Faculty of Arbitration and Mediation

Our range of dispute resolution services is supported by expertise and accreditation. We are focused on making your future certain.

3 parts to our model of how we help you and support your lawyers to help you.

The methods of finalising your dispute


Mediation is a form of Dispute Resolution which attempts to resolve disputes between parties without having to contend with the Court system.
It is a less adversarial process than a Court based one. It is a meeting or series of meetings, where an independent and neutral third party (known as the Mediator) leads and facilitates discussion between the parties to a dispute and assists those parties to negotiate and if possible reach an agreement.

What is the process of Mediation?

Parties to a dispute choose a Mediator, usually one with expertise in the particular area of the dispute.  For example, in family law disputes, parties would wisely choose a Mediator with considerable family law experience. The Mediator usually conducts an intake with each of the parties (and if represented, also their lawyers) separately to ascertain the issues in dispute and the manner in which to approach the Mediation.  Sometimes it might be appropriate for the parties (and their lawyers) to be in the same room attempting to resolve the issues. On other occasions that might not be appropriate due to e.g. domestic violence issues or unequal bargaining power between the parties. In those situations it may be preferable for the Mediation to conducted in separate rooms where the Mediator “shuttles” between the rooms.

During this current COVID 19 pandemic many Mediations are being conducted by a video conferencing platform such as Zoom and so the parties are not coming into physical contact.

What happens if you don’t agree in Mediation?

If there is no agreement in Mediation, then the dispute needs to be resolved in some other manner, usually by way of a Court determination or an Arbitration Hearing.

A Court Determination or an Arbitration Hearing however precludes the parties ability to have a say in the outcome. The advantages of Mediation are then no longer available. Such advantages include:

Advantages to Mediation

  • Creates a positive climate for joint decision making.
  • Improves communication (essential for cooperation as parents).
  • Facilitates negotiations and agreements.
  • Can deal with all parenting and financial issues together.
  • Can be arranged quickly and is confidential and discreet.
  • Avoids the delay, stress, costs and adversarial nature of Court proceedings

Whether you are negotiating a divorce settlement, child support arrangements, property settlements, or any other form of dispute, negotiating takes great skill and understanding. When going through a separation, this process can be overwhelming.

It is important to consider methods of Alternate Dispute Resolution such as Mediation, as having a neutral mediator can help everyone involved quickly reach an agreement. The Mediator acts as an impartial third party and often produce good results for all involved.

At AFLRC we embrace Mediation to resolve family law disputes. We believe in working together, where possible, to achieve a desired outcome for both parties.

An ounce of mediation is worth a pound of arbitration and a ton of litigation.
Joseph Grynbaum


Arbitration is a form of Dispute Resolution for the resolution of disputes outside the Courts.

The parties to a dispute refer the dispute (or the Court refers the dispute) to arbitration by an Arbitrator. The Arbitrator reviews the evidence in the case (including, if agreed, the evidence of the parties in person) and comes to a decision that is legally binding on the parties and enforceable by the Courts.

Advantages of Arbitration

  • In contrast to litigation, where one cannot “choose the judge”, Arbitration allows the parties to choose their own Arbitrator. The Arbitrator chosen can be an expert in the respective field.
  • Arbitration is much faster than litigation in Court. It can be resolved in three (3) weeks not three (3) years as it is now often taking in the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court.
  • A party can request Arbitration on a specific issue or all issues in dispute.

At AFLRC we pride ourselves on excellence, and many members of our team are accredited specialists, including accredited Arbitrators. This means that they are among the best arbitrators across Australia, providing their clients with a top-notch service.

All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones. In my opinion there was never a good war or a bad peace. When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?
Benjamin Franklin

Collaborative Law

Collaborative law is a form of Dispute Resolution where clients and their respective lawyers agree to work together to find a fair solution without involving the Court system.

In a family law context this involves all parties and their lawyers collaborating to achieve an agreement to the financial and/or child related issues arising from a separation. The majority of the negotiations take place in “4 way” face to face meetings between the parties and their lawyers where the important issues are identified and negotiated. Once an agreement is reached the lawyers will draw up a document which may be submitted to the Court to become a Consent Order.

Advantages of Collaborative Law

  • A dignified, non-aggressive resolution of the issues can be achieved.
  • Children’s wants, needs and interests can be put at the forefront.
  • You do not wish to incur the costs of animosity generated by court litigation.
  • Retention of control over decisions regarding your financial decisions regarding your financial issues and parenting arrangements.

All professionals involved in the collaborative process are bound by their own professional conduct rules and have a strict duty of client confidentiality. This confidentiality will only be overridden if any of the experts involved have a professional obligation to make a report to a relevant authority.

In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.
Charles Darwin

Do you have a question regarding dispute resolution, arbitration, mediation or collaborative law?

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