About PE Law 

Barnaby McIlrath founded PE Law in 2019 after more than 13 years at Maddocks Lawyers, where he was Special Counsel in the Planning and Environment Group. He is an accredited specialist in Planning and Environment Law .

He has appeared in hundreds of matters before VCAT, Planning Panels Victoria, as well as acting in appeals and judicial review proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria.  Barnaby has appeared in several Inquiries under the Environment Effects Act 1978, and on behalf of planning authorities in relation to precinct structure plans and planning scheme amendments.

PE Law can review and draft complex planning agreements, biodiversity offset agreements, planning scheme controls and environmental management plans.  

PE Law offers a strategic approach to engagement with regulators including the Environment Protection Authority, local government and statutory authorities.  We are also experienced at drafting and reviewing environmental provisions in property transactions, infrastructure agreements and share purchase agreements.


Recent Projects


 Freeway Service Centre (Calder Highway, Woodend North)

PE Law successfully defended the decision of Macedon Ranges Shire Coucil to refuse permisison for a freeway service centre in Woodend: North:  http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/vic/VCAT/2021/686.html?context=1;query=holgate%20group;mask_path=au/cases/vic/VCAT

BWK Properties Pty Ltd v Macedon Ranges SC [2021] VCAT 686

Vehicle Store contrary to Precinct Structure Plan 

We recently acted for Melton City Council in an appeal called in by the Minister for Planning from VCAT.  The case concerned a vehicle store proposal abutting the Western Freeway. The Standing Advisory Committee upheld Council's concern that  the proposed access to the freeway reserve was contrary to the road network shown in the Precinct Structure Plan:


APOLLO Bay Resort

In January 2019, the Minister for Planning  refused permission for a contentious resort proposal in Apollo Bay. Barnaby McIlrath represented Colac-Otway Shire Council before the Apollo Bay Resort Planning Panel, in support of its opposition to the proposal.




Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation