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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Are you involved in a legal dispute? The Law Society Singapore offers a range of alternative dispute resolution schemes to lawyers and their clients as well as to members of the public.

WHAT: A legal dispute happens when there is a disagreement or conflict over a legal duty or right .

Examples of Commercial Disputes

A supplier fails to deliver goods according to the contract terms.

A competitor spreads false rumours about a company and/or its products.

Sectors/settings where disputes can occur:
• Construction
• Corporate
• Employment
• Energy and Offshore
• Engineering 
• Intellectual Property 
• International Trade 
• Maritime and Shipping 
• Media 
• Professional Liability

Examples of Non-Commercial Disputes

A tenant disagrees with the deducted amount from the deposit held by the landlord.

A person claims compensation for damage caused to his property by construction activities.

Common areas of dispute include: 
• Family
• Damage to Property 
• Tenancy


HOW: Common avenues for resolving disputes


Engaging in negotiation without the help of a properly trained mediator may expose you to risks such as:

Tempers fraying during negotiation, leading to a total breakdown of communication.

Agreeing to settlement terms, which may not be beneficial to both parties.

Going to Court

Where a typical case could take anywhere between 9-18 months to complete (assuming there is no appeal).

Parties have little or no control over the conduct of court proceedings.

Trials and judgements of cases are usually made publicly accessible.


Our Alternative Dispute Resolution Schemes Can Help

Scheme Key Features Benefits

Choose someone to make a final decision on the dispute (usually someone who has specialised knowledge and experience in a particular field or industry)

Decision made is final and binding.

Award rendered is enforceable in over 150 countries. Private and confidential.

Parties who wish to enforce the award on other countries.
Maintaining confidentiality of the dispute and the proceedings.

Choose someone to facilitate the negotiation between parties to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution

Parties are directly involved in the decision making process so that they have a better control over the outcome. Private and confidential.

Preserving the relationship between parties.Preventing minor disputes from escalating. Parties who are looking for a quick and cost-effective way.

Neutral Evaluation
Choose someone to evaluate the dispute for parties to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their own cases

Advice given is non-binding. Parties can use the evaluation to know where they stand. Private and confidential.

Preserving the relationship between parties. Parties who wish to use the evaluation to decide on the next step.

Neutral Determination
Choose someone to decide the dispute temporarily. If either party is unhappy with that decision, he can apply to an arbitrator or a court for a fresh decision.

Allows a dispute to be temporarily resolved in a quick and cost-effective way. Private and confidential.

Parties who want a temporary determination of their dispute quickly, whilst preserving the right to obtain a final resolution through arbitration or court proceedings.

For more information and to apply for any of our ADR Schemes, please visit our ADR Microsite.