Press Release: Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) Announces New Chairman and Board Members

Singapore, 6 January 2017 – SIMC is pleased to announce that as part of a planned leadership transition, Mr George Lim, SC of Singapore law firm Wee Tay & Lim LLP, has been appointed as Chair of the Board with effect from 1 January 2017. Mr Edwin Glasgow QC, of 39 Essex Chambers in the UK, who was a Co-Chair with Mr Lim, will remain on the Board to provide strategic guidance for SIMC.

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Mr Glasgow and Mr Lim had served as Co-Chairs of the International Commercial Mediation Working Group whose recommendations led to the establishment of SIMC in November 2014. During Mr Glasgow’s service as SIMC’s inaugural Chair, he was a strong champion for Singapore to play a bigger international role in facilitating the resolution of cross-border disputes through mediation. His insights, drawn from more than 45 years of commercial legal practice, led to the development and launch of the innovative Arbitration-Mediation-Arbitration (Arb-Med-Arb) service.

Pioneered by SIMC, the Arb-Med-Arb service, offered in collaboration with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), allows parties to mediate their dispute after the commencement of arbitration proceedings. Once the dispute is settled through mediation, the mediated settlement may properly be recorded as a New York Convention compliant consent arbitral award. This effectively resolves the perennial concern on the enforceability of mediated settlement agreements, particularly for cross-border mediations, while adding only minimally to costs and time.

Mr Lim is widely regarded as one of the leading mediators in Asia. He has mediated more than 300 disputes, many of which involved parties from multiple jurisdictions and complex commercial issues. A former President of the Singapore Law Society, and holder of the coveted C.C. Tan Award, Mr Lim also currently serves on the Board of the International Mediation Institute, the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC), and the Advisory Board, Law Faculty, National University of Singapore.

In addition to these changes, earlier on 15 December 2016, Mr Lucien Wong, formerly the Chairman of SIAC and Chairman and Senior Partner of Allen & Gledhill LLP, had stepped down from the SIMC Board to take on his duties as the next Attorney-General. Ms Ng Chai Ngee, General Manager of Kuok Investments (Singapore) Pte Ltd, joined the SIMC Board in November 2016. Ms Ng is an accredited mediator with SMC and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre.

The members of the SIMC Board of Directors from 1 January 2017 are as follows:

  • Mr George Lim, SC – Wee Tay & Lim LLP (Chairman)
  • Mr Edwin Glasgow, QC – 39 Essex Chambers
  • Professor Lawrence Boo – The Arbitration Chambers
  • Mr Chow Kok Fong – Equitas Corporation Pte Ltd
  • Mr Han Kok Juan – Ministry of Law
  • Ms Bonnie Hobbs – Accenture Pte Ltd
  • Mr Lok Vi Ming, SC – LVM Law Chambers LLC
  • Mr John Pyall – Munich Re
  • Mr Viswa Sadasivan – Strategic Moves Pte Ltd
  • Ms Ng Chai Ngee – Kuok Investments (Singapore) Pte Ltd

In just over two years since its launch, SIMC has received cases from parties from over 20 jurisdictions including companies from India, Kazakhstan, Japan, South Korea, Myanmar, Switzerland and the United States. The total sum in dispute to date is in excess of SGD1 billion. In June 2016, SIMC successfully facilitated the resolution of a USD20 million dispute between two Asian parties within a week from the case filing.

Mr Lim said, “Edwin has done a tremendous service to Singapore. His experience in international dispute resolution played a critical role in the successful launch of SIMC. His passion for mediation and commitment to this project was inspiring during his term as SIMC’s first Chair. I am glad that he has agreed to stay on our Board so we can continue to benefit from his vast intellect and experience. I would also like to add my thanks to Lucien. His support was invaluable in helping us roll out the Arb-Med-Arb service smoothly.”

Mr Glasgow said, “George and I have worked closely for several years now and I can think of no better person to serve as Chair of SIMC. I am exceedingly proud to have had the honour of serving as the first Chair of SIMC and am deeply grateful to the Chief Justice and the Minister for Law for allowing me this opportunity, and to George for his unfailing support. SIMC plays an important role in an important region. While there are several established international arbitration centres, SIMC is an independent institution in the world dedicated to providing international mediation services. I am certain that under George’s leadership, the organisation will continue to grow rapidly.”