Board of Directors
Gary Ulman (Chair) >>
Gary Ulman is a lawyer in private practice as a mediator and adviser on dispute resolution, and a Senior Member (part time) of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. A former partner with MinterEllison for over 30 years, he specialised in commercial dispute resolution and conducted litigation in most State and Federal Courts and Tribunals. Gary was the 2016 President of The Law Society of New South Wales and a former Chair of the Society’s Professional Conduct Committee and Litigation Law and Practice Committee. He is admitted as a lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and on the High Court of Australia Register of Practitioners.
Siddharth Soin (Treasurer) >>
Siddharth Soin is a Chartered Accountant with over 15 years in public practice. He is currently a Principal of Countplus One, an accountancy firm which specialises in Small & Medium sized businesses and Not-For-Profits. With specialist skills across a number of areas, Sid’s aim is to simplify complex issues while still presenting the finer details required to make good financial decisions.
Russell Thirgood (Company Secretary) >>
Russell Thirgood is a partner at McCullough Robertson Lawyers. Since 1998, Russell has represented clients in major and complex dispute resolution. In particular he acts for clients in the arbitration, adjudication and litigation of complex construction and infrastructure disputes. He is on the panel of arbitrators for both international and domestic arbitral institutes and has chaired the Regional Arbitral Institute Forum (RAIF). Russell is listed in Best Lawyers in three categories: International Arbitration; Construction Law; and Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is recommended in Doyles Guide for Leading Construction & Infrastructure Litigation Lawyers and in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018.
Sarah Blake >>
Sarah Blake is the recipient of Resolution Institutes’ Michael Klug Award 2017 and ADC Young Mediator of the Year 2016. With over 20 years’ experience in mediation and training, Sarah’s expertise in the field of multi-party mediation and cross-cultural decision-making allows her to customise services that bridge cultural, commercial, and legal divides. With broad mediation, conflict management and governance experience, Sarah is passionate about helping people in complex situations make good decisions.
Ben Thomas >>
Prof Ben Thomas founded aktivResolve to provide dispute resolution services as well as consulting services in the area of governance and strategic planning. He has extensive governance experience and has served on boards in four countries. Ben has worked internationally in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, and is an accredited Adjudicator under the BCIPA legislation in Queensland. He is Emeritus Professor at Pacific Adventist University.
Hayden Wilson >>
Hayden Wilson is a partner at Kensington Swan and leads their Government and Regulatory team. Hayden specialises in helping government agencies and private sector organisations that work closely with government to resolve complex disputes and navigate through the often complex process of working with the public sector. Hayden and his team also provide crisis management support and advice in relation to government or regulatory investigations, inquiries or prosecutions. As well as litigation, Hayden practices as a mediator with specialisation in commercial and public law disputes. Hayden initially trained with LEADR (as Resolution Institute then was) and completed further training with Pepperdine University in California, and most recently completed the Advanced Mediation - Mediating Complex Dispute programme at Harvard University.
Trevor Slater >>
Trevor is Client Director of Financial Dispute Resolution Service. As Client Director, Trevor manages the scheme and leads a team of facilitators, conciliators, and adjudicators who are experts in resolving complaints in the finance sector.
Trevor is a highly-experienced dispute resolution practitioner specialising in the financial sector. He holds a Masters Degree in Conflict Resolution from La Trobe University, a Diploma of Business – Frontline Management from the Australian Institute of Management and is an accredited mediator.
Trevor is a Senior Associate of the Australian and New Institute of Insurance and Finance and an independent Board member of the Professional Advisers’ Association.
Ceinwen McNeil >>
A rare combination of holistically-minded and detail-oriented, Ceinwen (pronounced ‘Kyne-wen’), began her career in the public sector. It was here she began to hone her skill as a fierce negotiator and build the vast network of professional contacts she maintains to this day.
Ceinwen has an impressive list of qualifications, including:
- Bachelors Degree in Business and Organisational Behaviour
- Graduate Diploma in Business and Marketing
- Masters of Public Administration
- Harvard Business School Leading Professional Services Firms program
She has been headhunted by KPMG and eventually came to direct their Victorian Government Business Development department. Her time at Harvard Business School Leading Professional Services Firms program sparked the bold choice to divert from the expected partner track at KPMG to strike out on her own. She founded First Follower in 2016.