Serena was admitted to practice in 2004 and brings over 15 years' experience in commercial and public law, specialising in planning, environment, heritage and land acquisition matters. She appears in the Supreme Court, Federal Court, VCAT and Planning Panels on behalf of government and private sector clients.
Prior to coming to the bar, Serena was a Senior Associate at Best Hooper in their planning and environment team. She has significant government experience, having worked for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning from 2011 to 2015. She has worked in NSW for Ashursts, Freehills and as an associate to the Hon Justice Peter Young AO of the Supreme Court.
Serena read with Emily Porter and her senior mentor was Nicholas Tweedie SC. She is a member of the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association and has provided pro bono advice to the Arts Law Centre of Australia over many years.
Serena’s experience includes:
Planning and Environment Law: merits review of planning permit applications, planning enforcement and prosecutions, planning scheme amendments, environmental effects inquiries and advisory committee hearings
Aboriginal cultural heritage and native title: advice and proceedings under the the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (Vic) and the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), including stop orders, CHMPs and access arrangements
Property Law and Land Acquisition: restrictive covenants, easements, land acquisition and valuation
Public and Administrative Law: judicial and merits review, FOI, privacy and human rights
Commercial Law: contract, regulatory matters, intellectual property and defamation
Serena appears both led and unled and accepts direct briefs where permitted under the Barristers Rules. Matters in which Serena has appeared include:
Mordialloc Bypass (IAC)
Shepparton Solar Farms Permit Applications (PCI)  PPV 72
Alkero Development Pty Ltd v Stonnington CC (Red Dot)  VCAT 1120
Parkside Constructions Pty Ltd v Moonee Valley CC  VCAT, oral decision
Yarra C225 (PSA)  PPV 76
Melbourne C258 Planning Scheme Amendment
Mornington C214 Planning Scheme Amendment
Fossey v Yarra Ranges Shire Council  VCAT, oral decision
Marshall v Mornington Peninsula SC  VCAT 1331
D.Arc Architects v Yarra CC  VCAT 704
McAdam v Darebin CC  VCAT 2021