HHG Legal Group provides legal and governance services to local governments across metropolitan and regional Western Australia.
The local government sector has a breadth of activities like no other. We understand that lawyers advising local governments are also advisors to organisations operate aquatic facilities, health & fitness centres, golf courses, retirement villages, aged care services, waste management services and property developers We also understand the importance of working collaboratively with property developers, landlords, events managers, land rehabilitators, works contractors, significant employers, public authorities and regulators.
HHG has been a member of the WALGA Legal Services Preferred Supplier Panel for over 10 years and has been a trusted advisor assisting local governments across all relevant areas of law including governance, property law, procurement, construction law, employment law, town planning law and dispute resolution
Our local government team has an in-depth understanding of a range of regulatory frameworks, due process and government decision making systems, processes and time frames, with a number of our staff previously holding in-house local government positions.
- Advising local government CEOs on state government contracts and heads of agreement, as well as governance processes and issues.
- Participating in project control groups to proactively assist identify and manage legal risks, and offer practical solutions.
- Created process maps (or complex flow chart) of the decision-making process and all legislative requirements (criteria to be met) and consequences of failures at any point in the process including availability of review.
- Advising local government and private clients on Freedom of Information Act matters, including making and responding to applications and objections.
- Advising local government clients on the review of adverse Ministerial decisions and processes affecting funding and property rights.
- Local Government Act 1995 compliance
- Legal Audits
- Governance advice
- Audit/Oversight Committee Appointments
- Policy & procedure review and drafting
- Delegations Reviews
- Freedom of Information
Property and leasing
- Commercial, Community and ground leasing
- Land Sales & Acquisitions
- Easements, (e.g. Drainage, Public Access)
- Sales & Development Agreements
- Community Housing
- Retirement Villages
- Commercial leasing contracts for recreational / community development facilities.
- State Administrative Tribunal applications in relation to matters involving planning and land use, building regulation, strata titles legislation, professional regulation and discipline and administration.
- Advocacy to the State Solicitor’s Office for the transfer of land held under the Charitable Trusts Act 1962.
Projects and procurement
- Negotiated and prepared project and subcontractor contracts, deeds, contracts of sale, leasing documentation, RFTs/ RFQs/EOIs and the procurement contracts awarded, for multiple local governments.
- Preparing tender documents and contracts for minor and major projects including design contracts, design and construct contracts, and construction contracts.
- Major Project – Planning & Risk Management
- ‘Design, Construct & Operate’ Contracts
- Major & minor works contracts
- Review and drafting of RFT/RFQ documentation
- Policy Review & Drafting
- Sub-contractor protection
- Providing proactive legal services to urban renewal projects including negotiating the surrender of management orders over crown reserves for redevelopment, preparing and negotiating land sale & development agreements, negotiating agreements with the Water Corporation to convert drains to ‘urban stream’ parklands.
- Providing advice in relation to determination of planning applications.
- Drafting and reviewing of local government policies, planning instruments and local laws.
- Decision-making advice
- Drafting planning instruments
- Condition deferral agreements
- POS contribution agreements
- Land acquisition
- Urban renewal projects
Employment and safety
- Provided strategic advice on discrimination, bullying and harassment claims, managing the same and implementing internal policies and codes of conduct.
- Drafting and reviewing employment contract templates for a large metropolitan local government, including letters of engagement, employment contracts, extensions to contract, deeds of settlement.
- CEO & Executive Employment Contracts
- Manager Employment Contracts and Engagement Letters (EBA and/or Award)
- Performance management
- Investigations (including misconduct)
- Resolving disputes with construction contractors.
- Representing various local authorities, and also defending actions brought by local authorities, regarding breaches of legislation and local laws.
- Assisted a local shire in its dispute with a construction contractor in relation to delayed completion of public works and related payment issues.
- Advised private clients in relation to inquiries and prosecutions relating to environmental issues, land clearing, and a variety of licensing regimes including health and hygiene, fisheries, liquor and hospitality, vegetation clearing, zoning, heritage, professional discipline and regulation.
- Successfully representing local government clients in planning and development disputes.
- Successfully defending local authorities in relation to preference payment claims under the Corporations Act 2001.
- Advising various local governments on actions against ratepayers and businesses in contravention of various legislation including the Local Government Act 1995, the Dog Act 1976 and the Building Act 2011.
- Construction Contract Disputes
- Property & Leasing Disputes
- Land access and Asset Disputes
- Arbitration, mediation
- Debt recovery
- Providing in-house legal services by retainer or governance manager relief cover. (e.g. covering annual leave periods for legal and governance positions)
- In-house Legal Retainers
- Governance Manager Retainers
- Governance Manager Relief
- General Counsel Retainers
- Governance Support Services