Why Is Arbitration Preferred In Commercial Dispute Resolution?

Arbitration Lawyer Singapore Commercial Dispute Resolution

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a way to resolve civil or commercial disputes outside of the courts. It is a form of alternative or commercial dispute resolution and the decision of the arbitrator(s) is legally binding on both parties.

An arbitrator is a third-party appointed by both parties to arbitrate the matter at hand. He (or she) is normally an expert in the subject of the dispute, and has had formal training in arbitration. He does not have to be a lawyer but has to be neutral to both parties.

In the commercial arbitration process, the arbitrator will conduct a “mini trial” with both parties giving testimony and give evidence. It is usually less formal than a trial. The arbitrator will ask questions or request additional documentation. He looks into the legal rights and wrongs of a dispute, the evidence given and his expert knowledge in the field to render his decision. His decision is final and cannot be appealed.

Why is Arbitration Preferred ?

Compared to litigation (where a dispute is resolved with the assistance of the Courts), arbitration is preferred because:
  • The arbitration process is faster (disputes may be heard immediately instead of waiting for a court date).
  • An arbitrator is decided on by both parties as opposed to a judge who will be assigned by the Courts. For highly technical cases, this may be better, as the parties may appoint someone whose expertise and opinions/decisions they both respect.
  • Arbitration costs are normally lower and limited to arbitrator's fees (depending on the size of the claim, expertise of the arbitrator and other legal expenses) and fees of the arbitration lawyer.
  • Arbitration is confidential and not open to public viewing like in a court trial.
  • Arbitration does not require full disclosure of documents from both parties (limited evidence process). No subpoenas, interrogatories and no discovery processes are needed.

What is an Arbitration Agreement and Should I Have One?

Arbitration Lawyer Singapore

Parties cannot simply opt for arbitration unless an arbitration agreement has been signed by parties. An arbitration agreement is a written contract in which two or more parties agree to arbitrate any dispute in the future, or a current dispute, instead of going to court. The arbitration agreement is usually, not always, a clause in a larger commercial agreement/contract.

Usually, arbitration agreements are signed at the beginning of a business relationship before there is any disagreement. There is also an option for parties to agree to arbitration once there is a conflict, and even after a court action has been commenced, if they wish to do so.

An arbitration lawyer will help you define the terms of the arbitration agreement.

For more information on arbitration agreements and how it can help your business in the event of a commercial dispute, contact our arbitration lawyers in Singapore.

Recent Arbitration Cases by RBN Chambers

Our arbitration lawyers from RBN Chambers are regularly engaged by businesses and individuals to represent them in domestic and international arbitration proceedings involving complex commercial disputes. 

The following are some of the commercial disputes RBN Chambers was instructed on:

Represented and successfully defended a listed company in India against an American company. The dispute involved the supply of steel to the America company. The arbitration was administered by the American Arbitration Association in New York, and governed by the Uniform Commercial Code.

Represented a foreign cricket board in an ad-hoc administered arbitration in Singapore before a panel of three arbitrators. The dispute involved the breach of a media rights agreement worth US$25 million that was governed by Bangladeshi law. The arbitration was governed by the UNCITRAL rules.

Represented an Australian company with an Indonesian conglomerate. The dispute was over a joint venture agreement with an Indonesian conglomerate for the mining of oil and gas in Indonesia. This was an SIAC-administered arbitration.

Represented a company based in the UK against a company based in Australia over a dispute involving an agreement governed by English laws for the supply of oil and gas. This was an LCIA-administered arbitration

Contact our arbitration lawyers in Singapore for further advice and assistance on commercial dispute resolution.