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Singapore converting world’s first integrated dispute resolution complex into smart facility

Singapore converting world’s first integrated dispute resolution complex into smart facility

Today Singapore’s Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and Maxwell Chambers launched
the “Smart Maxwell” initiative to convert Maxwell Chambers , the world’s first
integrated dispute resolution complex into the world’s first smart hearing
facility. It will use smart technology to offer more convenient, secure and
comfortable hearings for businesses, legal counsel, arbitrators and mediators.

Turning Maxwell Chambers into a smart hearing facility is
part of the Ministry of Law’s (MinLaw) larger plan to boost Singapore’s
position as an international dispute resolution hub.

This investment aims to ensure that Singapore continues to
have all the hallmarks of a great dispute resolution venue, with products and
services regularly refreshed and upgraded to stay ahead of the competition. It
complements the ongoing investment in infrastructure.

MinLaw is currently developing Maxwell Chambers Suites,
which will add 120,000 square feet of office space and triple Maxwell Chambers’
current capacity. When completed in 2019, Maxwell Chambers Suites will provide
50 new offices over four floors for international dispute resolution
institutions, arbitration chambers, law firms and ancillary services, and help
meet growing regional demand for dispute resolution services.

The smart solutions will be co-developed with users and
rolled out in Maxwell Chambers by the end of this year. It will be extended, in
Phase 2, to the adjacent Maxwell Chambers Suites and serve the 50 new offices
there when the new extension completes in 2019. The smart technology is
developed jointly with two Singapore tech start-ups, Habitap and Techmetics.

Features of “Smart Maxwell”

Features at the facility will include smart booking,
security, food and beverage, secretariat and concierge services, and a robot
named “Max” to deliver files and food within the four-storey building.

Users will be able to securely check into the hearing rooms
and offices through a single, customised application. Visitors attending
hearings and meetings at Maxwell Chambers will be issued a unique and encrypted
electronic access card through the application and they can tap into the rooms
with their mobile devices.

Organisers will be notified of their guests’ arrival as they
tap in through the turnstiles, providing users of Maxwell Chambers with fast
and private access to their hearings and meetings. In addition, the application
will enable users to control room settings such as lighting and
air-conditioning, as well as request for secretariat services such as

The multi-functional application will also act as a smart
concierge to connect Maxwell Chambers’ users with food and beverage, as well as
amenities in the vicinity. Users can order food from the participating
restaurants and eateries in the area directly. A delivery system featuring a
robot will be piloted to deliver documents and refreshments to hearings and
meetings efficiently.

Credit: Ministry of Law, Singapore

In addition, users will be able to track their expenditure
through the application. The application will provide them with a real-time
itemised billing of the services they have engaged. This also allows Maxwell
Chambers’ staff to speed up administrative and finance related functions.

The new solutions will be integrated with a revamped
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, bringing various aspects of the
services offered by Maxwell Chambers onto a singular, intelligent platform.


The use of smart technology will improve the ease of
administration and logistics and allow disputing parties to better focus on
their cases.

Besides better service, the adoption of technology will help
Maxwell Chambers boost productivity, meet growing demand, and result in
significant time and cost savings.

For example, currently, a user can spend up to half an hour
collecting the physical access cards and distributing them to each business
representative, legal counsel, arbitrator and/or mediator involved in the case,
as and when they arrive, before each of them can make their way to the assigned
room. In future, this will be instantaneous and automatic. Each individual will
be given secured access electronically and they can simply use their phones to
gain access. The total cost savings from the smart solutions are estimated to
be over half a million dollars a year.

The initiative, supported by local enterprise development
agency, Enterprise
, is also expected to generate more business opportunities for the
legal industry in Singapore, which serves clients seeking dispute resolution at
Maxwell Chambers.

Making Maxwell Chambers
a global venue of choice for dispute resolution

Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Ms Indranee
Rajah S.C. launched the “Smart Maxwell” initiative in a ceremony attended by 50
lawyers, arbitrators and mediators who are tenants and users of Maxwell

Ms Rajah said, “Maxwell Chambers is today one of the world’s
best dispute resolution facilities. However, we are not content to leave it at
that. In order to not just stay ahead of the competition, but also be the
global standard bearer, we must be prepared to take bold steps, push
boundaries, leverage technology, and create a unique experience synonymous with
the Maxwell brand that cannot be duplicated elsewhere, and which will make us
the global venue of choice for dispute resolution.”

Ms Katherine Yap, Chief Executive of Maxwell Chambers, said,
“Maxwell Chambers is today the world’s premier dispute resolution facility. But
competition is keen. Many have come here, from around the world, to see what we
have; it is not difficult to replicate these. What is harder to replicate is
what we do and how we do it: a commitment to service, a spirit of innovation
and continuously improving, and a symbiotic partnership with the Government,
the profession, and the dispute resolution institutions and practitioners who
grow their work using our facility.”

Maxwell Chambers was set up in 2010 as the world’s first
integrated dispute resolution complex, offering both hearing facilities and
offices for international dispute resolution institutions, chambers, law firms
and ancillary services. In 2017, a record number of 204 cases were heard at
Maxwell Chambers, 10% more than 2016 and nearly double the number heard in
2010. The Singapore International Arbitration Centre, a frequent user of
Maxwell Chambers, has announced last month, a new record of 452 new cases in
2017, a 32% increase from the 343 cases filed in 2016.The Permanent Court of
Arbitration and the International Court of Arbitration of the International
Chamber of Commerce have recently announced that they will set up their case
management offices at Maxwell Chambers, to serve growing demand in Asia.

“We are proud to partner with Maxwell Chambers in their
journey to become a smart hearing centre. The benefits of adopting smart
solutions and leveraging technology to improve value offerings are key to
organisations remaining on the forefront of the current digital push. It shows
that every industry can tap into this potential and this announcement is an
exciting milestone for Singapore’s legal industry.” said Mr Franklin Tang,
Chief Executive Officer of property technology firm Habitap.


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