Jonathan Kaplan

Jonathan Kaplan

Member, Mediator


03 8686 9197


Melbourne, Online


Understanding the needs of parties, winning their trust and helping to generate possible solutions that might meet those needs has resulted in Jonathan establishing longstanding relationships with referral sources in mediation matters.

Acknowledging that it’s always necessary to understand the past, Jonathan works hard to assist the parties to transition from an entrenched and “past-focused” mind-set to a “future-focused” approach with the object of achieving an outcome that all the parties can live with.

More than thirty-five years’ combined experience as a lawyer, retailer (Jonathan owned 5 hospitality business for 15 years) and mediator (having conducted in excess of 800 mediations) has armed Jonathan with a significant advantage, namely a practical perspective and commercial understanding, which is of significant assistance in his mediation encounters with parties from all walks of life. Recognising Jonathan’s experience, he has often been invited to present seminars on “Preparing for and representing your client at mediation”.

Jonathan’s legal background has enabled him to relate well to not only legal representatives but also to their clients, who always appreciate the fact that that the mediator understands and has experienced the realities of commercial life, whether as a landlord or tenant, vendor or purchaser, partner in a business, builder or owner (yes, he has also built a house!) and franchisor or franchisee.

Jonathan’s mediation practice is Kaplan Law.


  • Accredited as a Specialist in Mediation
    Law Institute of Victoria
  • Accredited under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS)
  • Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia
  • Degree of Master of Laws in Commercial Law
    University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Baccalareus Procurationis, (Law Degree)
    University of Cape Town, South Africa
    1974 – 1977


  • Chair of the LIV Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee
    2015 – 2019
  • LIV Mediation Law (Specialisation) Advisory Committee Member
    2011 – current
  • Queen Victoria Market Trader Connect Fund – Chair of Advisory Committee
    July 1998 – current


  • The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC)
  • Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO)


LIV “Rogers Legal Writing Award” – Highly Commended awards for feature articles published in the Law Institute Journal:

  • “Ready Steady Go” – Preparing yourself and your client for mediation (Published in LIJ April 2016 – Author
  • “Seeing clearly – Tackling cognitive bias in dispute resolution” (Published in LIJ May 2012 – Co-author)

Articles by Jonathan published in the LIJ

Other articles by Jonathan

From 2007 to 2014 Jonathan wrote a monthly column for “foodservice” magazine, a national publication for restaurateurs, dealing with legal issues impacting the hospitality industry.

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