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SCRIBE - a new initiative to settle small claims in maritime

Photo: LWP.SG LWP Portrait (002).jpg
Lee Wai Pong
A new initiative to settle small claims in maritime and oil and gas – SCRIBE or Small Claims Resolved Informally by Experts – administered by LWP.SG Consultants in Singapore, has been soft launched.

A private venture SCRIBE is the brainchild of well-known Singapore maritime executive and arbitrator Lee Wai Pong, and is aimed at the quick and cost effective resolution of small claims of up to around the SGD50,000 ($36,500) mark or are relatively straightforward.

The small claims procedure has taken Lee two years to put together, with help and advice from the panel of experts, and would appear to be unique in the world of maritime in that it is a private forum for dispute resolution rather than backed by a particular government or jurisdiction.

SCRIBE sets out an abbreviated process for dispute resolution process with decision made by a legal expert drawn from a panel that has been assembled by LWP.SG Consultants.

The SCRIBE process takes around two months to complete and has strict limits the volume of disclosures and submissions. It features compulsory oral hearings of 45 minutes, practical disclosures are limited to 10 pages, and written submissions of a maximum of 1,500 words. The parties do not engage professional advocates.

Lee sees SCRIBE as useful service for disputes that are too small to be settled cost effectively by the parties involved engaging lawyers.

Costs are fixed at SGD3,000 for the legal expert to decide on the claim, while LWP.SG Consultant’s administrative fee is fixed at SGD300.

LWP.SG Consultants have assembled a panel of 11 legal experts, including Lee himself, and well-respected maritime law professionals such as Andrew Moran QC, Jonathan Lux, Denys Hickey, and Tony Goldsmith. There is no appeals procedure once a decision has been rendered.

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