Firm: Herbert Smith Freehills (Brotherhood of St Laurence)
Deal: The Brotherhood of St Laurence has received approval from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to redevelop Sambell Lodge.
Key players: The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by special counsel Michelle Keen (pictured), with support from solicitor Tom Mouritz and graduate Cyril Cotterall-Debay.
Deal significance: The Brotherhood of St Laurence made a successful appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for planning approval to redevelop Sambell Lodge, a residential aged care facility run by the community organisation for low-income and disadvantaged people.
Located in Melbourne’s inner north-eastern suburb of Clifton Hill, Sambell Lodge is the only aged care facility of its kind in the local government area and currently houses 43 residents, all of whom have experienced some form of physical or mental disability, with most previously homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The application to redevelop Sambell Lodge was made so a new and larger facility could help meet increasing community demand for these services and offer improved facilities to the residents, providing the opportunity to accommodate more than 70 additional residents.
In handing down its decision, the VCAT identified the proposal as providing a significant community benefit, which was highly influential in the decision to grant the permit.
Herbert Smith Freehills' lead special counsel Ms Keen said the firm was delighted to work with the not-for-profit organisation on a pro bono basis.
“A great social planning outcome has been achieved with this successful appeal to VCAT,” Ms Keen said.
“We are very proud to have assisted the Brotherhood of St Laurence obtain planning approval for a development that will provide much-needed accommodation for a growing number of elderly homeless and disadvantaged people in the inner-Melbourne community.”