In the case of HKL Group Co Ltd v Rizq International Holdings Pte Ltd the Singapore High Court (the “High Court”) has considered whether an arbitration clause in a contract which provided for disputes to be settled by arbitration in Singapore by a non-existent institution under the rules of the ICC was inoperable. The High…

By Justin D’Agostino, Martin Wallace and Yi-Shun Teoh The Year of the Snake has begun auspiciously for arbitration in Hong Kong, with a recent decision of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (“CFA”) underlining once again the jurisdiction’s arbitration-friendly credentials and the reluctance of its courts to interfere with the arbitral process and arbitral…

On 2 November 2012, President Thein Sein approved, after several months of intense debate between Parliament and the Government, Myanmar’s new Foreign Investment Law (‘FIL’ or ‘the Law’).  The new Law revises the framework for foreign investment in Myanmar which had been in place since a military coup in 1988. Considering the country’s abundant natural…

by Kah Cheong Lye (Partner) and Chuan Tat Yeo (Associate), Norton Rose (Asia) LLP Like computer programs, the length of time between updates for institutional rules seems to get shorter and shorter. New editions of institutional arbitral rules were introduced by the SIAC in 2010, the ICC in 2012, and the HKIAC’s revised Administered Arbitration…

In International Research Corp PLC v Lufthansa Systems Asia Pacific Pte Ltd [2012] SGHC 226 (per Chan Seng Onn J) (“International Research”), the Singapore High Court addressed the issue of whether an arbitration clause contained in one contract between two parties binds a third party who subsequently enters into a supplemental agreement with the original…

Arbitration is underpinned by natural justice. Article 18 of the Model Law, enshrining the right of the parties to be treated with equality, and given a full opportunity to present their case, was described by UNCITRAL in 1985 as the “Magna Carta of Arbitral Procedure”. Yet the Model Law does not in Articles 34 and…

In Astro Nusantara International BV v PT Ayunda Prima Mitra [2012] SGHC 212, the Singapore High Court set out the available recourse against an international arbitration award made in Singapore. This case has significant implications for Singapore as a seat of arbitration, and this note contrasts the position between Singapore and Hong Kong against the…

By Justin D’Agostino, Tracy Wu and Briana Young The Hong Kong Court of Appeal recently awarded indemnity costs against an applicant who attempted unsuccessfully to set aside an arbitral award. In a decision that many will welcome, the Hong Kong court has sent another strong message of support for the finality of the arbitral process….

In Shanghai Construction (Group) General Co. Singapore Branch v Tan Poo Seng [2012] SGHCR 10, the Singapore High Court granted a temporary stay of proceedings in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction. The stay was granted on the ground that there was an arbitration which was intended to take place and the outcome of that arbitration…

Confidentiality is often a distinguishing reason why users choose arbitration over court litigation. In a 2010 International Arbitration Survey on Choices in International Arbitration, 62% of respondents said confidentiality was very important to them. Last month, a contributor to this blog observed anecdotally that in-house counsel want confidentiality especially in industries in which a dispute…

The Obama Administration’s only current regional trade negotiations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), continue slowly toward a possible conclusion in 2013, with 12 rounds of negotiations having been completed as of the end of May 2012. A major element of a re-energized American focus on political, security and economic considerations in Asia, the TPP if it…

In recent years, Korea has become an object of some attention in the international arbitration field. But less than 15 years ago, there was no “arbitration field” in Korea to speak of. I, myself, was a maritime lawyer and it was only a twist of fate – the request of a client – that put…

The HKIAC has launched a consultation process to consider modifications to its Administered Arbitration Rules, which came into force on 1 September 2008 (the “Rules”). Users of the Rules have been invited to comment on proposed amendments outlined in a HKIAC consultation paper dated 15 December 2011. A copy of the consultation paper can be…

At the Herbert Smith Singapore Management University Asian Arbitration Lecture delivered by Michael Hwang SC on 4 August 2011, Hwang SC discussed incisively issues concerning the enforcement of arbitral awards concerning contracts allegedly tainted by corruption. Less than three weeks after that seminal lecture, the Singapore Court of Appeal in AJU v AJT [2011] SGCA…

In Galsworthy Ltd of the Republic of Liberia v Glory of Wealth Shipping Pte Ltd [2010] SGHC 304 (“Galsworthy”), the Singapore High Court held that a losing party to an arbitration seeking to challenge an arbitral award had the “alternative and not cumulative options” of applying to set aside the award, or, applying to set…

The new Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 609) (the “Ordinance”) comes into effect today, having been approved by the Hong Kong Legislative Council at the end of last year. The Ordinance represents the culmination of many years of discussion and consultation and marks a significant milestone in the development of Hong Kong as a world-class…

The Singapore Court of Appeal issued a decision recently articulating a principled framework for the arbitrability of insolvency-related claims. It provides useful guidance on when an insolvency-related claim would be considered non-arbitrable under Singapore law. In seeking to strike the delicate balance between its robust pro-arbitration stance and its insolvency regime, the Court’s underlying philosophy…

Will a court injunct arbitral proceedings if parties, before an arbitration hearing, allegedly reach a settlement agreement and a dispute subsequently arises over the existence of such an agreement? Is the tribunal functus? Recently, the Singapore High Court in Doshion Ltd v Sembawang Engineers and Constructors Pte Ltd [2011] SGHC 46 (“Doshion”) rightly held that…

The SIAC dispenses hospitality to the legal profession in Singapore on a regular basis, as part of its “outreach” efforts to what I suppose we can describe as its local client base. The latest of these events took place at the end of January at the Helipad — a dimly lit bar with, disappointingly, no…

Hong Kong has unveiled its new Arbitration Ordinance. We take a look in this blog at how this is likely to affect parties and practitioners dealing with, or considering, arbitration in Hong Kong. After a lengthy and detailed consultation process, the Hong Kong Legislative Council has passed the new Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 609) (‘new Arbitration…

Last year, around this time, I offered a list of 10 investor-state arbitral awards I hoped to see in 2010. If time permits, I may do another list for 2011. But, first I thought I’d take a look back at last year’s list and offer a brief update on those cases. Rather, than do all…

In two recent decisions, the Singapore High Court reaffirmed its stance on minimal intervention in arbitration proceedings. The two decisions were made against different sets of circumstances but the Court nonetheless abided by its policy of minimal intervention. This posting examines the two recent decisions, in particular, the approach taken by the High Court. In…

In the past twenty years the world of investment arbitration has taken the commercial world by storm. There are over 2,750 bilateral investment treaties and almost every one of them has an arbitration provision. Investment arbitration is now a prominent feature of the arbitration landscape. Just as BITs have proliferated in recent years, so too…

There are some interesting comments in the live blog of the UNCTAD International Investment Agreements Conference from the likes of Todd Weiler, Susan Franck, and Jason Yackee. (You can also watch the proceedings here). Much substance in the coverage, but also some fun. Here’s a taste: Todd Weiler: As I see Prof Franck is performing…