Mediation gives people more control over the outcome of their disputes and provides privacy over what are often highly sensitive issues for the parties involved. Many people do not fully realize the lack of control one faces at trial nor do people understand the truly public nature of the courthouse.

As a mediator, Diane helps clients overcome legal challenges in a fair and efficient manner. She manages emotions and expectations, and, by engaging in an active risk analysis, she helps to achieve the best possible outcome for all parties.

Diane is engaged to help people overcome impasses that, even to their counsel, appear to be impossible impediments to a resolution. By working closely with the parties and their counsel, Diane achieves compromise where there only appears to be deeply entrenched positions. This process allows all parties to move forward with certainty as to the outcome.

Commercial Mediation Services
Non-MVA insurance claims Business disputes
Disputes involving estates and trusts Shareholder disputes
Pension issues
Family Mediation Services
Division of property and debt Spousal and child support
Child custody/parenting issues Pre- and post-nuptial agreements
Co-habitation agreements
Family Law Services
Non-litigious resolution of highly complex family law issues Preparation of and independent legal advice related to co-habitation, pre- and post-nuptial agreements

Although approximately 80% of Diane’s time is now devoted to mediation, she has maintained a small, restricted family law practice. Having practiced family law for over 30 years, she has garnered a broad skillset, which includes a solid understanding of tax issues, complex business structures, corporate reorganizations, off-shore investments, trust law, estates and pensions. All of these areas become familiar territory for a seasoned family law lawyer. In addition, Diane has a well-honed ability to effectively deal with emotions as they inevitably run high in most family law cases.

Whether it is securing the financial future of children after a divorce or resolving a dispute between shareholders of an ongoing business enterprise, the issues are highly visceral, complicated and problematic. Clients appreciate that Diane’s skillset includes being a quick study of complex issues (factual and legal), being able to manage multiple goals that seem to be contradictory and, through a hands-on risk analysis, finding compromise on competing positions.

As an honouree of the Queen’s Counsel, Diane has garnered a strong reputation as a successful mediator with practical business sense. She is also recognized by Best Lawyers and Lexpert.

Diane strongly believes that there are very few cases that cannot be resolved. The legal process is stressful; therefore, assisting people in reaching a resolution is truly her passion.

Awards & Distinctions
  • Best Lawyers in Canada, Commercial Mediation, Family Mediation and Family Law, since 2011
  • Best Lawyers, Vancouver’s Lawyer of the Year, Family Law, 2013, Alternative Dispute Resolution, 2015, and Family Law Mediation, 2015
  • Lexpert, repeatedly recommended
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Commercial mediation
  • Non-MVA Insurance claims
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Disputes involving estates and trusts
  • Business litigation
“Diane works well past regular hours and also expends the time and energy to draft thorough Minutes of Settlement so that parties have a global agreement on all issues (if resolved) before they leave the mediation. In my experience, this has assisted the parties in walking away with a resolution in-hand, discourages settlor’s remorse, and for the lawyers, we are not struggling with wordsmithing an agreement and fighting over language after a global resolution is reached. All in all, retaining Diane’s services has meant a significant reduction in fees for my clients, less legwork on my end, and ultimately, an equitable and expeditious resolution for my clients."

Shawan Das, Lawyer, Darnell & Company Law Office Barristers & Solicitors

Family mediation
  • Division of property and debt
  • Spousal and child support
  • Child custody/parenting issues
  • Pre- and post-nuptial Agreements
  • Co-habitation Agreements
  • Child custody
“Diane successfully mediates resolutions in the context of insurance-related litigation, using her extensive knowledge and professionalism. She demonstrates significant understanding, patience and commitment when working towards reaching a resolution. Without her notable traits and experience, resolutions often would not have been possible. I would attend mediations with Diane in the future without reservation and would recommend her services to others.”

Bert J. Terzian, Counsel, Institutional Law & Compliance, Manulife Financial

Family law
  • Non-litigious resolution of highly complex family law issues
  • Preparation of and independent legal advice related to Cohabitation, Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements
“I have had the honor of Diane representing me throughout my separation and divorce. Diane has made my negotiations as seamless as possible while avoiding the need for litigation. Her quick wit, deep understanding of family law, tough (but not combative) negotiating style resulted in a very satisfying outcome.”

Private individual, Client

“Diane is one of my go-to mediators because I can rely on her to do her best to get the case settled. Diane brings skill, knowledge, experience, and hard work to the table. In the life and disability law arena, Diane is consistently recommended by members of both the plaintiff and defense bar because she can be trusted to work hard for both sides in a fair and balanced way.”

Queen’s Counsel and Partner, Large law firm

"I have come to know Diane Bell, QC, as a family law lawyer and evaluative mediator over the past 12 years. I would describe Diane as an astute dealmaker who is effective at finding tax-efficient solutions to settlements involving complex corporate structures and trusts. In the mediation context my clients find Diane to be smart, fair, direct, practical and knowledgeable. Parties are often amazed by how hard Diane works to get the deal done, and find a resolution that will work for even the most high conflict families."

Nikki Charlton, Partner, Farris LLP

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Awards & Distinctions
  • Best Lawyers in Canada, Commercial Mediation, Family Mediation and Family Law, since 2011
  • Best Lawyers, Vancouver’s Lawyer of the Year, Family Law, 2013, Alternative Dispute Resolution, 2015, and Family Law Mediation, 2015
  • Lexpert, repeatedly recommended
Industry Involvement
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association, Family Law Section, Executive Member
  • Canadian Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
  • Mediation Development Association of BC and Family Mediation Canada
  • Pension Division Project Committee, British Columbia Law Institute
  • Canadian Bar Association Women Rainmakers Section, Past Co-Chair and Treasurer
Education & Call to Bar
  • Call to Bar: British Columbia, 1985
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of British Columbia, 1984
External Publications & Presentations
  • Family Law Agreements Manual, Continuing Legal Education
  • British Columbia Family Practice Manual, Continuing Legal Education
  • Family Law Sourcebook for British Columbia, Continuing Legal Education
  • Professional Legal Training materials, Continuing Legal Education.
  • Editor, Financial Aspects of Family Law Sourcebook for British Columbia, British Columbia Law Institute