Leading Mediator Geoff Sharp has been involved in setting up mediation chambers in Singapore involving a British QC and Singaporean
Maxwell Mediators , not to be confused with Singapore’s Maxwell Chambers which bills itself as the world’s first dispute resolution complex, is intended to introduce a chambers that involves the three jurisdictions in what Geoff Sharp told LawTalk involves a state-of-the-art facility.
Billed as ‘Singapore’s most prestigious mediation chambers”, the new Chambers relies on its principals’ expertise, proclaiming – ” We regularly travel around the globe to mediate international disputes and our mediators have worked in UK, NZ, USA, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, UAE and other countries . . “
Geoff Sharp has long been a leading mediator and features in the LawFuel Power Mediators’ list, while Lim Tat is a highly regarded mediator and founding partner of Aequitas Law LLP, while Bill Wood is a UK-based silk who regularly handles mediation in the East.
Singapore has become increasingly significant as a mediation and arbitration centre, although Maxwell Mediators only handles mediation work, following the introduction of the Mediation Act 2017 in Singapore.
(By contrast, Maxwell Chambers, of which Maxwell Mediators is a tenant in the Maxwell Chambers ‘suites’ that house ADR services, law firms, chambers and other services.)
The Act permits mediations that are handled across jurisdictions can be enforced under the Singapore Mediation Convention in the same manner as the New York Convention regarding arbitration awards, thus increasing Singapore’s role as a preferred venue for mediation work.
Singapore has also become more significant as more clients, including Indians, Chinese and Russians, wish to resolve their matters there rather than in Western jurisdictions.
“Singapore is challenging the traditional centres for dispute resolution. I had an Iranian mediation a while ago and the only place the Iranians could get visas to come and mediate was either the United Arab Emirates or Singapore. So the Singapore visa process is comparatively easy. The dispute had nothing to do with Singapore but the Iranians only had a choice of two places where the mediation could take place.”
Singapore also has geographical and political infrastructure that can accommodate mediations and is considered cost effective, he said.
He refers to a recent mediation involving New Zealand and Chinese companies, creating potential difficulties.
“It simply wasn’t practical for the New Zealand company to launch proceedings in China. It just didn’t make any sense economically to try and navigate a way through the problem that way. They also wanted to keep the commercial relationship.”