Elizabeth Birch was called to the Bar in London in 1978. She practises at 3 Verulam Buildings, Gray's Inn, London, UK and specialises in commercial law including banking and financial services, commodities, conflict of laws, insurance and reinsurance, injunctions, international trade and transportation, information technology, joint ventures, jurisdictional disputes, maritime, oil and gas, professional negligence and sale of goods. She was voted as QC in a survey of the profession conducted in Spring 2004 ("The Lawyer Counsel" (TLC)). Elizabeth recently announced that she is giving up advocacy in order to concentrate on her practice in sitting as mediator and arbitrator.
Elizabeth is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Chartered Arbitrator and the founder of ACI (A Commercial Initiative for Dispute Resolution). She is a member of the Lloyd's Arbitration Scheme Panel and of the Panel of Supporting Members of the London Maritime Arbitrators' Association who are able to accept appointments for arbitrations/mediations. She is frequently appointed as arbitrator in commercial and international arbitrations in disputes within her areas of expertise through the auspices of the ICC, LCIA, LMAA, ACI and ad hoc. She is on the international panel of CPR, New York and a member of the International Academy of Mediators (IAM), California. Panel Member (Chairman) of FEPA Representation Committee (available to hear appeals against refusal of licences for dumping at sea). Member of the CIA Special Focus IT and Maritime groups.
Accredited as a mediator by both the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution and the British Academy of Experts, Elizabeth was one of the first members of the English commercial Bar to become accredited as a mediator, in 1995, and has since sat as mediator in a substantial number of commercial disputes including high value, technical, multi-party and international cases.
She was a member of both the ADR Commercial Court Working Party chaired by Mr Justice Colman into the use of mediation and early neutral evaluation in the Commercial Court, which led to the existing Commercial Court Practice Directions on ADR, and the ADR Service Providers Association working party, chaired by Sir Brian Neill, which has just led to the creation of the Civil Mediation Council, London. She is also a member of the Bar Council ADR Committee, the British Maritime Law Association and the CIArb Arbitration Club's Maritime and Oil & Gas Branches.
Elizabeth has been recommended for ADR in every edition of Chambers & Partners' Directory since 1998-1999 and was named as one of the top ten mediators in the UK in a survey carried out by "In Brief" journal in July 2002.