Justices of the Court of Appeal


Sir John Saunders KC

John Saunders was called to the bar in 1972 and practised as a barrister specialising in criminal and licensing cases. He became a QC in 1991.

He first became a Judge in 2004 as Recorder of Birmingham and a High Court Judge in 2007. He gave up being a full time Judge in 2016. As a High Court Judge he was a Presiding Judge of the South Eastern Circuit and from 2014 to 2016 was the Judge in charge of the terrorist list which involved case managing all terrorist cases in the early stages.

As a Judge he presided over a number of high profile trials including of MPs and peers charged with making false expenses claims. He presided over the series of trials arising out of the phone hacking scandals. He has conducted a significant number of terrorist trials and been involved in the case management of many more.

Since giving up being a full time Judge he has sat as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division and as a Commissioner in Jersey trying criminal cases. He is head of the Court of Appeal for St Helena and the Falkland Islands.

He has been involved in training Judges in Africa, particularly in conducting and managing terrorist trials and given similar training in Trinidad. He has been involved in training Judges in Mexico and has lectured in Europe on aspects of the criminal law and parole.

From November 2016 to January 2020 John was the Vice Chairman of the Parole Board of England and Wales and has been very involved in the issues arising from the Worboys case.

From October 2016 to July 2017 he was a visiting fellow at Magdalen College Oxford carrying out research into various aspects of the criminal law.

Belinda Bucknall KC

Belinda sat as a Recorder in Crime and as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Administrative and Admiralty Courts.

Belinda is a very experienced arbitrator and frequently sits both as sole arbitrator and as a member of an arbitral
panel. In the commercial field she specialises in substantial disputes which involve areas of expertise such as
negligent navigation, chemistry, explosion and fire, engineering, hypothermia, metallurgy, meteorology, naval
architecture and personal injury. In the field of salvage she has been appointed by the Committee of Lloyds in
innumerable cases and by way of private appointment in a very large number of salvage and wreck removal cases.

She is used to dealing with paper-heavy cases involving oral evidence of fact and expertise but is equally happy to act
as arbitrator in small cases which are heard on documents alone pursuant to fixed cost or limited cost procedures.

Belinda has a well established and impressive track record acting for clients in a wide range of high value and
complex disputes arising out of charterparties, maritime collisions, salvage and wreck removal operations, accidents
causing serious personal injury and death, unsafe ports, fraudulent dealings with documents, damage to cargo, the
construction, refitting, sale and purchase of yachts, commercial vessels and drilling rigs and yacht and commercial
insurance policies.

She has also acted in several high profile public inquiries. She was counsel for the RNLI in the inquiry into the loss of
the Penlee Lifeboat and for the insurers in the inquiry into the loss of the tall ship MARQUES. She represented the
families of the crew in the first inquiry into the loss of the M.V. DERBYSHIRE and acted for the captain and first officer
in the inquiry into the capsize of the HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE. Her work frequently involves complicated
technical issues ranging from engineering defects to the causes of fires and explosions.

Belinda also sat as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Admiralty and Administrative Courts and is currently a panel
member of the Falkland Islands Court of Appeal.

Belinda is convinced that the high and ever-increasing cost of court and arbitration proceedings, coupled with the
frequently lengthy delays before a final solution is achieved, make Independent Evaluation a real and very attractive
alternative to conventional dispute resolution procedures.


Stephen Hellman

Called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1988.  Practised in crime and general common law.  Then spent seven years working for commercial law firms in Cayman and Guernsey, before returning to the Bar, where for 10 years he specialised in money laundering and the proceeds of crime.  Appointed a Puisne Judge in Bermuda in 2012, where he was assigned to the Commercial Court, and a Circuit Judge in 2018, where he presently sits in the County Court at Mayor’s and City of London Court.  

Adrian Hughes KC

Adrian Hughes is an English Barrister specialising in commercial and construction litigation and arbitration. Following an early career in the Royal Navy, he has practised at the English Bar since 1984. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel (now King’s Counsel) in 2006. He works from 39 Essex Chambers in London, but his practice involves extensive international work. He regularly conducts commercial and construction arbitration work as counsel in many different jurisdictions.

Adrian increasingly sits as Arbitrator in international disputes, appointed by all the main international institutions.  He also acts as Chair and member of dispute boards for international construction projects as well as acting as Mediator and Adjudicator.

He has wide-ranging judicial and dispute resolution experience. For over fifteen years he sat as a Crown Court Recorder and Court Examiner. He continues to act as Arbitrator, Mediator and Adjudicator. These roles have involved a broad range of appellate work.

He has a longstanding connection with the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. His Royal Naval career involved service on HMS Endurance between 1979 and 1980 based in Stanley for an Antarctic season. He then spent 5 months on South Georgia with a Joint Services Expedition between December 1981 and April 1982. He was legal adviser to Lord Shackleton’s House of Lords South Atlantic Group in the 1990’s, visiting the Falkland Islands in that capacity in 1997 focussing on fisheries issues and the economic interests of the Islands. Over this period, he also worked to assist the Polar Regions Section of the FCDO in developing the management plan for South Georgia. He has maintained his interest in the Falkland Islands making regular visits to the Islands.


Sir Edward Pepperall

Sir Edward Pepperall was called to the Bar in 1989, appointed a Recorder in 2009, Queen’s Counsel (now King’s Counsel) in 2013, a Deputy High Court Judge in 2016 (Queen’s Bench, now King’s Bench, & Chancery) and a Justice of the Court of Appeal of the Falklands Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands in 2017.

He was appointed a High Court Judge in 2018 and sits in the King’s Bench Division. He is a judge of the Technology & Construction Court.

His career at the Bar was dominated by commercial and technical litigation and international arbitration, both as counsel and arbitrator. He was a barrister member of the Civil Procedure Rule Committee for six years and is an editor of the White Book.

Timothy Straker KC

Timothy Straker KC has a wide ranging public law practice. He has made many appearances in courts at the
highest level in England and Wales and overseas. Timothy has acted in multiple election petitions in England,
Wales and Trinidad and Tobago, which operates under a similar regime. He has advised on elections and related
matters in multiple jurisdictions including Scotland, Guyana and Asian jurisdictions. He recently led in the Supreme
Court when that court (exceptionally) considered the boundary between party and personal expenses.

Timothy Straker KC has appeared in the vast majority of the most important election cases of the last twenty five
years starting with successful appearances for the returning officer in the ‘Literal Democrat’ case, which directly led
to the creation of the Electoral Commission for which he has acted. Principally he has acted for returning officers
throughout the country and been closely involved in elections since 1995. He has acted for the Greater London
Authority and Transport for London ever since those bodies were created. He sits as an election commissioner.

Tim also undertakes public and private inquiry work, including issues of abuse. He has particular experience of
chairing, public inquiries, railway arbitrations and electoral commission matters. He believes in close teamwork in
major cases and a good working professional relationship with both professional and lay clients.

He has acted for (and against) local authorities on issues ranging from abattoirs to zoos, appeared in inquiries in
Scotland and undertaken, drawing on his English experience, work relating to environmental assessment in
Greece and the Caribbean. His local authority and public law work includes planning (multiple inquiries and judicial
reviews, e.g. The Emirates, Anfield, retail, polytunnels and amalgamations and basements), infrastructure (e.g.
Mersey Gateway, Felixstowe and Harwich) and procurement (often confidential).


Richard Whittam KC

Justice Whittam was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1983 where he currently practices as member of Matrix Chambers. He became silk in 2008. He is a specialist regulatory and criminal practitioner with extensive experience in the most complex and high-profile criminal cases. He is consistently recognised as one of the leading criminal advocates in the UK, receiving both the Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 Crime Silk of the Year awards. He is renowned for his strategic and tactical guidance, and his ability to master complex legal and factual issues.

Justice Whittam is the Rugby and Football Union’s Independent Head of Judiciary.