Sir Bernard Rix > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex

Work Department

  • Arbitration and mediation
  • Banking and finance
  • Civil fraud and asset tracing
  • Commercial Law
  • Energy and natural resources
  • EU and competition law
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Private international law
  • Public international law
  • Shipping
  • Sport


Sir Bernard retired in 2013 as a Lord Justice of Appeal with 20 years’ experience in the Commercial Court and the Court of Appeal. Since 2013 he has accepted appointments as an arbitrator and mediator in a wide variety of settings, including oil and gas, shipping, insurance, sale of goods, and share purchase transactions. He has acted as an expert witness, mock arbitrator and special master in the US federal courts.

He has experience of arbitrations under the rules of, amongst others, the LCIA, ICC, SIAC, HKIAC, JCAA and LMAA as well as ad-hoc. Sir Bernard has conducted virtual arbitration hearings including taking witness and expert evidence remotely.

He is an International Judge of the Singapore International Commercial Court and a member of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal. He is also Professor of International Commercial Law at The Centre of Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary, University of London.

As a barrister, Sir Bernard practised in commercial chambers at 3 Essex Court (now Twenty Essex). He specialised in international commercial and arbitral disputes (as both barrister and arbitrator) and also appeared in the courts of Singapore and Hong Kong. He was Chairman of the Commercial Bar Association in 1992–1993.

In 1993 Sir Bernard was appointed to the High Court and sat predominantly in the Commercial Court, of which he was judge in charge from 1998 to 1999. In that period, he was responsible for introducing to the Commercial Court the Woolf Reforms to civil procedure law (the Civil Procedure Rules) and redrafting the Commercial Court’s Guide and Practice Directions.

In 2000 Sir Bernard was appointed to the Court of Appeal where he delivered a wide range of judgments on arbitration, aviation, banking, insurance and reinsurance, private and public international law, oil and gas, sale of goods and shipping disputes.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > International arbitration: arbitrators

(Leading arbitrators)Ranked: Tier 1

Sir Bernard RixTwenty Essex ‘An excellent arbitrator – well prepared, insightful and thoughtful, drafts well and has a great manner with his co-arbitrators and the parties.’

Twenty Essex has ‘great strength in depth in the number of arbitrators specialising in commercial disputes, but also public international law and investment treaty arbitration‘. This extends to core areas such as commodities and shipping arbitrations where many of the firm’s leading barristers have particularly strong backgrounds. The bench is packed with an impressive array of full time and part time arbitrators, including esteemed former judges such as Sir Bernard Rix, and former solicitors and arbitration specialists, including Judith Gill KC, David Sutton and Julian Lew KC. The set also has several well regarded practicing counsel, with Duncan Matthews KC a name of note.