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Singapore Developments – the Singapore International Mediation Institute and the Singapore International Mediation Centre

Author’s Note: I would like to thank Ms. Eunice Chua, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for her contribution to this entry.

5 November 2014 was a momentous day for mediation in Singapore. It saw the launch of two mediation-related bodies, the Singapore International Mediation Institute and the Singapore International Mediation Centre.

In April 2013, Singapore’s Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) appointed the International Commercial Mediation Working Group which was co-chaired by George Lim (Senior Counsel) and Edwin Glasgow (Queen’s Counsel) and comprised academics, practitioners, in-house counsel and other stakeholders in the mediation field.

The remit of the [...]

The Singapore Mediation Lecture 2014

The Singapore Mediation Lecture 2014 was delivered on 26 September 2014 by Mr. Brad Berenson, the Vice President and Senior Counsel for Litigation and Legal Policy of General Electric. The third lecture in this series, the Singapore Mediation Lecture is a result of a partnership between the Singapore Mediation Centre, the Singapore Management University School of Law and Harry Elias Partnership. Previous speakers were the former president of Singapore, Mr. S R Nathan (2012) and Lord Woolf (2013).

The title of the lecture was “The Mediation Imperative: Why Successful Companies Embrace Mediation”. I do not propose to reproduce the speech here. The speech will be published in the Asian Jou [...]

International Mediation – A Comparative Table of Institutional Mediation Rules

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In the world of international mediation, global providers such as ICC, WIPO and AAA/ICDR dominate the landscape together with various more regionally based institutions such as HKIAC, SMC and CEDR.

Of course, parties who choose to resolve cross-border disputes by way of mediation are free to develop their own bespoke rules of engagement as they might in their domestic mediations via a comprehensive mediation agreement (ad hoc mediation) – however, and although there are cost implications, parties to international mediations usually perceive real benefits in adopting a tried and true process administered by a respected and often global ADR provider (administered mediation).

Many parti [...]

Mediation Magic

I believe that by now you all had enough of my comments on the 2014 FIFA World Cup. So let’s move on to other aspects of life.

Last month, IBA’s Mediation Committee organized a regional meeting in Brazil in order to discuss the latest trends in Commercial Mediation. The event was supported by Veirano Law Firm, one of the most prestigious Firms in Brazil, and was attended by several lawyers, in house counsels and members of the public sector, some of them hearing about mediation for the first time. In addition to being a great success, the event could be seen as another small step towards increasing the general awareness level of Commercial Mediation in the country.

Although I could pr [...]

Dynamos, Cruisers and Losers

Capture99Before I left my law firm in the late 1990′s David Maister, a Boston management guru of whom many of you will know, was the darling of every large service firm, especially in the law and accountancy fields.

He has long since retired but at his height he was good, very good – despite being a former Harvard Business School professor, he had a practical wisdom that could cut through the management gobbledygook I was struggling with at my firm’s monthly management meetings at the time.

But it was the way he brutally labelled the three types of professionals, that he said inhabited service firms globally, that really caught my attention.

At any given stage in one’s professional life, Maister o [...]

Mediation Prey

I’ve got to admit that the John Sandford “Prey” crime novels, featuring the complex detective Lucas Davenport, are a guilty pleasure of mine, both in text and particularly audiobook formats. I can usually get through an unabridged audiobook during one of my frequent return car trips between Ottawa, where I live, and Toronto, where I now mediate about 80% of my cases.

The concept of “prey” (in the sense of “take advantage of; exploit or injure; cause constant trouble or distress to”) comes to mind as I read and re-read two recent thought-provoking posts on this blog: Jeff Krivis’ June 16th post, “Settlement Drift” and Michael Landrum’s post, exactly a month later, “Top Ten Miscellaneous Obser [...]

The Rise and Fall of Tension

Tension Raising Behaviours;

100% statements

Labelling

Put downs and excitable statements

Threats

Interpreting/analysing/patronising/matronising

Collecting allies

Non-verbal behaviours

Preparing an attack

Sarcasm

Defensiveness/self justifying

Over detailing

Tension Reducing Behaviours;

Acknowledging probable legitimate concerns

Put in perspective

Be specific

Own the interpretation

Own the personal response

Invite feedback

Invite response

[...]
Lessons in Life for Mediators?

I am interested in convergence – of ideas, of behaviour, of trends, of different disciplines. The more I read, the more common themes I discern in the arts, science, spirituality, leadership and in what we do as mediators. A reflection of this is found in the African concept of ubuntu, “the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others.” These are the words of Nelson Mandela. Ironically, one of the finest books I have come across recently which encourages this idea of convergence is Mandela’s Way: Lessons in Life, by Mandela’s biographer, Richard Stengel.

In fifteen short chapters, Stengel captures the essence of what made Mandela special – and each one of [...]

CEDR’s Sixth Mediation Audit 2014

For the sixth time in the past 12 years, CEDR, the UK’s Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, conducted a 10-minute online survey of UK civil and commercial mediators during May 2014. Raw data has not been published but the results summary was released on May 22nd (available here).

Almost 295 mediators responded (18% up on the 238 that responded to the 2012 survey). 22% of those responding were “novices” (had passed basic mediation training but had no experience as a lead mediator) and another 22% were “intermediates” (had some or limited experience of mediating). 56% described themselves as “reasonably” or “very” experienced, undertaking more than 10 mediations a year.

CEDR’s survey summ [...]

Contrasting mediations….richness awaits…..

I write here about two contrasting experiences which have, for me, underscored the richness of the mediation process.

In one mediation, involving business partners with an ongoing management issue, one of the protagonists (A) suggested bringing in another partner (D) who was not perceived to be a part of the present problem, simply to observe, be a resource to the participants and help balance numbers as A, a more junior partner, felt outnumbered by B and C who held senior positions.

D made clear at the outset that he did not wish to say much and that he did not wish to become embroiled. However, a private meeting with him elicited much information that seemed helpful going forward. Rather [...]