57% jump in number of mediation cases handled last year: SMC

57% jump in number of mediation cases handled last year: SMC
Screengrab of Singapore Mediation Centre Website
Published: 1:43 PM, January 28, 2015

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) handled 337 mediation cases last year — the highest number of matters it mediated since it was opened in 1997.

The 337 cases represented a 57 per cent jump from the 214 matters mediated the year before, and more than double in 2012, the SMC said in its press release.

Delving deeper, it said there were 49 matters related to construction disputes mediated last year - an increase of 75 per cent from the previous year. Disputes arising from companies and/or shareholder matters rose 56 per cent, while there was a 41 per cent increase in matters relating to the sale and supply of goods and services, it added.

On the construction industry, Mr Lawrence Tan, Partner of Eldan Law, said his clients from the sector “generally prefer to have their cases mediated as the cases are held on a confidential basis and can have very much faster results than going to the courts”.

“The quick resolution of disputes through mediation will enable my clients to focus their energies on the next project. Earning new money can be better than fighting over old money,” Mr Tan added.

SMC Executive Director Loong Seng Onn added that mediation has gained “much traction with business and individuals” as they realise the amount of costs and time savings they get by settling disputes out of court.

“As awareness of mediation and its benefits spreads, we expect more businesses to choose mediation as a means of conflict resolution,” he said. CHANNEL NEWSASIA