Law Society Arbitration Scheme

The Law Society Arbitration Scheme ('LSAS') is a legal dispute resolution scheme first conceived by the Law Society of Singapore in 2005, and launched on 1 August 2007, to address the growing demand for quick and cost-effective ways to resolve civil and commercial disputes. The LSAS provides to the general public a process to resolve disputes by means of a system of arbitration that is quick and user-friendly. If an LSAS arbitration is conducted in its intended spirit, the scheme can facilitate time and cost savings for parties.

With effect from 12 April 2012, the Alternative Dispute Resolution ('ADR') Committee of the Law Society has also implemented a pro bono arbitration scheme (“Pro Bono Arbitration Scheme”) via the umbrella of the LSAS, with the aim of supporting the Presumption of ADR Scheme by the Subordinate Courts. The ADR options offered under the Presumption of ADR Scheme are mediation, neutral evaluation and arbitration under the LSAS.

Disputes suitable for arbitration under the LSAS

The LSAS can be applied to all kinds of civil disputes, although the streamlined procedure is designed to expedite resolution of less complex claims. Besides general commercial disputes, the LSAS can be used to arbitrate disputes in the areas of employment, tenancy, renovation works, media, entertainment and travel amongst others. Over time and with familiar usage, it is hoped that the LSAS can help to demystify traditional perceptions that legal disputes can only be resolved through long and expensive lawsuits.

Important features of the LSAS

Some important features are as follows:

  • A simple arbitration procedure to make the LSAS user-friendly.

  • Parties are free to agree on their own arbitrators and thereby maintain party autonomy.

  • The LSAS is designed for a speedy resolution of disputes between parties. A quick resolution of disputes will save costs compared to long drawn litigation.

    • In an arbitration with a substantive hearing, the arbitrator shall publish his final award expeditiously and as far as practicable no later than 120 days from the commencement of arbitration (subject to adjustments by the arbitrator).

    • In a “Documents-only” arbitration, the arbitrator shall publish his final award expeditiously and as far as practicable no later than 90 days from the commencement of arbitration (subject to adjustments by the arbitrator).

  • For matters where the sum in dispute is not more than S$60,000:

    • Arbitrations are, by default, conducted on a 'documents only' basis, unless parties opt for a hearing.

    • The arbitrator’s fees shall be no more than 10% of the total sum in dispute, subject to a minimum of $2,000.

    • A scale for party-and-party costs applies.

  • Further, for matters where sum in dispute is not more than $20,000, the Pro Bono Arbitration Scheme will also be applicable:

    • Arbitrations are, by default, conducted on a 'documents only' basis, unless parties opt for a hearing.

    • The sole arbitrator will waive his or her fees for the matter.

  • The provision of facilities for the conduct of the arbitration at competitive rates by the Law Society of Singapore adds to the convenience of the LSAS.

The LSAS Panel of Arbitrators

Parties under the LSAS can choose an arbitrator from the LSAS Panel of Arbitrators ('Panel'). All arbitrators from the Panel are experienced lawyers who have satisfied the minimum criteria of arbitrator accreditation and arbitration experience set by the Law Society of Singapore.

The list of Panel members can be viewed here.

Fees

An arbitrator's fees under the LSAS is fixed according to a scale prescribed by the Law Society.

Click here for a copy of the current LSAS Scale Fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

For a list of frequently asked questions on the LSAS, please click here.

Contact Us

For queries on the LSAS, please e-mail represent@lawsoc.org.sg.