Elizabeth Birch

Elizabeth Birch

Call: 1978

"Totally and utterly calm. She ticks all the boxes you want from an arbitrator."

- Legal 500 (2024)

Pragmatic, calm and sensible,” Elizabeth Birch is highlighted by users for her “calm approach.

She focuses on complex international commercial disputes, often involving multiple parties.’

Practice Overview

International Arbitrator and Mediator.

FCIArb (1993); Chartered Arbitrator (1998); Q.D.R (Qualified Mediator) 1995.; Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration (Distinction) - Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 1998; Senior/Advanced Mediator (MATA) 2005; IMI and SIMI Certified for Intercultural Competency 2012; Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators (IAM)

In full time practice as international arbitrator and mediator since 2003 handling a wide variety of international cases (practised at the English Commercial Bar 1980 to 2003), specialising in corporate disputes, shareholder disputes, partnership disputes, joint ventures, maritime law, mining, international trade and transportation, insurance & reinsurance, oil & gas, energy, international finance and banking, distributorship and franchise, Information technology and telecommunications and all types of commercial and international disputes.  Cases involve complex issues, cross border disputes, disputes with an international flavour and high value disputes.

Has extensive experience, having sat as arbitrator since 1992, in both institutional and ad hoc arbitration.  Receives regular appointments from the main international institutions and is on the panels of LCIA, ICC, CPR for distinguished arbitrators and mediators (New York), ICDR/AAA (Main Panel and Oil & Gas Panel), LMAA, (London Maritime Arbitrator’s Association), SIAC (Singapore International Arbitration Centre); SCMA (Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitrators), KLRCA (Kuala Lumpur), BCC (Kolkata), SCIA (China), CIA (The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) and ad hoc appointments in commercial, maritime, insurance/reinsurance, contractual and international disputes.  First lady Full Member of The London Maritime Arbitrator’s Association (LMAA). Sits both as sole arbitrator and as a member of a panel of three and frequently as President/Chairman/Presiding Arbitrator.  Cases are usually of a cross border nature, with an international flavour and involving parties from different jurisdictions, frequently involving complex issues, and high value disputes. Many involve technical issues requiring detailed expert evidence of a trade, engineering or scientific nature.  She has published a very substantial number of Awards over the last 25 years.  Who’s Who Legal comments “Elizabeth Birch is a well-known disputes specialist with a wealth of expertise sitting as arbitrator in a diverse range of international cases.”

Has sat as mediator since 1996 and was one of first mediators at the English Commercial Bar to do so. Has successfully conducted a very substantial number of mediations in commercial and cross border disputes including high value, technical and multi-party.  Receives appointments from the ICC, LCIA and other international panels.  Panel Member of SMC (Singapore Mediation Centre); SIMC (Singapore International Mediation Centre), SIMI (Singapore International Mediation Institute), AAA/ICDR (Main Panel and Oil and Gas Panel) and CPR (New York) for distinguished international mediators.  Named as one of the top 10 mediators in UK in two surveys carried out by In Brief in 2002 and 2005 and recommended in Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession from 1998 – 1999 to date.  Comments include: “gifted mediator”; “inspires confidence”; “gets results”; “the consummate professional”; “reliable and experienced performer”; “her gentle persona hides a solid steel intellect “; “grapples with the issues head on”; “[she has an] aptitude for exposing parties to the strengths and weaknesses of both sides without seeking to impose a view”; “very considered and commercial in her comments” and “meticulous in planning and very good on the day”; “she has that skill of getting people, despite their prejudices, to see that there is a better way forward for them and all parties”; “very patient, thoughtful and thorough”; “a very experienced mediator known for her non-preaching, reserved, supportive and gentle manner”; “she is well versed in domestic and international disputes often handling cases with high-value or multiparty aspects.” Who’s Who Legal puts Elizabeth in the “Most Highly Regarded” category.

Banks, brokers and financial intermediaries, commodity trading companies, insurance companies, insureds and reinsureds, financial institutions, mining companies, shipowners, charterers and cargo owners, all types of commercial enterprises and professionals. IPOS, ICC, LCIA and other international panels.

Agency and broker disputes, banking and financial services, breach of warranty and company/shareholder disputes, commodities, conflict of laws, derivative trading, distributorship and franchise, environmental, information technology (IT) and telecommunications, insurance and reinsurance, international trade and transportation, joint ventures, jurisdiction disputes, maritime (including marine insurance), media and entertainment, oil and gas, pensions, partnership, pharmaceuticals, professional negligence, shipping (charterparty and bill of lading disputes; MOA, yacht purchase agreements, shipbuilding; freight forwarding; carriage by sea, road and rail etc) and all types of commercial and international disputes.

  • Full Member of the LMAA and receives appointments under LMAA terms
  • SIAC (Singapore International Arbitration Centre)
  • SCMA (Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration)
  • SIMI (Singapore International Mediation Institute)
  • SIMC (Singapore International Mediation Centre)
  • SMC (Singapore Mediation Centre)
  • SCIA (Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration)
  • ICDR/AAA (Main International Panel and Oil & Gas Panel)
  • CPR (New York) for distinguished international arbitrators and mediators
  • KLRCA (Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration)
  • CIA (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) – arbitration and mediation
  • FEPA/DEFRA Representation Committee (available to hear appeals as Chairman against refusal of licences for dumping at sea)


  • Banking
  • Crossborder
  • Energy
  • Franchisee
  • Insurance
  • Maritime
  • Technology
Winner: UK Bar Awards 2023
The Lawyer Awards 2022: Chambers of the Year