Creatively Managing and Resolving Disputes

About Vasantha Stesin

Vasantha Stesin runs her own boutique law practice and is an experienced Dispute Resolution (DR) practitioner with a 41+ year career in the global legal, pharmaceutical and health sectors as a senior corporate executive with a pharmacy background, a barrister/advocate, then corporate and commercial solicitor.
She has spent significant time developing her expertise in international and local jurisdictions and combines her corporate, business, legal and DR skills to assist in the provision of commercially savvy, solution-based outcomes for clients and parties in dispute. She brings a lifetime of experience to bear when dealing with often complex disputes. Her sensitivity to cultural nuances, strong people and communication skills, legal and commercial training, and ability to get to the crux of issues is greatly valued. This has resulted in many successes in various forums.
Having worked for multinational pharmaceutical companies in senior management roles and then as a legal advisor and litigator, Vasantha is very experienced in broad commercial matters and litigation for pharmaceutical, medical device, start-ups and biotechnology companies as well as hospitals, research institutes and the like (including a specialisation in Intellectual Property and its commercialisation).

Vasantha’s focus has always revolved around people, communication, advancement and resolution, from her early corporate through to her later legal career that eventually led her to dispute resolution.

Having seen the toll that litigation took on her clients, Vasantha decided to focus on what had started to become recognised as a real contender in the world of litigation, DR. Vasantha is a NMAS-accredited Mediator nationally, a trained negotiator, well versed with conflict coaching, an arbitrator who is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb), the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) and empanelled with the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC).

She has tied her practice experience to her 12-year teaching role at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, with postgraduate students studying for qualifications to advance within the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology industries. She has also been involved with lecturing and tutoring undergraduate students at Monash University in Melbourne.
As a London-trained barrister, with international litigation experience, in an era where adversarial means, rather than collaborative ones were used, she was instinctively drawn to innovative ways to deal with disputes.

Much of Vasantha’s experience was gained from living, working and studying in many different jurisdictions and it is these multi-cultural, and individual insights that gave her empathy, wisdom, patience and understanding to deal with disputants in novel ways.
Vasantha has conducted private mediations, worked under various statutory regimes, with panels, commissions and the courts, both prior to and during litigation. She also works closely with businesses in conflict coaching including situations of workplace harassment and bullying and organisations that cater to people in crisis, needing support and re-training in how they approach their personal and professional lives.

Apart from arbitration panels, Vasantha is, inter alia, on the mediation panels of the Victorian Small Business Commission, the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court (SLEM), Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV), Department of Justice and Regulation, Victoria, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the Arts Law Centre of Australia and formerly with the Civil Mediation Program of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria and IP Australia.

Vasantha conducts private mediations under various statutory regimes, court mandated mediations and when privately instructed by solicitors or parties/corporations both prior to and during litigation. She undertakes conflict coaching and uses alternative dispute resolution methods in various workplace issues including harassment and bullying.

Vasantha is involved in the specialised field of Elder Mediation and is a mediator member of the Elder Mediation Australasian Network (EMAN). Vasantha contributes to the legal and DR spheres by being actively involved with her industry organisations and uses various forums to promote DR through the running of seminars, workshops and speaking at conferences. She is a mentor to junior practitioners and runs training courses in mediation.

Interview by the
Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC)

In the News

News Flash: The Australian Government announced on 30th September 2021 that Australia has signed the Singapore Convention on Mediation

“Should Australia Sign the Singapore Convention on Mediation?”

Dr Alan Anderson, Professor Khory McCormick and Professor Rajesh Sharma provide their views in a session sponsored by the Resolution Institute, VADR and the VicBar and hosted by Pitcher Partners on 31st October 2019


February 2018

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)

December 2016

Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb)

April 2015

Working towards Elder Mediation International Network (EMIN) Accreditation as an elder mediator; 3-day training workshop with Dale Bagshaw and currently fulfilling remaining requirements; Member of EMAN and elder mediator

May 2014

Mediating Workplace Bullying Complaints: using an evidence -based model to ensure sustainable outcome, LEADR (now Resolution Institute)


Graduate Certificate in Mediation and Conflict Resolution, Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Queensland (Executive Dean’s Commendation for High Achievement)


Postgraduate Practical Law Course Singapore


Master of Laws Commercial and Corporate Law King's College, London and The London School of Economics and Political Science Research Paper: "A Comparative Review of the Effects of Prices and Patents on the Marketing of Ethical Pharmaceuticals in Great Britain versus Canada" Supervisor: Professor W R Cornish (formerly of the London School of Economics now of Cambridge University)


Bachelor of Laws (Honours) University College Wales, Aberystwyth


Diploma in Adult Education University of British Columbia, Canada


Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy) University of Singapore


  • 1994 - Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia
  • 1992 - Admitted as an Advocate and Solicitor of the Singapore Bar
  • 1991 - Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and the High Court of Australia
  • 1990 - Barrister-at-Law of Lincoln's Inn, England and Wales


  • Member, Peer Review Board, Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) ADR Journal
  • Panel Member of the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC)
  • Fellow of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (FACICA)
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) 2018
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb) 2016
  • Member of the Elder Mediator Australasian Network (EMAN) 2015
  • Member of the Bayside Business Network (Victoria) 2015
  • Committee member of LEADR, then LEADR-IAMA (now Resolution Institute)
  • Legal Practitioner Member of Resolution Institute (formerly LEADR-IAMA)
  • Member of Victorian Association for Dispute Resolution (VADR)
  • Member of Law Institute of Victoria
  • Member of the Southern Solicitors Law Association, Victoria

Volunteer Positions

  • Committee Member, LEADR Victorian Chapter Statutory ADR SIG
  • Committee Member, LEADR & IAMA Victorian Integration Committee
  • Committee Member, LEADR & IAMA Victorian Mediation & Dispute Resolution Special Interest Groups
  • Committee Member, Resolution Institute: Mediation SIG Victoria
  • Victorian Women Lawyers: Mentor to young lawyers and law students

Professional Associations

  • Law Institute of Victoria
  • Resolution Institute: (formerly LEADR, now merged with IAMA
  • Victorian Lawyers RPA Ltd
  • Bayside Business Network
  • Victorian Association for Dispute Resolution (VADR)
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
  • Elder Mediation Australasian Network (EMAN)
  • Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (FACICA)
  • Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC)
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