Dispute resolution practice

Robert Fisher has been in full-time practice as a mediator and arbitrator since 2004. He maintains a dispute resolution office and staff in downtown Auckland, NZ, but travels widely for this purpose. He has written and presented extensively on mediation and arbitration (see publications).

He is a Fellow of the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of NZ, Fellow of the Resolution Institute (Australia and NZ advanced panel), an accredited member of the International Mediation Institute and an accredited member of the Singapore International Mediation Centre, all positions subject to screening for advanced skill and experience.


Robert Fisher studied at Victoria University of Wellington, University of Southhampton, London University, and the Federal Judicial Center, Washington DC. His qualifications and appointments include Doctor of Laws (1984), Yachtmaster (Ocean) (1985), Queen’s Counsel (1985) and Fulbright Scholar (1994). He has attended a series of courses and workshops on mediation.

Prior career

He was a legal practitioner for 24 years (1965-1989) and a High Court Judge for 15 years (1989-2004). While a Judge he held positions as Chairman of the NZ Rules Committee, Supervising Judge of the Commercial List, Executive and Senior Judge of the Auckland High Court, and divisional member of the NZ Court of Appeal. Approximately one hundred of his decisions have been reported in the New Zealand Law Reports and a greater number in specialist reports.


Robert Fisher has conducted numerous construction arbitrations, adjudications and mediations and was an early member of the New Zealand Society of Construction Law.

Over the 4 years to 13 December 2023 he has conducted 12 construction adjudications, one international construction arbitration, one international oil-drilling arbitration, several domestic construction arbitrations, and a number of ground rent arbitrations involving construction and he has presented at two construction workshops for lawyers and industry participants.

Publications and presentations

He has published and presented on commercial law, intellectual property, maritime law, relationship property, evidence, civil procedure, litigation strategy, jurisprudence, advocacy, arbitration and mediation.  His publications include Fisher on Matrimonial and Relationship Property (LexisNexis 730 pp 3 eds); NZ Halsbury Commentary on Patents (Butterworths 1988); the “New Zealand Legal Method:  Influences and Consequences” section of Legal Method in New Zealand, (Butterworths 2001) pp 25-76, and a variety of published articles (see publications).  He is a consulting editor of Laws of New Zealand (LexisNexis) and editor-in-chief of Fisher on Matrimonial and Relationship Property.

Other work

He is a member of the Courts of Appeal of Samoa and the Cook Islands and has provided a series of public interest inquiry reports for the New Zealand Government.