Mark Kelly


Telephone: +64 9 200 1504

Mobile: +64 274 549 661

[email protected]

Post: PO Box 141, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140


Mark is one of New Zealand’s leading commercial mediators, with a reputation for skill, determination, commerciality, and relatability.

He won the Mediator of the Year Award at the 2019 New Zealand Law Awards.

He is also a sought-after adviser on medico-legal and dispute resolution issues.

Mark graduated LLB (Hons) BA from Auckland University in 1993, and was admitted to the New Zealand bar that year.

From 1994-2004, Mark was a litigator at leading law firms in New Zealand and Ireland. He has been a barrister since 2005.

As a trial advocate, Mark gained broad experience in litigating company, construction, contract, debt, employment, estates, finance, insurance, intellectual property, negligence, partnership, property, rural, trusts and weathertightness disputes.

Mark appeared in the High and District Courts many times, and in the Court of Appeal. He also has experience in the Employment Court, the Employment Authority, the Weathertight Homes Tribunal, the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, and the Coroners Court. He has acted in numerous arbitrations.

Mark also appeared many times as counsel in commercial mediations, experience which led to his becoming a commercial mediator.

His commercial mediation practice has grown rapidly, and it has become his full-time focus.

Commercial Mediation

Mark completed the Mediating Disputes course at Harvard Law School. He is a Fellow of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand, and an AMINZ Council member. Mark is also Resolution Institute trained.

He is on mediation panels for AMINZ, Complete Online Dispute Resolution (CODR), the Health and Disability Commission, the New Zealand Dispute Resolution Centre, the New Zealand Law Society Lawyers Complaints Service, and the Weathertight Homes Tribunal.

He is a facilitator with the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service.

He is on the AMINZ Rural List. As an experienced rural mediator, he has been heavily involved in submissions to Parliament on, and training others about, the Farm Debt Mediation Act 2019.

He is an appointee on the World Intellectual Property Organisation Center’s List of Mediators. He is also on the AMINZ Intellectual Property List.

He has extensive experience successfully mediating high value disputes involving: general commercial issues (company, contract, debt, education, employment, finance, negligence, partnership, property, relationship property (family businesses)), construction, insurance, intellectual property, trusts and estates, rural and farm debt, earthquake, weathertightness and international issues.

He has worked with international parties, and mediated cross-border issues. He is a member of Bankside Chambers’ Singapore office – see

Mark was the winner of the Resolution Institute’s 2015 award for contribution to dispute resolution by an emerging practitioner. In 2016 he was awarded the AMINZ Ann Edge Memorial Award for Excellence in Fellowship Mediation and the Fellowship Mediation Prize.


Mark has extensive experience in dealing with medico-legal issues. For many years, he has been one of the leading counsel regularly instructed by New Zealand Medical Professionals Insurance to act for its policyholders.

He regularly advises health practitioners on: complaint management, privacy, professional discipline, interactions with other agencies (including the Police and ACC), Coronial enquiries, partnership/commercial issues, and dispute resolution generally.

He has represented practitioners in the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, and the Coroner’s Court.

Dispute Advisory

Mark is frequently called on to advise on dispute resolution in commercial matters. He provides opinions, strategic input, tailored dispute resolution process design (consensual and determinative), negotiation coaching, and recovery options.

Pro bono

Mark has maintained a pro bono commitment to the Otara Citizens’ Advice Bureau since the mid-90s.

He spent seven years as a trustee (with responsibility for finance) on the board of a decile one school in East Tamaki. He spent two years as a selector for Gymsports New Zealand (selecting athletes for Commonwealth Games and World Championships).

He mediates for the New Zealand Law Society Lawyers Complaints Service without charge, and undertakes other pro bono mediations.

He has been involved in various other charitable and pro bono work.

From August 2019, he has committed to funding the planting of one native tree for each participant in his mediations, via Trees That Count.


Mark has written and presented extensively, locally and internationally, on mediation, and other legal topics.

He has guest-lectured, and provided mediation skills coaching, at the Auckland University Law School.

He is the Deputy Director of Education (Mediation) at AMINZ. He is a regular on the faculty of the AMINZ Mediation Skills Intensive course. In 2019, he supervised the AMINZ Fellowship (Mediation) Assessment.


Further details about Mark are at

Recent and Notable Cases



Many of Mark’s cases have been confidentially resolved.

Cases in which Mark acted as counsel have included the following:

  • Eight Mile Style LLC & Anor. v The New Zealand National Party & Ors. – 2014-ongoing, High Court, CIV 2014-485-11220 – Acting for a party in the “Eminem” copyright infringement claim
  • Hansells Food Group Ltd. v William Aitken & Co Ltd. & Ors. – 2014-2015, High Court, CIV 2014-404-2433 – Copyright infringement claim
  • Turner & Ors. v Wrightson & Ors. – 2013-2014, Weathertight Homes Tribunal, TRI 2012-100-109 – Leaky home claim
  • Rock Solid Holdings Ltd. v Johelen Corporate Trustees Ltd. & Anor. – 2013-2014, High Court, CIV 2013-404-3443 – Sale and purchase dispute
  • Dalgety Finance Ltd. v Trends Publishing International Ltd. – 2013, High Court, CIV 2013-404-2740 – Dispute over fees for financial services
  • Foodstuffs (Wellington) Co-Operative Society Ltd. v Apollo Projects Ltd. & Ors – 2013, High Court, CIV 2012-485-001933 – Construction dispute
  • Johelen Corporate Trustee Ltd. v Rock Solid Ltd. – 2013-2014, High Court, CIV 2013-404-2389 – Sustaining a caveat
  • Body Corporate 198570 v Auckland Council & Ors. – 2012-2013, Weathertight Homes Tribunal, TRI 2011-100-028 – Leaky home claim
  • Re Seniorcare Group Ltd., ex parte Harvey – 2012, High Court, CIV 2011-404-8358 – Bankruptcy dispute
  • Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, PDT 500/Psy12/216P – Disciplinary issues for a psychologist
  • Waite v Global Integrated Solutions Ltd. – 2010-11, High Court, CIV 2010-404-8333 – Inter-shareholder issues, significant security for costs application
  • Managh v Morrison – 2009-11, High Court, CIV 2009-441-522 – Insolvency and property issues
  • Alderman Property Ltd. v Body Corporate 379933 – 2010-11, High Court, CIV 2010-404-3658 – Administration of a body corporate
  • Saunders v Perrins – 2008-10, High Court, CIV 2008-404-3674 – Dispute over shareholders’ returns
  • The Baby Hammock Co Ltd. v AJ Park Law – 2010, High Court, CIV 2008-404-3581 – Intellectual property issues


Qualifications and Career

Mark graduated LLB (Hons) BA from Auckland University in 1993, and was admitted to the New Zealand bar in the same year.

He trained in mediation at Harvard Law School. He is a Fellow of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand, and an AMINZ Council member.

From 1994-2004, Mark was a litigator at leading law firms in New Zealand and Ireland. He has been a barrister since 2005.



He is a current member of AMINZ, the New Zealand Society of Construction Law, the New Zealand Bar Association, the New Zealand Insurance Law Association, the Auckland Medico-Legal Society and the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand.