Experience Qualification Path
Category 2: NSW Small Business Commissioner - Dispute Resolution Unit
Mediation Locations
Mediation languages
Current position and background
Barrister, mediator, arbitrator, expert determiner, facilitator and ADR systems design and advice work in ADR.
Main mediation practice areas
Mary Walker was admitted to the Bar in 1988 and has been at the forefront of ADR in Australia since 1990. She has mediated over 3,000 matters in all areas of civil law over 25 years. Mary uses all models of mediation but prefers the facilitative method and has mediated numerous multi-party disputes including large commercial matters, class actions, environmental matters and cross-border disputes as well as everything from defamation matters, equity, company, insolvency and bankruptcy matters, disputes involving financial institutions, professional and medical negligence matters, mergers and de-mergers, retail lease matters, franchising disputes, work place and industrial disputes, mining and exploration matters, indigenous and heritage matters, and many matters involving government agencies and large corporations (a non-exhaustive list). Mary has also arbitrated, provided expert appraisals, determinations and ombudsman services in many matters, particularly in commercial and insurance law. Mary has also mediated lists of matters in fast-track mediations in a number of jurisdictions and has advised on and implemented processes for mediating complex disputes and lists of mediations.
Mediation experience
Mary has been a mediator since 1990 and has mediated thousands of matters in all areas of civil litigation, commercial, equity, quasi-criminal matters, public interest matters and large multi-party and complex disputes including class actions and has mediated numerous matters prior to litigation commencing. See above for more detail.
Description of mediation style
Mary moves from one style or model of mediation to another depending upon the dispute and the needs of the participants. Mary considers and discusses the mediation process before and during the mediation itself and reviews approaches through the mediation. Her preferred style is facilitative mediation (looking at the interests and needs of the parties) and she takes a practical and pragmatic approach to the process to assist the parties to move towards realistic outcomes which are capable of implementation (if this requires assessing the parties rights or risk analyses she will work the parties to create a process for this to occur) . She assists the parties to consider risk assessments when looking at options and works with the parties during the negotiation phase to consider likely outcomes. She is flexible in her approach and regards each mediation as separate and distinct and works with the parties to tailor the process.
Code of professional conduct
As a barrister Mary has ethical obligations and she is bound by the provisions of the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2015 (NSW) and the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015. She also adheres to the Law Council of Australia's, "Ethical Guidelines for Mediators" of which she is an author.
Complaint process
Any complaint can be made pursuant to the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW).
Professional indemnity insurance
Mary holds professional indemnity insurance through Marsh Pty Ltd, Tower 3, 201 Sussex Street, Sydney. Maximum Limit of $5 Million.
Feedback Digest
Reviewer: Ms Barron Candace ( candace.barron@smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au )
Latest Update: 2015-12-16 04:46:35

Mary received extremely positive feedback from all the mediation participants who provided feedback for this Digest.

Mary is a very experienced mediator, and has been mediating disputes since 1990. She has also conducted many multi-party disputes, and mediates regularly across a wide range of jurisdictions and types of disputes.

Her thorough preparation and sound understanding of the issues and facts of each case were commended universally. Mary was said to “demonstrate an ability to quickly grasp the legal issues, the areas of real dispute and the areas of common ground.” She “always impresses with her knowledge of the dispute in question.” Combined with her sound working knowledge of the law and the litigation process, Mary is able to promote a path of resolution between the parties.

Mary is well known for her professionalism, and is always pleasant and friendly. She “makes it a priority to build rapport,” and works cooperatively with both lawyers and parties, whether executives or individuals at their first mediation to facilitate the mediation process. Mary’s style was described as compassionate, persistent and patient.

“Excellent communication skills and judgement” allow Mary to develop non-partisan rapport and confidence in the mediation process.

She actively engages as a mediator, and is willing to use innovative ways to overcome impasses, such as drawing legal representatives into joint sessions to discuss discrete issues and testing parties’ risk assessment in private session. Mary encourages legal representatives to focus on the critical matters and to address potential stumbling blocks early.

Her wealth of experience in resolving disputes means that Mary is able to be proactive in managing the mediation process. Mary’s work in mediation is highly regarded amongst the legal profession, driven by her real desire to resolve disputes.

All participants providing feedback for this Digest would recommend Mary to others, and were very likely to use her again.

Professional affiliations
Mary is Chair of the Law Council of Australia Litigation & Dispute Resolution Section ADR Committee and International Law Section ADR Committee, a member of the International Mediation Institute Standards Commission and a member of the NSW Supreme Court ADR Committee amongst other bodies.

Mary has lectured extensively in ADR and mediation (undergraduate and post-graduate studies) including at Harvard University, Stanford University, The University of Sydney and is currently a member of the faculty of law at the University of Technology, Sydney and she has been a lead trainer for many ADR institutions. She has also published widely in ADR and mediation, including the chapter on ‘Expert Determination’ in the Laws of Australia. She is currently a member of the Lexis Nexis Editorial Panel for the ADR Bulletin in Australia.
Mediation publications
"Global Pound Conference (GPC) Series 2016–2017"
Australian Dispute Resolution Law Journal Bulletin, May 2016.


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