By Tom Feissner
According to a 2013 survey conducted by Global Arbitration Review, Singapore’s Maxwell Chambers alternative dispute resolution center is considered one of the top three ADR venues in the world by international arbitration attorneys. This comes as no surprise to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who first announced his country’s intention to become a hub of international arbitration back in 2002. At that time, Singapore already enjoyed a number of advantages over other ADR venues. Namely, it was one of few countries in Asia whose official language was English and whose legal system was based on English common law. In addition, Singapore was an early adopter of the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, having signed on in 1994.
What Singapore lacked, however, was the infrastructure necessary to encourage the world’s preeminent ADR organizations to maintain a presence within its jurisdiction. In 2005, the challenge of creating a suitable forum for international arbitration was taken up by the Singaporean Ministry of Law, which endeavored to create a facility that was not only functional and aesthetically pleasing, but also reflected Singapore’s unique culture and history. Today, Maxwell Chambers is home to a number of ADR organizations, including the American Arbitration Association, the ICC Court of Arbitration, and the Singapore International Arbitration Center.
One reason Maxwell Chambers has been described as the standard against which all other ADR facilities are judged is its commitment to functionality. Among its many amenities, the center boasts 12 arbitration rooms with an additional 12 breakout rooms, a fully equipped business center, an arbitrators’ lounge, videoconferencing facilities, and realtime translation and transcription of testimony. It also hosts no less than seven food and beverage outlets on the premises. Whatever Maxwell Chambers does not provide, such as transportation and hotel accommodations, can be obtained from one of the many local service providers with which the center has partnered. In this way, Maxwell Chambers ensures that all visitors to the center enjoy an experience that is both pleasant and productive.
What really makes Maxwell Chambers the jewel in the crown of ADR facilities, however, is not its commitment to functionality and comfort, but rather the sense of authority and dignity it imparts to the proceedings taking place within its time-honored halls. Built in the 1930s during the British colonial era, Maxwell Chambers is steeped in the history and tradition of Singapore, and served as the headquarters of the Department of Customs and Excise for over 60 years.
Now completely refurbished and renamed, Maxwell Chambers has been recognized for its exceptional architecture and design. The center was awarded the International Architecture Award for Best New Global Design in 2010 by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Two years later, the building was also awarded an Architectural Heritage Award by Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority. By seamlessly incorporating the best of Singapore’s history and tradition with the very latest in modern litigation support technology, Maxwell Chambers is sure to remain one of the world’s most preferred arbitration venues for many years to come. For more information about Maxwell Chambers, please visit their website at http://maxwellchambers.com/ To schedule a court reporter for an arbitration in Singapore, please contact us at (888) 433-3767 or fill out our international request form.