Simon Merritt

Simon Merritt
Senior Associate
Simon Merritt

Simon is a specialist sports lawyer with extensive experience in the sport, leisure and not-for-profit sectors. Simon advises a variety of the firm's sport and leisure clients, working closely with them to achieve positive outcomes. Simon lives and breathes sport and has a wealth of industry experience as a lawyer, administrator and athlete.


Simon advises clients exclusively within the sport, leisure and not-for-profit sectors. His practice includes national and state sports organisations, professional leagues and clubs, venues including thoroughbred racing clubs, event operators, government sport departments and charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Since 2014, he has assisted sports in navigating their regulatory and integrity environment, successfully negotiating commercial outcomes, improving their governance and risk management processes and arranging staff and athlete engagement.

He has experience in disciplinary tribunals and has appeared at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Simon's industry expertise was acknowledged through winning the 'Sports and Entertainment' category at the 2019 Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards and in the 2020 Australasian Lawyer Rising Stars list. He is a national champion dinghy sailor, and as an athlete was previously a member of the Victorian Institute of Sport sailing team.

Career highlights

Simon's experience includes:

  • advising a Melbourne racing club on its exclusive, multi-year pourage rights agreement
  • preparing national child safety frameworks for two national sport organisations
  • drafting a whole-of-sport sponsorship agreement between a major international airline and a sporting body
  • providing strategic advice to the Australian government sport authority about the future evolution of a multi-disciplinary sport
  • advising a Melbourne racing club on its strategic acquisition of a gaming venue and bistro
  • reviewing the content of a Victorian government department's working with children check website for statutory compliance
  • successfully defending a Rio Olympics selection appeal on behalf of a national sport before the Court of Arbitration for Sport
  • undertaking secondments replacing the Director - Legal & Procurement at Destination NSW, and the Legal Manager at the Victoria Racing Club.

Insights by Simon