Law Society Neutral Evaluation and Determination Scheme
Neutral evaluation and neutral determination are private processes where parties agree to refer their dispute to a Neutral whose role will be to provide a summary evaluation of the dispute or temporary determination of the matter. These processes are generally speedier and less costly than litigation and arbitration, and they allow parties to have a temporary resolution to their dispute before the dispute is ultimately determined by an arbitrator or a court or other body of competent jurisdiction. The process is therefore one of quick and summary evaluation or temporary determination of disputes by lawyers. It is similar to security of payment regimes around the world.
The advantages of the neutral evaluation and neutral determination processes are that parties are not permanently saddled with the result; they have a subsequent chance of asserting their rights through the formal dispute resolution processes. Moreover, the evaluation or determination is strictly limited to those parties and that dispute.
It also remains a possibility that a party who commences litigation or arbitration on the substantive dispute might obtain a stay of a determination pending the resolution of the proceedings. This is an advantage as it preserves parties’ rights and the court’s or tribunal’s discretion in appropriate cases.
Disputes suitable for neutral evaluation and determination under the LSNEDS
All types of civil disputes are suitable for neutral evaluation and neutral determination under the LSNEDS. There is no monetary limit for a civil dispute under the LSNEDS. The scheme allows for quick resolution of dispute between parties.
Important features of the LSNEDS
Some important features are as follows:
- The aim of the neutral evaluation and neutral determination processes is to create stable truces and lasting peace by dealing with disagreements and disputes that do not reach formal proceedings.
- The process is one of quick and summary evaluation or temporary determination of disputes by lawyers.
- It is less costly than litigation and arbitration.
- It allows parties to have a temporary resolution to their dispute before the dispute is ultimately determined by an arbitrator or a court or other body of competent jurisdiction.
- Parties are not permanently saddled with the result; they have a subsequent opportunity of asserting their rights through the formal dispute resolution processes.
- All types of civil disputes are suitable and there are no monetary limits.
- An evaluation is advisory only. In contrast, a determination or a costs decision is binding until the dispute is ultimately determined by an arbitrator or a court or other body of competent jurisdiction.
- The Neutral will give the Evaluation or Determination to the parties within (14) days after the date of the Neutral’s receipt of the Response or the date for giving the Response, whichever is earlier.
The LSNEDS Panel of Neutrals
Under The LawSoc Neutral Evaluation and Determination Rules, the President of the Law Society will appoint the Neutral from the Panel of Neutrals (‘Panel’). The members of this Panel are experienced lawyers who have satisfied the criteria set out by the Law Society of Singapore.
The list of Panel members can be viewed here.
Neutral’s fees under the LSNEDS is fixed according to a scale prescribed by the Law Society. Administrative charges are also payable upon delivery of an application for neutral proceeding.
Click here for a copy of the current LSNEDS Neutral’s Fees and Administrative Charges.
Frequently Asked Questions
For a list of frequently asked questions on the LSNEDS, please click here.