A partner in the insurance team since 2015, Stuart has 45 years' experience in insurance and commercial litigation with particular expertise in maritime and logistics law.
Stuart's clients include some of Australia's largest insurers as well as London and international market insurers. He began his career acting for most of the International Group of P&I Clubs and major participants in the Australian marine insurance market managing liability claims and hull and cargo claims. He instructed overseas lawyers in cases conducted in the Privy Council in the United Kingdom and in the US Supreme Court. He also instructed interstate lawyers in the Supreme Courts of Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia and instructed counsel in leading cases in the High Court and Federal Court of Australia and Supreme Court of New South Wales.
Stuart continues to act for the above markets in other commercial litigation cases and in a significant High Court constitutional law case.
He advises clients in the transport and logistics industry on a range of admiralty, cargo liability, hull and liability claims areas. He also advises clients on legislative changes, policy and documentary drafting and interpretation.
As President of the Comité Maritime International (CMI) from 2012 to 2018, Stuart advised on reform of international maritime law in areas such as Places of Refuge for Ships, the Salvage Convention, the Judicial Sale of Ships and the Rotterdam Rules cargo liability convention amongst others. In doing so, he liaised with the Australian Government, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), UNCITRAL and other international organisations. Stuart continues to serve as a member of the CMI Executive Council.
Stuart regularly writes articles and book reviews for legal and maritime journals. Most notably he has written book reviews for Shipping Australia on recent works about Captains Cook and Phillip and Alexander Hamilton. His major critique of the UK Supreme Court's controversial decision on the burden of proof in cargo litigation in the Volcafe case was published in the Journal of International Maritime Law.
Stuart has been consistently recognised for his expertise in the listings below:
- The Best Lawyers in Australia 2013 to 2024 - Shipping and Maritime Law, Transportation Law and Insurance Law
- The Best Lawyers in Australia 2016 to 2024 - Alternative Dispute Resolution and Litigation
- The Best Lawyers in Australia 2019 to 2024 - Trade Law
- Best Lawyers 2014 and 2015 - Lawyer of the Year, Shipping and Maritime Law
- Best Lawyers 2021 - Lawyer of the Year, Transportation Law
- Best Lawyers 2023 - Lawyer of the Year, Trade Law
- Doyle's Guide 2017 and 2020 - Preeminent Leading Admiralty, Shipping & Maritime Lawyer in Australia
- Chambers and Partners 2013 to 2023 - leading lawyer in shipping
- Chambers and Partners 2023 - Senior Statesperson
- Who's Who Legal 2015 to 2019 - Global Leader and National Leader in Transport - Shipping Law
Stuart was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1973 and admitted as a Barrister in NSW in 1975. He is admitted to practice in the Supreme Courts of NSW and Victoria, the Federal Court and the High Court of Australia.
Outside of work, Stuart has three children and six grandchildren and a 95-year-old mother living within close proximity. He maintains a cottage in the Southern Highlands with a large garden, which keeps him active.