Partner and Head of International Arbitration Francis Goh comments in the Business Times article titled "New fronts for mediation as preferred form of dispute resolution amid Covid-19"

Partner and Head of International Arbitration Francis Goh comments in the Business Times article titled "New fronts for mediation as preferred form of dispute resolution amid Covid-19"
04 Jun 2020

Eversheds Harry Elias Partner and Head of International Arbitration Francis Goh commented in the Business Times article titled "New fronts for mediation as preferred form of dispute resolution amid Covid-19". The article was first published on 1 June 2020.

New fronts for mediation as preferred form of dispute resolution amid Covid-19

Singapore International Mediation Centre rolls out new protocol - including online sessions - as business confidence takes beating in changed climate.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to jolt financial markets and rattle business globally, the number and types of cross-border commercial feuds will inevitably shoot up. Yet this may not lead to more court cases.

Encouraged by a new business climate ushered in by the fallout of the pandemic, along with a protocol for more efficient and economical dispute resolution just introduced, many of the parties in disputes could now turn to mediation, instead of litigation, to settle their differences.

Below is an excerpt from the article which feature comments from Francis:

Francis Goh, partner and head of international arbitration at Eversheds Harry Elias, noted that on average, a trial litigation case in Singapore's courts would take about six to nine months to conclude, while an arbitration takes about 11 to 13 months.

With various jurisdictions halting certain court hearings in recent months, the backlog of cases is likely to further drag out such proceedings - possibly driving more to seek mediation.

"(Prior to Covid-19), a mediation at the SIMC can be arranged in about one month and the average hearing takes one day for the parties to reach a mutually agreed mediation settlement of their dispute . . . This timeline is expedited under the new protocol, with SIMC aiming to organise the session within 10 working days," said Mr Goh, who has been a mediator for nearly two decades.

He said one misconception of mediation is that it connotes a "sign of weakness". "Litigation in the courts was the established norm, hence the popular phrase 'I will see you in court'. In that climate, if a party tries to 'settle', it is perceived as weakness."

But the climate is changing, according to Mr Goh. And with business confidence already taking a beating, parties may not want to be saddled with hefty legal fees.

Mediation also opens the door for firms to preserve relationships and goodwill, he added.

Full article can be found here.

Source: The Business Times

Author: Kelly Ng

For more information, please contact our Business Development Manager, Ricky Soetikno at rickysoetikno@eversheds-harryelias.com

 

Contact: 

Francis Goh

Partner
Head, International Arbitration
Head, Private Client Advisory
T: 
+65 6361 9835
F: 
+65 6438 0550
E: 
FrancisGoh@harryelias.com
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