Since he joined Stacks Law Firm in 1993, Digby has specialised in planning and environment law, providing advice and acting in disputes for local councils, companies and individuals, as well as acting on workers’ compensation and personal injury claims for plaintiffs. He has built a strong practice and reputation for his work, particularly on landmark and high profile cases.
The niche area of compulsory acquisition of property has become a particular field of expertise. For more than 20 years Digby has been helping landowners who have had their property forcefully taken by government bodies such as RTA/RMS, Essential Energy, councils, hospitals and the Sydney Metro project. In this work he has helped his clients obtain many times the amount of compensation initially offered by the government.
Digby takes pride in providing these services with no up-front cost to his clients and he is usually successful in recovering most or all of his fees from the government. Leading cases which are still referred to by the court include Peak v RTA (Land & Environment Court and Court of Appeal) and Caruana v Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. Digby’s high level of expertise in compulsory property acquisition is borne out by the fact that he is interviewed and quoted in the mainstream press on this topic.
Before joining Stacks, Digby had a series of jobs around the world, including with adventure travel companies, a gas drilling business, and as a deckhand on a prawn trawler. As well as Australia, Digby has lived and worked in Canada, UK, Austria and Germany. Digby’s travel and work experience give him a broad and empathetic view of life which helps him to build client relationships.
Following often traumatic experiences, Digby’s clients appreciate his empathetic nature and ability to make them feel at ease. Digby acted for Stuart Diver in his claim for compensation following the Thredbo landslide, as well as acting for the family of Shannon Rankin, who drowned in a spa pool. In the area of workers’ compensation, Digby acted for the plaintiff in Higgins v Galibal (Hotel Nikko), which succeeded in the Court of Appeal, despite serious and wilful misconduct. In this case, the insurer’s special leave application to the High Court was refused.
Digby also acted for the plaintiff in a landmark workers’ compensation case, Dyktynski v BHP Titanium, successful twice in the Court of Appeal.
Digby’s environment and planning expertise is sought by local councils, companies and individuals. He works mostly on disputes, both prosecuting and defending. He excels at clarifying complex issues and devising creative strategies to resolve cases.
Among Digby’s clients are local councils, which he assists with strategy and advice on prosecutions for environmental damage. He has acted for the former Great Lakes Council and Greater Taree City Council, including successful prosecutions in the Land & Environment Court.
Digby also advises companies and individuals that are being investigated or prosecuted for environmental damage by local councils or the EPA.
For example, Digby defended Cliftleigh Haulage in an action brought by Byron Shire Council. Starting in the local court, the case progressed to the NSW Land & Environment Court, and the Court of Criminal Appeal, where Digby was successful in winning a costs order against the council for improper prosecution.
Digby is the proud father of three grown children, born and raised by the beach in Forster and now pursuing their own professional careers. Most Sundays in the warmer months you will find Digby racing his catamaran on Wallis Lake.
A director of Stacks Law Firm in Forster, Digby is a focused lawyer whose attention to detail is greatly valued by his clients.
Community involvement includes:
- Patrol member and inflatable rescue boat driver, Cape Hawke Surf Life Saving Club
- Secretary, Great Lakes Sailing Club
- Former president, YMCA of Great Lakes
- Former president, Mid North Coast Regional Law Society
- Volunteer medical team driver, Forster Adventure Race