Dana Welch

Arbitrator at Welch ADR

Served as chair, wing, or solo in over 250 disputes. Northern California Super Lawyer in ADR. Specialties include trade secret theft, complex contract disputes, M & A, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud.


Trade secret theft, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of loyalty matters. e-commerce disputes, including between tech giants. Breach of contract disputes. Business divorces and partnership disputes, including complex accounting issues. Executive compensation, ERISA, and discrimination claims.

Work History

Arbitrator for 20 years; on the American Arbitration Association’s Complex and Large Case and Employment panels and CPR’s Panel of Distinguished Neutrals. Founding executive director of the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy at the University of California, Berkeley. General Counsel of the former investment bank, Robertson Stephens. Co-managing partner of the San Francisco office of Ropes & Gray. Commercial and securities litigator at O’Melveny & Myers. www.welchadr.com


Sole arbitrator in dispute between technology company and ex-executive over theft of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, and California anti-hacking law. Sole arbitrator in multi-million dispute arising from failed M&A transaction in financial services. Claims included fraud, breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, rescission. Counterclaims included wrongful termination and fraud. Specially appointed to manage disposition of hundreds of individual claims and to provide an advisory opinion to federal district court in related class action. Sole arbitrator in several business divorce disputes. Sole arbitrator in actions alleging FLSA and California Labor Code violations. Sole arbitrator in dispute arising from alleged failure of investment bank to conduct adequate due diligence in sale of private company. Chair of panel in dispute between eCommerce companies; allegations of fraud, breach of contract and unfair business practices. Included complex legal questions such as conflict of laws. Chair of panel in cross-border dispute arising from multi-million dollar fee agreement between high-profile investor and law firm. Issues included jurisdiction, arbitrability, fiduciary duty and fraud. Panel member in dispute between venture capital fund and startup CEO arising from alleged fraudulent misrepresentations about startup’s financial position and customer contracts. Claims included common law fraud and securities fraud. Parties included the intervenor D&O provider. Sole arbitrator in partnership dispute in broker-dealer industry. Multi-million dollar claims included breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and fraud. Chair of panel in license dispute brought by medical devices maker for failure to pay royalties and fraud. Member of panel in multi-million dollar dispute based on failed real estate syndicate. Claims for fraud, tortious interference with business, breach of contract, valuation and appraisal issues. Discovery referee in dispute including complex e-discovery and expert discovery issues. Sole arbitrator in multi-million dollar dispute in financial services industry based on CEO leaving to go to a competitor. Claims for breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation; breach of fiduciary duty. Counterclaims for ERISA violations. Sole arbitrator in license dispute brought by major, privately owned services company against software provider for breach of warranties and breach of contract. Member of panel in a claim brought by limited partner against a general partner in a hedge fund for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty. Chair of panel in claims brought by manufacturer in cannabis industry against licensee for fraud, misrepresentation, violation of exclusive license agreement, breach of contract, rescission. Sole arbitrator in claim for wrongful termination brought by CEO in technology company; counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duty. Sole arbitrator in claim for placement in unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty brought by private investors against investment adviser. Sole arbitrator in claim brought by senior executive for wrongful termination based on sexual harassment. Sole arbitrator in claim for constructive termination based on hostile work environment. Sole arbitrator in claim brought by vendor against political campaign for breach of contract. Sole arbitrator in dispute between law firm and former partner for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and preliminary relief. Sole arbitrator in multi-million dollar complex dispute between two Fortune 500 companies over contract terms that affect price for the remainder of a multi-year contract. Expert testimony about price indices central to decision.


Commercial arbitration training at AAA. Frequent instructor at AAA with respect to conducting efficient and effective arbitrations. Trainer for new AAA arbitrators.


Admitted to practice law in California, the Central and Northern Districts of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.


JD: Boalt Hall School of Law, UC Berkeley, 1987. BA: Antioch College, 1973.


’Ethical Conflicts of In-House Counsel’, ACC Docket; ’Pandora’s Box’ (attorney-client waiver in regulatory investigations), DAILY JOURNAL; ’Up the Ladder Reporting’ (SEC rules on attorney conduct), DAILY JOURNAL EXTRA.


Northern California SuperLawyer in ADR, 2019-present. National Law Journal 2018 ADR All-Star Acquisitions International Award for Northern California Commercial Arbitrator, 2018


AAA: Commercial, Large and Complex Case, and Employment panels. CPR’s panel of Distinguished Neutrals


Co-chair of the ABA Dispute Resolution Section’s Arbitration Training Institute, 2018 and 2020. Council member 2017-2020, ABA Dispute Resolution Section. Chair of the California State Bar Standing Committee on ADR, 2013-2014; Co-chair, ABA Dispute Resolution Section Arbitration Committee, 2015-17.

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