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.