30 January 2023

On 12 January 2023, a litigation-mediation-litigation (“LML”) framework established by the Singapore International Commercial Court (“SICC”) and the Singapore International Mediation Centre (“SIMC”) came into effect. The LML framework seeks to promote the amicable resolution of international commercial disputes (“LML Protocol”). Parties can elect to include the LML Protocol at the contract negotiation stage by incorporating an LML model clause. The LML Protocol can also be incorporated at a later stage via a separate agreement.

The LML Protocol sets out the procedure under which disputes commenced in the SICC are to be referred to the SIMC for mediation, and the procedure to continue or terminate proceedings in the SICC on the conclusion of the mediation. Parties who have commenced proceedings with the SICC and are not guided by an LML Litigation-Mediation-Litigation clause in their contract may opt to mediate under this Protocol or be directed by the court to do so.

Upon commencement of mediation at the SIMC, the SICC may pause litigation proceedings for up to eight weeks. If the mediation is successful, parties may choose to have the settlement terms recorded as an order of court. If there is a partial settlement, parties are able to have the settled items recorded as an order of court and seek the SICC’s directions on the conduct of proceedings for the remaining issues in accordance with the SICC Rules 2021.

On the same day the LML Protocol came into force, the SICC announced the introduction of a jurisdiction model clause to aid parties in designating it as the supervisory court to hear International Arbitration Act 1994-related matters. Parties may incorporate this clause into their contracts, or at any other time such as after a dispute has arisen. The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) will also be including the clause as one of the options in its model clause, where the international arbitration is Singapore-seated.

Allen & Gledhill Partner Chong Yee Leong was part of the SICC Working Group on the jurisdiction model clause.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the Singapore Courts website www.judiciary.gov.sg, the Ministry of Law website www.mlaw.gov.sg, the SICC website www.sicc.gov.sg and the SIMC website simc.com.sg: