Claire Smith

Clayton Utz
Partner Sydney

Claire has been terrific to work with. She is technically excellent, commercially aware, and has provided terrific value-creating advice.

- Chambers Asia Pacific


A leading environment, planning and climate change lawyer, specialising in energy transition projects, natural capital, contaminated land risk transfer and disputes, ESG advisory services, environmental and planning litigation and dispute resolution and greenwashing. She has significant expertise advising on planning, regulatory and environmental approval requirements across the whole project cycle and also co-created CU SAFE app for critical safety and environmental incident response.

Claire is the National Practice Group Leader of the Environment & Sustainable Development team.

Notable Work
  • Greenwashing risks: advising a range of clients on greenwashing risks including responding to ASIC notices arising out of misleading financial product disclosure information, ESG screening and investment exclusions and product disclosures.
  • Idemitsu Renewables: advising on the establishment of a new renewable energy technology precinct at a former mine site in Muswellbrook, including approvals for a large-scale solar 250MW - 35MW project and battery energy storage system, a 250MW pumped hydro project and planning pathways for a hydrogen pilot plant. planning pathways for hydrogen pilot plants.
  • Squadron Energy: advising on environment and planning risks associated with the acquisition of CWP Renewables' platform together with the Port Kembla Energy Terminal environmental compliance matters and ongoing wind farm dispute work.
  • Natural Capital: advising various clients on natural capital opportunities and legal risk issues arising out of corporate reporting against the Taskforce for Nature Related Financial Disclosures and future likely mandatory climate and sustainability reporting requirements.
  • EnergyCo's: advising on the planning and environment approval requirements for the Hunter Transmission Project, crucial enabling infrastructure for the NSW renewable energy zones.
  • Department of Defence: advising on contaminated land litigation in the Supreme Court commenced by Qube in respect of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal.
  • Infrastructure NSW: advised on key planning and contamination risk matters associated with the redevelopment of Barangaroo Precinct, including a major contaminated land dispute and multiple sets of planning appeals.
  • Qenos: advising on a major environment and safety compliance response associated with the collapse of a cooling tower at Port Botany and demolition and rebuild matters.
  • Enel Green Power: advising in relation to their renewable energy portfolio including a wind farm dispute, neighbour agreements and solar farm developments.
  • SSROC: spearheaded an extensive legislative review of waste and resource recovery laws, providing innovative recommendations and strategies to promote circular economy principles and enhance resource recovery in NSW.
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