General Arbitration

Arbitration Experience

Before his appointment as a High Court Judge in 1989, Robert Fisher was an active arbitrator and appeared as counsel in a number of arbitration cases including CBI NZ Ltd v Badger Chiyoda [1989] 2 NZLR 669 (CA) (arbitration agreement excluding judicial review or appeal upheld). While a Judge his arbitration decisions included Kiwi Homes v Lassen (Auckland HC M829/98 23 June 2000) (leave to appeal refused where complex legal issues entrusted to building surveyor), Trustees of Rotoaira Forest Trust v The Attorney General [1999] 2 NZLR 452 (general principles of natural justice where arbitrator makes own calculations); Opotiki Packing and Coolstore Ltd v Opotiki Fruitgrowers Co-op Ltd (In Receivership) [2003] 1 NZLR 205 (HC and CA) (when document issued by arbitrator is an award, jurisdiction to alter once issued, time limits for appeal); Acorn Farms Limited v Schurniger [2003] 3 NZLR 121 (legal distinctions between mediation and arbitration); Methanex Motunui Limited v Spellman [2004] 1 NZLR 95, on appeal Methanex Motunui Limited v Spellman [2004] 3 NZLR 454, (meaning of “parties” to arbitrations; relationship between Arbitration Act, agreement, and natural justice).

In 2005 he was co-presenter of the AMINZ seminar “Arbitrators Duties”. At the 2005 International Bar Association conference, he made a presentation at the session on choice of dispute resolution and was the commentator at the session on court support for arbitrators. In 2006 he presented a paper “Appeals on Questions of Law” to the first NZ Arbitration Day conference.

He is currently a Fellow of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand and a member of the AMINZ Appeals Tribunal.

Since leaving the bench in 2004 he has had regular appointments as arbitrator in commercial, civil and construction disputes, and disputes over matrimonial, relationship and family property.

Arbitration Terms

He is available to act as an arbitrator in cases where the parties are legally represented.

Available on request is a suitable form of arbitration agreement and/or set of terms for inclusion in arbitration agreements.

His detailed terms are obtained by arranging an arbitration.

Arranging an Arbitration

Arbitrations with him can be arranged by email to

He will send you his terms of engagement and a suggested form of arbitration agreement or clauses for inclusion in an arbitration agreement.

If you decide to pursue the matter further, he will arrange a conference with counsel for all the parties