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Education CV

Having completed school, Simon explored his strong interest in public policy through work at both State (WA) and Commonwealth government levels. This equipped Simon with a strong understanding of policy development from a political/governmental perspective appreciating the various drivers and processes that lead to, and ultimately influence, legislative change. Simon was fortunate to work with and meet some of the most respected leaders in government, business and community pressure groups. In 2010, Simon commenced a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at the University of Western Australia (UWA). Simon graduated in March 2013 with first class honours.

Simon is interested in public and private law aspects of shipping. He completed his undergraduate thesis on maritime cargo arbitration and recently submitted his MPhil dissertation, which considered the role of private maritime salvage law in preventing catastrophic marine pollution. Simon’s goal is to teach international law, with a focus on the law of the sea. He also hopes to make a contribution to policy development, through bodies such as the International Maritime Organization in London.


  • MPhil in Law, W. Aust. (2013 - 2015).
  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (First Class Honours) (2010 - 2013).
  • Bachelor of Economics, W. Aust.

    Honours and Awards

    • Cambridge Australia Poynton Scholarship (Cambridge Australia Scholarships and the Cambridge Trust October 2014): The Cambridge Australia Poynton Scholarship fund offers scholarships for outstanding Australian students who wish to carry out PhD research at the University of Cambridge.
    • Australian Postgraduate Award (The University of Western Australia August 2013)
    • Jean Rogerson Honours Studentship (Faculty of Law, University of Western Australia May 2012): The studentship was established in honour of Miss Jean Rogerson MBE, BSC, ARACI. The studentships are awarded on the recommendation of the Faculty of Law Honours Committee to the students achieving the best qualifying performance for entry to the honours programme.
    • Thomson Reuters Prize in Contract Law (Faculty of Law, University of Western Australia May 2011): Awarded to the student with the highest aggregate mark in LAWS1101 Contract I and LAWS1102 Contract II, completed in the same calendar year.
    • UWA Book Prize for International Commercial Arbitration (Faculty of Law, University of Western Australia May 2012): Awarded to the student with the highest aggregate mark in International Commercial Arbitration.


    • Delegate to the 5th Asian Maritime Law Conference, Singapore 2013.
    • Lloyd's Time and Voyage Charterparties' Series, London 2013.


    • International Maritime Organization (February 2015): Utilising the resources of the Maritime Knowledge Centre and consultation with various distinguished experts I was able to further my understanding of how the IMO facilitated discussion between various governmental and industry groups, including flag states, port and coastal states, shipping representatives and other interested intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations to obtain important policy outcomes in this contentious area. Further, I was given the unique opportunity to witness the IMO in action by observing meetings including HTW 2 and SDC 2.
    • Legal Research Consultant (June 2013 - Present): Providing legal research to firms, senior barristers and arbitrators. Legal research consultant on matters relating to maritime claims and admiralty jurisdiction.
    • Law Graduate at Clyde & Co LLP (December 2012 - June 2013).
    • Law Clerk at Allens Linklaters (July 2012 - July 2012): Research and drafting within the Litigation team. Worked on a number of shipping matters relating to vessel arrest and offshore dumping.
    • Law Clerk at Herbert Smith Freehills (June 2012 - July 2012): Research and drafting within the Corporate/M&A team.
    • Law Clerk at Clifford Chance LLP (February 2012 - June 2012): Assistance and support. Critical legal research. Primarily litigation focused.
    • Research Assistant at Conference on Commercial and Legal Issues under Long Term Contracts (January 2012 - April 2012): The conference brought together leading Australian and international speakers to present on the theoretical and practical aspects of contracts of an extended duration. My role involved researching issues arising in the context of long term commercial agreements.
    • Teaching Staff at University of Western Australia (July 2011 - November 2011): Teaching Introduction to Law: a unit designed as an overview of commercial law tailored to business school students. Duties include teaching seven tutorials per week, marking and other responsibilities.
    • Ministerial Liaison Officer at Office of the Minister for Energy; Training (WA Govt) (November 2008 - February 2010): Liaison with Premier's office, other Ministers, Departments, Agencies and Independent Statutory Authorities of Government. Management of written correspondence, freedom of information requests, parliamentary questions and processes. Administrative coordination of the Minister’s office interaction with Government policy development. Public sector training including attendance at the Horizon Power new employee training in Karratha, Western Australia. Acting Office Manager for a short time.
    • Research Officer at Office of the Minister for the Environment and Heritage (Cth) (May 2005 - February 2007): Provision of support to the office in the fields of political relations, external affairs, public relations and back bencher liaison. Research and analysis of portfolio issues for the Ministerial team. Research, and support for critical media events.

    Fields of research

    Maritime Law, Law of the Sea, International Commercial Arbitration, Conflict of Laws, International Environment Law, Contract Law.


    The Use of Force by Non-State Actors on the High Seas: Public and Private Responses


    As part of his PhD at Cambridge, Simon will investigate the role of private security companies in safeguarding the transit of commercial vessels off the coast of Somalia, where piracy is a particular problem. His research will focus on the use of lethal force by these contractors.

    • “With private entities now developing their own armed patrol vessels in a bid to combat pirates, the problem is becoming increasingly urgent,” he said. “After all, these vessels will be deployed in largely unregulated waters, such as those off Somalia, and the high seas.”


    Simon proposes to investigate various events of piracy and the circumstances in which the use of force by private security contractors is, or might be, legally justified to safeguard the transit of vessels. That will lead him to an investigation of what jurisprudential theories and positive laws ought to be developed and applied in this international context. 


    Professor Christine D Gray

    Representative Publications

    • Choice of Law and Forum Clauses in Shipping Documents — Revising Section 11 of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1991 (Cth) (Monash University Law Review 40(3) 639): Since 1904, Australia has sought to protect shippers by prohibiting parties to contracts such as bills of lading from contracting out of Australian law and jurisdiction. Today, this protection lives on in s 11 of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1991 (Cth). This section has recently been in the spotlight following a divergence of authority relating to its scope. This article argues that legislative revision of s 11 is necessary in order to clarify its scope and to ensure that its operation is consistent with the underlying policies justifying its existence, as expressed by the legislature. Link to PDF
    • Incorporating Arbitration Clauses: The Sacrifice of Consistency at the Altar of Experience (Arbitration International: The Official Journal of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) May 2014, Co-authored by Kanaga Dharmananda SC): This article considers the varying judicial approaches to the question of incorporation of arbitration agreements by reference to another contract, schedule of terms, or trading rules. In particular, attention is directed to the approach taken by English courts in considering whether a subsequent holder of a bill of lading is bound by an arbitration agreement contained in a charterparty. In that context, English courts required an express reference in a bill of lading to the charterparty arbitration clause before it could be regarded as part of the contract. General words purporting to incorporate the terms and conditions of a charterparty would not be sufficient. This article examines the development of this strict approach to incorporation in the maritime context, its application to contractual disputes outside that context and recent case law signalling a more flexible approach to the question based on the intention of the parties involved. Link to PDF
    • Bridge over Trouble Waters: Revising Section 11 of the Commonwealth Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (Unversity of Western Australia Honours Thesis, January 15, 2013): In 1904, the Commonwealth Parliament adopted the Sea-Carriage of Goods Act 1904 (Cth). In addition to imposing mandatory liability on carriers, it adopted a provision which sought to protect the jurisdiction of Australian courts to resolve cargo disputes relating to the shipment of goods abroad under bills of lading. Today, this protection lives on in section 11 of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1991 (Cth) (‘section 11’). Section 11 is now in the spotlight following recent developments in Australian maritime case law. This thesis considers the uncertainty generated by the recent case law relating to the section’s scope and operation. It argues that in its current form, section 11 has the potential to generate costly disputes over jurisdiction and law, and produce meaningless, unenforceable judgments and awards. UWA Catalogue Link
    • Salvage Companies and Protection of the Marine Environment: Time to Pay the Piper? (Thesis presented for the degree of Master of Philosophy at the University of Western Australia, Faculty of Law, 2014): While the traditional law of salvage was effective in reducing the loss of property at sea the ‘no cure–no pay’ doctrine resulted in perverse outcomes like those seen in the Torrey Canyon incident, where volunteer salvors would protect the marine environment from the catastrophic consequences of would be oil spills, yet be left without remuneration and forced to bear their own costs. The development of the 1989 Salvage Convention and its contractual alternative SCOPIC provided a much needed exception to the longstanding ‘no cure–no pay’ rule by introducing a safety net provision to provide some compensation to cover the salvors expenses where they were not entitled to claim a reward. However, the negotiators of the 1989 Salvage Convention concluded that public law issues such as access to places of refuge and State interference in salvage operations were best dealt with by a separate convention. This dissertation submits that the public law aspects of salvage law remain unremedied and continue to discourage salvage companies from undertaking a crucial role in protecting the marine environment. As a result, a new convention is required to provide certainty as to the rights and obligations of parties involved in incidents posing a potential threat to the marine environment. Will it take another cataphrosphe such as the Prestige to prompt decision makers into taking action?

    Start Date

    Oct 2014

    End date

    May 2017