About

 

Rachael Bicknell

Founder & Director

Squaring Circles has evolved from my passion for negotiation, mediation and resolving disputes out of court. I previously practised as a litigation solicitor for 12 years in two of the UK’s most successful premium law firms, dealing with a broad range of commercial disputes. In my experience, business leaders rarely (if ever) want to go to court. But, somehow, they usually end up there.

The benefits of negotiation, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution processes to resolve disputes are well known. Yet most disputes are litigated before collaborative attempts to negotiate (in the true sense of the word) or by engaging in mediation.

It does not need to be that way. The better use of resources is usually to de-escalate the conflict, explore workable solutions through negotiation, or engage in ADR. The threat of court is always there, whether court proceedings are raised or not.

I am an experienced negotiator and solicitor, and have been a practising mediator since January 2020. I am also a CEDR Accredited Negotiator, an Accredited Specialist in Professional Negligence Law from the Law Society of Scotland, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and an alumnus of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

I have significant experience as a negotiating party in disputes ranging in value from tens of thousands to multimillions, having represented clients in countless negotiations and mediations. I combine my legal expertise with specialist knowledge of advanced negotiation and mediation to provide legal consultancy, negotiation and mediation services across a broad range of sectors.  

Outside work, most of my time is spent with my husband, bringing up our two young children. We are a family of outdoor lovers, spending most weekends pottering around in our garden, walking in the Pentlands and paddling in the Water of Leith. We head to New Zealand as much as possible to visit our whānau and immerse ourselves in the laid back Kiwi way of life. I spend my spare time hiking in the Highlands, mountain biking in the Pentlands, road cycling or at yoga classes (quiet time away from said young children). Weekend evenings are dedicated to red wine, boxsets at home, and babysitter permitting, eating out, seeing friends and going to concerts. 

Squaring Circles

PHILOSOPHICAL MEANING – to see equally in four directions – up, down, in and out
METAPHORICAL MEANING – attempting anything that seems impossible

Squaring Circles

PHILOSOPHICAL MEANING – to see equally in four directions – up, down, in and out
METAPHORICAL MEANING – attempting anything that seems impossible