Yaroslav (Yarko) Sochynsky

Yaroslav Sochynsky
221 Carmel Avenue
Piedmont, CA 94611-4009

Tel: (510) 663-5222

E-mail: yarko@wqsadr.com

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Mr. Sochynsky has been active as a mediator and arbitrator since 1984, and has worked full-time in that capacity since 2000. He has acted as mediator or arbitrator in well over a thousand business, contract, technology/IP, construction, health care, manufacturing, real estate, banking, energy, and employment disputes, involving both domestic and international parties, related insurance issues, and including class actions. A list of representative matters appears below. His experience includes appointment as arbitrator chair in cases before the ICC-ICA in Paris and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution in New York. He has served as a neutral throughout California, and also in New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Seattle, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, St. Louis, Honolulu and Calgary. He was listed as one of seven Bay Area most popular arbitrators by The Recorder, June 4, 2002, and during the past sixteen years has been recognized by his peers as a Northern California Superlawyer in the field of alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Sochynsky has also been listed in Who’s Who Legal: California for 2009 - 2015 in the field of Arbitration, and in the 2009 – 2015 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Mr. Sochynsky has also continuously received the peer review designation of "AV Pre-eminent" by Martindale-Hubbell, was recognized as a Top Lawyer in the American Lawyer Magazine and has been listed in the 2006 – 2018 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice of Mediation. Mr. Sochynsky has also been selected for inclusion in the International Who’s Who of Commercial Mediation for 2012 – 2016. Member of the Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center “Tech List” (List of the World’s Leading Technology Neutrals).

Profiles of Mr. Sochynsky published in The Daily Journal can be found by clicking the "Articles" tab on the home page of this site or by clicking here.

During 1973 to 2000, Mr. Sochynsky was a litigation partner in the San Francisco law firm of Landels, Ripley & Diamond, trying and managing business, real estate, technology, construction and employment litigation and arbitration matters. He began his career as an associate with White & Case in New York during 1970-71 before moving to California to clerk for the Honorable William T. Sweigert, U.S. District Judge, Northern District of California during 1971-73.

Mr. Sochynsky received his B.A. degree in 1967 from Colgate University, and his J.D. from Georgetown Law Center in 1970, where he was Case and Notes Editor and Member of the Editorial Board of the Georgetown Law Journal. He was admitted to practice law in New York in 1971 (ret'd) and in California in 1972.


Mr. Sochynsky has been appointed as a member of the following panels and organizations:

American Arbitration Association Large & Complex Case Panel

American Arbitration Association Mediation Panel

American Arbitration Association Construction, Technology, Employment and Energy Mediation and Arbitration Panels

International Centre for Dispute Resolution Mediation and Arbitration Panels

Member, Beijing Arbitration Commission Panel of Arbitrators

Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators

Member, Tech List (World's Leading Technology Neutrals) Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center

Invited and trained as Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Northern California International Arbitration Club

Executive Committee, Advisor, International Law Section, State Bar of California (former)

ABA Section Advisor to NCCUSL Drafting Committees for revised Uniform Arbitration Act and Uniform Mediation Act (former)

Council, ABA Section on Real Property, Probate & Trust (former)

Member, Advisory Council, ABA Dispute Resolution Section (former)


A frequent speaker and author on mediation and arbitration during his career, Mr. Sochynsky’s contributions include:

Originator, editor and co-author California ADR Practice Guide, Shephard’s McGraw-Hill (1992).

Regular Speaker on Mediation and Arbitration for The Negotiation Strategy Institute.

Article on “What Every Litigator Should Know About International Arbitration”, California Litigation Magazine (2002).

Article on “Effective Mediation”, published in New York Law Journal and in San Francisco Attorney Magazine (1999).

Chapter on Commercial Mediation in The ADR Handbook, nationally marketed book published in 1993.

“In-House Mediation of Employment Disputes: ADR in the 1990’s”, Employee Relations Law Journal, vol. 21, no. 1, 1995.

Speaker, Effective Mediation of Technology Disputes, ABA Dispute Resolution Section Annual Meeting, 2000.

Speaker, “What Every Contractor Should Know About International Arbitration”, Construction Superconference, 2002.

Moderator, Mock Mediation Exercise, AAA Employment Law Conclave, 1999.

Speaker, Construction Mediation, American College of Construction Lawyers, Key Largo, 2000.

Trainer for judges and lawyers from Argentina on mediation, 1997.

Speaker on International Arbitration at UIA annual meeting, 1997.


Mr. Sochynsky has been asked on two occasions to testify as an expert witness on arbitration matters, has been appointed by the court as discovery referee, has been appointed as Special Master in a multi-party construction arbitration, and has been retained to conduct sensitive in-house factual investigations in employment matters.

Mr. Sochynsky was invited to lead professional delegations of judges, lawyers and neutrals to Beijing and Shanghai in 2001, and, to Australia and New Zealand in 2002, organized by People to People Ambassador Programs.

Born in Berlin, Germany, Mr. Sochynsky has some proficiency in various European languages.



Representative Mediations

Appointed by California PUC as mediator in telecommunications regulatory proceeding involving sixteen parties and review of economic formula for adjusting local telephone rates in California.

Restructuring of major long-term requirements/supply agreement between global mining concern and international agricultural chemical company based in Canada.

Workout of complex under-financed real estate development dispute among developer-builder and various individual investors.

Claims by shareholders against corporate officers regarding breach of fiduciary duty and excessive compensation, involving both derivative and direct shareholder claims.

Dispute between hospital owner/operator and health care district involving option to purchase hospital facility.

Division of community property in marital dissolution of billionaire couple involving complex real estate, financing and tax issues.

Construction dispute involving delay, change order, extended overhead and related claims among owner, general contractor, and subcontractors on hospital project.

Appointed as Special Master and Mediator in multi-party construction dispute involving water intrusion and related insurance issues in multi-building biotech complex.

Contract dispute involving $120 million acquisition of silicon wafer plant by Belgian and German investors.

Bad faith claim arising from property and casualty insurance policy.

Contract dispute between large software company and corporate customer regarding development of enterprise system.

Lease dispute between physician owner and lessee of cancer care facility.

Software development dispute between large Asian manufacturer and U.S. research and development firm.

Patent dispute between Korean conglomerate and various Taiwan OEMs involving U.S. market for computers.

Mold contamination suit by condo homeowners against 16 subcontractors.

Whistle-blower claims by medical director of clinical study against biotech company.

Joint venture dissolution between Japanese investors and U.S. developer of Pacific Island golf course resort.

Copyright dispute involving fair use issues.

Real estate development dispute involving Indian gaming facility.

Contract dispute between gas and electric utility and co-generation facility.

Claims brought by all California counties against large public utility for user fees.

Various disputes involving the wine and hospitality industry in Napa Valley and Sonoma County.

Various contract claims between health care insurers and provider groups.

Various race, age, disability and sex discrimination employment disputes.

Various insurance disputes involving liability, property and casualty, directors and officers, reinsurance, and professional liability insurance policies, including bad faith and subrogation claims.

Various securities fraud class actions.

Various trade secret misappropriation cases.

Various software licensing disputes.

Various franchise and distributorship disputes.


Representative Arbitrations

Panel chair in eight-figure contract dispute between internet marketplace and e-payment provider.

Panel chair in nine-figure dispute between mortgage pool insurer and sub-prime mortgage lenders/servicer.

Panel chair in eight-figure contract dispute between global pharmaceutical company and global biotech company.

Panel chair in ad hoc arbitration of eight-figure licensing dispute between large oil and gas company and developer of coal gas technology.

Sole arbitrator and chair in multiple healthcare payor-provider disputes.

Panel chair in dispute involving claim by mortgage pool insurer to rescind $500 million insurance policy issued to subprime mortgage lender and insured’s counterclaim for bad faith denial of coverage.

Panel chair in contract/software dispute between developer of retail distribution materials handling system and national retailer.

Panel chair in international dispute involving claimed theft of trade secrets for the design and manufacture of athletic shoes.

Appointed by CPR as arbitrator in dispute concerning patent license agreement between biotech firm and global pharmaceutical concern.

Appointed by NFL Commissioner to arbitrate intra-team dispute under the NFL Dispute Resolution Procedural Guidelines.

$70 million cost recovery claim for manufacturing defects by aerospace company against main supplier.

Dispute involving termination, dissolution and wind up of international automotive manufacturing joint venture and related intellectual property issues.

$80 million claim by aerospace company for design defects in development of fuel systems for jet engines.

Facility lease dispute between NBA franchise and publicly owned sports facility.

Contract dispute between global sailing competition organization and merchandising company.

Chair of class action arbitration panel involving dispute between physician provider groups and national health insurer.

Dispute between large U.S. software company and Saudi joint venture partner requiring application of Sharia law.

Claim of expropriation of power plant by Texas energy company against Latin American country.

Personal injury claims against U.S. adventure tour operator arising from catastrophic accident in Egyptian desert.

$70 million contract, trade secret and intellectual property dispute between competitors in cable television field.

$30 million claim against investment banking firm for mishandling of large private investment account.

Dispute arising from termination of Italian distributor by U.S. exporter of agricultural equipment.

Contract claims relating to sale and distribution of electronic gaming machines.

Contract dispute between Japanese trading company and U.S. producer of timber relating to sale of two shiploads of lumber.

Dispute between U.S. equipment company and Ukrainian mining concern under Rules of International Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Ukraine.

Partnership, breach of fiduciary duty and related claims arising from sale of cable television system.

Fraud and breach of contract claims against developer-seller of commercial real estate investments and against dual-agent real estate broker.

Partnership dispute between venture capital firm and various institutional investors.