NZ partner at helm of trans-Tasman super-organisation

by Hannah Norton06 Mar 2015
A Tauranga litigation partner is stepping into the role of deputy chair of the biggest dispute resolution membership organisation in the Southern Hemisphere.

Holland Beckett partner Mark Beech was yesterday announced as the deputy chair of the LEADR & IAMA board.

The board is the result of the integration of New Zealand membership organisation LEADR with the the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia (IAMA) on January 1 this year – combining two of Australasia largest membership organisations for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioners.

Beech is a litigator who is also experienced as a mediator, arbitrator and has developed particular skill in representing clients in mediations, LEADR & IAMA general manager Catherine Cooper told NZLawyer.

“Mark has been a driving force behind the integration of LEADR NZ Inc. and LEADR and has a clear vision for a strong Australasian dispute resolution organisation that provides members with wide educational and work opportunities and has a strong voice representing members.”

He will be joined by LEADR & IAMA chair Margaret Halsmith from Perth, Western Australia.

“Margaret is a very experienced mediator who was a member of the former National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council in Australia and is Vice Chair of the Independent Standards Commission of the International Mediation Institute,” Cooper said.

“In 2015 our focus will be bringing the two former organisations together and demonstrating to members the advantages of being part of the largest dispute resolution membership organisation in this part of the world.  In New Zealand we’ll continue to deliver our well respected LEADR 5 Day Mediation Workshop and other professional development opportunities and services. Over time members will notice that we broaden our focus from being an organisation that focuses largely on mediation to one that has a focus across the spectrum of dispute resolution including arbitration.”

Beech told NZLawyer he felt privileged to be elected to a senior role within the new organisation.

“It is an exciting time to be involved in LEADR & IAMA, especially as it positions itself across Australasia.”

“I feel excited about the challenges that I will face in my new role.”

“Given the recent expansion of the organisation with the integration of NZ & LEADR and the subsequent integration with IAMA, we need to be focused on consolidating the organisation and look at extending our service delivery to our members and positioning ourselves as the leading dispute resolution organisation in Australasia,” he said.

A new name for the combined organisation is currently in the works.