Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8.00am - 5.30pm
+61 2 92231522
+61 2 92237646
52 Marin Place,
Sydney NSW 200
Max commenced as a practising barrister in 1979 after completing postgraduate studies in the USA on a Fulbright Scholarship. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 1999.
In the first half of his career at the Bar, the focus of his work was the resolution of workplace issues whether via litigation in Federal and State courts; by conciliation or arbitration before Federal and State Industrial tribunals; or via private negotiation or mediation.
He has acted for employees, contractors, unions as well as for employers across a vast range of industries. He has also acted for the Federal Government and regularly acts for the NSW Government especially in the fields of health, transport, police and payroll tax.
Max played a central role in the development of unfair contract law in New South Wales and more recently, has conducted ground breaking litigation as to the operation of the Independent Contractors Act 2006 (Cth).
In the second half of his career, following training as a Mediator in 1992, Max has also developed a board based practice in dispute resolution involving mediation of contractual and other commercial disputes and personal injury matters – as well as the complete spectrum of industrial and employment related issues.
Max has participated as either mediator or counsel in more than 10,000 hours of mediation and also, increasingly spends his time conducting an array of other dispute avoidance/settlement processes. Many of his matters have involved Australia’s biggest companies. In more recent times he has enjoyed facilitating the resolution of disagreements within organisations, increasingly without lawyers.
He has written extensively on communication, ADR and conflict resolution. He is a regular presenter at law firms and at mediation forums and mentors new mediators. Max sees himself as a “resolutionary” – committed to the prevention and early resolution of conflict with a focus on fostering better communication and listening skills and on the identification of common interests.
Max has recently founded Max Kimber Communication to deliver investigation, coaching, mediation and a range of other business services: see maxkimber.com.au
"Max Kimber SC is a mediator of the highest order who can approach the resolution of a dispute from many different angles. Max is holistic, creative and tenacious in his attempts to secure a practical outcome which all parties can live with. Most importantly Max has a pragmatic and down to earth approach which allows him to interact with empathy with parties from all walks of life and to identify with their nuanced need for closure. Max is like a dog with a bone when he mediates a matter in that he will not let the matter go easily and will chase far and wide in doing the hard yards towards resolution. I would highly recommend Max as a mediator for any dispute."
Harmers Workplace Lawyers
"Max Kimber SC is the most proactive mediators I have ever worked with. Before allowing a mediation to fail, Max will do everything he can to achieve the resolution of a dispute even if that involves dealing with the parties directly days, weeks or even months after the mediation. Although Max is well known for his expertise in industrial and employment law, we have had Max mediate many different kinds of commercial dispute with success including contract, trade practices, intellectual property and property matters. I am happy to engage Max to mediate almost any dispute. Max knows how to relate to people, whatever their background. All clients want to feel the mediator understands the dispute but also that he or she understands them. I have had many clients compliment Max on his ability to understand their needs and the stress that ordinary people caught up in litigation suffer. Having worked with dozens of mediators in hundreds of disputes over the last 25 years, I have no hesitation in saying Max is one of the very best and most able mediators that I have worked with."
Harris Freidman Lawyers
"Thank you Max for your expertise, personal skills and generosity of time in providing executive coaching to our management team in dispute resolution and effective communication skills. Your advice and professional coaching meant that in practice we were able to diffuse a potential conflict through early intervention. Thanks to your assistance we were able to elicit and better understand the concerns and needs of all stakeholders, then implement a structured process whereby these were openly discussed and considered, which led to a positive and amicable outcome. This process has highlighted to me the benefit of early involvement in dispute resolution to help prevent miscommunication and escalation of issues.
We are very grateful for your help and support, and will be in touch should we need your professional assistance in the future."
McElroy Bryan Geological Services Sydney
"Max Kimber SC was recommended to me to facilitate the resolution of an ongoing conflict involving members of the senior Executive Staff in one region of the Church. He was able to negotiate a process that did not involve lawyers being engaged by either side. Max spoke to all affected parties and then designed a process to suit the circumstances and the Church’s goals.
Max demonstrated a remarkable ability to quickly develop a clear understanding not only of the Constitution and Regulations of the Church, but also our corporate culture. He quickly built trust with all the affected parties and was able to understand the conflict from their different perspectives. He designed a process that was fair and respectful of all the parties, and also finely tuned to achieve an outcome acceptable to each of them and an end to the specific conflict. I found him to be highly experienced and skilled, professional and personable – an excellent collaborator in the very difficult situation that I was seeking to have resolved. I would have no hesitation in using Max again in such a situation or in recommending him to others as a mediator."
Rev Prof Andrew Dutney
President, Uniting Church in Australia
"Over the years I have recommended and engaged Max Kimber SC as a preferred and experienced mediator in a wide range of complex and challenging executive and workplace dispute matters for my large corporate and government clients. Max’s experience as an eminent and respected senior member of the independent Bar assists parties and their legal representatives being very comfortable with Max as the agreed mediator for the job. His personable and no-nonsense approach converts to an ease of business in the planning and engagement stages for mediation assignments.
Max’s excellent rapport with parties from all walks of life, coupled with his well-honed mediation skills, help parties get to the real heart of disputes, sometimes without them realising that Max has facilitated the understanding - always a sign of a good mediator. Max has worked hard to make sure that a commercial, practicably workable and binding solution can be reached and my clients and I have always found his services professional, reliable, good value and satisfying."
Darren Gardner | Partner
Accredited Specialist - Employment & Industrial Law
Employment, Safety & People
"In the countless mediations that I have been part of over many years, with all manner of mediators (retired judges, senior and junior counsel, registrars, career mediators), I have found no one to be more effective at resolving disputes than Max Kimber SC. Max is very good to work with, assiduous in his preparation, interventionist with his approach and completely across the relevant issues in dispute, with his sole objective being to get an acceptable outcome for the parties, something that in my experience he is very good at achieving. With Max as mediator, my clients feel completely involved as part of the solution, rather than alienated from the process."
Laxon Lex Lawyers
"I would have no hesitation in commending the services of Max Kimber as a mediator of any disputes in the workplace relations arena. In my view, effective mediation requires persistence and a genuine commitment to assist the parties to resolve their differences: attributes that Max has displayed in every mediation in which I have had him involved. Importantly, Max has an ability to get across the issues in sufficient depth while not allowing the mediation to become "bogged down” in that detail. His willingness to express a view is also greatly appreciated by clients and practitioners alike."
People + Culture Strategies
"We find Max to be a most effective mediator, who demonstrates a particular capacity to understand complex employment and industrial relations issues. His persistence and unfailing politeness in often difficult circumstances has been demonstrated in a variety of private and Court appointed mediations. We have no difficulty in recommending Max as a mediator."
Baker & McKenzie
"I have been involved in a number of disputes mediated by Max Kimber and have no hesitation in recommending him to others. Max, as a mediator, stands out to me in the preparation he makes before the formal mediation; seeking to fully understand the position from which both parties are coming before the mediation commences and taking the time to understand the issues currently in play preventing resolution. During mediation Max demonstrates an appropriate gravitas which lends weight to the process and skilfully explores all avenues to bring the parties to an agreed resolution. I can’t recommend him highly enough."
Sparke Helmore Lawyers
"I highly recommend Mr Kimber as a mediator. I have used him in the context of industrial law matters and also in a defamation matter. He has a very ‘down to earth’ approach with lay clients, strong acumen and an ability to get to the heart of the core issues quickly. He successfully mediated my matters including one that he continued to assist the parties with from his chambers over a series of days after the mediation, and by making himself available to continue the discussions in this way, he was instrumental in resolving a 5 year dispute that had very little prospects of resolving. My clients were equally impressed with him. I look forward to continuing to engage him in the future."
Flo Mitchell, Partner
Accredited Specialist in Commercial Litigation
"Max Kimber of Senior Counsel practised historically in industrial relations. In that field conciliation in each and every case is mandatory. Max learnt early the advantage to parties in the early settlement of differences by agreement. Litigation is a very expensive and inefficient means of dispute resolution.
As Max's practice at the bar expanded he has continued to advocate early, and if possible, pre litigation intervention of this kind. In my practice I have most recently engaged Max to successfully mediate a dispute between joint venturers with a 20 year history; litigating that history was avoided.
Max was my first choice, and that of my opponent in mediating before the commencement of proceedings, a class action by 23 franchisees in a federal government owned corporation with a national reach. Each claimant had similar but different claims. All claims were resolved on a template negotiated at that mediation and on terms where the business relationship was preserved for those franchisees choosing to remain in the system.
Max is an excellent choice as a mediator, he is passionate about facilitating early settlement opportunities including if possible to avoid escalation into litigation. I am happy to expand upon these comments as required."
"Max Kimber SC has my strong support as an extremely effective and committed mediator. Max is an active mediator and works hard to ensure the parties identify, tease out and then address the real issues in dispute.
Max is a forceful negotiator and persuasive advocate and brings these skills to the mediation room. He has a formidable knowledge of all employment related matters be they statutory or common law. Max effectively addresses all parties at the mediation not only the lawyers.
Most importantly Max knows how to achieve results and bring about a resolution at mediation."
HWL Ebsworth Lawyers