Belinda McRae > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex

Work Department

  • Arbitration and mediation
  • Civil fraud and asset tracing
  • Commercial law
  • Constitutional public and human rights law
  • Energy and natural resources
  • Jurisdiction, conflicts and enforcement
  • Private international law
  • Public international law
  • Shipping
  • Sport


Belinda has developed an impressive and diverse commercial practice. She has a particular specialisation in private international law, public international law and international arbitration.

Belinda has appeared in the UK Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court and county courts. She has also appeared, both as sole counsel and as junior counsel, in international arbitrations under a variety of institutional rules, seated in London, Paris, New York, Lausanne, Geneva, Kuala Lumpur, The Hague and Cairo. Belinda has been appointed as an arbitrator on a three-person London-seated tribunal.

She has developed an expertise in Brexit-related matters, particularly in relation to its private and public international law implications. Belinda was seconded to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Legal Directorate from 2016 to 2017, where she worked on Brexit-related international and domestic law issues, including the Miller litigation. She has also advised the Brexit Law Committee.

Before coming to the Bar, Belinda amassed a wealth of international legal experience. She was an Associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in Paris, where she specialised in international arbitration and public international law. Belinda has also worked in international courts and tribunals in Cambodia, Tanzania and Australia, including as an associate to the Hon. Justice Dyson Heydon AC, at Australia’s highest court.


Year of call: 2014


French (proficient)


  • Attorney General’s Public International Law Panel C (2017–)
  • Bar European Group: Committee (2017–)
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit
  • Chancery Bar Litigant in Person Support Scheme
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association: Brexit Conflict of Laws Group (2016–2017)
  • International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum
  • International Congress and Convention Association/Young International Congress and Convention Association
  • London Court of International Arbitration Young International Arbitration Group
  • Lord Chief Justice’s Advisory Committee on Brexit and Civil Jurisdiction (2016–2017)
  • The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Young International Arbitration Group: UK Regional Representative (2016–)


  • University of Cambridge: LLM, First Class (2011)
  • University of Queensland: BA/LLB, First Class (2009)

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 4

Belinda McRaeTwenty EssexBelinda is outstanding. One of the best communicators in the business. An intellectual powerhouse with a straight forward communication style.

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Belinda McRaeTwenty EssexA quite brilliant knowledge of, and application of, international law. Also very easy to deal with and always on hand to help.

Twenty Essex is a ‘premier chambers in international arbitration‘ with a selection of top-notch silks and juniors. The members cover a broad range of disputes, including investment treaty claims, as well as broader commercial, shipping and commodities arbitrations. In recent years it has also done well in recruiting esteemed former solicitor advocates, with Wendy Miles KC being the latest most high profile example. Significant public disputes include PL Holdings SARL v Republic of Poland, a dispute over an alleged forced sale of a Polish bank, in which Sara Masters KC and Belinda McRae represented Polish government, with Philip Riches KC and rising star Sam Goodman acting for the investors.

London Bar > Public international law

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Belinda McRaeTwenty EssexA go-to junior in the public international law arena. Her work is of extremely high quality. She is going to be an absolute superstar.

Twenty Essex fields a selection of the market’s top public international law barristers, with a commendable range of expertise at the most senior and junior levels. Several, such as Sir Michael Wood KCMG and Sir Daniel Bethlehem KC came from distinguished legal careers at the UK Foreign Office, and bring a mixture of public and private expertise to a broad range of major international disputes. Notable case highlights include Islamic Republic of Iran v United States of America, concerning the question of whether the rights victims of Iranian terrorism to pursue compensation in the US courts is a treaty violation; Bethlehem is leading Belinda McRae on behalf of the USA, with Philippa Webb a member of the opposing team. Bethlehem, Webb, Wood, Sudhanshu Swaroop KC and Guglielmo Verdirame KC are also representing Italy in the MB Enrica Lexie case between India and Italy, concerning an incident where two Italian Navy marines protecting a commercial ship were detained by Indian forces after two fishermen were found shot dead off the coast of Kerala.