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Celebrating Internal Promotions at Best Hooper Lawyers

Best Hooper

Best Hooper Lawyers is pleased to announce the promotions of these outstanding professionals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and expertise to their practice, our firm and the development industry generally. These individuals have, throughout their careers, displayed their commitment to excellence and these promotions further strengthen our firm’s leadership team and reputation as Victoria’s leading development firm. Please join us in congratulating:

Jonathan Hourigan Appointed Partner

We are delighted to announce the well-deserved promotion of Jonathan Hourigan within our Land Development and Compulsory Acquisitions Team. Jonathan is an experienced full-service property lawyer with specialised expertise in complex acquisitions (by agreement and compulsory process), developments and infrastructure arrangements acting for both private clients and acquiring authorities. 

Jonathan has comprehensive experience representing private clients, local and state government bodies and statutory authorities in large scale project work. He has an in depth understanding of government landholding policies and guidelines, infrastructure requirements and commonly advises clients on statutory processes for the acquisition of land. We congratulate Jonathan on all that he has achieved so far at Best Hooper and look forward to working with him in this new chapter of his career. 

Congratulations, Jonathan!

Eli Morrison Appointed Associate

We are thrilled to announce the promotion of Eli to Associate within our Planning Team.

Eli was admitted to practice in August 2018 and has practiced in the Planning & Environment space exclusively over this 6 year period. She has deep experience in all planning, environment and heritage jurisdictions, running large scale contested hearings, complex greenfields matters and providing detailed advices on all aspects of the planning jurisdiction.

As a budding advocate, Eli has appeared in a number of technical and smaller hearings and has the temperament, knowledge and finesse of a lawyer far beyond her years experience.

We are excited to see Eli progress to this next stage in her career.

Congratulations, Eli!

Lauren Cullen Appointed Associate

Lauren Cullen has been promoted to Associate within our Land Development and Compulsory Acquisitions Team.  With over three years of exemplary service as a lawyer, Lauren has consistently demonstrated her passion for delivering outstanding client results assisting with large-scale projects, compulsory land acquisition and compensation claims, subdivision and owners corporation matters, adverse possession claims, boundary disputes and complex property advice. As she steps into her new role as an Associate, we are confident that Lauren will thrive in our Team and continue to provide legal support and guidance to our valued clients.

Congratulations, Lauren!

Fleur Dillon Senior Associate

Fleur was admitted to practice in 2010 and has worked predominantly as a commercial litigator since that date, save for a year spent lecturing in legal policy in the south of France. 

She has a wealth of litigation experience in various areas of practice and has run matters across all courts and tribunals, including two special leave applications to the High Court.

Her work in property disputes is mostly in the following areas:

  • Retail and commercial tenancies
  • Domestic building disputes including breaches, termination, defect rectification, and enforcement
  • Commercial construction disputes         
  • Easements
  • Neighbourhood disputes (including roofing, water ingress and IVOs)

Fleur holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Greek philosophy from Monash University and is a member of the LIV and the French Australian Lawyers Society (FALS).

Sarah Pereira Senior Associate

Sarah is a Senior Associate in our Property and Transactions Team and joined Best Hooper in June 2024, having been admitted to the profession in 2009.

Sarah has broad experience across all aspects of commercial and residential property transactions. Sarah has acted for a vast range of clients from private individuals to large scale corporations. Specifically, Sarah has significant experience in:

  • property acquisitions and disposals (residential, commercial, rural and industrial);
  • built form and greenfield property developments, including acting for developers in off-the-plan sales; 
  • property development;
  • property due diligence and complex contract of sale negotiations;
  • leasing (commercial and retail); and
  • sale and purchase of retirement villages and aged care facilities. 

Sarah can assist you with all your property transaction matters.

Matthew Susic Associate

Matthew has more than 5 years of experience in representing landowners in compulsory land acquisition matters.  Matthew has represented a range of different clients, from a board of directors to private individuals, across all stages of the compulsory acquisition process.  This experience allows Matthew to be able to provide his clients with strategic and practical advice whilst also understanding that each property and individual may be impacted differently by the compulsory acquisition process. 

Matthew is also able to assist in relation to compensation claims arising from Public Reservations such as Loss on Sale claims.

Projects that Matthew has acted for landowner claimants include – Suburban Rail Loop, Level Crossing Removals, Melbourne Metro Rail Project (Metro Tunnel), Upgrade of the Doyles Road and Midland Highway roundabout, Shepparton and Upgrade of the Pound Road and Shrives Road roundabout, Hampton Park. 

In addition to this experience, Matthew also has a broad litigation background, which allows him to ensure his clients’ rights and interests are always best protected.

Brianna Batey Lawyer

Brianna joined Best Hooper in 2024 as a lawyer in the Land Development and Compulsory Acquisition Team.

Brianna holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University and she was admitted to practice in August 2021. Prior to joining Best Hooper, Brianna gained a broad range of property and commercial law experience, with a particular focus in property transactions, leasing and domestic building disputes.

Pengjia Gu Lawyer

Pengjia joined Best Hooper in 2023 as a lawyer in our Property and Transaction Team coming from a top-tier firm with over 3 years’ experience in property transactions and off the plan sales.

Pengjia’s practice includes – acting for and advising property developers in relation to existing and off-the-plan apartment buildings, greenfield sites and estate development.  Acting for property owners in relation to sales and acquisitions of residential, commercial and industrial properties.  Managing complex property transactions such as subdivisions and NICO transfers.  Reviewing and preparing contract of sale, general transfers, stamp duty exemption/concession applications. 

Pengjia is bilingual being fluent in both English and Mandarin. Having grown up in China, but with years of study and work experience in Western jurisdictions, Pengjia is the ideal lawyer for clients seeking to bridge the cultural and language gaps with counterparties from China.

Brittany Gordon Law Graduate

Brittany completed her practical legal training at Best Hooper and formally joined the firm in April 2024 as a Law Graduate in our Disputes and Litigation team. She intends to be admitted into practice by the Supreme Court of Victoria in July 2024. 

Brittany graduated from Monash University completing a Bachelor of Business and the Juris Doctor. 

During her studies, Brittany developed an interest in commercial litigation and completed a variety of seasonal clerkships cementing her desire to practice exclusively in this area. She looks forward to assisting clients with all matters relating to property litigation and disputes across all Victorian Courts and tribunals. 

Brittany is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria.

Jasmine Zhou Head Conveyancer

Jasmine Zhou joined as the Head Conveyancer at Best Hooper Lawyers in 2024, where she oversees the settlements of all residential and commercial property transactions. 

Jasmine has a Diploma in Conveyancing and Bachelor degrees in accounting and finance. With extensive experience in managing large scale off-the-plan projects, Jasmine ensures each transaction is handled with precision, efficiency and with care.

Jasmine’s experience includes:

  • Bulk settlements of off-the-plan projects
  • Settlement of residential and commercial transactions 
  • Lodgment of subdivisions

Jasmine is also fluent in both English and Mandarin being born in China but with 18 years of study and work experience in Australia.

Best Hooper is experiencing its most significant transformation over the 135 year history of the firm, with its evolution from a predominant planning law focus, to its emergence as Victoria’s Property, Planning and Land Development Advisory Law Firm with five practice areas.

Best Hooper’s Managing Partner, Joel Snyder, comments:
“All our people, no matter at what point they joined our journey, are critical to Best Hooper’s outstanding success and we look forward to our continued growth in the industry for the decades to come”.


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