SIAC hosted its annual India conference in Bangalore on Friday 26 September 2014 at the Vivanta by Taj Hotel. Along with our co-organiser, the Confederation of Indian Industry, SIAC hosted over 80 attendees from Singapore and across India including both in-house counsel and disputes as well as corporate lawyers from private practice.
India is an important market for SIAC. In 2013, the highest number of cases at SIAC was generated by Indian parties, who accounted for over one-third of SIAC’s total new caseload.
The theme for this year's India conference was ‘Protecting Business Interests through International Arbitration in an Evolving Indian Economy’. The inaugural session included a welcome speech by Mr John Savage, Vice-President of the SIAC Court of Arbitration, followed by the keynote address delivered by the Guest of Honour, Justice Vinoodh Coomaraswamy, Honourable Judge of the Supreme Court of Singapore. A special address was also delivered on behalf of CII by Mr Abhishek Goenka, Partner of BMR Associates and member of CII’s Karnataka State Council.
Some of the conference sessions were centred around the SIAC arbitration training video to demonstrate the workings of modern institutional arbitration under the SIAC Rules, as well as SIAC's popular Emergency Arbitrator process. This was the first time that the SIAC Training Video had been used in India and it was very well received by the audience. Delegates commented that the Training Video helped them gain a deeper understanding of the procedural intricacies of an international arbitration, and gave them a useful insight into the types of issues that typically arise. The remainder of the conference programme included an overview of topics of interest to Indian audiences on the practicalities of international arbitration, the Indian Law Commission’s proposed amendments to the [Indian] Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 and a technology-focused session which discussed whether and how disputes arising in the technology sector could be effectively tackled by arbitration.
The conference received positive feedback for the array of topics it covered and the interactive approach that was adopted by the distinguished panelists, who actively engaged the audience in informative discussions.
SIAC would like to thank its sponsors for their generous support. We would also like to thank our supporting organisations - the Indian Arbitration Forum, the Indian Corporate Counsell Association, ItechLaw, the Indian National Bar Association, CIArb (India Branch), and the Society of Indian Law Firms. SIAC especially thanks its Guest of Honour, Justice Vinoodh Coomaraswamy and its speakers for their interesting insights and contributions which made this event a tremendous success.
The main conference was followed by a half-day Young SIAC seminar on Saturday 27 September 2014. Speakers for the seminar included Mr Shreyas Jayasimha, Partner, Aarna Law, Mr Ankit Goyal, International Counsel, Allen & Gledhill and Ms Sapna Jhangiani, Legal Director, Clyde & Co. The topics of discussion were the difference in advocacy skills required for international arbitration as opposed to arbitration, the role of a junior counsel during an arbitration and the various means by which international institutional arbitration could be further developed in India. The audience contributed to interesting discussions on these topics.
International Commercial Arbitration under SIAC Rules
SIAC began this month with another successful Training Video roadshow, this time in Manila, on Thursday, 2 October at the Makati Shangri-La hotel. This training video workshop was jointly organised with the Philippine Institute of Arbitrators.
Over 180 delegates attended the workshop, comprising in-house counsel, lawyers from Philippine law firms, international law firms and Philippine government agencies. This was the first time that SIAC had held an event in Manila, and there was overwhelming response and much interest in the SIAC Training Video.
The SIAC Training Video is a unique and innovative tool that takes a viewer through all the key stages of the arbitral process. Almost the entire Video was shown at this workshop to give the delegates a visual guide of what happens during SIAC arbitration proceedings. Thereafter, panel discussions were held, involving practical exchanges and tips on institutional arbitration under the SIAC Rules, SIAC's popular Emergency Arbitrator special procedure, the efficient management of an international arbitration and the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, particularly in Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Delegates contributed to the panel discussions by sharing their experiences and raising interesting points of discussion.
SIAC would like to express its sincere thanks to the Philippine Institute of Arbitrators for their detailed planning and assistance rendered with all the arrangements for this event. SIAC would also like to thank the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution, the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc., the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, the Institute of Corporate Directors, the Management Association of the Philippines and the Office of the Solicitor General for supporting this event. Thanks also to all the speakers and sponsors for their participation and sponsorship support.
The SIAC roadshow will continue with its last workshop for this year in Tokyo.
SIAC Roadshow in Germany
SIAC has just returned from a roadshow around Germany.
SIAC has seen a rise in the number of cases involving German parties over recent years which reflects the growth in trade and investment between the two countries. Germany is Singapore’s largest trading partner among the EU countries, while Singapore is Germany’s most important economic partner in the ASEAN region. There are more than 1,300 German companies with a base in Singapore. The EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement concluded in December 2012 will be an added boost to the business relationship between Germany and Singapore.
SIAC was kindly invited by the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS) to take part in its annual Autumn Conference in Berlin. The theme of the conference was "Global Pond or Single Playing Field: How international should international arbitration really be?". The CEO of SIAC, Ms Lim Seok Hui, participated in an interesting panel session involving speakers from six different regions who discussed what international arbitration could learn from their region.
Following the conference, SIAC and DIS hosted a dinner for delegates at the historic Kaisersaal restaurant. This proved to be a very enjoyable end to the informative and thought-provoking DIS Autumn Conference.
SIAC also visited Munich and Frankfurt to present SIAC and provide an overview of recent developments in international arbitration in Singapore to lawyers and in-house counsel based in Germany.
SIAC would like to thank its sponsors and hosts for the Germany roadshow: DIS, Baker & McKenzie, Cleary Gottlieb, Clifford Chance, CMS Hasche Sigle, DLA Piper, Luther and Norton Rose Fulbright.
SIAC Arbitration Training Video Workshops
The SIAC Training Video roadshow continued this month with a successful workshop in Jakarta on Thursday, 21 August at the Mandarin Oriental hotel.
Approximately 170 delegates registered to attend the workshop, with about half the audience comprising in-house counsel and a third made up of lawyers from Indonesian and international law firms. Over recent years, Indonesia has consistently ranked among the top 3 foreign users of SIAC arbitration.
The SIAC Training Video is a unique and innovative tool that takes a viewer through all the key stages of the arbitral process. The workshop used a combination of the Video and panel discussions to give delegates a practical guide to international commercial arbitration and an insight into the workings of SIAC and its rules. The workshop also highlighted some of the popular features of SIAC arbitration, such as the Emergency Arbitrator special procedure and SIAC's multi-tiered process for the scrutiny of arbitral awards. Delegates contributed to interesting and informative discussions, in particular on the enforcement of arbitral awards in Indonesia.
SIAC would like to thank the Indonesian Corporate Counsel Association for supporting this event and all the speakers and sponsors for their participation and sponsorship support.
The SIAC roadshow will continue with events in Bangalore, Manila and Tokyo later this year. Please see the events page of our website for further details.
Mr Gary Born, Partner of WilmerHale and one of the world’s leading authorities on international arbitration and litigation, gave an evening talk on Monday 18 August 2014 to an audience of around 80 delegates. Mr Born’s talk, entitled “BG Group v Argentina; Conditions Precedent and Common Sense”, analysed multi-tier dispute resolution provisions and issues of interpretation, validity and remedies in commercial and investment arbitration. He also discussed the treatment of the US Supreme Court's decision in BG Group v Argentina. The audience agreed that Mr Born's analysis of this area of law was both informative and interesting. SIAC would like to thank Clifford Chance for hosting the event.
11 July 2014
Ms Lucy Reed, global head of the international arbitration group and co-head of public international law group, gave a lunchtime talk on Friday, 11 July 2014 to an audience of around 70 delegates. Ms Reed’s presentation titled “US-Style Discovery: Not What You Think”, focused on debunking the myths and misconceptions about the actual practice and scope of discovery in the US legal system by describing the origins and purposes of US discovery, and flagging which US discovery techniques do add value in international arbitration. SIAC would like to thank Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for hosting the event.
The SIAC Training Video roadshow is well underway with events held in Shanghai on Thursday, 26 June 2014, Hangzhou on Friday, 27 June 2014 and Seoul on Tuesday, 1 July 2014.
The workshops use a combination of SIAC's innovative arbitration training video and panel discussions to provide a practical guide to all the key aspects of an SIAC international arbitration.
SIAC and SHIAC co-hosted the Shanghai International Arbitration Forum workshop - a practical guide to international arbitration at the Mandarin Oriental, Pudong. Moderators and panel members discussed and explained to the audience, the various stages of an arbitral procedure, as shown in the SIAC Training Video. Over 130 attendees joined the workshop. Half of the delegates were in-house counsel from companies based in and around Shanghai and the other half were mostly lawyers in private practice. The feedback from the delegates was that they had gained a broader and deeper understanding of the procedures and issues involved in an SIAC international arbitration.
The Hangzhou workshop, was co-organised by the Singapore Academy of Law and Zhejiang Bar Association at the Hangzhou Zhi Jiang Hotel. The President of The Law Society of Singapore, Mr Lok Vi Ming SC, gave an update on recent developments in international arbitration in Singapore. Ms Sophia Feng, Deputy Head (China) at SIAC, gave a presentation on the cost, efficiency and other advantages of using SIAC to administer international arbitrations. Delegates, who were mainly lawyers from local law firms, commented that the workshop was an unparalleled practical guide for legal practitioners.
The Seoul workshop, which was held at the Seoul International Dispute Resolution Centre, was equally well received by over 120 delegates. Over half of the delegates were in-house counsel, with the remainder comprised mainly of arbitration practitioners. One of the workshop sessions demonstrated and discussed, with personal insights from panellists who had previously acted as Emergency Arbitrators, one of the popular special procedures in the SIAC Rules of Arbitration 2013, the SIAC Emergency Arbitrator procedure. Delegates commented that the workshop gave them an interesting insight into the respective roles that may be played by the arbitral institution and tribunal in managing an arbitration efficiently.
The SIAC roadshow will continue with events in Jakarta, Bangalore, Manila and Tokyo later this year. Please see the Events page of our website for further details.
The inaugural SIAC Congress 2014 was held in Singapore on 6 June 2014. The Congress was attended by over 350 delegates, of which 45% were from outside Singapore including the UK, USA, Australia, India, China, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and Hong Kong. Delegates comprised of practising lawyers, arbitrators, in-house counsel, members of the judiciary, public sector officials, industry service providers and business associations.
The theme of this year’s Congress was ‘Dispute Resolution Asia – Innovation and Change in an Age of Opportunity – A View from the Lion City’. The key-note address was given by Mr K. Shanmugam SC, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law. Professor Michael Pryles, Founder President, SIAC Court of Arbitration, moderated a question and answer session with Mr K. Shanmugam which focused on Singapore’s plans to build on its rise as an arbitral centre and the success of the SIAC with a view to developing Singapore into a dispute resolution hub. The topics discussed in other panel sessions included current issues in international arbitration, third party funding, enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, new areas for international arbitration and investment treaty arbitration in Asia. Panel members included leading arbitration practitioners, arbitrators, general counsel and academics.
The Congress was followed by a Gala Dinner with an address by Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Education at which the SIAC Training Video was officially launched. The SIAC Training Video is a unique and innovative tool that takes viewers through the various stages of an arbitral process. SIAC decided to produce the Video to demystify international arbitration. Given the confidential nature of arbitral proceedings it is useful for those who have never experienced an international arbitration before to have a visual guide to take them through the various stages of an arbitral process.
The Video will be a useful learning and teaching tool for arbitrators, practitioners, in-house counsel, judges and university students. In addition to being an educational tool, it will promote Singapore as a neutral seat and a convenient location for international arbitration. It will also show existing and potential users the workings of SIAC as a leading arbitral institution and it will showcase Maxwell Chambers as a world class hearing facility.
The SIAC Congress 2014 would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors. SIAC would like to thank:
|•||Our Platinum sponsor – Rajah & Tann|
|•||Our Gold sponsor – Holman Fenwick & Willan|
|•||Our Silver sponsors – Jones Day and Wong Partnership|
|•||Our Bronze sponsors:|
|•||Freshfields - Luncheon|
|•||Nabarro - Pre-Gala Dinner Cocktail Reception|
|•||Clifford Chance - Gala dinner|
|•||Centre for International Law (CIL)|
|•||Ministry of Law Singapore|
|•||Singapore Academy of Law|
|•||Singapore Corporate Counsel Association (SCCA)|
|•||Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC)|
|•||The Law Society of Singapore|
|•||WIPO | ADR Arbitration and Mediation Centre
SIAC and Young SIAC events in June 2014
Mr Toby Landau QC - 3 June 2014
Mr Toby Landau QC, Barrister and Arbitrator from Essex Court Chambers, London gave a lunchtime talk on 3 June 2014 to an audience of around 100 delegates at the Supreme Court Viewing Gallery. Mr Landau’s presentation, “An Insider’s Guide to Advocacy in Arbitration”, was a candid assessment and critique of common advocacy techniques from the perspective of the arbitral tribunal. The feedback from those who attended was that it was a thought provoking and entertaining session. SIAC would like to thank Holman Fenwick Willan for sponsoring the venue and lunch.
Mr Jan Paulsson - 11 June 2014
Mr Jan Paulsson, Founding Partner of Three Crowns LLP took part in an interactive Q&A session on 11 June 2014 moderated by Mr Michael Hwang SC, Chartered Arbitrator, Michael Hwang Chambers. Delegates were invited to submit questions on current issues and developments in the field of international arbitration to Mr Paulsson which resulted in a lively and interesting evening discussion. SIAC would like to thank Allen & Gledhill for hosting the event.
Professor Julian Lew QC - 17 June 2014
On 17 June 2014, Professor Julian Lew QC, Arbitrator and Barrister and a member of 20 Essex Street Chambers, London shared his experience from being involved in international arbitration as counsel and arbitrator in different jurisdictions to explain to young lawyers the skills and personal characteristics that they need to develop to succeed in international arbitration. Delegates agreed over drinks afterwards that Professor Lew QC gave an inspiring talk. SIAC would like to thank Ashurst for hosting the event.
SIAC are grateful to all delegates who took the time to attend these recent events. Thank you for your support.