Tabetha Kurtz-Shefford was appointed as a lecturer in commercial and maritime law in 2013. She is a graduate of Bristol University and holds a Masters degree in Law from Bristol (2008) and an LLM in Commercial and Maritime Law from Swansea University (2010). She is LPC qualified (Oxford University and Oxford Brookes).
She is currently researching for her doctoral thesis on civil liability regimes for offshore oil pollution damage and has published on the subject.
Her interests extend broadly through maritime, contract and tort law and her teaching experience includes undergraduate teaching in contract and tort law and postgraduate teaching in various aspects of maritime law.
Tabetha will be involved in the delivery of the new LLM module of Oil and Gas Law.

Areas of Expertise

  • Oil and Gas Law
  • Admiralty Law


  1. Kurtz-Shefford, T. Liability for offshore facility pollution damage after the Deepwater Horizon? What happened to the global solution? The Journal of International Maritime Law 16 6 453 474
  2. Kurtz-Shefford, T. Compensation and liabilities for oil spills from FPSOS and similar storage craft B. Soyer, A. Tettenborn(Ed.), Maritime liabilities in a global and regional context


  • LA-121A Fundamental Principles of Contract Law

    This module will be available only for visiting exchange students from Chinese partner universities.

  • LA-123 Legal Methodology

    This module will be available only for visiting exchange students from Chinese partner universities.

  • LA-300 Applied Commercial Law and International Business Practices

    Contemporary concerns originating in market and business failures sufficiently indicate the vital importance of business law for accountability and performance. Taking account of the rapid developments in this field, this module offers students an unique opportunity to explore business law on a broad spectrum. It allows for an investigation into new and dynamic issues pertinent to the operation of businesses in the international context, including intellectual assets management, international payment and transactions, the governance of businesses and aspects of insolvency and personal responsibility. Designed to accommodate both legal and commercial perspectives, it allows students to obtain an understanding of cutting edge developments in a number of discrete legal areas.

  • LA-M01 Law of International Trade

    This module elaborates and analyses (a) the legal and commercial issues associated with international sale contracts; (b) the organization and content of such contracts; and (c) how parties can engineer satisfactory solutions through adjusting the terms of their agreement against a background of freedom of contract. The concentration will be on the rules of English law: but reference will be made where relevant to other regimes, including the Uniform Commercial Code and the 1980 Vienna Convention on the International Sale of Goods. We identify the principal categories of international sale and commodity contracts; in addition, we give extended attention to the main INCOTERMS (shipping-related and non-shipping-related) promulgated by the International Chamber of Commerce. Our examination of the legal relationship between international sellers and buyers includes questions of general sales law; of ownership, title and risk; of the commercial and legal significance of transport documentation and insurance; and of the question of remedies. We will make time available time to discuss contemporary issues as they arise, such as the harmonisation of international trade law, and problems associated with containerisation and multi-modal transport.

  • LACM24 Commercial and Maritime Mooting

    The module adopts a holistic and practical approach to teaching international and transnational dispute settlement by using the medium of mooting. In particular, the module offers advocacy training and innovative teaching in commercial and maritime arbitration and adjudication. Teaching is offered through a combination of seminars and advocacy labs. The module employs audio visual study aids, a unique teaching method inspired by the Harvard Case Method. The syllabus covers key skills in oral and written advocacy in international and transnational arbitration and adjudication.

  • LAMM01 Admiralty Law

    This module concerns a practical aspect of maritime law which was developed by the Admiralty Court of England and Wales and which has subsequently influenced many countries in the world. The aim of the module is to provide students with a practical and critical knowledge of those aspects of maritime law relating to the running of the ship. The module is in two parts. Part one deals with substantive areas of maritime law such as the law of collisions, harbour law, pilotage, salvage, general average, carriage of passengers and limitation of liability. Part two focuses on enforcement of maritime claims through the practice and procedure of the Admiralty Court, including arrest, jurisdiction and maritime liens. Also, contemporary public law issues that have a bearing on ship operations, such as ship registration and port state control, are also considered in this module.

  • LAMM20 Oil and Gas Law: Contracts and Liabilities

    The aim of this module is to provide an account of the contractual framework governing the production, sale and distribution of oil and gas. It deals with many of the unique commercial and financial arrangements engaged. The module also addresses liability matters which are commonly associated with daily operational hazards of the joint venture, including environmental damage and personal injury.

  • LAMM30 International Energy Law

    Energy resources include hydrocarbon resources, such as oil and gas, renewable energy (including those that come from wind and ocean currents) and nuclear energy. International energy law as a field of law originates from a desire to capture the broad spectrum of energy related matters and activities, as well as the applicable rules of several different fields of (international) law, under one broad umbrella. Fields of (international) law that have shaped rules of international energy law and influence and regulate energy related issues are inter alia international law of the sea, and international environmental law, all of which will be discussed in depth in this module. International energy law deals with many different issues, some examples are the extraction of energy resources and the environmental impact of such activities. The module will focus both on renewable energy resources and oil and gas resources. Nowadays, and despite the potential of using renewable energy resources, the importance of oil and gas resources remains difficult to overstate. Our prosperity, progress and mobility are heavily indebted to utilising hydrocarbon resources for energy. Oil and gas are transportable, still relatively cheap and comparatively abundant sources of energy. They are also the fundamental ingredient in many of the products that we use daily and the engine of economic growth in many parts of our globalised world. Nowadays, 60% of the oil and gas resources come from offshore areas ¿ supplies of oil and gas on land are increasingly nearing the end of their lifespan, and chances are slim of discovering new oil and gas supplies on land. Predictions have been made that about 70% of the oil and gas reserves that have yet to be discovered are located offshore, some of which are based in areas where the States concerned have not agreed on the location of their maritime boundary. As a result, maritime areas where oil and gas resources are present, or are rumoured to be located, have increasingly come to attract the interest of the oil and gas industry. This led to a significant expansion of the offshore industry, particularly in the last 25 years, which was also the moment when the offshore exploration and exploitation for oil and gas resources took flight. Besides the role of the oil and gas industry, a prominent player in relation to offshore oil and gas resources, as well as renewable energy resources, is the State. For example, coastal States are attributed sovereignty or sovereignty over oil and gas resources for exploration and exploitation under international law. This means, amongst others, that the decision to begin with activities in connection with oil and gas resources rests with coastal States. It is also the prerogative of States to determine which maritime areas will be opened for exploration or exploitation, to decide which oil and gas companies will receive the permission to engage therein, and to regulate the conditions under which this will take place. In addition, States are given the jurisdictional rights to erect installations, such as oil platforms, that assist in the actual exploitation of oil and gas resources. But it is not only in relation to oil and gas resources, that coastal States have extensive rights; the same is the case for renewable energy resources, such as wind and ocean currents. This module aims to provide the students with an understanding of the international and transnational legal frameworks governing energy resources and the energy sector. For this purpose, the module will examine the following: 1. The International Legal Framework Governing Energy Resources: The sovereignty and sovereign rights of (coastal) States over energy resources under public international law, with an emphasis on the exploration and exploitation of offshore energy resources. 2. Licensing and the Role of the State: The State that has sovereign rights over oil and gas resources and can give rights to oil an


  • LOGIC Mobile Drilling Rigs Standard Form Contracts: An Analysis. (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Tabetha Kurtz-Shefford
    Other supervisor: Prof Simon Baughen

Research Groups

  • Member

    Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law