Ability to Enforce Outcomes Top Consideration in Choice of Dispute Resolution Mechanism
1. For both corporates and external counsel, the ability to enforce outcomes was the top most consideration when they had to decide how to resolve cross-border commercial conflicts. This is a key finding of a first-of-its kind international survey released today by the Singapore International Dispute Resolution Academy (SIDRA) on the use of dispute resolution mechanisms by over 300 corporates and external counsel around the world between 2016 and 2018.
2. The SIDRA International Dispute Resolution Survey also showed that enforceability was a key factor as to why arbitration remained the most often used dispute resolution mechanism despite dissatisfaction with its cost. Conversely, mediation’s current enforceability regime was what its users was least satisfied with. This is set to change with the Singapore Convention on Mediation which will enable the expedited enforcement of mediated settlement agreements amongst the signatory countries. The new Convention will be signed in Singapore tomorrow.
3. SIDRA released the preliminary findings of its survey yesterday in conjunction with the signing of the Singapore Convention on Mediation. Please find attached the survey findings. More results will be released subsequently. The SIDRA International Dispute Resolution Survey was commissioned by the Singapore Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and administered by PwC Southeast Asia Consulting between January and July 2019. The first of its kind, the SIDRA survey is ground-breaking in a number of ways:
a. It is based on actual use rather than mere preferences. All respondents had experience with dispute resolution between 2016 and 2018; their responses captured the considerations they had and the decisions they made when faced with a dispute in the last three years. Past surveys typically captured only preferences.
b. It covers international arbitration, mediation and litigation. This better reflects the full spectrum of mechanisms used to resolve disputes and users’ considerations in choosing one mechanism over another. It avoids examining any single dispute resolution mechanism in isolation, especially in light of the rising use of hybrid dispute resolution. Past surveys typically focused on international arbitration.
c. The survey has been distributed internationally in all six official United Nations (UN) languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish, and Russian. The survey is thus able to capture responses from a more diverse range of corporates and external counsel and better reflect the international nature of modern cross-border dispute resolution work. Other international surveys are typically conducted in English only.
4. SIDRA’s Director, Professor Nadja Alexander said, “In 2019 the world of international dispute resolution is at a turning point and that means we need know what the decision-makers are thinking and doing. With this survey, we wanted to learn more about how businesses and their legal advisers are making decisions about resolving cross-border disputes, and why. The findings of the SIDRA survey deliver this much-needed information, both confirming certain assumptions and offering some surprises. The value of this work lies not only in the fresh perspectives it now offers the international dispute resolution arena; but also in fact that today’s SIDRA survey report marks the start of a longitudinal survey that will continue offer businesses and the legal profession critical insights into strategic factors determining their dispute resolution choices”.
5. MinLaw’s Deputy Secretary, Han Kok Juan said, “The SIDRA survey provides rich insights into how corporates and external counsel who had to deal with a dispute in the last three years made decisions on dispute resolution options. The findings are useful for corporates, external counsel, policy-makers as well as academic scholarship. Such thought-leadership, which is what we hope to promote by commissioning the survey, will help anchor Singapore’s position as an international dispute resolution hub in the long-term.”
SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION ACADEMY AND SINGAPORE MINISTRY OF LAW