SIAC signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Modern Arbitration of the Russian Federation

The last two years have seen considerable development of Russian arbitration law and practice, with changes to Russian arbitration law intended to enhance Russia’s market reputation as an arbitration-friendly jurisdiction.  In a further development, it was recently announced that the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and the Institute of Modern Arbitration (IMA) of the Russian Federation have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding intended to support and promote the development of international arbitration in Singapore and Russia. Continue reading

‘Bare’ arbitration clauses and the extent to which the Singapore court may assist

In K.V.C Rice Intertrade Co Ltd v Asian Mineral Resources Pte Ltd and another Suit [2017] SGHC 32 ("KVC Action") the Singapore High Court discussed the extent to which the Singapore courts and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, in its capacity as default appointing authority under the Singapore International Arbitration Act ("IAA"), are able to support and facilitate an arbitration commenced pursuant to a bare arbitration clause which specifies neither the place of arbitration nor the manner in which arbitrators are to be appointed.

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Singapore arbitration update: Third Party Funding and New SIAC Rules 2016

This week has seen two major developments in Singapore arbitration. First, Singapore's Ministry of Law has published draft legislation to legalise and regulate third party funding for arbitration (and arbitration-related litigation and mediation) in Singapore. Second, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) confirmed the release of the sixth edition of its Rules: the SIAC Rules 2016, to come into effect on 1 August 2016.

Below we explain briefly the effect of the proposed legislation and the SIAC Rules 2016.  More in-depth analysis will follow.

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SIAC launches updated rules

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has announced the launch of updated Arbitration Rules (2016 Rules), replacing the 2014 version. We understand that the 2016 Rules introduce a number of new features, designed to ensure that they reflect current best practice. These include provisions on consolidation, joinder and disputes under multiple contracts, as well as a provision – unique among arbitral institutions – for early dismissal of claims and defences that are "manifestly without legal merit or manifestly outside the jurisdiction of the Tribunal".

Although the 2016 Rules were announced to be effective on 1 June, they are still subject to final review. We will publish a more detailed analysis as soon as the rules are publicly available.

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SIAC reports on arbitration rules review progress and announces new investment arbitration rules

As previously reported (see our previous blog posts here), the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) is undertaking a review of its rules.  SIAC Court of Arbitration President, Gary Born, has recently provided further details of the review, including some potentially significant developments.   Among the substantive amendments being considered for the 2016 rules are the introduction of specific rules concerning multiple contracts, joinder and consolidation, as well as improvements to the existing emergency arbitrator and expedited arbitration procedures.  Such developments will be welcomed by practitioners and end-users alike.

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SIAC announces review of the SIAC Arbitration Rules

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has this week announced that it is formally commencing the process of reviewing the SIAC Arbitration Rules (the Rules) with a view to issuing an updated version in mid-2016. This update to the Rules will encompass recent developments in international arbitration practice and procedure, and attempt to better serve the needs of the businesses, financial institutions and governments that use SIAC. Continue reading

The Singapore High Court reiterates its reluctance to set aside arbitral awards except in “egregious cases”

In the case of Coal & Oil Co. LLC v GHCL Ltd [2015] SGHC 65, the Singapore High Court took the opportunity to reinforce that a party seeking to set aside an arbitral award on the grounds of breach of natural justice is a serious matter requiring a high evidential threshold, and will be limited to only “egregious cases where the error is clear on the face of the record.”

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SIAC issues Practice Note on the appointment of administrative secretaries

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has issued a Practice Note on the appointment of administrative secretaries. The brief practice note provides guidance on when a secretary may be appointed and the basis on which a secretary can be remunerated. The note does not cover the scope of a secretary’s duties in SIAC arbitrations, leaving this instead to be agreed between the parties. The issuance of the note is timely given the increased use of administrative secretaries in international arbitration. Continue reading

The Chronicles of Insigma: the Latest Instalment

Alstom v Insigma, the (in)famous SIAC arbitration administered under ICC rules, was recently up for yet another round of judicial sparring following years of proceedings in several fora, which left Alstom Technology Limited (“Alstom”) with a HK$261 million award but limited assets against which to execute. In an interesting strategic move, Alstom petitioned the Court of First Instance in Hong Kong (the “Court”) to wind up Insigma Technology Co Ltd (“Insigma”), even though Insigma is incorporated in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC” or “Mainland”). The Court, however, demonstrated that fortune does not always favour the brave and ultimately rejected the application.

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SIAC emergency arbitrator awards – a speedier route to interim relief before the Indian Courts?

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (the SIAC) introduced emergency arbitrator provisions in its arbitration rules in July 2010 and has had 34 applications filed before it to date where parties have asked for an emergency arbitrator to be appointed. The SIAC further reports that 9 out of the 34 emergency arbitrator applications have involved Indian parties (5 where the Indian party was the respondent and 4 where Indian parties were both the claimant and the respondent).

An emergency arbitrator is typically approached by parties where the Tribunal has not been constituted and a party may require urgent interim relief including, amongst others, orders for preservation of properties, freezing accounts, orders against the dissipation of assets etc. Seeking relief from an emergency arbitrator is increasingly been chosen as an alternative to seeking injunctive relief from the courts (in support of the arbitration). According to statistics released by the SIAC, the average time taken by an emergency arbitrator to pass an award after having heard the parties ranges from 8-10 days, with the shortest period being 2 days to pass an award.

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