Lawyer Monthly - February 2023

support, privacy and confidentiality, bespoke room layouts to allow ancillary services like transcription and interpretation to operate effectively throughout hearings, and so on. Proximity to hotels and good transport links are also part of the equation, as well as the availability of good food and coffee. Also, an interesting draw of dedicated centres is the possibility of meeting other arbitrators and arbitration counsel having hearings in the same location – always a pleasant experience for members of a far-flung global community. During your time practising in the sector, how have you seen ADR usage grow more prominent in Singapore and in Asia more widely? The growth has been steady and multifaceted over the years, in some ways exceeding even Asia’s greater economic growth trajectory. Firstly, there has been the increasing maturity of the ADR industry, with both lawyers and clients alike becoming more experienced and sophisticated in using non-court processes for dispute resolution, and companies using ADR clauses by default in more of their contracts and standard forms. This has led to the steady growth of the use of mediation and arbitration as opposed to litigation. A second driver has been the shifting of ADR work from outside Asia back into Asia, as the number and quality of Asian neutrals continues to grow and parties become more familiar and comfortable with using a neutral not from the traditional powerhouse jurisdictions. The movement of some of these neutrals from more traditional seats has also contributed to this, with a lot of top ADR practitioners relocating their practice to Asia as a response to the increasing work they have been receiving from the region. Finally, governments in Asia have also THOUGHT LEADER 45 Government support, whether from the Singapore government or others, has been instrumental in driving change at many levels.

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