The Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) and the Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) have collaborated to establish a litigation-mediation-litigation (LML) framework with a view to promoting the amicable resolution of international commercial disputes. Parties may choose to adopt the LML Protocol when contracts are being negotiated by incorporating the model LML Clause into their agreements. Alternatively, parties may by a separate agreement adopt the LML Protocol at any other time, such as after a dispute has arisen.
Taking effect from 12 January 2023, the LML Protocol sets out the procedure under which disputes commenced in the SICC are to be referred to the SIMC for mediation, and the procedure to continue or terminate proceedings in the SICC on the conclusion of the mediation. Amongst other things, the LML Protocol also provides for a case management stay of the SICC proceedings for up to eight weeks after the commencement of mediation, subject to any extension by the Court for good reasons, and the LML Protocol also recognises that the Court may grant interim relief to preserve a party’s rights despite a case management stay.
Parties who have commenced proceedings with the SICC and are not guided by a Litigation-Mediation-Litigation clause in their contract may opt to mediate under this Protocol or be directed by the Court to do so. Upon commencement of mediation at SIMC, SICC may then pause litigation proceedings for up to eight weeks. Most mediations at SIMC take one day and enjoy a 70-80 per cent settlement rate.
If the mediation is successful, parties may choose to have the settlement terms recorded as an order of court. If there is a partial settlement, parties may choose to have the settled items recorded as an order of court and seek SICC’s directions on the conduct of proceedings for the remaining issues, in accordance with the SICC Rules 2021.
For details, please refer to the following:
Annex A & B: Infographic and full text of LML Protocol
Guide to the SICC: Litigation-Mediation-Litigation Framework
Other reference materials:
Speech by Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong SC at Appropriate Dispute Resolution: The Singapore Way
Justice Philip Jeyaretnam: Keynote Address delivered at the Appropriate Dispute Resolution – The Singapore Way launch event
Advantages of Lit-Med-Lit
Provide case management stay of SICC proceedings (up to 8 weeks)
Access to quality mediators
Confidentiality, expediency and neutrality
Time and cost savings
SICC – SIMC LIT-MED-LIT MODEL CLAUSE
- Agreement (supplemental to a basic jurisdiction clause) to resolve a matter through a Litigation-Mediation-Litigation (“Lit-Med-Lit”) procedure [“Other Clauses” section of the SICC Model Clauses]
[A dispute, controversy or claim having arisen between the parties concerning [define dispute] (the “Dispute”), each party hereby irrevocably submits the Dispute to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Singapore International Commercial Court.]
The parties further agree that despite the commencement of proceedings in the Singapore International Commercial Court, the parties will attempt in good faith to resolve the Dispute through mediation at the [Singapore International Mediation Centre], in accordance with the Litigation-Mediation-Litigation protocol for the time being in force between the Singapore International Commercial Court and the [Singapore International Mediation Centre].
[Any settlement reached in the course of mediation may be recorded by the Singapore International Commercial Court as a consent order on agreed terms.]
- Agreement to resolve a matter through a multi-tiered dispute resolution procedure, before or after the dispute arises. [“Basic Jurisdiction Clause” section of the SICC Model Clauses]
The parties agree that any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or in connection with the present contract (including any question regarding its existence, validity or termination) (the “Dispute”) shall first be referred to the [Singapore International Mediation Centre] for mediation in accordance with the [Singapore International Mediation Centre Mediation Rules] for the time being in force. If the Dispute cannot be resolved through mediation within [8 weeks] after commencement of mediation at the [Singapore International Mediation Centre], or within such other period as may be agreed by the parties, the parties shall submit the Dispute to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Singapore International Commercial Court.