Elizabeth Blackburn QC

Elizabeth Blackburn QC

Call: 1978
Silk: 1998

Practice Profile

Elizabeth Blackburn QC has been in practice as a specialist shipping and maritime barrister at the Commercial and Admiralty Bar since 1980 and took silk in 1998. She is one of the most experienced and respected QCs at the Bar in the field of large scale casualty and collision work where there are related conflict of laws and jurisdictional issues, and complex expert issues relating to naval architecture, hydrography, geo-technology and meteorology.

She also has particular expertise in off-shore work and was invited to prepare a paper for the prestigious Ninth Annual International Colloquium of the Institute of International Shipping Trade Law (which related to Off Shore Contracts and Liabilities) on the topic of “Wilful Misconduct and Gross Negligence in “Knock for Knock” Provisions in Offshore Contracts”. The paper was published in “Offshore Contracts and Liabilities” [2014] Informa Publishing.

Her range of work covers arbitration, shipping and the international carriage of goods; international trade and associated finance; surety, guarantee and performance bond disputes; marine insurance; P&I Club issues; marine pollution; collision, salvage and towage disputes; shipbuilding, particularly superyacht construction where Elizabeth has particular expertise; damage to marine/off shore installations; maritime limitation of liability; maritime International Law and Treaty Obligations; and maritime heritage and wreck law.

She was part of the UK Delegation at the May 2003 IOPC Supplementary Fund Diplomatic Conference, and was also involved in the finalising and implementation of the Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention 2007. She was also the legal member of the Department of Culture’s Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites.

Elizabeth Blackburn also has a significant practice as an ICC Arbitrator, specialising in commercial contracts, such as large scale supply contracts in the energy section, shipbuilding contracts and international trade disputes. She has been appointed as both Chairman and sole Arbitrator in a number of such disputes by the ICC International Court of Arbitration on the recommendation of the UK National Committee. She is a panel member of HKIAC & KLRCA, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA), the Pacific International Arbitration Centre (PIAC) and the Panel of Experts of the International Malaysian Society of Maritime Lawyer. She sits in SIAC arbitrations as an arbitrator. She has been a LOF Salvage Arbitrator since 2009. She is also on the panel of the Electricity Arbitration Association. Elizabeth is also a member of the Shanghai International Arbitration Center’s (SHIAC) panel of foreign arbitrators.

Elizabeth is a Member of the Baltic Exchange, the Executive Committee of the British Maritime Law Association and chairs the Pollution Law Sub Committee; a member of the Commercial Bar Association; and a Supporting Member of the London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association. Elizabeth Blackburn is a Bencher of the Middle Temple and is also actively involved in the London Shipping Law Centre and is a member of the Steering Committee.

In June 2013 Elizabeth was named best in Shipping & Maritime at the LMG Euromoney Europe Women in Business Law Award. She is recommended as a top-tier leading shipping silk in The Legal 500, as a leading shipping and commodities silk in both the Chambers & Partners UK Bar and Global guides, and as a leading shipping silk in Who’s Who Legal: UK Bar.