Geoff Plant

Key Note Speaker

Geoff Plant provides public law and policy advice and representation, and also works as a mediator and arbitrator in public and private law disputes.  He was the Attorney General of British Columbia and Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiations from 2001 to 2005. In 2012 Mr. Plant was named one of Canada's most influential lawyers by Canadian Lawyer Magazine

Mr. Plant was first elected to the British Columbia Legislature in 1996 and from 1996 to 2001 was Opposition Justice Critic, as well as serving on a number of legislative and caucus committees. As Attorney General, Mr. Plant was the Chair of the Legislative Review Committee, the Minister responsible for the creation and oversight of the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform, and the Minister responsible for the negotiation of the New Relationship, the first-ever political accord between the Government of British Columbia and the province's three aboriginal political organizations.

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The Honourable Wally Oppal


Wally is an experienced counsel and strategic advisor. His practice focuses on alternative and traditional dispute resolution as well as Aboriginal law.  After graduation from the University of British Columbia Law School, Wally went into private practice for a number of years. During this time he was appointed as a Special Prosecutor on many high profile criminal and commercial cases.

In 2005, he was appointed as Attorney General of British Columbia and served as Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism until 2009. Wally was involved in many significant reforms of the justice system, including the establishment of Canada's first community court to deal with chronic offenders, developing new Rules of Court in order to promote quicker resolution of disputes and developing new initiatives in dealing with violence against women.

A lifetime resident of British Columbia, Wally has dedicated his entire working life to the pursuit of social justice and community safety. His landmark report on policing in British Columbia led to many policing reforms after its publication in 1994. Wally's service to the public of this province, most recently as Commissioner of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, is of special significance.

Gordon Sloan


Gordon Sloan is a mediator engaged in general mediation practice and dispute resolution training. His degrees are in Religion and Law. Before restricting his law practice to mediation in 1988, he concentrated in civil and commercial litigation.

Mr. Sloan mediates myriad disputes. He intentionally maintains a general mediation practice, from bilateral disputes in litigation to complex multi-party matters including land use and resource mediations, intergovernmental and interagency disputes, consumer/regulatory mediations, and national and state/provincial forums.

Mr Sloan is an accomplished dispute resolution lecturer and trainer to a wide audience. Through his partnership, ADR Education, he has conducted hundreds of training programs and workshops in negotiation, conflict resolution, mediation, consensus building, conciliation, problem solving and advanced mediation techniques.

Diane Tucker


Diane E. Tucker is a newcomer to ADR in the Lower Mainland, although she gained significant experience as an arbitrator in San Francisco for the Better Business Bureau and the State Bar of California, and as a mediator for the Superior Court of San Francisco. In addition to offering arbitration and mediation services in the Vancouver area, Diane is a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Canada and sole proprietor of DET et al., a consulting business providing privacy services. Diane's background further includes positions as in-house counsel in the electronic entertainment, enterprise software and food industries as well as adjunct faculty teaching law, paralegal and business students.

Sally Campbell


Sally Campbell is a working mediator with a law background who has been facilitating "difficult conversations" with groups of all sizes since 1985. Sally has experience in many diverse cultural contexts, and is currently involved in academic settings working with faculty and administrative leadership, designing and implementing approaches to help them engage productively with conflict in their respective environments. She lives on Hornby Island, BC.

Karen F. Nordlinger Q.C.


Karen is an arbitrator and mediator and has been engaged in the practice of family law since 1975, and as a neutral in labour arbitration since 1995. Karen has extensive experience in complex property division and disputes about support, custody and access. She is a former Bencher and Treasurer (President) of the Law Society of British Columbia. Karen is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the Canadian Bar Association's Family Law Section.

Steve Hamilton


Steve Hamilton is a partner in the firm and supervises our Strata Property and Commercial Litigation practices. He has practised law in the Vancouver area since 1992. Over the years, he has provided legal assistance to thousands of clients from all walks of life. As a trial lawyer, he has had the privilege of helping clients resolve legal disputes in the British Columbia Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada. He looks to provide practical and cost-effective advice for his clients in all matters.

His preferred area of practice is Strata Property Law which includes disputes involving bylaw enforcement, governance disputes, negligent construction, and strata fee collections.  He has served on various advisory committees providing input and feedback with respect to legislative developments in the strata property field.

Mr. Hamilton is a lecturer for Continuing Legal Education of British Columbia. He is also a member of the Editorial Board and contributing author for the British Columbia Strata Property Practice Manual. This is a publication by the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia and is the recipient of the Award for Professional Excellence in the "Best Publications" category announced in May 2009 by the Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA).

Mr. Hamilton is a contributing author and lecturer for the Condominium Homeowners Association, and he also writes articles relating to strata property law and related matters for other publications.

Mr. Hamilton is an instructor for the British Columbia Real Estate Association in courses directed to Strata Property Law.

  • BSc, University of British Columbia, 1988
  • LLB, University of British Columbia, 1991
  • Member, Law Society of British Columbia
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association including sub-section membership in Civil Litigation
  • Member, Vancouver Bar Association
  • Member, Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
  • Member, Condominium Homeowners Association

Garth Cambrey, B. Comm., C.Arb., RI


Garth Cambrey has been involved in the real estate industry since 1984 after graduating from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in the Urban Land Economics option and has received the Chartered Arbitrator designation from the ADR Institute of Canada. After receiving his Bachelor of Commerce degree, Mr. Cambrey worked in the area of finance as a mortgage broker until 1986 when he joined a large property management firm in Vancouver.

In 1992, Mr. Cambrey founded a property management firm specializing in the management of Strata Corporations in the Greater Vancouver area, and served as a Director and President of the company until September 2011 when he sold the firm. At the time of sale, the company managed approximately 125 Strata Corporations. He now serves as President and managing broker of Cambrey Consulting Ltd. providing Arbitration, Mediation and Consulting Services to Strata Corporations, owners and others in the strata property community.

JJ McIntyre


JJ (John Joseph) McIntyre obtained his science and law degrees from the University of Saskatchewan. He was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1981 and to that of the Yukon in 2011. He spent his first three years of practice prosecuting criminal cases with the Crown Counsel Office of the British Columbia Ministry of Attorney General (now called the Ministry of Justice), based in Vancouver. In 1984, he joined Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang, concentrating on criminal and civil litigation including insurance, transportation and environmental cases. He was a partner at Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang from 1989 until his departure in 1997 when he started his own firm focusing on barristers' work.

Beginning in 2002, JJ ceased acting as counsel in transportation related matters in order to act as an impartial arbitrator or mediator in such disputes. He has arbitrated complex international and domestic commercial disputes as the sole arbitrator and as the chaired three-person panels. In 2012 he was admitted as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and appointed to the Domestic Arbitrators Panel of the British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre. He is an arbitrating member of the Vancouver Maritime Arbitration Association, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Canada and the Canadian Transportation Agency.

JJ has conducted numerous jury and non-jury trials and has appeared at all levels of Court in British Columbia and in the Federal Court Trial Division. He has frequently been retained as ad hoc Crown Counsel to prosecute serious criminal offences. As defence counsel he has defended criminal, environmental and Worker's Compensation Act offences and clients before their professional associations and regulatory bodies.

He has served on the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Finance & Planning Directorate (1990-1991) and chaired numerous committees at the national and provincial levels of the CBA, including the British Columbia Civil Liberties Section (1984-1986), the National Civil Liberties Section (1989-1990), and the National Sections Council (1990-1991). He was a director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association from 1983 to 2008. He has lectured on criminal law and trial advocacy at the British Columbia Law Society's Professional Legal Training Course and on trial advocacy and administrative law at Continuing Legal Education Society courses. He has authored articles and presented seminars to industry on the law relating to environmental concerns.

Shannon Salter


Shannon Salter is the Chair of the Civil Resolution Tribunal. Ms. Salter grounds her leadership of the Civil Resolution Tribunal in her longstanding commitment to access to justice, particularly in the context of administrative tribunals.

An active provider of pro bono legal advice and representation through her career, Ms. Salter is also adjunct professor of administrative law at the UBC Faculty of Law, a commissioner of the Financial Institutions Commission and vice president of the British Columbia Council of Administrative Tribunals.  Ms. Salter has also served as a vice chair of the Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal, a litigation lawyer at a large Vancouver law firm, a board member of the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia, and a judicial law clerk with the British Columbia Supreme Court.  Ms. Salter earned her BA (2001) and LLB (2005) from the University of British Columbia, and her LLM from the University of Toronto (2011).

Paul Duchaine , CIP, CRM


Paul has over 35 years of claims expertise on a national and international level working for insurance companies and brokers in Montreal and Vancouver; first as an adjuster, later as an examiner, supervisor, departmental manager and, eventually, as a Vice President Claims. He has hands-on experience with property, casualty, ocean marine and automobile losses from coast to coast. Paul is fluent in both official languages.

Paul joined BFL in 2001 and is licensed as a level II General Agent in both Alberta and British Columbia; he is a Chartered Insurance Professional and Canadian Risk Manager. He has extensive claims management and administrative skills, is an excellent negotiator with solid mediation and conflict resolution talents. He is service oriented with a focus on clients' specific and individual needs.

Barb Cornish


Ms. Cornish is a Partner at Singleton Urquhart, specializing in commercial, property and workplace disputes, and a Judicial Justice of the Peace for the Provincial Court of British Columbia.

During her career, Ms. Cornish has appeared at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and a wide variety of statutory and appellate tribunals.

Ms. Cornish is actively involved in both adjudication and mediation on behalf of her own clients, and as an arbitrator/mediator retained by others. In 2011 to 2013, she was named in both the Canadian and International Who's Who of Commercial Mediation, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators. From 2011 to 2014, she was included in Best Lawyers in Canada in the practice area of ADR and, in 2014, was named Mediation Lawyer of the Year by The Lawyer Monthly publication.

Ms. Cornish has a broad range of commercial, mediation, and arbitration experience including:

  • Insurers and claimants in bodily injury, errors and omissions and property claims.
  • Insurers, property owners, lessees, design professionals and others involved in construction, property and commercial leasing disputes; and
  • Employers, contractors, and employees involved in employment, WCB, OHS, privacy and discrimination disputes.

Ms. Cornish is also an adjunct professor at UBC, the supervising lawyer of the BC Human Rights Clinic, and a frequent lecturer on topics related to ADR.

M. Scott Siemens, C.Med, FICB & President, ADR Institute of Canada


After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan and completing a 10 year career in Corporate Finance, Scott transitioned into the Public sector with several assignments inside the Canada Revenue Agency and Canada Border Services Agency. In 1996, as part of a journey in self-discovery, Scott took a 5 year leave from Government where he and his family served as volunteers with a US based international relief and development agency. Working amidst the oppressed and conflicted peoples of southern Appalachia & Central America, Scott provided direction to local initiatives focusing on conflict transformation through several Victim-Offender Reconciliation Programs (VORP) he administered. In 2002, Scott and his family returned to Canada, rejoining his Federal employer as an Internal Labour Relations Mediator. Since that time, Scott has continued his international work within multi-disciplinary teams engaging conflict environments in Northern Ireland; Rwanda, Burundi & east Congo; and, most recently, Cambodia & Laos.

As part of the Eastern Mennonite University and Seminary (Harrisonburg VA) Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies program, Scott has been conducting mediations and facilitations inside and out of government for nearly two decades.

Scott is a Government of Canada accredited mediator with the Department of Justice's ICMS network, a member in good standing of the ADR Institute of Saskatchewan, and holds the designation of Chartered Mediator (C.Med.) with the ADR Institute of Canada. Scott is a Director of the ADR Institute of Canada.
Scott lives in Regina with his wife Julie and their adult daughter. Another daughter and son-in-law reside in Saskatoon.

Bob Springer Q.Med. PAg


Having spent the last 30 years as a Professional Agrologist, helping agricultural producers find solutions to their management, environmental and production challenges, I've recently found a new passion: helping people find creative solutions to their conflicts by building understanding through constructive communication, mediation, relationship building, conflict & communication coaching, group facilitation and multi-stakeholder consultation.

My focus is on workplace and land/resource use conflict resolution throughout Western Canada.

At the same time I am still a licensed Agrologist with active interest in the following areas: getting science-based information about agriculture to the public; rural/urban relationship building by developing better understanding between the urban consumer and rural food producer; agricultural livestock welfare; role of livestock grazing in ecology of native grasslands and sustainable agriculture.

Michelle Corfield, BA, MA, DM


Dr. Michelle Corfield is a successful independent consultant specializing in process design, facilitation, and research, organizational and business development. She is dedicated to sustainable economic development for First Nations using a balanced, holistic model for governance and profitability. Dr. Corfield is a successful entrepreneur of a family-run commercial dive-harvest company.

She currently holds leadership positions with College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia and the Ucluelet First Nation Legislature. One of the hallmarks in her career has to be one of the founders of an executive MBA at SFU in Aboriginal Business and Leasership.Michelle holds a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Management, Masters of Conflict Analysis and Management, and B.A. in First Nations Studies.

Ron Monk


Since 1987, Ron Monk has mediated a wide variety of disputes, including family (separation, divorce, estate, child protection), land use, business, construction, community, public policy, government regulated commodities and workplace issues. His facilitation work encompasses large public meetings and smaller group processes on issues ranging from tourism development, logging in watersheds, management of river estuaries and water resources to organizational and school district planning.

As a trainer in dispute resolution, mediation and negotiation, Ron has worked throughout Canada, the United States and Great Britain. He is a senior instructor with the Justice Institute of B.C.

Sharon Kelly, MA, Mediator, C. Arb.


Sharon Kelly began her career in alternative dispute resolution in 1996 and has extensive experience as both a mediator and arbitrator. She is Civil Roster Member of MediateBC and a Chartered Arbitrator. For the last 12 years she has mediated contract disputes in Small Claims Court and more recently she began mediating WorkSafeBC employment harassment complaints. Her Masters Degree research focused on conflict theory and in particular conflict within groups. Her major thesis work was in collaboration with Cowichan Tribes in Duncan, BC and addressed housing disputes with the Federal Government.

Sharon has an extensive background in property management and previously operated her own company. She is a past strata advisor for the Condominium Home Owners' Association and currently a strata manager for The Wynford Group. As well, Sharon has been a long time educator, previously teaching property management at Langara College and currently a tutor for Sauder UBC Business 441 & 451 residential and commercial property management courses. Sharon sat on the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) Strata Working Group and provided feedback regarding the implementation of the CRT

Tony Gioventu (CHOA)


Tony Gioventu is the Executive Director of the Condominium Home Owners' Association of B.C. (CHOA). Tony brings 25 years of experience in management, real estate development, construction, building operations, governance and strata property legislation to this position. In addition to acting as the editor of the CHOA Journal,     a quarterly magazine published by CHOA with a province wide distribution of 12,000 copies, Tony is also the weekly Condo Smarts columnist for The Province, The Times Colonist, The Kelowna Daily Courier, and "24".

Tony is the co-host of the AM650 Talk About Strata show, and has served as a director/committee member for the Homeowner Protection Office, BC Building Envelope Council, Canadian Standards Association, The Real Estate Council of BC, and continues to play an active role in research and development of building standards, legislation for strata corporations and consumer protection.

Elton Simoes


Elton Simoes is an accomplished, Arbitrator, Mediator, Negotiator, Consultant and Business Executive with extensive and global experience in business, negotiation, arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution systems design.

Having lived and worked in Canada, United States, Europe, and Latin America, Mr. Simoes demonstrated outstanding record of leadership; creative problem-solving; sound business acumen; legal and dispute resolution skills and knowledge, in different organizations across multiple functions, geographies, languages, cultures, and technologies.

As an ADR professional, Elton Simoes possesses extensive experience in commercial arbitration, mediation and Med.-Arb., particularly in the areas of intellectual property, media, entertainment, sports, and international disputes. Mr. Simoes has worked as a consultant in the designing of dispute resolution systems, to either avoid or minimize litigation costs, saving time and effort in commercial disputes involving consumers, shareholders and other stakeholders.

Mr. Simoes led businesses that generated in excess of US$ 250 million in annual revenues, consistently and frequently delivering double digit growth, and successfully managing important global media brands (e.g. Disney and Playboy), as well as local brands.

Elton Simoes held several senior, high profile, corporate positions, such as Vice President at The Walt Disney Television International; Board Member Representative at HBO Latin America, Managing, Director Sports and Pay-per-view, at Globosat; and Managing Partner at Playboy do Brazil.

Jerome Dickey, BA, CHRP


A dynamic Business Professional with solid expertise in both Operations and Human Resources, providing unique strengths to transform business through people for optimum results. 20 years of leadership and management roles in the airline, transportation and utility industries have crafted my skills for turning challenging business problems into opportunities.

Having received certifications from the Justice Institute of BC in Workplace Conflict, Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Coaching, Jerome utilizes his extensive leadership and organizational experience to help resolve workplace and employment disputes.

Jean Greatbatch


Jean is an organizational culture consultant, mediator and executive adviser with over 30 years experience in assisting organizations become more collaborative. She is a coach, mediator, investigator, arbitrator, and policy adviser. Over the past decade, she has worked with colleges, universities, crown corporations, health care, federal and provincial government departments, transportation, libraries, police forces, community care agencies, national unions and innovative corporations in B.C., Alberta and the Yukon.

Jean's practice is shaped by her belief that solutions lie within people and that her role is to tap into those creative thoughts and draw them out. She is experienced, wise and compassionate. Her experience as a mediator has given her the ability to work with entrenched people and help work through deeply-rooted problems. Her techniques build the trust necessary for people to make changes. Jean's insight allows her to see organizational problems in their context, define issues clearly and develop systematic approaches. Clients comment on her sensitivity dealing with difficult issues and her ability to create a non-judgmental climate when dealing with conflict. Staff and managers find her bright, thorough, credible and objective.

Kari Boyle


Kari D. Boyle is the Executive Director of Mediate BC Society and enjoys using her legal, mediation and management experience to assist Mediate BC to work collaboratively to improve BC citizens' access to viable and affordable conflict resolution options. Previously, she practiced corporate commercial litigation in Vancouver for 14 years, worked inhouse for 6 years specializing in legal services management, led mediation research initiatives at UBC, and provided support to the Civil Justice Reform Working Group and the initiative to create a new set of Supreme Court Civil Rules in British Columbia.

John Sanderson, QC, C.Arb, C.Med.


John Sanderson is a conflict resolution and dispute settlement professional working with interested parties across Canada. He is also a lawyer called to the Bar in British Columbia and Ontario. In 1976 he was appointed as Queen's Counsel.

Mr. Sanderson has been engaged in conflict resolution and dispute settlement activities since 1970. He is a principal of Conflict Managers Group, an alliance of senior professionals from different disciplines formed to provide advice on all aspects of conflict management, to parties in both the public and private sector across Canada. He is one of the founders of ADR Chambers, Canada's largest national dispute resolution organization. He was one of the founding partners of the law firm of Sanderson, Laing and directed the activities of that firm until it merged with a national law firm, where he became a senior partner.

Prior to that time, Mr. Sanderson was a partner in a mid-sized Toronto law firm where he acted as counsel, and as a conflict resolution advisor and participant, in dealing with employment, corporate, construction, and business litigation matters and also was counsel to a large Toronto general service law firm.

Bob Finlay


Bob Finlay has a Master's Degree in Psychology and is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Registered Clinical Counsellor. He has over 40 years experience as a therapist.

Bob is registered as a family mediator with Mediate BC, assisting families and couples for the last 22 years to resolve conflicts related to separation and divorce issues. Recently, a new Association and Roster of Parenting Coordinators was established in BC to assist high conflict families that have experienced separation and divorce. Bob is a qualified Parenting Coordinator with the Roster since 2008. Bob has also been assisting high conflict separated families in his role as a custody and access evaluator, writing reports for the Court and providing recommendations on parenting plans.  He leads a therapeutic team of 10 experienced therapists who deal with high conflict parental alienation cases.

He is also a qualified mediator with Mediate BC, Child Protection Mediator Roster, assisting parents and staff of the Ministry of Child and Family Development for the last 6 years, to resolve conflicts arising from the removal of a child from the parent's care.

As an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Practitioner, Bob helps parties resolve their differences without them having to resort to a more confrontational adjudicative process. ADR is a non-adversarial way of resolving disputes that is increasingly being used in public and private sectors, including the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the National Aboriginal Initiative.

Angela Stadel M.A.


Angela Stadel is a policy analyst and mediator, based in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada and specializing in governance, engagement and strategic planning for land, marine and resource management issues. Angela brings a rich experience working with various levels of government, Aboriginal organizations, industry and non-government organizations designing and facilitating collaboration processes to address complex and enduring issues.

Since completing her Master's degree in Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo in 1995, Angela has applied a collaborative approach to policy engagement in protected areas planning, ecosystem based management, marine use planning, transboundary cooperation and species at risk. In addition to her public policy work, Angela is a practicing mediator and has been a member of the Mediate BC civil roster since 2005. and is based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. As a member of the Project Committee for Mediators Beyond Borders, Angela is also supporting in capacity building for individuals, communities and organizations dealing with conflict in different parts of the world.

Kathy Porter, BPE, PBDE


Kathy began mediating in 1998 primarily in multi-stakeholder disputes. She has worked extensively in the resource sector (mining, oil & gas, and fisheries), health and social services and in labour management disputes. Her work in public consultation, led her to combine her facilitation expertise in group dynamics and decision processes with her experience as a mediator. She conducts public policy mediations where the outcomes include signed settlement agreements in instances where the dispute might otherwise have been settled in court. She also mediates public policy cases where consensus among stakeholders, jurisdictions and government agents results in a recommendation for a regulatory change or other substantive agreement. She has successfully mediated terrestrial and aquatic environmental management frameworks, and infrastructure development (water, wastewater and solid waste management) and transportation projects.

Clients include Saskatchewan Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, City of Kelowna, City of Vancouver, Regional Districts of Kitimat Stikine, North Okanagan, and Columbia Shuswap, Municipal District 124 Slave Lake, SaskWater, International Joint Commission, Slave Lake Tri-Council, BC Seafood Sector Council, and the Cumulative Environmental Management Association.

Kent Woodruff C. Arb., C.Med., LL.B.


Called to the bar in 1973 Kent has for the last 22 years restricted his practice to ADR.

• Mediated disputes – including environmental remediation, forest harvesting practices, silviculture issues and mediation between municipal and provincial governments over the exclusion of land from the ALR.
• Appointed as an Allocation Advisor under the Waste Management Act in 1997.

• Appointed Appeal Arbitrator under the Canada-BC Crop Insurance Program – many of which involve farm practices.
• Arbitrated land remediation cases and a case involving timber harvesting and the Canada heritage statutes.

Michael Lomax


Michael Lomax is a mediator, lawyer and conflict resolution trainer who has assisted many individuals and organizations in understanding how to manage high conflict disputes. Michael's mediation work makes up approximately 80% of his law practice. Michael has conducted hundreds of mediations including workplace, family, police complaint, community, multi-party and court related matters. He has previous experience as the director of a Canadian federal government mediation centre, where he was responsible for introducing the department's workplace conflict resolution program and supervising a team of mediators and trainers. Michael has conducted many toxic workplace interventions involving up to 50 employees.

Michael is a highly experienced trainer having designed and delivered many workshops and courses for government, corporations, military and law enforcement agencies, human resources and union organizations. Michael is a member of MediateBC's Board of Directors and is a lead mediator with MediateBC's Family Mediation Program. Michael is an associate/trainer speaker with the High Conflict Institute in San Diego, CA.

A. Andres Hinojosa BBA


Andres Hinojosa is a liability insurance litigation specialist. His expertise includes commercial general liability, personal lines, sport liability, directors & officers, personal liability, and automobile insurance litigation. He has participated in numerous types of alternative dispute resolutions such as mediations, arbitrations, case settlement conferences in over 16 jurisdictions in the USA and most Canadian jurisdictions.

Andres has worked with many renowned experts in the medical, legal, and other various forensic fields, towards a fair resolution of his litigated files. He joined Aviva Insurance Company of Canada in 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma. He is currently finishing the Chartered Insurance Professional program in Canada.

Patrick Poyner


Patrick Poyner is the principal and founder of Poyner Dispute Resolution. Patrick has devoted his legal career to working with clients in pursuing fair and effective resolution to their legal disputes. Called to the British Columbia Bar in 1997, Patrick represents Indian Residential School Survivors in the Independent Assessment Process and he has acted for clients injured in motor vehicle accidents and class actions while also serving as an arbitrator, mediator and teacher. Patrick was granted the designation of "Chartered Arbitrator" from the ADR Institute of Canada in 2011.

Prior to his call to the Bar, Patrick earned his law degree in 1996 from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Arts in 1991 from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

Patrick has served as a member of the British Columbia Property Assessment Review Panel, the British Columbia Employment Assistance Appeal Tribunal and the City of North Vancouver Board of Variance. He is a member of the domestic arbitration panel with the British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre and the Canadian Human Rights Commision's roster of ADR practitioners with experience in aboriginal communities. He also acts as an arbitrator in Better Business Bureau and ICBC Total Loss disputes as well as a range of other commercial disputes. Patrick is a member of the Civil Roster of Mediate B.C. and a graduate of the UBC Business Family Centre Family Enterprise Advisor Program and he is a member of the Board of Directors for Baseball B.C. and the B.C. Arbitration and Mediation Institute.

Athletics have been a major part of Patrick's life and continue to be so. He played both basketball and baseball collegiately and he played professional baseball in the Texas Rangers and Montreal Expos organizations. Following his baseball career, Patrick worked as counsel to the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball and the Montreal Expos in player salary arbitration hearings. Today, Patrick coaches youth soccer and baseball.

Brenda Hooper C.Med, CCR, CFM


After receiving her certification in Conflict Resolution from the Justice Institute of B.C. Brenda started her mediation career as a panel mediator for the Insurance Dispute Resolution Services of British Columbia.

With an interest in helping individuals, families and organizations, Brenda obtained her certification as a Comprehensive Family Mediator through Family Mediation Canada, Chartered Mediator designation with the ADR Institute of Canada as well as international certifications in coaching and corporate training for workplace conflict.

Brenda has been a director of the British Columbia Arbitration & Mediation Institute of B.C. for the past six years and operates her private mediation and dispute resolution coaching & training practice in Delta.

Roy Johnson


Roy is co-author of the top-selling "Turning Conflict into Profit" and a founder and President of The Neutral Zone Coaching and Consulting Services Inc. Having appeared on television and radio, Roy is a mediator, trainer and psychotherapist who works with communities, families and public- and private-sector organizations. He is a national conference speaker on topics including communication, organizational change, leadership, teamwork and conflict resolution. For over 15 years, Roy has resolved hundreds of disputes annually, ranging from interpersonal complaints to complex multi-issue conflicts.

Roy is a certified debriefer, mediator and human resources professional. He holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Alberta and an MA from Simon Fraser University. He also holds a post-graduate diploma in Adult Education from the University of BC along with a Certificate of Conflict Resolution from the Justice Institute of BC. As a Prosci certified Change Management consultant, Roy integrates change management within the context of improving workplace cultures and team climates including addressing morale issues and building employee engagement.

In keynotes he presents insights gleaned from years of work in the trenches, and balances this with humour and a passion for healing broken relationships. Roy is also a member of the Police Complaints Resolution Roster, a board member of the Justice Institute of BC and a past Panel Chair of the BC Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal.

Peter Austin, C.Arb


Peter Austin is a qualified Appraiser (AACI) and Chartered Arbitrator. In recent years he has specialized in Property Tax appeals and lease and strata arbitrations, acting as expert witness as well as arbitrator.

Mr. Austin has served on several Strata councils, professional and non-profit boards, including membership of the advisory committee to the Civil Resolution Tribunal, BCAMI Board and the Property Tax Association (National president in 2000).  He has a degree in Real Estate and has lectured at Langara College and UBC.

Craig Neville


My focus has always been on problem solving for our clients. This is not a radical concept but often gets lost in the emotional drama that is the practice of family law. In each of my roles as mediator, collaborative professional, arbitrator, or Parenting Coordinator, my goal is finding principled solutions which address not only the immediate emotional or financial concerns of clients but also their longer term financial and emotional stability. Our strength as a practice group at Watson Goepel LLP lies in recognizing that the two goals are not always the same, particularly where children are involved. This focus is particularly important in our work with issues relating to children because of the long term responsibilities and challenges of co-parenting where families face separation.

There are developmental issues, emotional challenges, extracurricular needs, and long term educational planning decisions to be made by parents which necessitate thoughtful and respectful solutions to promote long term cooperation. The Family Law Group at Watson Goepel LLP offers these intangible skills in addition to strong advocacy skills, which we are quite prepared to utilize at all levels of court.

Assunta de Ciantis


Assunta is a practicing lawyer, mediator and arbitrator. She has significant expertise in all aspects of family law and although her preference is to negotiate settlements, she is a skilled courtroom lawyer. She is currently diversifying her practice to include estates and general civil law. She speaks Italian and French, has a sound working knowledge of Spanish and is flexible in meeting her clients' needs. In addition to her law practice, Assunta teaches legal procedure at Douglas College and Vancouver Community College.

Sherry MacLennan


Sherry joined the Legal Services Society as a staff lawyer in 2000, following a career in private practice in both BC and Saskatchewan. While at LSS, she has worked in a number of capacities that saw her implement the family duty counsel program and later manage intake, offices and local agents. Since becoming director in 2009, Sherry has overseen the integration of information and referral services in the application process, the expansion of public legal education and information services to include community partners and enhanced Aboriginal services. Sherry is the Chair of the BC Public Legal Education & Information Working Group and sits on the advisory committees of two national access to justice projects, the National Self-Represented Litigant Project and the Evolving Legal Services project.

Carol Baird Ellan


Member of the legal profession in BC for over 30 years, with experience in criminal, civil and family litigation and mediation. Left public service in 2012 to join husband in private practice at family firm, Ellan Community Law. Retired December 2014 to seek Federal NDP nomination in new Burnaby North – Seymour Riding.

Kathleen Bellamano


Kat has been part of the Communica team for over ten years. She started as a student and volunteer, then worked as a contract mediator and facilitator and has been the Executive Director for almost 3 years. Certified as a Comprehensive Family Mediator by Family Mediation Canada, Kat received her Certificate in Conflict Analysis and Management and her Certificate in Family Mediation from The Institute of Conflict Analysis and Management with an emphasis on Conflict in Organizations and Group Facilitation Skills. She received her Certificate in Arbitration from the BC Arbitration & Mediation Institute and completed her mediation practicum training with the Provincial Court Registry Court Mediation Practicum Program in Vancouver and Nanaimo. She has a Bachelor of Social Work and is currently completing a Master's in Community Development at the University of Victoria.

Kat is a certified member of Family Mediation Canada and member in good standing of The BC Arbitration and Mediation Institute, the BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society and the BC Mediator Roster Society on the Civil Mediator Roster, the Family Mediator Roster, the Family Mediation Mentoring Roster and the Police Complaints Mediator Roster. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Broadmead Area Residents' Association and the BC Arbitration and Mediation Institute.