Natalie Bannister

Partner & Commercial National Practice Leader

Qualifications: LLB (Hons), BA

Industries

Practices

"Hall & Wilcox's practice is led by Natalie Bannister, who wins praise for her 'calm and well-thought-through approach'" - The Legal 500 Asia Pacific

"Natalie is an exceptional lawyer, always commercially-focused and considers the impact of every decision on the business." - Lotte Hoekstra, AECOM

Natalie lead’s Hall & Wilcox’s Commercial practice (which includes litigation, corporate and commercial, tax, employment, private clients, banking and finance and property and projects) and has broad experience across many areas of commercial law.

Natalie also has close to 20 years’ experience in property, planning and environment law. She acts primarily for institutional clients, utility providers, property developers and large companies. Her experience includes property due diligence, sales and acquisitions; commercial and retail leasing including managing national property portfolios; land contamination including compliance, risk allocation and liability, management and clean-up; obtaining development approvals; planning advice and compliance (including in respect of Aboriginal and European Heritage, native vegetation, traffic, noise, flooding and water quality impacts); rates and land tax objections; compulsory acquisition of land and compensation and property disputes and advice about easements, rights of way and adverse possession.

She regularly acts as an advocate before VCAT and at planning panel hearings.

Natalie has been recognised as a leading Australian lawyer in Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession. She has also been recognised in The Best Lawyers in Australia in Real Property Law every year since 2017 and was a Finalist at the 2020 Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Executive of the Year.

Natalie is customer-service focused and is constantly evolving and improving the way she delivers legal services to make it as easy as possible for clients to do business with her. Natalie takes an innovative approach to pricing, using fixed fees and other alternative fee arrangements to deliver price certainty and value for money. Natalie is responsive to clients and always does what she says she will do.

Natalie is passionate about supporting women to progress in business, and she co-founded the Professional Environmental Women’s Association (PEWA) in 2013.

Experience

  • Real property
    • Acting for Arena in relation to the disposal of the assets held in the Arena Office Fund, the Arena Property Fund and the Chevron Renaissance Shopping centre; a project involving over $300 million in commercial and retail assets in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and New Zealand.
    • Acting for a range of utility service providers, including APA Group, SP AusNet, United Energy and Multinet Gas, Jemena, and Zinfra in respect of land acquisition and compensation, easements, land access, substation leases and licences, and a range or regulatory and general property matters.
    • Leading the property team involved in the recent public listing of Industria REIT.
    • Undertaking due diligence and managing all of the property-related aspects associated with the proposed acquisition of six shopping centres located in Victoria and New South Wales.
    • Acting for Moelis Investment in relation to the establishment of a new significant investor visa fund and in the acquisition of the fund’s first asset, a Victorian shopping centre.
    • Acting for Metcash and IGA in relation to retail leasing, agreements for lease, and lease disputes.
    • Providing advice to inbound Asian investors.
    • Managing compulsory land acquisition and disputed compensation matters for a variety of acquiring authorities and land owners.
    • Acting in relation to rates and land tax objections and reviews.
  • Planning
    • Advising numerous utility service providers including APA Gasnet, United Energy and Multinet Gas, and Jemena about planning regimes that apply to them and to their assets throughout Australia, including in respect of native vegetation management.
    • Advocating at panels and advisory committees in relation to the application of new residential zones and in respect of mandatory height controls and land use zoning changes.
    • Appearing at VCAT in relation to a broad spectrum of planning application disputes.
    • Advising Metcash and IGA about planning approvals and liquor licensing.
    • Advising in relation to Precinct Structure Plans, the Growth Area Infrastructure Charge, and growth area planning generally.
  • Environmental law
    • Advising broadly in relation to various environmentally sustainable initiatives, including energy efficiency reporting and carbon trading.
    • Negotiating with the EPA and with contributing third parties in relation to the allocation of environmental liability under clean-up and pollution abatement notices.
    • Advising utility companies and private developers about the environmental regulatory framework that affects them.
    • Drafting environmental management systems, compliance frameworks, and training modules.
    • Defending environmental prosecutions.
    • Acting for the plaintiff in the landmark land contamination case, Premier v Spotless in the Supreme Court of Victoria, involving liability for contamination caused by activities on neighbouring land.

Awards and recognition

Best Lawyers in Australia 2017-2023
Recognised – Real Property Law
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022
Recommended – Real Estate and Environment and Planning
Doyle's Guide 2022
Recommended – Property & Real Estate Law
Doyle's Guide 2020-2021
Recommended – Town Planning and Development; Environment, Natural Heritage, Sustainability and Climate Change
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020-2021
Recommended – Real Estate

Latest thinking

Environment | 7 Apr 2022

When is a noise limit not a noise limit?

In the landmark ruling of Uren v Bald Hills Wind Farm Pty Ltd [2022] VSC 145, the Victorian Supreme Court has held that noise emitted from the Bald Hills Wind Farm constituted a nuisance to its neighbours.