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…

Hong Kong v. Singapore. It’s not the next big football match or title of an upcoming Japanese monster film. It’s the question of where to bring international arbitration claims in Asia. It’s a topic whispered at cocktail receptions and routinely reserved for hushed discussion in law firm conference rooms. It’s the topic rarely if ever…

Part I For some time practitioners would have seen news alerts headlining that third-party funding is now permitted in Singapore and Hong Kong for arbitration and arbitration-related court proceedings.  Digging a little deeper beyond the shiny new labels, this article highlights three practical “pitfalls’ which practitioners would have to be mindful of when dealing with…

Introduction On 10 October 2018, the Singapore Court of Appeal (“Court of Appeal”) issued its decision on the case of Marty Ltd v Hualon Corporation (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd [2018] SGCA 63 (“Marty v Hualon“) which concerned a dispute over the repudiation of an arbitration agreement. While the case contained a number of interesting issues, this…

On 26 April 2018, the Singapore High Court (“Court”), in China Machine New Energy Corp v Jaguar Energy Guatemala LLC and another [2018] – SGHC 101, has upheld an ICC award of a truly international nature. The case raised intriguing procedural questions in international arbitration: The impact of an “attorney-eyes-only order” (“AEO Order”), handling allegations…

Joint venture agreements increasingly provide for arbitration, allowing the JV partners to resolve matters privately.  Where a director of a JV company (or JV partners) is sued in his capacity as a director in relation to matters arising out of the joint venture agreement, can he also rely on the arbitration agreement in the joint…

Introduction The 2018 International Arbitration Survey: The Evolution of International Arbitration undertaken by the Queen Mary University and White and Case LLP found flexibility to be the third most valuable characteristic of international arbitration. The flexibility inherent in the arbitral process allows tribunals to conduct the proceedings (ideally) in an expeditious manner. One common method…

It is not uncommon for practitioners acting for claimants in an arbitration to encounter a respondent who chooses to boycott the arbitral process.  In cases involving such ‘non-participating’ respondents, what are the rights and obligations of each party? Specifically, insofar as Model law jurisdictions are concerned, if a Tribunal decides on jurisdiction as a preliminary…

Introduction The case of Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd v Avant Garde Maritime Services (Private) Limited [2018] SGHC 78 (“Rakna Arakshaka“) was a timely opportunity for the Singapore High Court (“SGHC”) to address a lacuna with respect to whether an award debtor who chooses not to raise jurisdictional challenges early in the arbitral proceedings, is later…

Article 16(3) of the Model Law provides in relevant part that, “if the arbitral tribunal rules as a preliminary question that it has jurisdiction, any party may request … the court … to decide the matter”. One question that arises is, to the extent issues of evidence arise, what rules of evidence should the court…

Hot on the heels of Singapore’s liberalising third party funding (TPF) for arbitration, Hong Kong followed with similar legislation. Keen to ensure the new regime works, the Singapore Ministry of Law is already seeking feedback on whether cases are being funded, businesses are benefiting from the liberalisation, and whether to expand third party funding. As…

The Singapore High Court in BQP v BQQ [2018] SGHC 55 (judgment rendered on 14 March 2018) (the “Judgment”) dismissed a challenge against an arbitration tribunal’s award on jurisdiction and in so doing confirmed that where parties have agreed that the tribunal shall determine the relevance, materiality, and admissibility of all evidence, the tribunal would…

2017 was a busy year for international arbitration. Taking a walk down memory lane, we saw new players and new industries entering the game, institutions adopting new rules, and we have some new challenges to tackle. This note summarizes some highlights and low lights in international arbitration during 2017 from across the globe. Happy Holidays…

On 1 September 2017, the ICCA QMUL Task Force on Third-Party Funding published its Draft Report for Public Discussion on Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration. The Task Force has developed principles with the aim of providing guidance to parties, counsel, arbitrators and national courts when facing third-party funding related issues arising in different contexts. Furthermore,…

Introduction Section 10 of the Singapore International Arbitration Act (“IAA”), allows a party to challenge an arbitral tribunal’s determination of its jurisdiction. Section 10(7) further provides that, where the Court rules under section 10 that the tribunal has no jurisdiction, it may make an order as to the costs of the arbitral proceedings. I was…

In a 172-page judgment, the Singapore High Court in Kingdom of Lesotho v Swissbourgh Diamond Mines (Pty) Limited [2017] SGHC 195 (Lesotho), set aside an investor-state arbitration award rendered against Lesotho after an extensive review of international investment jurisprudence. This is the second investor-state matter that has confronted the Singapore courts following Sanum Investments Ltd…