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 nearly 200 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 has been an attorney for more than thirty years.
Ms. Welch has been named as a Northern California Super Lawyer for 2019-2020 in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Acquisition International Global named her Best in Commercial Arbitration in Northern California for 2018: https://www.acq-intl.com/2018-welch-adr. She was also named by the National Law Journal as a 2018 ADR Champion. She is the co-chair of the ABA’s 2020 Arbitration Training Institute, to be held in Phoenix, Arizona on March 9 and 10, 2020, and served as the co-chair for the Institute’s 2018 and 2019 sessions. She was recently appointed to the NCAA’s Independent Resolution Panel, designed to review complex cases that include, for example, alleged violations of core NCAA values, the possibility of major penalties, or conduct contrary to the cooperative principles of the existing NCAA infractions process.
She is known for her managerial as well as substantive expertise in arbitration, and her evaluative approach to mediation as well as 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, serving on its General Counsel, San Francisco ADR, Employment Disputes-West and Banking, Accounting and Financial Services panels. 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, employment 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. Ms. Welch is the past co-chair of the ABA's Dispute Resolution Section's Arbitration Committee. Previously, she served as the Chair of the State Bar of California's Standing Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution. She is a member of the Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center, and a Fellow of both the College of Commercial Arbitrators, where she serves on the Board of Directors, and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.