of the Walker report to franchise the iconic operation of the ferries on Sydney harbour. It involved the drafting of service contracts and the conduct of a tender process, extensive due diligence, evaluation and negotiation with three private sector consortia and, ultimately, completion of the transaction with the preferred tenderer and transition from Sydney ferries to the new private sector operator.