Stephen Lancken

Steve Lancken

Stephen (Steve) Lancken is one of the most experienced mediators and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practitioners and educators in Australia.
Twenty years’ experience in mediation and arbitration has established Steve as an internationally regarded practitioner, trainer and publisher in all areas of alternative dispute resolution. He has worked in Asia, North America as well as Australia and is regularly asked to speak and comment on mediation and negotiation.

For many years Steve has fulfilled adjunct teaching assignments for organisations such as the University of Sydney, AGSM, AGSM Executive Programs, College of Law and Marcus Evans Asia. He is a regular writer and contributor to the study of ADR.

In May 2008 Steve was honoured to be appointed to the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council by the Attorney General of Australia, the Honourable Robert McClelland MP.

His initial association with ADR processes occurred during full time practice from 1981 as a litigation lawyer in Sydney, when his work covered Commercial Litigation; Aviation Law; Insurance; Professional Indemnity & Personal Injury; Native Title; Sports & Sponsorship; Wills & Estates; Property, Leases, Rural Issues & Farm Debt; Industrial Relations; Community Consultation; Workplace Disputes; and Employment Law (including discrimination, harassment and Workers Compensation matters).

Several ADR appointments during this time underlined for him the practical wisdom of assisting clients to avoid litigation and in 1999 led him to commit fully to mediation and arbitration as the future of dispute resolution.
His formal study in ADR encompassed programs conducted by Harvard University (the globally recognised centre for ADR), The Trillium Group, The Australian Commercial Disputes Centre and LEADR. His services have been engaged widely by companies and organisations keen to foster a collaborative culture and benefit from the corporate esteem associated with it. These include Qantas, Pacific Brand, Australia Post, EPA Victoria, Alcoa, The Australian Industrial Relations Commission, The Australian Securities and Investment Commission, National Australia Bank and Mission Australia. Steve is regularly engaged by leading law firms to assist in the resolution of complex litigation.
Steve’s extensive experience has positioned him as a renowned designer of ADR systems and this knowledge has been complemented by expanding his practice into skills training and teaching. Since 2000 he has taught mediation and conflict resolution skills with The Trillium Group, Australian Graduate School of Management and Global Mediation Services.

Steve is actively and closely involved with the skills development processes required to practice ADR. His strong commitment and contribution to his vocation are demonstrated by his professional appointments and associations, his publications and training seminars.


  • Graded Arbitrator and Accredited Mediator
    Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia
  • Accredited Mediator
    National Mediation Accreditation Scheme/ACDC/LEADR/Retail Tenancy Unit
  • Accredited Farm Debt Mediator
  • Accredited Mediator
    Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
  • Mediator
    Law Society of New South Wales

Appointments and Former Appointments

  • Councillor
    National Alternative Dispute Resolution Council (NADRAC) May 2008 Attorney General of Australia
  • Chair
    Settlement Week Steering Committee, Law Society of NSW
  • Adjunct Lecturer and Program Director
    Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) and AGSM Executive Programs
  • Arbitrator
    District Court of NSW & Local Court of NSW 1984 – 2005
  • Mediator
    Supreme Court, Land and Environment Court, District Court and Local Court (NSW)
  • Board Member
    Mediator Standards Body
  • Costs Assessor
    Supreme Court of NSW 1994 – Present
  • Arbitrator and Mediator
    Workers Compensation Commission of NSW
  • Mediator
    Retail Tenancy Unit (NSW)
  • Conciliator
    Health Care Complaints Commission NSW to 2008
  • Chair Independent Property Impact Assessment Panel
    Cross City Tunnel and Lane Cove Tunnel
  • Mediator
    Dust Diseases Tribunal of NSW

Training Courses Conducted

Conflict Management (Master of Business Administration)
Australian Graduate School of Management

Five-day Personal Injury Mediation Course
Hong Kong Law Society

Coaching and Assessing of Mediators Three ADR Courses
Construction Industry, Development Board of Malaysia; Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (Mediation Group)

Training and Assessing of Mediators
The Accord Group; Law Society of NSW; Institute of Mediators and Arbitrators; Global Mediation Services

Advanced Negotiations and Influence Seminar
AGSM Executive Program

Representing Clients in Mediation
College of Law; Coudert Bros Lawyers; Gilbert + Tobin State Legal Conference

ADR, Advanced ADR, Dealing with Difficult People and Issues & Applied Negotiation Workshops;
The Trillium Group (Toronto, Vancouver, Canada, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Townsville & Melbourne)

Contract Drafting and Dispute Resolution;
Marcus Evans, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Abu Dhabi


AS 4608: Standard for the Prevention, Management and Resolution of Disputes, Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal Feb 2001

ADR for Insolvency Practitioners, The Insolvency Bulletin Dec 2000

The Preliminary Conference: Option or Necessity?, Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal Aug 2000

The Benefits of Mandatory Mediation, Lawyers Weekly Aug 2001

Compulsory Mediation in Asia, Asian Dispute Review Sept 2001

Litigation: Is refusing to mediate worth the risk?, Law Society Journal Apr 2004

Mediation: What cases will a court refer to mediation over the objection of one of the parties?, Law Society Journal Sept 2002

The responsibility of the neutral party in respect of mediation confidentiality, ADR Bulletin July 2004

Reasonable, Cheaper Way to Avoid Filing, The Australian Apr 2004

Common Ground on Access to Justice Reforms, Law Society Journal Dec 2009

Courts Require Clarity from Lawyers Engaged in ADR, Law Society Journal Sept 2009

Lawyers as Conservationists, Law Society Journal Sept 2008

Courts Apply Old Principles to New Situations, Law Society Journal Apr 2009

Reflections on ‘tactics’ in negotiation and conflict management, ADR Bulletin Dec 2007

Pre-litigation dispute resolution – What new requirements will mean in practice, Law Society Journal Feb 2011

Summer 2014/15 MDA National Defence Update 'When Mediation Meets Medicine', to read this go here

08 August 2014 Lawyers Weekly 'Clients are looking for more than a settlement', to read this go here

Lancken, S 2014 'The Value in a Good Conversation', paper presented to 2014 PIAA International Conference, Amsterdam, 10 October 2014, to read it go here.

Lancken, S The Commonwealth Treasury ‘Response to the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Discussion Paper’, read it here, 23 May 2014.

Lancken, S The Commonwealth Productivity Commission ‘Response to Productivity Commission Draft Report’, read it here, 21 May 2014.

Lancken, S The Commonwealth Productivity Commission (2014) ‘Inquiry into Access to Justice Arrangements’, Transcript can be found here, 3 June 2014.

Lancken, S (2014) Interviewed by Curtin University, Curtin Radio, 17 October.

Lancken, S (2014) Interviewed by Angela Catterns, 2UE, 17 October.

Lancken, S (2014) Interviewed by Julia Christensen, ABC, 22 October.