Singapore: Arb-Med-Arb: Connecting The Dots Between Arbitration And Mediation

Last Updated: 14 August 2018
Article by Sharon Lin and Daniel Cheong

In the recent years, the “Arb-Med-Arb” process has gained traction as a dispute resolution mechanism. The process of “Arb-Med-Arb” (the short form for Arbitration-Mediation-Arbitration) entails exactly what its name suggests: the commencement of arbitration proceedings, followed by mediation to attempt an amicable resolution, followed by continuation of arbitration proceedings if mediation was unsuccessful.

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”) and the Singapore International Mediation Centre (“SIMC”) have formalised their very own SIAC-SIMC Arb-Med-Arb Protocol (“AMA Protocol”) to handle disputes in accordance with an “Arb-Med-Arb” clause. It is noteworthy that parties can also agree to submit their dispute for resolution under the AMA Protocol even if there was no prior agreed “Arb-Med-Arb” clause.

While the “Arb-Med-Arb” process may be conducted out differently in other jurisdictions, in our considered view, the key aspects of “Arb-Med-Arb” are encapsulated under the AMA Protocol which we describe below:

a) Pursuant to the “Arb-Med-Arb” clause or as otherwise agreed by parties, the arbitration is commenced in accordance with the applicable arbitration rules.

b) After exchanging the Notice of Arbitration and Response to the Notice of Arbitration (“arbitration pleadings”), the arbitration is stayed.

c) Under the AMA Protocol, the case file with all documents lodged by parties will then be sent by the SIAC to the SIMC where the mediation will be conducted.

d) If the dispute is not been settled by mediation (whether partially or entirely), the arbitration proceeding will resume in respect of the remaining part of the dispute.

The difference between Arbitration and Mediation

To the uninitiated, the phrases “arbitration” and “mediation” may be misunderstood to be the same. However, save that both arbitration and mediation allows the dispute to be kept private and confidential, they are otherwise vastly different.

The process of arbitration entails the adjudication of the dispute of by a tribunal, most often consisting of an odd number of arbitrators. An arbitrator need not be a practitioner of law and can be a practitioner of the industry which the dispute arises from. Ultimately, the arbitral tribunal will decide on the matter after a private hearing of each party's case. To a significant extent, this process mirrors the litigation process, except that court proceedings are public and it is the Judiciary who will decide on the matter.

On the other hand, mediation is essentially the facilitated negotiation between parties. It does not involve any adjudication, and any settlement arising from mediation must be reached by consent and without coercion. The mediator plays a critical role in allaying hostilities, helping parties find common ground and encouraging compromise where necessary. It should also be noted that the discussions and negotiations in a mediation are private without prejudice to the concurrent arbitration or litigation proceedings.

Why Arb-Med-Arb?

The common question about “Arb-Med-Arb” is whether the initial arbitration is even necessary, and whether a simpler “Med-Arb” process is more effective to help parties to save time and costs. However, any practitioner with sufficient experience in mediation will explain that it is unwise to attempt mediation before each party has sufficient understanding of its own and its opponent's case. This is even more so where the dispute is multi-faceted or acrimonious.

For this reason, the “Arb-Med-Arb” process stays the initial arbitration proceeding only after the arbitration pleadings have been exchanged. The principle behind this is that by having parties formulate and state their case in the arbitration pleadings, the scope of the dispute will be sufficiently outlined to allow them to adequately prepare for the mediation, on both the merits of their case as well as their readiness to negotiate in good faith. This discourages parties from using the mediation session as a fishing expedition to supplement their case in the litigation or arbitration.

It is also noted that under the AMA Protocol, the case file and all documents are also forwarded from SIAC to SIMC for the mediation. This not only ensures that the necessary information will be available to all parties (including the mediator) at the mediation, but also saves the time and costs of having to reproduce or recreate the same materials. This unique partnership between the SIAC and SIMC in Singapore is laudable as it further streamlines the entire process.

While the simpler “Med-Arb” is not ineffective in itself, the growing traction of “Arb-Med-Arb” shows the recognition that the more comprehensive “Arb-Med-Arb” may well be the way forward for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

Sample Arb-Med-Arb clause

The SIAC and SIMC have provided a sample “Arb-Med-Arb” clause, which we reproduce below and in italics the portions which are subject to change depending on the agreement of parties

Any dispute arising out of or in connection with this contract, including any question regarding its existence, validity or termination, shall be referred to and finally resolved by arbitration administered by the [Singapore International Arbitration Centre ("SIAC")] in accordance with the [Arbitration Rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre ("SIAC Rules")] for the time being in force, which rules are deemed to be incorporated by reference in this clause.

The seat of the arbitration shall be .

The Tribunal shall consist of [Three] arbitrator(s).

The language of the arbitration shall be .

The parties further agree that following the commencement of arbitration, they will attempt in good faith to resolve the Dispute through mediation at the [Singapore International Mediation Centre ("SIMC")], in accordance with the [SIAC-SIMC Arb-Med-Arb Protocol] for the time being in force. Any settlement reached in the course of the mediation shall be referred to the arbitral tribunal appointed by [SIAC] and may be made a consent award on agreed terms.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions