Barrister, mediator, arbitrator, expert determiner, facilitator and ADR systems design and advice work in ADR. Mary Walker was admitted as a solicitor in 1986 and was admitted to the Bar in 1988. She 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, 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. Mary is an experienced litigator and has represented parties as an advocate and advised in hundreds of matters.
Mary has represented parties or advised in industrial and work place discrimination matters, professional negligence matters, large commercial disputes and class actions, personal injuries and multiple industrial accidents and insurance claims, advised clients on systems for resolving disputes including claims resolution processes in multi-party or class actions including cross border/ jurisdictional issues.
As with mediating 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. She advices at each step of the negotiation and move towards assessing realistic outcomes which are capable of implementation which may require assessing the parties rights or risk analyses. In this regard she will work with her clients to establish a process for this to occur, if possible. 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.
Mary is able to negotiate and represent parties in mediations across many civil jurisdictions including in tort, contract, commercial, company, banking and financial disputes, class actions, public interest disputes, industrial, complex and multi-party disputes, cultural, indigenous heritage and in environmental matters (not an exhaustive list).
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.
Training and Education
"Global Pound Conference (GPC) Series 2016–2017" Australian Dispute Resolution Law Journal Bulletin, May 2016.
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, " Guidelines for Lawyers in Mediation" of which she is an author.
Any complaint can be made pursuant to the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW).
Mary holds professional indemnity insurance through Marsh Pty Ltd, Tower 3, 201 Sussex Street, Sydney. Maximum limit of $5 million.