Hans van der Wal

Special Counsel

I am a natural resources and local government law specialist who has acted for both private and council clients since joining Duncan Cotterill in 2008 after 11 years in local government. My five years as in-house counsel with Environment Canterbury, and previous enforcement, consent processing and planning work for local bodies in Auckland, gives me unique insight into the sector’s legal issues. As well as this practical experience I have a post-graduate qualification in environmental law and an interest in helping clients find innovative ways around the tougher legal issues in this specialist field.

While I have particular experience in environmental enforcement and prosecutions, both as a prosecutor and as defence counsel acting for individuals or on behalf of statutory liability cover providers, I also have wide experience in broader natural resource management issues. This includes representing clients at council hearings as well as Environment Court appeals and declarations, and appearing in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.  I have represented both local body and private clients in proceedings, which have included private plan changes, appeals on regional planning documents, appeals on large consent projects and declarations on key natural resource management issues. I also assist mining clients with resource management and Crown Minerals Act consenting and permitting issues.

I believe that proactive strategies to ensure compliance are critical to helping clients succeed. In this context I have provided numerous seminars on minimising the risk of environmental prosecutions, and have authored numerous articles with key tips to help readers successfully meet their environmental and associated legislation compliance obligations.