Claire Smith is a Partner with over 10 years of specialist experience in environment and climate change law including lobbying, litigation, M&A, insolvency and in-house multinational company experience.
Claire talks about what makes her area of law so exciting
Claire Smith, Partner, Environment and Planning
What is your name and practice area?
Hi, my name is Claire Smith. I practise in the area of Environment Planning & Climate Change Law.
Why did you choose this area of specialisation?
I predominately chose the area because that's the area that I'm very interested in, I feel passionately about the environment and climate change and I also studied the area. I've got a science background and it's what I studied at university.
What are some of the current trends you are seeing in your area?
Predominantly the trends revolve around topic areas: energy, water and waste. Those three areas are going to be the biggest challenge areas for the Australian Government and society going forward for the next few decades. Regulatory reforms are needed in all of those areas and really it's just working with both government and the private sector to deal with those challenges and to move forward.
What have you enjoyed most about your career at Clayton Utz so far?
Honestly, the mix of work and that predominantly comes from the fact that Clayton Utz has a great mix of private and public sector clients so I have a great variety of work and a lovely range of different clients and I really enjoy working with them.
As a new partner at Clayton Utz, what are you looking forward to most?
I'm really looking forward to growing the National Environment and Planning and Climate Change practice. Again it's an area I feel very strongly and passionately about. Environmental issues aren't necessarily state-specific, they revolve around the whole country. I work in multiple jurisdictions in Australia and it's important for Clayton Utz to have a national practice.
If you weren't a Partner at Clayton Utz, what would you be?
I always wanted to be an astronaut but I think I'm probably a little bit too old for that now. I think I've missed the age limit so I would go back to where I started off. I actually was originally an Environmental Consultant and then I went and became a barrister at the Bar in London so probably either of those.
What are some of the things you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I'm a real sports nut so anything revolving around watching or playing sport. I love skiing, sailing, playing lacrosse, playing tennis and all my holidays this year and next revolve around sports so the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and the Olympics in London.