When now retired founder, Tony Hickey, started the firm a quarter of a century ago, little did he know that that the name Hickey Lawyers would become synonymous with urban regeneration and development along the glitter strip.
“When I started Hickey Lawyers my goal was simply to run a business that provided the best service to our clients and the best way to demonstrate that objective was to work with the clients doing the most cutting edge stuff,” Mr Hickey said.
Hickey Lawyers Managing Partner, Mark Lacy, who joined the firm 19 years ago, said he is extremely proud of the role the firm has played in the growth of the Gold Coast over the past 25 years.
“The team has provided legal advice on a number of large mixed use developments over the years, some of which were at the forefront of architectural design and some of which really kick started a regeneration for that part of the city,” Mr Lacy said.
“For example, Southport Central started in 2006 as the first project Southport had seen for a number of years and it kicked off a much needed push to regenerate the suburb.
“It was a similar case with Chevron Renaissance, one of the first major developments in Surfers Paradise for years, which started the ball rolling on the upgrade of the City’s tourism capital, attracting investment from a range of developers.”
The firm’s relationship with urban regeneration is not only limited to the Gold Coast. Just over the border, Hickey Lawyers advised the Ray Group in the launch and development of Salt, a huge residential land development, which changed the face of the Tweed Coast.
They worked with Aquis on the development of the Cairns Casino and led the planning and legal team in the development of Naisoso Island in Fiji.
“One of my personal favourites to be involved in was the development of James Street Markets in Brisbane, which was a major contributor to the regeneration of the area and in turn, the Brickworks in Southport,” Mr Lacy said.
More recently, Hickey Lawyers has worked on Sunland’s Marina Concourse near Royal Pines and the Lakes and the Lanes in Mermaid Waters, both major contributors to the regeneration and continued growth of their respective locations.
“Sunland Group has a long association with Hickey Lawyers and it’s a relationship we deeply value,” said Sunland Managing Director, Sahba Abedian.
“Their vision for the Gold Coast and their values as a leading local firm will continue to make an enduring contribution to our city, and we congratulate them on achieving this wonderful anniversary milestone.”
The team has advised on a number of landmark projects over the years including the Hilton in Surfers Paradise; Aria, the Wave and the Beach Hotel (now Avani) in Broadbeach; Victoria Towers in Southport – the first vertical aged care facility on the Gold Coast, and they are the lawyers for Ridong Group, the original developer of Jewel.
“When Tony started Hickey Lawyers he never set out to be involved in some of the biggest projects for the Coast, however, we are extremely humbled and proud that we have had the opportunity to work with some amazing developers and continue to contribute to the growth of our City,” Mr Lacy said.
In addition to property planning and development, Hickey Lawyers has also been at the centre of some landmark litigation cases, including Weightman v Gold Coast City Council & Anor, which determined the test to be applied in deciding whether there were sufficient grounds to justify approving a development despite conflict with the planning scheme; and Liquorland (Aust) Pty Ltd v Gold Coast City Council & Anor, which considered the application of the Pioneer Principle from the decision of the High Court in Pioneer Concrete (Qld) Pty Ltd v Brisbane City Council and the requirements for a properly made development application.
The firm also acted for the successful parties in a number of significant cases regarding PAMDA, contributing significantly to the interpretation of the legislation.
“Looking back we are extremely proud of what the firm has achieved. But mostly we are proud of the fact that we have been able to create a fantastic work environment that still exists today,” Mr Lacy said.
“We have not only had the opportunity to work with some amazing clients, we’ve also initiated and grown the careers of the Gold Coast’s best lawyers and administration staff.”
Hickey Lawyers doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon, as the firm continues to work with the biggest developments on the Coast.