In-house lawyers spend hours working on the details of the contract ensuring that all decisions of the stakeholders have been accurately reflected. They are relieved to know that their job is done once the signatures are collected on the final draft, but it is not likely so in the real world that most of us live in.

According to our statistics, there has been a strong growth in its caseloads for 2015, with 520 new dispute cases, recording the highest number since 2010. Arbitration has been continually growing as a popular mechanism for dispute resolution, evidenced by the number of international arbitration cases on the rise globally. For in-house counsel, it has become essential that you are prepared to participate in the arbitral process should your company ever become a party in an arbitration case.


One of the most common mistakes we all tend to make during the contract drafting process is that we fail to pay enough attention to dispute resolution clauses. To be realistic, dispute resolution clauses will never attract the same amount of attention as the commercial terms do (unless you do end up having a dispute and are forced to give tremendous amount of attention), but they do deserve much more attention.

It is important for in-house counsel to recognise and to advise management of the significance of a well-drafted dispute resolution clause and how it can save both time and cost should the relationship with the partner ever go sour. In negotiating the dispute clause, you need to first consider what type of dispute resolution mechanism would be more suitable for the transaction at issue.

Oct-Dec 2016 issue