Braddell Brothers LLP

» Publications, talks & presentations
» Singapore law
» Discovery & privilege
» eDiscovery & eDocument preservation
» Legal hold / Litigation hold
» Building an in-house eDiscovery team
» Litigation in Singapore
» Singapore litigation legislation & rules
» Enforcing a foreign judgment
» International arbitration
» Singapore arbitration legislation
» SIAC Rules
» Enforcing an arbitration award

Singapore litigation procedure

For information on litigation procedure in Singapore, please click the links below : Fair and expeditious hearings

The Singapore Supreme Court Annual Report 2010 states that in 2010, the Supreme Court received a total of 13,363 new civil and criminal matters. In the same period, a total of 13,137 matters were disposed of. The clearance rate for all civil and criminal matters for 2010 was reported to be 98%.

In terms of waiting times, trials for civil actions commenced less than 3 weeks after cases were set down for trial.

In our experience, civil / commercial cases in the High Court of Singapore generally take between 15 to 18 months to be disposed of.

A world-class judiciary

In a Political and Economic Risk Consultancy ("PERC") report, Singapore was ranked the second strongest judicial system in Asia among 12 jurisdictions surveyed, with Hong Kong viewed as the strongest.

In the 2010 International Institute for Management Development ("IMD") World Competitiveness Yearbook, Singapore topped the rankings under the criteria of "Legal and Regulatory Framework". Hong Kong and Malaysia ranked second and third respectively.

Electronic Filing System (EFS) / Integrated Electronic Litigation System (iELS or eLitigation)

Since 1997, Singapore lawyers have been able to file court documents electronically using the Electronic Filing System (EFS) operated by the Singapore courts. The system is today Internet-based, operational on a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week basis.

It is reported that at present, over 84% of court documents are filed electronically by more than 400 Singapore law firms via the EFS. On average, 2,000 documents are processed electronically daily.

In January 2013, a series of steps were put in place to replace the EFS with the Integrated Electronic Litigation System (iELS) also known as "eLitigation". The Supreme Court has already started using the iELS and the Subordinate Courts are expected to follow, soon.

To view the Supreme Court's iELS / eLitigation portal, please click here.

The iELS / eLitigation will be:

"the world's first "paperless" electronic court filing system. Traditional paper forms and documents will be traded in for electronic forms, which emphasise data capture over mere document capture."

The key functionalities of iELS / eLitigation include:
  • Streamlining and re-engineering of high volume litigation processes - With truly paperless filing, the filing process will enjoy greater efficiency
  • Information-based filing - Data capture (e.g. via XML and electronic forms) instead of only paper capture (e.g. document scanning), enabling the flexible re-employment of information as and when required
  • Active case management - Courts will be able to pro-actively track and manage pending matters
  • Litigation process management - Alerts and triggers will be designated to ensure that litigants do not miss critical deadlines
  • Electronic case file for lawyers - Lawyers will have access to all relevant documents at any time and any place with an Internet connection, for the duration of each case
  • Integrated due diligence checks - Due diligence checks to be integrated with the electronic filing process, doing away with the need for subsequent back-room reconciliation
  • Court calendaring - Optimal assignation of court hearing days to be achieved with the syndication of date/scheduling information captured via information-based filing
  • Access via SingPass - Convenient access to iELS for litigants via the Singapore government-wide Singapore Personal Access authentication system
Reasonable litigation costs

Litigation in Singapore generally costs much less than litigation in various other developed jurisdictions e.g. the United States of America, the United Kingdom.

Singapore lawyers are not allowed to charge clients on the basis of a contingency fee i.e. a 'success' fee. Litigation lawyers generally charge on the basis of actual work done or time spent, bearing in mind the complexity of the case and the size of the claim.

For more information on legal costs in Singapore, please visit the Law Society of Singapore's website by clicking here.

More information?

Should you require more information on Litigation in Singapore, please contact us by clicking here.

» back to top