Principal Solicitor, Land Acquisition, Planning & Environment - Victorian Government Solicitor's Office

The Victorian Government Solicitor's Office (VGSO) vision is to be the Victorian Government's trusted legal partner.

We embrace diversity amongst our staff and welcome applications from people from all cultural backgrounds, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, as well as people with a disability. If you require a copy of this advertisement or any attached documentation in an accessible format, such as large print, please email

Job Details
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Department: Department of Justice and Community Safety
Work Type: Ongoing - full time or part time
Job Function: Legal
Classification: VPSG6
Work Location: Melbourne - CBD
Reference: VG/VGSO186
Closing Date: 28-Jan-2020
Salary Range: $120,692 - $161,511
Job Duration: N/A
Attachments: Position Description - Principal Solicitor, LAPE.docx (Word, 87KB)
Job Specification

Contact: Pieta Spencer
(03) 9032 3052

Position Details

Principal Solicitor, Land Acquisition, Planning & Environment - Victorian Government Solicitor's Office

  • Unique opportunity to provide legal advice at the heart of government
  • Diverse, challenging and fulfilling work on matters of public interest
  • Ongoing | Full-time or Part-time (minimum 3 days per week)
  • VPS 6 $120,692 - $161,511 + super p.a.

About the VGSO

 The Victorian Government Solicitor's Office (VGSO) vision is to be the Victorian Government's trusted legal partner.

The VGSO provides responsive legal services exclusively for the Victorian Government and public sector. Our place within government ensures we are at the centre of legal change, reform and problem-solving. We operate as a service-driven legal professional practice and strive for excellence in this competitive environment. In all aspects of our operations, we aim to role model and live by our values: Responsiveness, Integrity, Insight, Collaboration and Excellence.

About the branch and role

The Public Law & Planning Branch of the VGSO provides litigation services and legal advice in a broad range of areas, including:

  • The development, application and interpretation of legislation (including in administrative decision-making);
  • Merits and judicial review of administrative decisions;
  • Planning, environment and heritage law (including compulsory acquisition);
  • Human rights and anti-discrimination law;
  • State and federal constitutional and electoral law;
  • Public sector governance and integrity; and
  • Integrity body (including parliamentary) inquiries.

We are currently seeking a Principal Solicitor to provide high quality legal services and advice to government clients specifically in the areas of land acquisition, planning and environment law. The team's practice is diverse. You will have the opportunity to provide advice on the exercise of statutory powers and act in important judicial review proceedings. You will also provide transactional services and advice on high profile public infrastructure projects. The role offers a mix of litigation and advice work in all of the team's core areas of law.

Key responsibilities

  • Independently prepare, manage and conduct a range of complex and/or sensitive matters
  • Undertake research and analysis at an advanced level
  • Provide clear, concise and authoritative written and oral advice to government
  • Prepare, manage and instruct counsel (including the Solicitor-General) in complex litigation in any court or tribunal
  • Supervise, lead and mentor junior solicitors

Skills and experience

  • Knowledge and understanding of property law, compulsory acquisition law, planning and environmental law and/or Crown land law would be highly desirable
  • Significant experience providing oral and written advice on complex and sensitive matters with a clear understanding of the implications and effects of decisions made on the basis of that advice
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct judicial reviews proceedings
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and negotiations skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work on a number of files simultaneously
  • Proven experience supervising, leading and mentoring staff
  • Enthusiasm for working in a government law office


In exchange for your hard work you will receive: competitive remuneration, training and development opportunities and 17.5% annual leave loading. The VGSO embraces flexibility and welcomes a conversation to help you achieve work-life balance.

How to apply

If this sounds like the opportunity for you, apply now! Applications must include a cover letter and resume that outlines your experience relevant to this role. Please note you are not required to respond to the Key Selection Criteria separately.

To find out more about this role, please view the position description attached. Alternatively, you can contact Pieta Spencer, Recruitment Consultant, on (03) 9032 3052.

Applications close at 11:59pm on Tuesday, 28 January 2020.


Preferred candidates will be subject to pre-employment checks including but not limited to, reference checks and completion of a Pre-employment Statutory Declaration and Consent form. Employment of successful candidates will be subject to a National Police Check.

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