09 Aug 2019

Singapore bolsters disputes hub

In a busy week for Singapore AAA-ICDR bolsters its presence to serve as case management hub in Asia, and Maxwell Chambers suites are opened.


In a week that witnessed the signing of the Singapore Convention on Mediation, the American Arbitration Association-International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA-ICDR) announced the expansion if its Singapore office, and also the official opening of the Maxwell Chambers Suites, an extension of Maxwell Chambers.

Dispute resolution hub

The larger facilities in Singapore will serve as the AAA-ICDR's Asia Case Management Centre, and will be staffed by experienced alternative dispute resolution (ADR) professionals. “Singapore has built a reputation as one of the most accommodating and supportive venues in Asia for facilitating international arbitrations,” said Michael D Lee, vice president of the AAA-ICDR's office in Singapore. “Singapore's strategic geographical location, neutrality, and commitment to maintaining a legal system that promotes ADR make it an ideal venue for arbitrations and mediations.” AAA-ICDR was one of the first anchor tenants to move into Maxwell Chambers, and has organized numerous events, training programs, and conferences with chambers of commerce, law schools, bar associations and corporate counsel throughout Asia. In addition, the AAA-ICDR has created an Asia Advisory Committee to obtain information and feedback about ADR related developments in Asia and incorporate their feedback into the organization's ADR case management processes. “Our Asian base of operations in Singapore is vital for providing arbitral parties with whatever they need in real time, regardless of where they are based,” said Eric Tuchmann, senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of the AAA-ICDR. Mr K Shanmugam, SC, Singapore minister for home affairs and minister for law said AAA-ICDR's decision “bears testament to the growing demand for dispute resolution services in Asia and Singapore's strong position as a leading international dispute resolution hub in Asia and the world.”

Concentrated facilities

Maxwell Chambers highlights it was the world’s first integrated dispute resolution complex, housing both purpose-built hearing facilities for arbitration and mediation, as well as offices for dispute resolution institutions and firms. Over 300 foreign ministers, chief justices, attorney-generals and heads of delegation, as well as local and international legal and dispute resolution practitioners, in-house counsel, C-suite executives and government officials attended the launch. Commenting on the new facilities, senior minister of state for law and health Edwin Tong said, “Singapore is fast becoming one of the leading dispute resolution hubs in the world. Last year, we were ranked No. 1 arbitration seat in the Asia-Pacific, and No. 3 in the world, after London and Paris.” Noting the new UN Convention on Mediation being named after Singapore Mr Tong said the opening of Maxwell Chambers Suites “will be a further boost to Singapore’s international standing.” The extension triples the capacity and now houses 20 dispute firms and 11 international institutions. Five of the 11 international institutions, including the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration and the Permanent Court of Arbitration, will have their case management offices in the building. Maxwell Chambers Suites says this creates the highest concentration of case management offices in the world.