Belinda Bucknall QC practiced as a barrister, arbitrator and CEDR accredited mediator for some 30 years as a member of Quadrant Chambers, mainly in the fields of shipping and international trade. Belinda sat as a Recorder in Crime and as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Administrative and Admiralty Courts.
Belinda is a very experienced arbitrator and frequently sits both as sole arbitrator and as a member of an arbitral panel. In the commercial field she specialises in substantial disputes which involve areas of expertise such as negligent navigation, chemistry, explosion and fire, engineering, hypothermia, metallurgy, meteorology, naval architecture and personal injury. In the field of salvage she has been appointed by the Committee of Lloyds in innumerable cases and by way of private appointment in a very large number of salvage and wreck removal cases.
She is used to dealing with paper-heavy cases involving oral evidence of fact and expertise but is equally happy to act as arbitrator in small cases which are heard on documents alone pursuant to fixed cost or limited cost procedures.
Belinda has a well established and impressive track record acting for clients in a wide range of high value and complex disputes arising out of charterparties, maritime collisions, salvage and wreck removal operations, accidents causing serious personal injury and death, unsafe ports, fraudulent dealings with documents, damage to cargo, the construction, refitting, sale and purchase of yachts, commercial vessels and drilling rigs and yacht and commercial insurance policies.
She has also acted in several high profile public inquiries. She was counsel for the RNLI in the inquiry into the loss of the Penlee Lifeboat and for the insurers in the inquiry into the loss of the tall ship MARQUES. She represented the families of the crew in the first inquiry into the loss of the M.V. DERBYSHIRE and acted for the captain and first officer in the inquiry into the capsize of the HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE. Her work frequently involves complicated technical issues ranging from engineering defects to the causes of fires and explosions.
Belinda also sat as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Admiralty and Administrative Courts and is currently a panel member of the Falkland Islands Court of Appeal.
Belinda is convinced that the high and ever-increasing cost of court and arbitration proceedings, coupled with the frequently lengthy delays before a final solution is achieved, make Independent Evaluation a real and very attractive alternative to conventional dispute resolution procedures.