Having lived and practiced on three continents and worked with parties from all over the world, Donna Ross has wide-ranging international legal and business experience as well as extensive expertise in alternative dispute resolution. She holds both civil and common law degrees and is multi-lingual and multi-cultural, which gives her a keen insight into parties’ real requirements and needs. Through her boutique practice, Donna Ross Dispute Resolution, she uses these skills to help clients, parties and lawyers understand the benefits of different forms of dispute resolution, with a focus on ‘Preventing, Managing and Resolving Disputes’.
As a neutral, Ms Ross has acted in hundreds of disputes engaged by private parties or nominated by institutions, in which she successfully helps lawyers achieve more commercial, cost-effective and final resolutions for their clients in mediation and arbitration in both domestic and international disputes. Listed on a number of panels in Australia and abroad, Donna also works regularly as a mediator for Australian government agencies and courts.
As a lawyer, Ms Ross assists clients in several ways in their negotiations. First, to achieve advantageous deals and importantly, to include well-drafted and appropriate dispute resolution clauses in contracts to provide a framework for managing disputes when they arise. And second, as a former litigator, to help clients understand both the legal and commercial implications of all options to obtain better settlement agreements.
Her expertise in technology, one of her areas of specialisation, along with partnerships, import and distribution, retail leasing and the wine industry, enabled her to work on-line even before the pandemic and to quickly develop best practices in On-line Dispute Resolution (ODR).
Throughout her career, she has been a fervent proponent of arbitration and mediation, or alternative - and appropriate - dispute resolution (ADR) through her teaching, speaking, writing and membership of institutional committees and boards, such as Resolution Institute and ArbitralWomen.
An expert in ADR, Ms Ross is a Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Specialist in Mediation, an International Mediation Institute (IMI) Certified Mediator and has been named a ‘Leading Mediator’ by Doyles Guide for the four years running. She is a Fellow and faculty member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Fellow and graded arbitrator with Resolution Institute. Donna also won the Arbitrator of the Year Award in 2020.