“America’s important security alliances across the Pacific need an economic underpinning.”  Ambassador Robert Zoellick, May 1, 2013 To use one of the Obama Administration’s favorite terms, the entry of Japan in April 2013 into the three-year-old Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations later this year is a “game-changer.”  Prior to Japan’s commitment as the 12th TPP partner,…

As reported yesterday, the recent tragedies in Bangladesh factories have resulted in a major breakthrough with the signing of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Thus far, leading retailers such as H&M, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Benetton, and Calvin Klein are on board. Notably absent from the list are leading U.S….

by Justin D’Agostino and Briana Young On 28 March 2013, Hong Kong gazetted The Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 2013. The Bill proposes amendments to Hong Kong’s Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 609) to implement an arrangement for mutual enforcement of awards between Hong Kong and Macao, allow for enforcement of emergency arbitrator decisions in Hong Kong, and provide…

and Matthew Lee* Introduction Last Wednesday, the international arbitration community in Australia won a significant victory. Indeed, in TCL Air Conditioner (Zhongshan) Co Ltd v The Judges of the Federal Court of Australia [2013] HCA 5 (13 March 2013), S178/2012, the Australian High Court (“Court”) dismissed a challenge to the constitutionality of the International Arbitration…

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…