By Neal Price
Singapore is truly one of the most interesting city-states in all of Asia. With a colorful and varied history of fishing, trade, commerce, and even war, Singapore is positioned as also one of the most important cities in Asia.
Geography – Situated on the southern-most tip of the Malay peninsula in Southeast Asia, the city-state does not have a countryside, so there is nowhere for the city to expand. In November of 2013, the former Attorney General of Singapore stated that Singapore is the “most crowded society in human history” with “no pressure-release valve.” The population is expected to increase from 7,405 people per square kilometer to a staggering 10,000 people per square kilometer. People from all over Asia have come to make Singapore home, making it a true cultural melting pot.
Culture and Language – Because of the cultural mish-mash of people, Singapore has four official languages – English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. Malay is the national language; however, English is mostly used for business, government and in the schools. With so many languages floating around the city, there’s bound to be some combination of all of them; thus the birth of Singlish, a very interesting form of English that is widely used among the locals. Singlish is a quirky language, one of the main characteristics being syllables added to the end of words and phrases, such as “lah” or “leh.” Children begin speaking Singlish in homes before they learn Standard English in school, and most Singaporeans can flow from Singlish to English very fluently.
Ideal Hub for International Arbitration – Since the early 1990s, Singapore has become a global center for international arbitration. It is even eclipsing the dual powerhouses – London and Hong Kong (click here for more info). In 2012, Singapore passed a law to offer up to 50 percent tax reduction for law practices on income derived from arbitrations held in Singapore. That significantly benefited the Singapore International Arbitration Center, which has seen the number of cases handled rising from 188 in 2011 to 235 in 2012 to 259 in 2013.
For the above reasons and many others, business people, attorneys, arbitrators, and litigation support personnel flow in and out of the city-state on a daily basis. When planning your trip to Singapore to participate in arbitration, it is important to engage a litigation support firm with a long history in the area and with expertise specific to that of international arbitrations.
When choosing a firm, make sure that they understand the culture, have partnerships with other support personnel in the city (interpreters, etc.), and that they will be able to provide 24/7 customer and technical support in case any unforeseen challenges should arise.
Choosing the Right Technology – In today’s fast-paced technology world, it is important to decide which technologies you’ll need for your arbitration. Here are a few to consider in advance of your travels:
- Realtime Translation
Realtime technology allows lawyers and their teams to view the testimony as it’s being spoken. Quality realtime translation is performed by court reporters who can deliver an instant verbatim record of the proceeding at an extraordinarily high degree of accuracy. Expert realtime court reporters achieve this unique skill through years of honing their ability to process information quickly, building a comprehensive software “dictionary” of common words, names, and industry-related terms, as well as mastering the technical components necessary to display this exceptional skillset.
- Daily delivery of final, certified transcript
The transcript can be sent either electronically and/or printed, bound, and delivered before the next day’s proceedings.
- Rough draft
A rough draft of the transcript can be sent within an hour of the end of the day’s proceedings.
- After-the-fact transcription
Transcriptionists can skillfully transcribe audio files and produce a certified transcript.
- Printing of exhibits
Rather than shipping boxes of exhibits or hauling them around with you on an airplane, your support team can have the files printed on location and delivered to your hotel.
- Shredding of documents
Rather than shipping your unused exhibits or documents back home or taking them back on the airplane, your litigation support team can coordinate with local shredding vendors to destroy your documents and provide a certificate of destruction.
If you would like more information concerning arbitrations in Singapore, please email email@example.com or call 888-433-3767. Our International Scheduling team stands ready to assist you in Singapore or anywhere else you need us around the world.