Mediation and Arbitration


Mediation is an informal negotiation where a mediator assists you to identify and explore options for settlement of a dispute with another party. In most cases, mediation is effective because it is quick, confidential, cost effective and saves on court proceedings.

Mediation involves a neutral mediator, like Leigh Bernhardt, who helps the parties negotiate a settlement they can work with by helping the parties reach their own agreement.  One of the advantages of mediation is that it is usually much faster and cheaper than court action. In fact, many of the mediations we conduct result in a binding settlement that both parties are accepting of without further action.

By the end of most mediations there will be an agreement which you and the other party will make. We will assist you to write it down. That written record will normally be considered a binding contract.

Leigh is an experienced and highly qualified Certified Mediator, Arbitrator and Queensland Supreme Court Approved Mediator with experience at all levels of Mediation with exceptional results.

Disputes involving Trade Unions, workplace grievances, discrimination, bullying and harassment, and poor performance are our specialty.




Arbitration is a formal dispute resolution process governed by the Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 NSW (or the equivalent in other states) in which two or more parties refer their dispute to an independent third person (the Arbitrator) for determination.  Providing that the arbitration is conducted according to the principles of natural justice, its procedures may be varied by the parties to suit the size and complexity of their dispute.  A small case, for example, may be heard on the basis of documentary submissions alone which can reduce its costs significantly.

Other more complex cases may benefit from a more judicial style of hearing in which formal claims and defences are lodged, evidence is put forward by each party, and tested by cross-examination etc.  The result of the arbitration, known as the Award, is enforceable in the same manner as a Court judgment.

Note that the process described here is “commercial” arbitration rather than the more commonly known “industrial” arbitration which is a more narrowly based process concerned predominantly with matters of wages and conditions of employment.

Commercial arbitration in Australia has become the preferred procedure for parties seeking a binding determination of their dispute and an alternative to Court based litigation. Under the direction of a qualified arbitrator, it is an expedient, private and efficient method of dispute resolution.

Leigh is a formally qualified Arbitrator with a PC Arb achieved through completion of a post graduate law qualification from the University of Adelaide and he is an accredited Arbitrator with the Resolution Institute of Australia.


If you need Mediation Services or Dispute Settlement Help, call me, Leigh Bernhardt on  (07) 5530 7625