The concept of ‘waiver’ is a nebulous creature, crossing into the realms of estoppel, repudiation and variation. For the purposes of ss 7(2) and 7(5) of Australia’s International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth), Australian jurisprudence has distinguished between ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ waiver, as summarised in ACD Tridon v Tridon Australia [2002] NSWSC 896 (‘ACD Tridon’). ‘Strong’ waiver…

2020 saw important case law developments concerning the proper law of arbitration agreements, where the seat of the arbitration is in a different jurisdiction from the governing law of the main contract, particularly in the UK. However, various jurisdictions have adopted different approaches to this issue. It remains to be seen which jurisdictions will follow…

Today is the last day of 2020. For most of us, 2020 has been a particularly unusual year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prompted by necessity, arbitration in Southeast Asia adapted to the sea-change by: (i) using technology for virtual hearings, events and to build on existing diversity initiatives, (ii) developing domestic arbitration case law…

Singapore has emerged as one of the leading international arbitration centers not only in Asia but also in the world. To keep this title, the Singapore Ministry of Law (“Ministry of Law”) played a major role by keeping track on international and commercial legislative developments, and, adapting and framing innovative legislations to promote international arbitration….

The allocation of pre-award interest is a standard feature of most international arbitration proceedings and is often contested before a tribunal. The complexity is accentuated when a tribunal is unable to render a timely award for procedural reasons beyond its own control and beyond the parties’ control. The delay caused by the rescheduling of evidentiary…

In BBA and others v BAZ and another appeal [2020] SGCA 53, the Singapore Court of Appeal (“SGCA”), in refusing to set aside an arbitral award, held that issues of time bar which arise from the expiry of statutory limitation periods go towards admissibility and not jurisdiction. Such issues cannot therefore be reviewed de novo…

On 10 July 2020, a panel of arbitration practitioners discussed the topic of “Recent Developments and Key Arbitration Trends in Asia” as part of the 2020 Paris Arbitration Week. The panel discussion covered the distinctive features of and the latest developments in five different jurisdictions: Singapore, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and India. Hosted by…

While Hong Kong and Singapore legislated in 2017 to allow third party funding of arbitrations (“TPF”), both jurisdictions presently still bar “No-Win, No-Fee” and other outcome related fee arrangements between parties to arbitration and their lawyers. This is out-of-step with many other jurisdictions where outcome related fee arrangements are allowed on the basis that, like…

A special COVID-19-themed SIAC Philippines webinar took place on 18 June 2020. The webinar examined the availability of interim relief to parties to commercial disputes, both in international arbitration and through courts in the Philippines and Singapore, with the panel members sharing their observations on trends and changes since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic….

Introduction The use of virtual hearings is not new in international arbitration. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated, and accelerated, a shift from in-person hearings to virtual hearings. With travel bans in place and no visibility of when countries will open their borders again, in-person hearings will likely be the exception rather than the norm…

Due process is an essential aspect of international arbitration or, indeed, any contentious proceeding. Due process rules act as a shield for parties against unfairness. They ensure that the exercise of a tribunal’s jurisdiction is constrained, such that all parties are given a reasonable opportunity to present their cases. There has been a notable increase…

Public policy defences to the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards continue to generate uncertainty. Under Article V(2)(b) of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”), an award may be refused recognition or enforcement if “[t]he recognition or enforcement of the award would be contrary…

“I prefer to hope that this shift in perspective will be a chance for people, organisations, businesses, politics, whatever, to put so many of their ongoing disputes and conflicts aside because with this new perspective comes the realisation that these are not worth fighting. It is time to cooperate. May we go through and come…

In BNA v BNB and another [2019] SGCA 84 (“BNA”), the Singapore Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s ruling and provided authoritative guidance on the applicable principles in determining the proper law of an arbitration agreement. I discussed the High Court’s decision and the factual background in an earlier post. This post unpacks the…

Amidst the typical hustle and bustle of year-end festivities, our Southeast Asia editorial team takes a moment to look back on the arbitration developments in Southeast Asia in 2019.   New Free Trade Agreements and Developments in National Laws In 2019, states comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”) continued to demonstrate their commitment…

The Young SIAC (“YSIAC“) Conference 2019 took place earlier today in Singapore, attracting young arbitration practitioners from all across the globe. The theme of the 2019 Conference was “Arbitration 2.0 – Navigating New Frontiers in International Dispute Resolution”, which explored the impact of various trends, technologies and innovations in international arbitration. Nonetheless, while trends may…

When a party seeks to challenge the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal on the basis of the substantive invalidity of the arbitration agreement, the proper law of the arbitration agreement governs the inquiry. The prevailing approach adopted to determine the proper law of the arbitration agreement is the three-stage choice-of-law analysis set out in Sulamérica…

Introduction On 2 April 2019, the Supreme People’s Court and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region announced the signature of the “Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” (“Arrangement”). This announcement as…

“Conversation – respectful, engaged, reciprocal, calling forth some of our greatest powers of empathy and understanding – is the moral form of a world governed by the dignity of difference.” Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Dignity of Difference, quoted by Ian Macduff in “Signs of hope” Following on from yesterday’s post, this second post offers…

Much ink has been spilt on the legal consequences of remitting an award back to an arbitral tribunal vis-à-vis setting it aside. The Singapore Court of Appeal in the seminal decision of AKN v. ALC [2015] SGCA 63 has settled that remission is not possible after an award has been set aside. Rather, remission is…

The different approaches to arbitration between courts in Australia and Singapore have been illustrated in two cases in the last 2 years – KVC Rice Intertrade Co Ltd v Asian Mineral Resources Pte Ltd [2017] SGHC 32 and Hursdman v Ekactrm Solutions Pty Ltd [2018] SASC 112. The Singapore approach typified by KVC is to…

In Marty Ltd v Hualon Corporation (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd [2018] SGCA 63, the Singapore Court of Appeal held that an arbitral tribunal had no jurisdiction because the claimant in the arbitration (“Hualon”) had repudiated the arbitration agreement. Of most interest, the decision appears to create a presumption in Singapore law that commencing litigation in breach…

As an arbitration hub, Hong Kong has an enviable pedigree. The territory boasts a modern workable arbitration law, robust legal system, and a cohesive arbitration community. It is routinely ranked highly in indices of economic freedom; judicial independence; and perceived arbitration friendliness. In the Year of the Dog, Hong Kong’s authorities and institutions have continued…

As the end of the Year of the Dog approaches, we look back at five noteworthy developments in the arbitration world in PR China, Hong Kong and Central Asia and their coverage on our Blog. 1. New HKIAC Arbitration Rules and the Prominence of Hong Kong as an Arbitral Seat Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre…