Principal Lawyer

Job posted: 08/06/2024
Applications close: 23/06/2024 (Midnight)
1 day remaining

1 day remaining

Job Description

Location: Melbourne | CBD

Job type: Full Time - Fixed Term

Organisation: Department of Transport and Planning

Salary: $130,673 - $174,869

Occupation: Legal

Reference: 4504

Reference: 4504

Occupation: Legal

Salary Range: $130,673 - $174,869

Work location: Melbourne | CBD

About the Role

This is a Fixed Term Position for 12 months

The Principal Lawyer has expertise in public law including litigation and advice on administrative law matters, with a particular focus on town planning and environmental assessment (including in the context of renewable energy projects), heritage, land acquisition and compensation.

Reporting to a Director, Public Law and sitting in one of our Public Law teams, the Principal Lawyer is responsible for providing, and supervising the provision of, authoritative advice on a wide range of complex legal issues. The Principal Lawyer conducts or oversees conduct of litigation on behalf of the Department, and advises on the Department’s response to inquiries and investigations. The Principal Lawyer has a key role in supervising and mentoring more junior lawyers within the team, and contributes proactively to the development of legal expertise within DTP Legal. The Principal Lawyer works collaboratively with the Director, Public Law and colleagues to ensure the provision of outstanding client service and timely, clear and pragmatic legal support.

About Us

The Department of Transport and Planning oversees key planning, transport and land use policy decisions and management across the State. A life-cycle approach to planning, building, connecting and sustaining communities means our people can come together to; improve services, deliver sustainable projects, focus on customer engagement, streamline regulatory approval pathways, facilitate community consultation and better realise local economic opportunities for more liveable communities across Victoria.

DTP Legal is a Division within the Department, and is responsible for the provision of legal, legislative, commercial and information access advice and support to the Ministers, Secretary and Department in the achievement of the transport, land use and planning system vision, objectives and decision-making principles. The Public Law and Information Access Branch is the first point of contact in DTP Legal for requests for access to information, privacy advice, the conduct of litigation and provision of legal advice on a range of public law matters.

The Public Law and Information Access Branch provides advice and support to divisions of the Department and portfolio agencies, with a particular focus on litigation, inquiries, interpretation of legislation, administrative decision-making, privacy and information access. The Branch comprises a large team of lawyers and other professionals with expertise in public law matters, planning and land use legal issues, legal matters relating to First Peoples, privacy and information access. Within the Branch, there are three Public Law Teams with specific expertise in legal issues relating to litigation, legislative interpretation, and administrative law, and the Privacy and Information Access Team which provides advice and makes decisions particularly in relation to privacy and freedom of information (FOI).

If this opportunity doesn't quite align with your career aspirations there are a variety of other roles that might be a perfect fit for you. We encourage you to reach out and explore the many possibilities we offer.

Join us and make a meaningful impact with your legal expertise!

To access the Position Description, please click here’.

Position Outcomes / Accountabilities

  • You provide high quality, strategic legal advice to the Department to support transport and planning portfolio objectives and respond to emerging and/or complex issues.
  • Your advice is authoritative in the core areas of public and administrative law, in particular legislation relevant to the planning portfolio (e.g. Planning and Environment Act 1987Heritage Act 2017) and renewable energy projects.
  • You conduct or oversee the conduct of litigation and respond to inquiries and investigations, effectively resolving disputes in different forums.
  • You act as a leader within the Branch by supervising and mentoring more junior lawyers and modelling a diverse, safe, inclusive culture aligned with the Department’s values.
  • You effectively engage with internal and external stakeholders to ensure the timely delivery of legal advice and support.

Key Selection Criteria

To be successful in the role the ideal candidate will independently provide strategic legal advice on complex, urgent, or sensitive matters, identifying clients' needs and managing risks. You analyse relevant laws, incorporate policy and operational considerations, and offer creative options. You also supervise other legal roles to ensure high-quality advice, including from external providers. In litigation, you model expected government lawyer behaviour, guide on ethical issues, and manage external legal services to meet standards. With specialist knowledge in statutory interpretation, you resolve complex issues using legislative processes and extrinsic materials. As a manager, you communicate expectations, provide constructive feedback, and optimize employee engagement. Your critical thinking addresses recurring problems and delivers effective business outcomes by evaluating issues from multiple perspectives.

Qualifications and Experience


  • Admitted to practice law in the state of Victoria and entitled to hold a current practising certificate.
  • Demonstrated capability (preferably at least 5 years post-admission experience) in providing legal advice and litigation management on complex matters in one or more of the following key practice areas: administrative law and statutory interpretation, litigation and dispute resolution, planning and environment law, heritage, and legislation development.

What we offer

  • Meaningful work making Victorian communities more accessible and liveable
  • Professional growth and development opportunities across the department and the wider Victorian Public Services
  • A hybrid working model focused on collaboration and teamwork
  • Optimal work-life balance initiatives including flexible working arrangements
  • Opportunity to work across multiple urban and suburban hubs
  • We prioritise the development of a safe and inclusive culture

Culture Value

We are an equal opportunity employer, embracing a diverse range of applicants such as veterans, and people who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, LGBTQIA community members, individuals with disabilities and/or health conditions, as well as those from varied faith and cultural backgrounds. At our department, we prioritize the development of a safe, inclusive, and high-performance culture through shared actions and behaviours that align with our strategy and direction. This empowers our employees to effectively contribute to our goals.

How to Apply

DTP Employees or DTP Affiliates with VicGov People Login

To apply, click here  to log in and start the application process.

Non-DTP Employees (Including VPS outside of DTP)

Create an account by clicking the ‘Apply’ button and follow the prompts. For help, click here for Quick Reference Guide.

Applications close at 11:59 PM on Sunday 23rd June 2024

Please include a resume and cover letter. All applications must be submitted through the online portal. We’re unable to consider email or manual applications.

For more information, contact one of the following Directors of Public Law, Alanna Vivian via Alanna.Vivian@deeca.vic.gov.au or Brent Hollingworth via brent.hollingworth@deeca.vic.gov.au

Preferred applicants will need to complete a police check and other pre-employment checks. Your information will be treated confidentially.

If you require additional adjustments across the recruitment process or accessible formats of this ad, please contact us by phone or email.

Principal Lawyer

Job type:

Full Time - Fixed Term

Job classification:



brent.hollingworth@deeca.vic.gov.au - Director of Public Law Brent Hollingworth - NA

Principal Lawyer