About Andrew Wei-Min Lee
For the past four years, Andrew has been the Chief China Representative for JAMS, based in Shanghai. He has been promoting the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution for Sino-American commercial disputes. In 2019 May, he relocated to Australia and took up a senior position with Asialink Business, Australia’s leading thinktank on Australia-Asia relations. He now is responsible for training Australian senior government officials and executives on negotiation and dispute resolution skills with Asian counterparts.
Ethnically Chinese and born in Australia, Mr. Lee began his career as a commercial attorney in Sydney, representing large financial institutions against farmers facing financial difficulty, due to a long Australian drought. As a result of multiple years of successful litigation, he bankrupted many of the Australian rural community. Whilst professionally successful, he found this path difficult and explored alternative methods for resolving such disputes. He changed employers and began representing debt-laden farmers, finding creative ways for them to remain employed, while providing lenders the security that debts would be repaid. Mr. Lee became convinced that mediation was a way to obtain both commercially acceptable results and help keep rural communities on the land.
Mr. Lee looked overseas and studied ADR pedagogy as a Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation. He studied international arbitration at The Hague Academy of International Law in the Netherlands. He moved to Geneva where he worked for a Swiss non-government organization in partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Justice in bringing due process to the incarcerated facing the death penalty. He relocated to China and was responsible for opening the Beijing office of this NGO.
Later, he opened his own center in Beijing to promote negotiation and ADR as tools to achieve better commercial results in China. He served as a lecturer in negotiation at Peking University and was an invited guest speaker at major universities across China including: Tsinghua, Renmin, Zhejiang and Fudan University. His work in ADR has been reported in the Beijing Today newspaper, and he has been interviewed on Radio Beijing.
Mr. Lee believes that successfully developing ADR in China requires combining a sophisticated understanding of business realities, a deep appreciation of Chinese culture, and a passionate belief that peaceful resolution through mediation is the best way forward.
After 20 years in Asia, with the majority of that being in China, Mr. Lee has relocated to Melbourne, Australia. Australia is his country of birth. China is the blood of his ancestors. He personally embodies modern multi-culturalism and is passionate about using his talents and experience for diplomatic and commercial bridge-building between Australia and China.
Mr. Lee’s litigation practice has concentrated on common law jurisdictions with a focus on:
- Commercial law, especially banking debtor lender disputes
- Land use law, especially water management and use
- Constitutional law, and the rights of stateless-asylum seekers in Australia
Over the course of his career Mr. Lee has represented clients in:
- Commercial mediations in Australia
- Criminal procedure mediations in China