UCL Faculty of Laws


Recent developments in bills of lading

28 November 2016, 6:00 pm–7:45 pm

Bills of Lading

Event Information

Open to



Dr Melis Özdel


UCL Haldane Room, Wilkins Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Accredited with 1.5 CPD hours

Since the early age of commerce, bills of lading have played a vital role in the financing of international trade. Technical and political developments have given rise to a wide range of legal issues in connection with bills of lading, while shaping the future of international trade and shipping. In this seminar, a panel of expert speakers will discuss the possible jurisdictional effects of Brexit on bills of lading, contemporary issues with misdelivery and letters of indemnity, and the proprietary aspects of electronic bills of lading in shipping and international trade.


  • “Bills of Lading and Brexit – are we steaming into uncharted waters without navigational aids?”
    Sir Richard Aikens (Brick Court Chambers)
  • “Contemporary Issues With Misdelivery and LOIs”
    Richard Lord QC (Brick Court Chambers)
  • “The Proprietary Aspects of Electronic Bills of Lading: Fact or Fiction?”
    Dr Melis Ozdel (UCL Laws)

After this seminar, the delegates should be able to

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the legal functions of electronic bills of lading, and the future of electronic bills of lading in shipping and international trade
  • Analyse and discuss misdelivery claims under bills of lading,
  • Advise on the effect of Brexit on the enforcement of arbitration and jurisdiction agreements in bills of lading, and
  • Develop an awareness and understanding of the current legal problems in bills of lading

The programme

6:00 Opening Remarks (Dr. Melis Ozdel)

6:10 Bills of Lading and Brexit – are we steaming into uncharted waters without navigational aids?
Sir Richard Aikens

6:30 Q&A

6:40 Contemporary Issues With Misdelivery and LOIs
Richard Lord QC

7:00 Q&A

7:10 The Proprietary Aspects of Electronic Bills of Lading: Fact or Fiction?
Dr Melis Ozdel

7:30 Q&A

7:40 Closing remarks

7:45 Reception

About the organiser and speakers

About the organiser

Dr Melis Özdel, Director, UCL Centre
for Commercial Law. 
Melis Özdel is the Director of the UCL
 Centre for Commercial Law. At UCL, she 
convenes the International Trade law and 
Carriage of Goods by Sea modules and
 co-convenes the International Arbitration Law module. She has published extensively in various areas of Maritime, International Trade, Conflict of Laws and Arbitration Law. Melis is the author of Bills of Lading Incorporating Charterparties (Hart Publishing, 2015) and co-author of EU Maritime Transport Law (Hart-Nomos- Beck, 2016) Melis is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Turkey Bar Association and a supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association. 

About the speakers

Sir Richard Aikens, Brick Court Chambers
Sir Richard joined what is now Brick Court Chambers in 1974 and practised in commercial law, specialising in shipping, insurance and re-insurance, banking, international trade and arbitration. He was appointed QC in 1986 and his commercial practice thereafter widened to include telecommunications, oil and gas and professional negligence. He appeared in the House of Lords, Privy Council, Court of Appeal and the High Court (particularly the Commercial Court) and in many arbitrations. He also conducted cases/arbitrations and advised in foreign jurisdictions, in particular Hong Kong, Singapore, Gibraltar, Bermuda, Australia, the USA, France and Switzerland. Before appointment to the High Court bench in 1999 he was in demand as an arbitrator in shipping and insurance disputes. He was a judge of the Commercial and Admiralty Courts from 1999-2008 (in charge of the Commercial Court in 2005-6) and a judge in the Court of Appeal from 2008-2015. In the High Court and Court of Appeal he sat on a very wide range of cases. In the commercial sphere he gave judgments in all areas, including Republic of Ecuador v Occidental Exploration and Production Company, which was the first case in the English courts concerning Bilateral Investment Treaties and whether awards made under them were justiciable in court. He also gave judgments in many aspects of civil law, EU/competition law and public law (especially extradition). He conducted criminal trials and appeals in a wide variety of cases from murder to official secrets and fraud. He is one of the authors of Bills of Lading, (2nd edition just published) and has written many articles on legal topics, particularly on conflicts of laws. He lectured regularly (in English and French) and chaired conferences throughout his judicial career.  Whilst at the bar he was a director and chairman of the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund, (the Bar’s professional negligence insurers) which he helped to found in 1985. In 2012-14 he was President of the British Insurance Law Association. He teaches commercial law at King’s College, University of London and is a Visiting Professor at both King’s College and Queen Mary University of London.

Richard Lord QC
Richard Lord Q.C. is a London based practising barrister and Queen’s Counsel, and has been a member of Brick Court Chambers since 1985, taking silk in 2002. He specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, and in particular in dry shipping and marine insurance. Shipping work in recent years has included many charterparty, cargo claim and shipbuilding disputes before the High Court and arbitral tribunals.

In recent years he has developed an interest in the legal aspects of climate change and specifically in the potential for private law claims. He has written and lectured extensively on his specialist legal subjects, has co-authored books entitled Guide to The Arbitration Act (1996) and Bills of Lading 2nd Edition (2016) and is an editor of “Climate Change Liability: Transnational Law and Practice”(2011).

Richard also sits as an arbitrator and mediator, and is a supporting member of the LMAA and a member of the SCMA.