Dana Welch is an experienced arbitrator and mediator specializing in commercial and employment matters.
Based in Northern California, she is available to serve in any locale. Ms. Welch has served as an arbitrator in over 100 disputes, ranging from small to multi-million dollar amounts. She has served as a mediator in a variety of disputes, including in those at an early stage and those subsequent to an arbitration award or court judgment. She has also served as a discovery referee in complex arbitrations, particularly those entailing extensive e-discovery.
She is known for her managerial as well as substantive expertise in arbitration, and her evaluative approach to mediation and her ability to listen to and talk to all parties.
Her approach is to ensure fairness to both sides while remaining decisive, to conduct the process attentively and efficiently, and to follow and apply the law. As a former litigator and in-house lawyer, she knows that arbitration can too quickly become an expensive process that fails to deliver what the parties bargained for. However, properly managed is not only faster and less expensive than litigation, it provides the parties with privacy.
Since 2002, Ms. Welch has served on the commercial, large and complex case, and employment panels of the American Arbitration Association. She is also a member of the CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals. Ms. Welch is additionally available to serve in ad hoc arbitrations. She is also a member of the AAA's mediation panel.
Prior to becoming a neutral, Ms. Welch served as the General Counsel of Robertson Stephens, a San Francisco-based investment bank, and prior to that, practiced as a litigator focusing on business, contract and securities matters. She was the founding executive director of the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy at the University of California's Berkeley Law School.
She frequently conducts trainings for other arbitrators in the skills of effectively and efficiently managing the arbitration process from the preliminary hearing through the Award. For the last several years, she has trained new AAA arbitrators in the fundamentals of arbitration.
Ms. Welch is the immediate past co-chair of the ABA's Dispute Resolution Section's Arbitration Committee. She is the co-chair of the 2018 ABA Arbitration Training Institute. Previously, she served as the Chair of the State Bar of California's Standing Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution. She is a fellow of both the College of Commercial Arbitrators and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.