Commercial Disputes

Contact UsApply Now

Commercial Disputes

Arbitration and mediation are popular processes for the resolution of a wide range of commercial disputes.

NZDRC’s processes are specifically designed to ensure the most proportionate level of response is adopted providing parties with a fair, prompt and cost effective means of resolving their dispute. Both processes also allow commercial parties to resolve their disputes in a private forum maintaining confidentiality.



NZDRC provides both ad hoc arbitration services as well as institutional arbitration under its Arbitration Rules. Both options provide parties with access to arbitration on either a fixed or capped fee basis, providing parties with much needed certainty in terms of cost.

The NZDRC Arbitration Rules are intended to give parties the widest choice and capacity to adopt fully administered procedures that are fair, prompt and cost effective, and which provide a proportionate response to the amounts in dispute and the complexity of the issues involved.

NZDRC’s ad hoc arbitration service provides parties with flexibility to craft their own process while still giving them access to NZDRC’s institutional oversight, assistance, and support. Importantly, the service also provides certainty in terms of a capped arbitration fee.

When entering into a contract, we recommend that parties adopt one of our model clauses to ensure they can access these services should a dispute arise at a later date. Model clauses for both NZDRC ad hoc arbitration and NZDRC institutional arbitration may be found here.



NZDRC’s commercial mediation offering provides commercial parties with a professional, fully administered, and credible mediation process. For commercial parties who are looking to craft a more flexible solution to their dispute, this option empowers parties to develop and explore mutually benefical settlement options with the assistance of an independent third party mediator who brings with them significant industry specific experience.

A model clause for mediation may be found here.


Find out more

NZDRC has significant knowledge and experience, which has been built up over the course of more than 30 years during which we have delivered consistent, professional and credible private dispute resolution services. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you or your clients.

Commercial Lease Mediation and Arbitration FAQs

By Jesika Sabo and Maria Cole, NZDRC   Do both parties need to agree to participate? Yes, parties who wish to access the scheme must agree to do so, whether they wish to arbitrate or mediate, even if they already have an agreement to arbitrate or mediate in the...


By Melissa Perkin Halliburton Company v Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd [2020] UKSC 48 Introduction On 27 November 2020, the UK Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the landmark case of Halliburton Company v Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd [2020] UKSC 48. The decision...

COVID-19 Commercial Lease Disputes: Free Arbitration and Mediation available now

Many commercial tenants found their leases were inadequate to deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 restrictions.  In a welcome step, the Government has established a scheme allowing parties with a qualifying dispute to access fully subsidised arbitration or...

Urgent interim relief

In many instances, speedy dispute resolution will be of utmost importance for parties. If a dispute is not resolved promptly it may threaten a party’s solvency or ability to conduct ‘business as usual’. In response to this need, a number of overseas arbitral...

Rent relief in the COVID-19 lockdown

Fast, low cost, fixed fee arbitration services for commercial rent/lease disputes

Farm Debt Mediation Bill passed into law

By Sophie Hursthouse   The Farm Debt Mediation Act passed its third reading on 10 December, establishing a scheme that requires mediation to be attempted before lenders may proceed to enforce farm debt. The legislative scheme promises to be a positive development...

Ten years in a leaky boat– lucky just to keep afloat

By John Green In 1982 Split Enz released its now famous single Six Months in a Leaky Boat being a reference to the time it took pioneers to sail to New Zealand (it had nothing at all to do with being an attack on Britain’s invasion of the Falkland Islands which caused...

Avoiding conflict and improving dispute resolution for IT projects

By Gerard Doolin Introduction The commercial design, build, and delivery of software systems is about 50 years old. In contrast, the design, build, and delivery of physical buildings is about 4000 years old, with one of the oldest recognised buildings being the...


By Catherine Green, Arbitrator and Mediator, Executive Director at NZDRC   During the course of a commercial tenancy, disputes often arise between landlords and tenants in relation to the parties’ obligations under the lease to maintain and repair premises,...

Arbitration and Mediation of Disputes Involving Trusts Get the Green Light in New Zealand

In a watershed moment on Wednesday of this week, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Trusts Bill which contains unique and important provisions that expressly provide for arbitration and mediation of internal and external disputes involving trusts, including for...