Mediation Experience

Robert Fisher completed five training courses on mediation in New Zealand and Australia.

While a judge he had 15 years’ experience in judicial settlement conferences. Since March 2004 he has been in active practice as a mediator in commercial and civil cases and disputes over matrimonial, relationship and family property.

Mediation Terms

He is available to act as a mediator in cases where the parties are legally represented.

The terms are available on request.

Arranging a Mediation

Mediations begin by telephoning his PA, Jacquie Handley, on 64 9 379 0802 or emailing

She will email to you a suggested form of mediation agreement and terms of engagement.

If you are happy with those suggestions, Jacquie arranges a preliminary telephone conference between him and the lawyers for each of the parties. The purpose of the telephone conference is to check all or some of the following:

  1. All parties happy with terms of mediation agreement and terms of engagement;
  2. Definition of dispute and execution of mediation agreement;
  3. All necessary parties joined;
  4. Any further disclosure of documents or evidence required between parties before mediation;
  5. Whether to exchange issues memoranda in advance or provide any other material to mediator in advance;
  6. Type of mediation wanted (facilitative, evaluative, mixture);
  7. Date and time. Availability in the evening;
  8. Numbers attending; and
  9. Venue: for a mediation with two counsel and two parties, a meeting room and office are available within these chambers at no extra charge. For more people, we have other suggestions.

The mediation itself follows the telephone conference. It is attended by the parties, their lawyers, and any desired experts and support persons.

Because no two mediations are exactly the same, the sequence followed on the day adapts to the needs of the parties. However more often than not there are some introductory remarks from Robert Fisher; an opening statement by each of the lawyers and/or parties; his summary of the apparent concerns and issues; clarification of each party’s views as to each of those concerns and issues; private meetings to decide how each party feels and what solutions they would like to suggest; a period of negotiation; agreement in principle; and drafting and signing of a settlement agreement.

Sometimes a mediation is over within an hour or two. More often a full day is required. Occasionally they extend well into the evening. But nearly always the result is an agreement.