George Lim SC
Office:
133 New Bridge Road
#19-09/10 Chinatown Point
059413
City:
Singapore
Country:
Singapore
Tel:
+65 6533 2228

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders

George Lim was called to the Bar in 1981, and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2010. He was president of the Law Society of Singapore between 1998 and 1999, and currently chairs the Singapore International Mediation Centre. George is a highly sought-after mediator in commercial and cross-border disputes. He serves on the board of the International Mediation Institute, and is Singapore’s mediation consultant at UNCITRAL. George is the co-editor of Mediation in Singapore: A Practical Guide.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO A CAREER IN MEDIATION?

The benefits to parties, and the satisfaction of seeing parties resolve their disputes themselves.

IN WHICH INDUSTRY SECTORS IS MEDIATION STILL UNDERUSED AS A FORM OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION?

Mediation is generally underused in most industry sectors. However, this is slowly changing with greater awareness. With the setting-up of the Singapore International Mediation Centre, we are seeing an increase in cross-border commercial disputes being mediated in Singapore. In time, I see mediation being the first resort for businesses when there is a dispute.

HOW COMPETITIVE IS THE SINGAPORE MARKET FOR MEDIATORS AND MEDIATION PROVIDERS?

The mediation scene in Singapore has grown tremendously in the past five years. Mediation is now commonly practised in the courts. Both the Singapore Mediation Centre and the Singapore International Mediation Centre have seen a rise in domestic and international mediations. Many professionals (not just lawyers) have become interested in mediating cases, so there is a fair amount of healthy competition, which is good for users.

WHAT STEPS NEED TO BE TAKEN FOR MEDIATION TO BE SEEN AS EQUAL TO ARBITRATION AND LITIGATION AS A FORM OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION?

More publicity, awareness and support from policymakers. Eventually, society needs to view mediation as fostering a cultural change in how we manage our differences and disputes in life. It’s not just about settling a case or clearing the backlog of court cases.

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE MAJOR CHANGES IN THE FIELD OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR CAREER OVER 30 YEARS AGO?

Most litigation lawyers in Singapore now accept mediation as part of the dispute resolution scene. Many have seen the benefits, and are now mediators or mediation advocates.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG PRACTITIONERS LOOKING TO ESTABLISH A PRACTICE IN THE AREA OF MEDIATION?

It is possible, but more difficult to get appointed as a mediator when you are young. But persevere; start by volunteering and co-mediating. You will get there.

WHAT QUALITIES MAKE A SUCCESSFUL MEDIATOR?

People skills, the ability to help parties solve their problems and a good heart!

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS IN YOUR CAREER THUS FAR?

To be known as a mediator who cares for the parties and who is able to help them achieve a positive outcome most of the time.

Biography:

Who's Who Legal Mediation

George Lim was called to the Bar in Singapore in 1981. He was appointed senior counsel in 2010, and was president of the Law Society of Singapore between 1998 and 1999. George is the chairman of the Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) and is Singapore's mediation consultant to UNICITRAL working group II on conciliation.

George is an IMI-certified mediator. He did his mediation training in 1996 at the CEDR, and later, at Harvard. In 1997, he helped to set up the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC).

George is a full-time mediator and mediates one or two cases a week. He has successfully mediated many complex cross-border disputes. His mediation practice covers banking, finance, joint ventures, construction, professional negligence, partnerships, family and other disputes. George has also conducted mediation training for judges and lawyers in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Philippines, Fiji, Myanmar, Dubai, Bahrain and Japan.

George is on the panel of arbitrators of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). In 2003, he was appointed the Dispute Resolution Counsellor of the National Electricity Market of Singapore, and manages the dispute management process of the electricity market.

George served as the first chairman of the Asian Mediation Association (2009–2010). He currently serves on the boards of the SIMC, SMC and the International Mediation Institute (IMI). In 2013 George co-chaired a working group, appointed by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and the Ministry of Law, to make recommendations on developing Singapore into a centre for international commercial mediation. He is the co-author of Mediation in Singapore: A Practical Guide.

WWL says: George Lim SC is praised as a leading mediator in Singapore by respondents, and is very well respected for his broad range of expertise in international commercial disputes.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Commercial Mediation which can be purchased from our Shop.

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