R3 Resolutions’ principal, Julie Somerville, is a NMAS nationally accredited mediator with 25 years’ experience as a litigator and negotiator. She has helped hundreds of people resolve disputes, both online and in person.
Julie’s niche area of practice is civil claims, both litigated and unlitigated. After 25 years of practice as a lawyer, Julie has a deep knowledge of the law, and the personal and emotional aspects that drive many civil claims; particularly those involving allegations of historical child abuse, medical negligence, personal injury, workplace injuries and professional indemnity.
Julie is well recognised for her ability to provide clarity to complex situations but with a level of empathy and warmth that is unique.
“In a difficult and emotional mediation (Julie) was able to use empathy for the individual at the heart of the dispute to identify the best way to manage the mediation and achieve a positive outcome. This in my experience is rare.” Partner, Sydney law firm
In 2020, 2021 and 2022, Julie’s expertise was recognised by her inclusion in the prestigious Doyles Guide as a Leading Mediator – NSW.
In April 2023, Julie won the Australian Dispute Centre’s 2022 Mediator of the Year at the Australian ADR Awards
Before becoming a mediator, Julie gained extensive experience as a lawyer in private practice in several well-regarded Sydney and National law firms.
Her ability to simultaneously identify and address the key legal issues and the underlying needs of the parties was highly sought after by many.
Julie has extensive experience in all stages of litigation, from pre-litigation discussions, to lengthy trials and appeals. Julie is well placed to challenge parties to review the strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions and consider the various outcomes at trial, including the impact of costs orders and appeals.
However, it is her manner, which has been described as “calming” and “serene” which enables her to build the rapport and trust that is needed to allow her to challenge parties when needed.
“Thank you again for all your hard work and excellent advice, Julie you are an angel!!”
Julie is a passionate advocate of mediation and is actively involved in the mediation process. While following the NMAS facilitation model, Julie believes that each mediation is different and requires flexibility to ensure that all possible settlement options are explored. With thorough preparation and pre-mediation discussions, Julie works together with the parties to ensure the mediation proceeds in a manner that enables the parties to explore the factual and legal issues, have constructive discussions and consider a range of solutions to resolve the dispute. A recent participant observed that Julie “obviously did a very thorough review of the material and clearly picked up on the relevant factual and legal issues “like a judge would”“.
Her expertise has been recognised by her peers in:
Leading and Recommended Medical Negligence and Malpractice Lawyer, Sydney;
2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
Leading Mediator – NSW;
2020, 2021 and 2022
Health and Aged Care Law, Medical Negligence, Insurance Law and Professional Malpractice;
2019 and 2020
2020, 2021 and 2022
For 25 years, Julie practiced as a lawyer handling a wide range of civil claims, in particular professional indemnity, medical negligence, public liability, intentional tort and institutional abuse claims, health care disciplinary complaints and coronial inquiries.
She saw first hand how expensive and uncertain the litigation process is. Even in cases where a party “won”, there was almost always a level of dissatisfaction, usually with the costs incurred, the length of time taken to resolve a dispute or the emotional toll on the parties of the litigation process.
As a result, Julie developed a unique insight into the shortcomings of the adversarial process for the resolution of intensely personal and emotional disputes. Julie strongly advocates mediation as a form of dispute resolution that enables the parties to take control of their dispute and explore early resolution.
As a mediator, Julie’s ability to facilitate discussions between parties, despite high levels of conflict and emotion, is of benefit for a wide range of disputes including:
common law personal injury (medical negligence and public liability)
Compensation to Relative Act claims
institutional child abuse (historical and child protection)
toxic tort claims (including expedited claims)
partnership and company disputes
Recent mediation participants have said:
“In a difficult and emotional mediation (Julie) was able to use empathy for the individual at the heart of the dispute to identify the best way to manage the mediation and achieve a positive outcome. This in my experience is rare”
“I was very impressed with your services as a mediator Julie. You kept your calm throughout the mediation even though it went for very longer and I consider your discussions with each party was balanced and fair. Overall, very happy with the service and will definitely recommend”
“Our client had a traumatic life, resulting in significant psychological issues. The mediation needed to be conducted with sensitivity and understanding. Julie was the right person for the task.”