Zela ''Zee'' G. Claiborne, Esq.

T: 415-982-5267
F: 415-982-5287

A full-time neutral since 1998, Ms. Claiborne has mediated and arbitrated energy matters involving breach of contract, contractor claims and renewable energy construction, among other disputes.

Download: "What Counsel Say About Zela 'Zee' Claiborne, Esq."

Representative Matters

  • Arbitration of claims for oil and gas royalties (sole arbitrator, Baseball arbitration)
  • Successful mediation of a dispute between a county and an alternative energy provider arising out of contracts for landfill gas-to-electricity projects
  • ICC arbitration of dispute between Spanish and U.S. contractors arising out of construction of a 205.8 megawatt single-axis tracker solar power plant including 3.1 million photovoltaic solar modules at the US-Mexico border (tripartite)
  • Mediated resolution of a dispute between joint venture partners from the U.S. and India regarding the development and commercialization of a global M & A database related to the oil and gas industries
  • Negotiation between North American and international solar companies involved in building solar photovoltaic facilities generating a total of 700 megawatts regarding terms for sharing rights of way and infrastructure for transmission lines in the U.S.
  • Dispute among investors regarding plans to construct biogas facilities
  • Mediated dispute between a public agency owner and electrical contractor regarding improvements to a hydroelectric power plant
  • Mediated settlement of a multi-million dollar dispute between a utility company and a developer arising out of a PPA
  • Mediated claims of breach of a Power Purchase Agreement between a large power company and a company in the business of developing renewable power (wind, solar, geothermal, biomass)
  • Claim against contractor by developer of a $12.5 million solar project in Arizona involving 45,000 ground mounted photovoltaic panels (sole arbitrator)
  • Arbitration of multi-million dollar claims by contractor relating to design, fabrication, and erection of structural steel racking and process piping arising out of oil refinery construction (tripartite, Chair)
  • Successful mediation of dispute between one of the country’s largest oil and gas companies and a California retailer
  • Sole arbitrator for contractor’s claim arising out of construction of a solar electric system at an Air Force base
  • Mediated a contract dispute between an electrical contractor and a power company
  • Sole arbitrator for a dispute involving sale of a solar tracker system; purchaser claims the system does not meet specifications
  • Mediator for New York cases involving construction of approximately 80 solar installations

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Honors
    • Recognized as a leading practitioner, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category, Who's Who Legal: California, 2014-2016
    • Recognized as a "Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category," Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2016
    • Recognized as a "Super Lawyer in Mediation and Arbitration," San Francisco Magazine, 2005-2016
  • Memberships
    • Member, Northern California International Arbitration Club (NCIAC)
    • Chair, ABA Arbitration Institute, Los Angeles, 2011, Philadelphia, 2012, and Washington, D.C., 2014
    • Member, Executive Advisory Committee of CPR: International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution
    • Member, National Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution
    • Member, Mediation Panel, US District Court, Northern District
    • Member, American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry (Governing Committee, 1996-1999), Litigation Section, and Dispute Resolution Section; Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL Report, Editorial Board, 1991-2001); California Bar Association; San Francisco Bar Association; California Dispute Resolution Counsel
    • Former Member, American Arbitration Association Board of Directors, National (AAA) and International (ICDR) Rosters of Mediators and Arbitrators for large and complex cases
  • Professional Activities
    • Judge pro tem, San Francisco Superior Court
    • Speaker on a variety of ADR topics before professional organizations including the American Bar Association (Dispute Resolution Section, Forum on the Construction Industry, Litigation Section), CPR Institute, International Centre for Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property Owners, Patent Law Institute, American College of Construction Lawyers, the ICC, the AAA, Canadian Bar Association, New York Bar Association, Oregon State Bar, Bar Association of San Francisco, California Judges Association, National Conference on Financial Management, Construction Industry Institute, ALI-ABA ("Top Ten Cost Effective Ways to Resolve Construction Disputes" webcast), College of Commercial Arbitrators, International Arbitrators Club, California Women Lawyers, and others
    • "The Experience Curve," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, April 3, 2015
    • Panelist, International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) and CPR China Panel; International Chamber of Commerce; and DPR Hawaii
    • Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators (Board of Directors); Fellow, American College of Construction Lawyers
    • Faculty, ABA Arbitration Institute, San Francisco, 2009 and Washington DC, 2010
    • IMI Certified Mediator

Background and Education

  • Full-time mediator and arbitrator, 1998-present
  • Partner/Associate, Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon LLP, San Francisco, 1982-1998
  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law (formerly Boalt Hall School of Law), 1982
  • M.A., University of Texas, Austin
  • B.A., Beloit College, Wisconsin


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