7 March 2018
A Three-Part Workshop: “Arbitration at the SIAC: The Inside Track”

Workshop 2: Starting an Arbitration

On 7 March 2018, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Singapore (CIArb, Singapore) successfully co-organised the second of a three-part workshop on arbitration at SIAC. The workshop, which attracted an excellent turnout of attendees from law firms, arbitral institutions, and private companies, sought to offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the commencement of arbitral proceedings at SIAC.

The workshop kicked-off with a Welcome Address by Ms Camilla Godman (Regional Director, CIArb) who stressed that “getting all the elements right at the start of an arbitration is critical not just for limitation reasons but also the ultimate creation of an enforceable award”.

The session was moderated by Mr Timothy Cooke (Partner, Stephenson Harwood LLP) and the panel of speakers comprised Ms Delphine Ho (Registrar, SIAC), Mr Kendista Wantah (Associate Counsel, SIAC), and Ms Allison Goh (Associate Counsel, SIAC). The panel discussed various potential issues that a lawyer or a party may face when commencing an arbitration, and offered their insights on these issues from an institutional perspective.

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Members of the audience

Left to Right: Timothy Cooke, Allison Goh, Delphine Ho and Kendista Wantah

Amongst others, the discussion touched on practical topics including what would amount to a “complete” or “substantially complete” Notice of Arbitration for the purpose of commencing an arbitration at SIAC, issues involving a non-paying respondent in an SIAC- administered arbitration and the approach taken by SIAC when dealing with ambiguous arbitration agreements.

The panel shared their experiences and elaborated on the rationale behind the institution’s approach under the SIAC Rules on these issues. Of particular interest to the attendees was SIAC’s considerations when determining the amount of deposits payable, especially in cases involving substantial counterclaims. The Registrar, Ms Ho highlighted the importance for parties to provide an estimated quantification of their claims early in the case to avoid “surprises”.

The workshop ended on a high note with the panel addressing further burning questions from the attendees on, inter alia, the consolidation mechanism under the SIAC Rules and appointments by SIAC in ad hoc arbitrations. To end the session, Mr Cooke expressed his gratitude to the panel from SIAC for taking their time to share their insights with the attendees.
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