Mark Kelly Barrister and Commercial Mediator

Mark is a leading New Zealand commercial mediator, with a reputation for skill, determination, commerciality, and relatability (see: Commercial Mediation – Testimonials).


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. Since 2005, he has been a barrister, practising now from Bankside Chambers, Auckland.

As counsel, Mark litigated a wide variety of civil disputes. He appeared in the New Zealand 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 acted in numerous arbitrations.

Mark also appeared many times as counsel in commercial mediations. This experience led to him becoming a commercial mediator, after undertaking training at Harvard Law School, and in New Zealand.

Mark is married, with two adult children, and lives just north of Auckland. 

He is a keen long-distance runner, these days mainly off-road. In 2021, he placed second in his age group in the Routeburn Classic. In 2022, he completed the 60km Kepler Challenge. He is also a keen, but deeply average, golfer.

Commercial Mediation

Mark’s commercial mediation practice grew rapidly, and he has been a full-time mediator for some years. He has extensive expertise and experience across a broad range of fields – see Expertise and Experience. 


Mark is the immediate past President of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand. He was President from 2020 to 2022. He was an AMINZ Councillor from 2015 to 2022.

He is a Fellow of AMINZ, and a Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators. The invitation-only IAM is the world’s leading association of commercial mediators.


Mark was recognised as one of the 26 most influential lawyers in New Zealand by NZ Lawyer Magazine in 2023.

He is a two-time winner of the Mediator of the Year Award at the New Zealand Law Awards (2019, 2022). In the 2022 Award, he was recognised for his breadth of practice, his outstanding credentials and the complexity of mediations that he mediates. 

He is ranked by Who’s Who Legal for Mediation in New Zealand.

In 2023 received Te Tohu Ngākau Nui: The Big Heart Award from AMINZ, “in recognition of significant voluntary service to AMINZ throughout the years“. 

He won the 2022 Lexology Client Choice Award, for mediation in New Zealand.

In 2016 he received the AMINZ Ann Edge Memorial Award for Excellence in Fellowship Mediation and the Fellowship Mediation Prize.

He won the Resolution Institute’s 2015 award for contribution to dispute resolution by an emerging practitioner.

Panels & Lists

Mark is on mediation panels for AMINZ, Sport NZ’s Sport and Recreation Complaints and Mediation Service, 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 New Zealand Claims Resolution Service.

He is on the AMINZ Rural List. As an experienced rural mediator, he was involved from the outset with, and has trained others about, the Farm Debt Mediation Act 2019. He is an accredited, and experienced, FDMA Mediator.

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

Teaching & Memberships

Mark has written and presented extensively, locally and internationally, on mediation, and other legal topics. See – Articles and Seminars.

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

He has been a regular on the faculty of the AMINZ Mediation Skills Intensive course. In 2019, he supervised the AMINZ Fellowship (Mediation) Assessment.

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

“I have watched as Mark Kelly’s mediation career has sky-rocketed. He is now undoubtedly one of the top mediators in the country, a thought leader in his field and a sought-after speaker and mentor.”