Profile of Jillian Button

Jillian Button

Partner and Head of Climate Change, BA LLB (Hons) LLM

About Jillian Button

Jillian is a leading climate change, ESG and environment law specialist. She is the Allens Head of Climate Change, and co-leads the firm's ESG Hub.

A significant part of Jillian's practice involves assisting clients to navigate the net zero transition. Recently Jillian has helped clients to comply with emissions reporting legislation and the reformed Safeguard Mechanism, negotiate carbon aspects of complex corporate transactions, establish large scale carbon farming arrangements, and ACCU acquisition transactions.

Jillian also provides ESG head office support, including reviewing climate change and sustainability strategies, policies and disclosures (including annual reports and standalone sustainability reports), assisting with AGM preparation in relation to sustainability and climate matters, and providing advice on the implementation of sustainability commitments. Jillian is also advising clients, principally multinational corporations and financial institutions, on preparations for Australia's mandatory climate related financial disclosure regime.

Jillian is at the forefront of circular economy developments, having advised industry on a range of product stewardship arrangements for end-of-life products. She has assisted clients to develop strategies to contribute to the goal of halting and reversing biodiversity loss, including selecting and articulating nature positive corporate commitments, making disclosures with respect to nature-related risks, and establishing planting projects for biodiverse projects.

Beyond ESG, Jillian advises on a range of environmental law matters, including renewable energy and energy storage (BESS) projects, electricity transmission projects, nuisance, compulsory acquisition, native title, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage, native vegetation, EPBC and land contamination remediation matters. Recently, her practice has expanded into the offshore wind sector.

Jillian's litigation practice extends to nuisance litigation, compulsory acquisition litigation, VCAT merits review and enforcement proceedings, and Supreme Court and Court of Appeal judicial review proceedings.

Jillian's relevant experience includes:
  • Rio Tinto – advising on investment in Australian Integrated Carbon, a leading developer of Australian Carbon Credit Units to secure access to ACCUs.
  • Nestle – advising on partnership with Greening Australia to undertake large scale reforestation carbon farming project.
  • Confidential multinational clients and financial institutions – advising on Australia's mandatory climate-related financial reporting regime, including assisting with the preparation of submissions, examining greenwashing risks and strategies, developing compliance strategies, and advising on interaction with equivalent disclosure requirements in other jurisdictions.
  • Confidential clients – assisting clients to investigate and respond to actual and threatened ESG litigation, and correspondence from ASIC in relation to ESG disclosures.
  • Confidential clients – advising on actual and contemplated Say on Climate shareholder votes.
  • Large listed clients – advising on template carbon trading agreements, to assist clients to secure access to carbon credits for Safeguard Mechanism compliance and trading desk activities.
  • Safeguard Mechanism transaction support – advising a range of clients on arrangements for managing Safeguard Mechanism obligations within complex JVs and other transaction structures.
  • Various confidential clients – reviewing climate reports, undertaking climate governance gap analyses, delivering board and executive education in relation to climate governance and ESG issues, stress testing compliance with climate commitments, advising reviewing climate disclosures in bond offerings, half yearly reports, annual reports, TCFD reports, Carbon Disclosure Project reports and standalone sustainability reports.
  • Alinta – representing Loy Yang B operator in judicial review proceedings commenced by Environment Victoria seeking to quash the EPA's decision to amend the power station's operational air emissions limits. This is a key test case in Victoria in relation to the requirements of the Climate Change Act 2017 (Vic).
  • Stockyard Hill Wind Farm – advising on planning and other regulatory matters for this project, the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere.
  • Acciona – advising in relation to environment and planning issues at Waubra Wind Farm, Mortlake South Wind Farm, Mount Gellibrand Wind Farm and Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm.
  • Snowy 2.0 – advising Snowy Hydro on native title and other approvals aspects of the Snowy 2.0 project.
  • Macquarie – advising on planning and environmental issues for Project Jardins: the development of a grid-firming utility scale battery at the former Hazelwood Power Station site.
  • Origin – providing planning advice in relation to Mortlake BESS.
  • X-Elio – representing X-Elio before a planning panel convened to consider two planning permit applications in respect of utility scale solar projects in the Shepparton area called in by the Minister for Planning.
  • Melbourne Water – advising on a wide range of flooding and drainage matters, particularly arising from updated climate-impacted flood modelling.
  • Global Infrastructure Partners – advising on acquisition of 49% interest in Pluto 2 gas plant from Woodside. This role included complex due diligence and negotiations in relation to ongoing judicial review proceedings affecting the plant's key approvals, as well as risk allocation in relation to greenhouse gases.