Pacific Maritime draws upon a wide range of skills and experience to deliver client value. From core navigation and maritime skills as a master mariner, commercial litigation skills focused on delivering client results, investigation and regulation skills that deliver compliance outcomes, through to negotiation skills that break through bottle-necks, Pacific Maritime Lawyers Pty Ltd can deliver a complete package of legal, commercial and practical maritime skills for almost any situation.
Pacific Maritime also has relationships with established experts in their fields, including specialist maritime law barristers, marine surveyors, marine engineers and assessors.
Whatever the issue, whether it is legal or practical or both, Pacific Maritime has the expertise and the team to produce outstanding outcomes for the maritime industry.
Captain John Kavanagh is a Legal Practitioner, Master Mariner and Maritime Auditor. After obtaining his Master’s Certificate of Competency and achieving command, John has focused on maritime law, auditing and consultancy.
John has more than 30 years’ experience in the maritime industry, in a broad range of sectors, including in merchant shipping, in dredging, in government, in defence, and in commercial law.
- Worked in all merchant navy ranks from Deck Cadet to Master
- Served on the largest vessel ever to fly the Australian Red Ensign, the MV Iron Pacific
- Worked on some of the largest marine projects in Australia, including the Wheatstone LNG project in WA and the Ichthys LNG project in Darwin.
- Is currently serving as a reservist in the Royal Australian Navy
John’s earlier seagoing career was with BHP Transport, where he served as a deck officer on bulk carriers, oil tankers, LNG tankers and chemical tankers.
Since moving ashore, John has held roles in the Corporate and Government sector. Prior to establishing Pacific Maritime Lawyers, John was a senior executive at Maritime Safety Queensland, and honed his skills as a litigator at McCullough Robertson Lawyers in Brisbane. At Maritime Safety Queensland (the Queensland State Government Maritime Regulator), John held the roles of Executive Director Maritime Services, Acting Regional Harbour Master (Gladstone) and Acting Vessel Traffic Services Manager in Brisbane.
John is a prize winner in several areas, including seamanship, shipping casualty response, legal services and regulatory compliance. With broad experience in a wide range of operational, legal and management roles, John has a well-rounded, mature and informed approach to the maritime industry and can be relied upon to deliver quality advice and practical solutions.
As the principal of Pacific Maritime Lawyers, John has established a specialist maritime law firm that offers a unique combination of practical legal services to the maritime industry in Australia and internationally. As one of only a handful of master mariner/lawyers in Australia, John has the practical experience, the commercial expertise and the legal know-how to achieve superior outcomes for our clients. Our significant successes include:
- Acting in relation to ship repair claims, including defective paint claims
- Advising and preparing vessel chartering contracts
- Acting in the purchase of multi-million dollar vessels
- Defending statutory demands and winding up applications for maritime businesses.
In addition to his Master Unlimited certificate of competency (AMSA), John holds a Diploma of Applied Science (Nautical Science) from the Australian Maritime College, a Bachelor of Laws (IIA Hons) from Deakin University, a Graduate Certificate in Military Law from the Australian National University, and an unrestricted Principal’s Practising Certificate as a legal practitioner in Queensland. John is also admitted as a legal practitioner to the High Court of Australia. John is certified by the International Register of Certificated Auditors as a Maritime Safety Management System Auditor, and is an active member of the Royal Australian Navy Reserve.
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Dr. Anthony Marinac
Solicitor / Advocate
Dr Anthony Marinac has a wealth of experience in commercial and contract law, administrative law, and environmental law, developed over more than twenty years in both public and private practice.
His recent successes for Pacific Maritime Lawyers include
- defeating unfair AMSA charges that the skipper of a DCV failed to follow the Safety Management System;
- convincing AMSA to withdraw charges relating to MARPOL certificates;
- negotiating with MSQ to minimise the fines for a client with a pilotage offence;
- forcing police prosecutors to withdraw unreasonable stealing charges against an employee; and staving off a creditor’s application to wind up a corporation.
As a senior public administrator in Canberra in the late 1990s, Anthony worked for the Industry department on environmental issues, bringing an industry-focused perspective to legislation such as the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. He then spent years in Parliament House in Canberra as a key adviser to the Senate, working as Principal Research Officer and Committee Secretary for various Senate Committees, be-fore becoming the Director of Research in the Senate. In that role he was a parliamentary draftsman, writing legislative amendments on their way through the Senate.
In 2007 Anthony joined the Royal Australian Air Force, undertaking six years of full time service in Air Force Head-quarters, but also serving on operational bases where he developed his signature style of providing simple, understandable, no-nonsense legal advice. During his service he was also seconded to the Navy for a period of six months, where he served on boarding parties with the Patrol Boat Group in Operation Resolute, going to sea on HMAS Pirie and HMAS Larrakia. Anthony remains a member of the RAAF Reserve.
From 2013 until 2018, Anthony taught law at CQUniversity Australia, where he won a number of awards based on his capacity to take complex legal concepts and to simplify them, making them easily understandable – a skill he uses every day at Pacific Maritime Lawyers. He maintains a personal YouTube legal education channel which has been viewed more than 300,000 times, and is a prolific author on LinkedIn on maritime law issues.
Also during 2013-2015, Anthony served part time as Counsel Assisting in Queensland’s Office of the State Coroner, undertaking a number of high profile and influential inquests. From 2015 until 2018, Anthony was called to the bar as Counsel. During this period he argued matters in Queensland’s Magistrates Court, District Court and Supreme Court, as well as in the Federal Circuit Court. Finally, Anthony is a Nationally Accredited Mediator.
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Claire Strodder is a graduate of the University of Hull and College of Law in England where she studied a Bachelor of Laws and Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Claire then worked as a graduate Litigation Executive at a National English law firm where she specialised in personal injury law and gained experience in claims management. Claire relocated from England to Australia in 2013.
Since relocating to Australia, Claire has studied a Diploma of Law at the University of Sydney and Practical Legal Training at the College of Law. Claire has completed her supervised legal training in-house and was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in May 2019.
Prior to joining Pacific Maritime Lawyers, Claire has worked at a National law firm gaining experience in the Corporate and Commercial team. Claire has also been an integral part of a small in-house Legal team at an Australian water distributor-retailer firstly, as a graduate and then as Legal Counsel. Claire has provided generalist legal advice with practical solutions to in-house clients on a diverse range of legal matters that are present in an in-house environment, including property, regulatory, commercial and intellectual property.
Outside of her career, Claire has also volunteered as a Company Secretary at a Queensland not-for-profit organisation, which has given her exposure and expertise in Board and governance practice.
Claire joins Pacific Maritime Lawyers in August 2019 as a Lawyer.
Claire is also a member of the Queensland Law Society and the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland.
Ryan has extensive international experience in the maritime and legal arena.
During conscription, Ryan spent two years in the South African Navy whilst serving on several vessels. Prior to devoting his time to law, Ryan worked in the upstream offshore oil and gas industry throughout the globe for thirteen years and qualified as a Ballast Control Operator, a Barge Master and Offshore Installation Manager.
Ryan completed his four-year Bachelor of Law with several academic awards and went on to complete his Master of Law with a focus on medical law, advanced contract law and torts. In 2005 Ryan was called to the bar in South Africa where he held private chambers until 2015 when he emigrated to Australia. He still holds right of appearance in the High Court of South Africa and remains a member of the National Bar Association of South Africa on which he served in the executive as national secretary for two years.
After arriving in Australia, Ryan worked as the national compliance, risk and governance officer for an after-hours doctor service, located in Queensland. During this time Ryan completed his further studies for admission in Queensland as a solicitor where he is a member of the Queensland Law Society.
Ryan has pertinent experience in a wide range of operational, legal and management roles and can deliver industry relevant, informed and practical solutions to those challenges that seem to be unique to shipping and maritime clients. Ryan also spent time as an operations manager for a ship-repair company in Cape Town and has first-hand experience in this field under challenging conditions at the repair quay and dry dock.
Outside of the legal framework Ryan enjoys his time with his family and playing golf, sailing or sitting down for a strategic game of chess.