Verlyn Francis is an acknowledged leader in Dispute Resolution. She is a highly experienced in adjudicative processes and has drafted hundreds of decisions in Commercial and Civil disputes. A lawyer in Ontario, Canada since 1997, she has been a mediator since 1999 and an arbitrator since 2009.
In addition to her in-person practice, Ms. Francis has been using her technological expertise to conduct hearings by videoconference and teleconference since 2015. She is an arbitrator and mediator on the National Bar Association (NBA) ADR rosters, was added to the CPR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals as an arbitrator and mediator to the Global Panel and general commercial panel. Her ADR work has also included serving as an arbitrator on several other tribunals including Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Toronto Licensing Tribunal, Social Security Tribunal of Canada (SST), and Ontario College Relations Commission / Education Relations Commission.
A guiding voice on ethics for lawyers, arbitrators, and mediators, Verlyn has also taught arbitration, mediation, and negotiation up to the master’s level. She is a Professor of ADR at Centennial College, and Humber College, Toronto, Canada; Visiting Professor of Advanced Negotiation for Master of International Business students at La Salle EMCI in Lyon, France; and Guest Lecturer in the LL.M. Dispute Resolution Program at Osgoode Hall Law School. She also taught Ethics and Professional Responsibility to lawyer candidates for the Ontario Bar. She practised law in Toronto for over 20 years in the areas of civil litigation, corporate/commercial, family and estates law.
Her ground-breaking scholarship on the link between culture and conflict places at her at forefront of the ADR profession. As the Culture and Diversity Specialist at Isiko Dispute Resolution Consultants, she trains and presents on conflict management.
Verlyn publishes, trains, and presents on the Impact of Culture on Conflict, Diversity and Inclusion, Conflict Resolution, and Process Design. She is the author of numerous papers and articles including: Ethics in Arbitration: Bias, Diversity and Inclusion; Teaching Dispute Resolution in a Multicultural Environment; Culture in Clinical Care Conflict Management; In the Best Interest of the Child, there must be a place for Consideration of Race; Designing Emotional Support into Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (2016) 23 Willamette J. of Int’l Law & Disp Resol at 274; and Infusing Dispute Resolution Teaching and Training with Culture and Diversity, was published in cooperation with the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution in (2018) 33:2 Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol. at 171.
Ms. Francis holds a LL.M. (ADR) from Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Canada. She received arbitration certification from FINRA and has studied international commercial arbitration with CIArb. She was certified as an adjudicator in 2009 from the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators (SOAR), and obtained her mediator certification in 1999. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1997 after graduating with a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1995.
Verlyn is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Canada, ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC), the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators (SOAR), Law Society of Ontario (LSO), the American Bar Association (ABA), the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL), National Bar Association (NBA), and Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA).
Ms. Francis has served on several boards including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), NBA, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Board of Trade, Toronto Community Foundation, Youth Challenge Fund, Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, and the Women’s Law Association of Ontario.