Singapore, 16 April 2012 – Harry Elias Partnership LLP (HEP), Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) and Singapore Management University (SMU) will collaborate to introduce a series of free public lectures on international commercial mediation. Former President SR Nathan will be the speaker at the inaugural Singapore Mediation Lecture to be held on 29 August 2012 at the Supreme Court Auditorium.
HEP, SMC and SMU signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) today to formalise their collaboration. Under the terms of the MOA, HEP will provide sponsorship to hold an annual mediation lecture over a period of three years. “HEP has chosen to partner SMC as it has built a reputation for excellence in Singapore and around the region in the provision of commercial mediation services,” said Mr Philip Fong, Managing Partner of HEP.
"Greater complexity and sophistication in the business sector have given rise to an increased demand for dispute resolution mechanisms and talents. In this respect, Singapore has gained strong footing as a preferred forum for dispute resolution in the region, owing to our sound legal infrastructure and well-developed institutions in mediation and arbitration. Through this lecture series, we expect to further boost Singapore’s profile of commercial mediation in the region,” said Practice Associate Professor of Law Ian Macduff, Director of the Centre for Dispute Resolution at SMU
This is the first time that a leading law firm in Singapore is committing itself to educating businesses on issues of international commercial mediation. HEP has a team of specialist mediation advocates including Mr Harry Elias SC, Mr Philip Fong, Ms Foo Siew Fong and Mr Francis Goh. They are also on SMC’s panel of mediators.
“More global businesses are turning to mediation to resolve business disputes. In recent months, SMC has seen an increase in companies using mediation to resolve their disputes. Compared to fighting it out in court or in arbitration, mediation is a faster process and costs a lot less,’’ said Mr Loong Seng Onn, Executive Director of SMC.
SMC has a proven track record of handling mediation cases involving commercial disputes amounting to SGD2.8 billion. SMC has a settlement rate of 75%. More than 90% of cases that settle are concluded within a day.
Mediation is a process in which a mediator (the third party neutral), without imposing a decision, assists parties to resolve their differences amicably.
About Harry Elias Partnership LLP
Harry Elias Partnership LLP is a multidisciplinary legal practice that was established in 1988 by Mr. Harry Elias, Senior Counsel. Apart from offering focused and proactive advice within the larger framework of strategy and business objectives to its highly diversified clientele, it is a firm that has been on the cutting edge of legal changes, bringing about cases that were first to break new ground, and resulting in watershed judicial decisions. A firm that has been understandably referred to as A Practice of Firsts.
About Singapore Mediation Centre
Established in 1997, the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) has become synonymous with excellence in mediation services for the resolution of commercial disputes. It has also established a reputation for providing training in negotiation and mediation that is of the highest standard in Singapore and in the region. SMC enjoys the full support of the Supreme Court and the Subordinate Courts of Singapore. It continues to build relations with the legal and business community as well as promote mediation to the general public.
About SMU Centre for Dispute Resolution
Located within the SMU School of Law, the SMU Centre for Dispute Resolution was established in late 2008 to provide a vehicle for research and teaching across the range of ‘alternative’ dispute resolution procedures. One of the Centre’s mandates is to foster research and teaching activities across all the Schools and Departments at SMU in the area of dispute resolution. The Centre also builds on the experience already gained both within the judicial system and in the wider community in the use of mediation and non-judicial processes, as well as the long and diverse traditions of mediation in all countries of the region.
In addition to research and teaching, the Centre collaborates with university, professional, governmental, non-governmental and inter-governmental agencies in the promotion of effective, collaborative forms of dispute resolution and access to justice. In this respect, the Centre hosts public lectures, seminars and conferences. The Centre also works with those same agencies in building local capacity in dispute management.