Dr Leonie Kelleher OAM

Accredited specialist, planning, local government and environment law.

Leonie Kelleher is a highly regarded lawyer renowned as a strategic and innovative achiever of client outcomes.

Incisive, engaging, passionate. Leonie Kelleher is a highly regarded planning and environmental lawyer. Leonie has practised extensively in planning, environmental and complex property law since 1981 and draws on this wealth of experience when assisting clients and mentoring other practitioners within the firm.
Leonie understands that for each client, their land law challenge is different. She recognizes that it is a privilege to hear about your goals and that you are entrusting her with issues that are important to you. In her calm and measured manner, Leonie empowers you to navigate to the best possible outcome.

Lawyers speak of her achievements within the legal fraternity.

Leonie has a sophisticated understanding of all elements of land and planning law, along with major changes in climate change and environmental law as well as the complex issues which commonly arise concerning land use and legal rights in land. Leonie’s talent is in strategy. She develops innovative, refined and nuanced arguments to achieve your objective and delivers those arguments persuasively, whether in negotiations or within litigation.

In over forty years of practice, Dr Kelleher has made legal history through her involvement with test cases in the High Court, Federal Court, Supreme Court and one of the last appeals to the UK Privy Council.  She has extensive experience as an environment, planning and local government law specialist.

In mid 2023, Leonie was elected co-chair of the Australian Environment Planning Law Group of the Law Council of Australia (the peak national body for lawyers). In this role, Leonie closely follows cutting edge national environmental and planning law issues, engaging with environmental and planning law reform and policy.

In November 2022, Leonie was elected Deputy Chair of the Legal Practice Section of the Law Council of Australia, having served on the Section’s Executive since 2013 and as its Treasurer since 2020.  Leonie is involved in areas affecting national  legal practice, including superannuation, property, consumer and insurance law, practice management and charities and not-for-profits.

Leonie is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors as well as the Law Institute of Victoria’s Property and Environmental Law Section and its Environmental Issues Committee.

Select achievements

  • Member of the Order of Australia.
  • Bicentennial Women 88 Award.
  • Honorary Life Member, The Sovereign Hill Museums Association.
  • President, LAMP (Lawyers for the Arabunna Marree People).
  • 2023, Keynote Address, Monash University, ‘Public Land Law and Climate Justice’.

Dr Kelleher has served on the Council of the Law Institute of Victoria, the Victorian Heritage Council, Trust for Nature and the Land and Valuation Board of Review.