Press Release: Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) Announces Appointments of Co-Chairmen

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Edwin Glasgow QC and George Lim SC to jointly lead SIMC in 2016

Singapore, 18 January 2016 – SIMC is pleased to announce that Mr Edwin Glasgow QC of 39 Essex Chambers in the UK, and Mr George Lim SC, a consultant at local Singapore firm Wee Tay & Lim LLP, have been appointed co-chairmen of SIMC with effect from 1 January 2016.

Mr Glasgow and Mr Lim previously held the appointments of Chairman and Deputy Chairman of SIMC, respectively. They had co-chaired the International Commercial Mediation Working Group whose recommendations to the Singapore government in November 2013 included the establishment of SIMC as an international mediation service provider.

The Working Group’s recommendations were made to develop Singapore into a centre for international commercial mediation – adding to Singapore’s vibrant dispute resolution sector that has been growing on the back of a significant rise in commercial transactions in Asia and the corresponding increase in the number and complexity of cross-border disputes.

The first of its kind to focus solely on mediating international commercial disputes and distinct from the Singapore Mediation Centre, which focuses on mediating domestic disputes, SIMC plays a key role in positioning Singapore as a hub for international dispute resolution, complementing the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the Singapore International Commercial Court.

2015 also saw some changes to SIMC’s Board of Directors with the additions of Mr Viswa Sadasivan, Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Moves, and Ms Bonnie Hobbs, Managing Director and Associate General Counsel at Accenture, from 1 April 2015, as well as Mr Han Jok Juan, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Law, from 1 November 2015.

SIMC bid a fond farewell to Mr Poon Hong Yuen, formerly Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Law and presently Chief Executive of Spring Singapore on 31 October 2015. SIMC would like to express its sincere gratitude to Mr Poon for his contributions.

The members of the SIMC Board of Directors from 1 January 2016 are as follows:

  • Mr Edwin Glasgow, QC – 39 Essex Chambers (Co-Chairman)
  • Mr George Lim, SC – Wee Tay & Lim (Co-Chairman)
  • 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
  • Mr Lok Vi Ming, SC – Rodyk & Davidson
  • Mr John Pyall – Munich Re
  • Mr Viswa Sadasivan – Strategic Moves
  • Mr Lucien Wong – Allen & Gledhill

Since commencing operations in November 2014, SIMC’s caseload has exceeded expectations.  As at 15 January 2016, SIMC has received 7 cases with the sums in dispute ranging from SGD 5 million to more than SGD 600 million. These cases have included disputes in the sectors of construction, oil and gas, shipping, aviation and the sale/supply of goods and services. The parties involved in the disputes have included companies from Singapore, Cayman Islands, Germany, India, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States.

3 of SIMC’s 7 cases have been Arb-Med-Arb cases jointly administered with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

Arb-Med-Arb is a unique hybrid process that combines arbitration and mediation, allowing parties to attempt mediation after the commencement of arbitration proceedings. If parties are able to settle their dispute through mediation, their mediated settlement may be recorded as a consent award. A consent award is generally accepted as an arbitral award, and, subject to any local legislation and/or requirements, is generally enforceable in more than 150 countries under the New York Convention, an international convention on the enforcement of arbitral awards. If parties are unable to settle their dispute through mediation, they may continue with the arbitration proceedings.

Mr Lim said, “2015 has been a good year for SIMC and I look forward to working with Edwin, the Board and the executive team of SIMC in 2016 to further establish SIMC as the preferred provider of international mediation services in the region and beyond”.

Mr Glasgow said, “As a neutral institution based in Singapore, SIMC is well placed to make a unique contribution to the resolution of disputes within Asia and between Asia and the rest of the world. In the coming years, we aim to leverage on Singapore’s position and expand our service offerings beyond the mediation of international commercial disputes to include investor-state, inter-state or intra-state stakeholder disputes.”

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