Our Board

Our Board comprises members drawn from New Zealand and Australia. Board members, on a voluntary basis, dedicate their skills, efforts and time to guide the organisation.

Gary Ulman (Chair)

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 Minter Ellison 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.

Hayden Wilson (Vice Chair)

Hayden Wilson (Vice Chair)

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.

Siddharth Soin (Treasurer)

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 and 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.

Sarah Blake

Sarah Blake

Sarah M Blake, Conflict Strategist: Multi Award-winning Mediator - Regional Business Awards 2018, winner of Resolution Institutes Michael Klug Award 2018 and Young Mediator of the Year Award, Australian Disputes Centre 2016.

With more than 20 years’ practice experience, Sarah understands the complexities of conflict and recognises the high cost impact on business, community and individuals when resolution isn’t achieved.

Pioneering a strategic, comprehensive model for conflict management, 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. Her realistic approach to the challenges of working in the cross- cultural space have resulted in her training gaining international recognition in the Pacific and Europe. Her work with Executive teams and Boards have resulted in cultural and systemic change and she continues to provide comprehensive conflict advice to state and federal government.

Russell Thirgood

Russell Thirgood

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.


Ben Thomas

Professor 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.