Rachael Bicknell

Founder & Director

Rachael is an experienced negotiator, mediator and lawyer. She founded Squaring Circles, a specialist dispute resolution business based in Edinburgh, and winner of the National Mediation Awards Newcomer of the Year Award 2020, in October 2019. Prior to that she practised as a dispute resolution solicitor for 12 years in two of the UK’s most successful premium law firms, representing negotiating parties in mediations and solicitor to solicitor negotiations of civil and commercial disputes ranging in value from tens of thousands to multimillion pound claims.

After qualifying as an accredited mediator in May 2015, Rachael accepted assistant mediator appointments. She completed further negotiation training at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and qualified as a CEDR Accredited Negotiator. She is registered as a civil and commercial mediator with Scottish Mediation and the Civil Mediation Council and is on the mediation panels for the Scottish Land Commission for the tenant farming sector and the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association. Rachael is also a Level 3 Accredited Mediator with the Singapore International Mediation Institute which is an internationally recognised credentialing scheme.

Rachael combines her specialist training in advanced negotiation and mediation to provide “in person” and online mediation and negotiation consultancy services. She teaches negotiation skills on the LLM in Dispute Resolution at the University of Aberdeen. She is also an accredited specialist in Professional Negligence Law by the Law Society of Scotland.

Practice areas
  • Access disputes
  • Boardroom disputes
  • Building defects
  • Boundary disputes
  • Commercial or business disputes
  • Family business disputes
  • Financial services
  • Insolvency
  • Landlord and tenant
  • Neighbour disputes
  • Partnership disputes
  • Professional negligence
  • Property and construction
  • Sale of goods and services
  • Shareholder disputes
  • Trades disputes
  • Telecommunications
Professional qualifications and affiliations
  • CEDR Accredited Negotiator
  • Scottish Mediation Registered Mediator
  • Civil Mediation Council Registered Mediator
  • Certified Online Mediator
  • ADR ODR Accredited Online Mediator
  • Accredited Specialist in Professional Negligence Law by The Law Society of Scotland
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Alumnus of Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation
  • Specialist (Mediator) Member of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association
  • Practicing solicitor since 2007
Mediation style and approach

Rachael’s experience of managing and negotiating a broad range of disputes, from those which have a strong emotional impact, to those where the parties are more commercially driven, enables her to appropriately adapt her mediation style to the needs of the parties, and provide legal or commercial challenge when necessary. Rachael is empathetic, engaging, inquisitive and tenacious. She works hard to put the parties at ease, to help them better understand each other, to see things differently, and to become invested in creatively exploring a way forward.

What others say

“Rachael showed amazing patience and resolve” Party to a mediation

“Rachael is a highly skilled and knowledgeable mediator who was quickly able to establish a positive rapport and encourage open dialogue” Party to a mediation

“Rachael ensured that all voices were listened to and heard and the space was non-judgmental. Without her particular skill set this experience would have been much more difficult.” Party to a mediation

“Rachael built good rapport, was professional and approachable…I felt listened to”  Party to a mediation

“Rachael was impressive at mediation and proactive in suggesting routes towards the ultimate goal of settlement” James Dewar, Associate Director, KPMG

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