7 January 2022
SIAC Year in Review 2021

Happy New Year from all of us at SIAC and best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2022.

As we welcome the new year, we look back fondly at some of the key highlights of 2021.

1 SIAC is Most Preferred Arbitral Institution in the Asia-Pacific and Second in the World

In the prestigious Queen Mary University of London and White & Case International Arbitration Survey (QMUL Survey) released in May 2021, SIAC was ranked as the most preferred arbitral institution in the Asia-Pacific, and second among the world’s top five arbitral institutions.

In the same survey, Singapore jointly ranked with London as the most popular seat in the world, and was the most preferred seat in the Asia-Pacific.

The QMUL Survey is one of the most referenced international arbitration surveys in the market, and the 2021 Survey saw the “widest-ever pools of respondents”.

The findings in the QMUL Survey confirm SIAC’s standing as a premier global arbitral institution, and Singapore’s status as a top arbitral seat.

SIAC’s successful registration in May 2021 as a permanent arbitral institution (PAI) under Russia’s Federal Law on Arbitration was another piece of good news. As a PAI, SIAC is authorised to administer international commercial arbitrations where the seat of arbitration is Russia. In particular, SIAC is authorised to administer certain types of ‘corporate disputes’ as defined in Russian law, that is, disputes arising out of the ownership of shares in Russian legal entities or the management thereof.

2 Appointment of New SIAC Court President, Court Vice President, Deputy Chairman, SIAC Board Members, and SIAC Court Members

In 2021, SIAC announced its new Board of Directors and Court of Arbitration.

Mr Chong Yee Leong was appointed as Deputy Chairman of SIAC. Five new Directors, Ms Lucy Reed (concurrently SIAC’s President of the SIAC Court of Arbitration), Mr Siraj Omar, SC, Mr Gerald Singham, Mr Luke Sobota, and Ms Ariel Ye, were appointed to SIAC’s Board, which continues under the chairmanship of Mr Davinder Singh, SC.

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Photos of new Deputy Chairman, new SIAC Court President and new SIAC Board members (from left to right): Mr Chong Yee Leong, Ms Lucy Reed, Mr Siraj Omar, SC, Mr Gerald Singham, Mr Luke Sobota, and Ms Ariel Ye

Ms Lucy Reed, a Vice President of the SIAC Court of Arbitration since 2018, was appointed as President of the SIAC Court of Arbitration. Mr Toby Landau QC was appointed as Vice President of the SIAC Court of Arbitration, and serves alongside Vice President Mr Cavinder Bull, SC.

Nine new members - Ms Olufunke Adekoya, Mr Jose Amado, Mr Pierre Bienvenu, Mr Chan Leng Sun, SC, Mr Dmitry Dyakin, Ms Karina Goldberg, Prof Benjamin Hughes, Prof Guido Tawil, and Mr Gaëtan Verhoosel - were appointed to the SIAC Court of Arbitration.

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Photos of new SIAC Court members (from left to right): Ms Olufunke Adekoya, Mr Jose Amado, Mr Pierre Bienvenu, Mr Chan Leng Sun, SC, Mr Dmitry Dyakin, Ms Karina Goldberg, Prof Benjamin Hughes, Prof Guido Tawil, and Mr Gaëtan Verhoosel

The 38-member SIAC Court is comprised of eminent international arbitration experts from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Peru, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, UAE, UK, Uruguay, USA, and Vietnam.

SIAC is deeply appreciative of former Court President, Mr Gary Born, former Deputy Chairman, Mr Chan Leng Sun, SC, as well as, former Board members, Mr Chelva Rajah, SC and Mr David Liu, and former Court members Ms Julie Bedard and Ms Ariel Ye, for their invaluable contributions and continued support of SIAC.

3 Appointment of New SIAC CEO, Registrar, and COO

Ms Gloria Lim was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of SIAC. Mr Kevin Nash, previously Deputy Registrar & Centre Director of SIAC, was appointed Registrar. Ms Lee Yoke Peng was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer.
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Photos of new SIAC Management (from left to right): Ms Gloria Lim, Mr Kevin Nash, and Ms Lee Yoke Peng

SIAC would like to express its deepest appreciation to former CEO, Ms Lim Seok Hui, and former Registrar, Ms Delphine Ho, for their contributions to SIAC, which have helped to build up SIAC over the years.

4 SIAC Virtual Congress 2021

For the second year, SIAC’s flagship event, the SIAC Congress, was held virtually in September 2021 in conjunction with the Singapore Convention Week. The event brought together distinguished members of the judiciary, the SIAC Board of Directors, the SIAC Court of Arbitration, and other leading international arbitration experts.

Special highlights of the Congress programme included a keynote speech by the Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam SC, as well as a plenary session titled “How International Arbitration and International Commercial Courts play Unique, Important and Complementary Roles in International Dispute Resolution?”

Minister
Minister K Shanmugam, SC at the SIAC Virtual Congress 2021

The panellists for the plenary session were The Honourable Justice Judith Prakash, Justice of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Singapore; The Honourable Justice Beverley McLachlin PC, International Judge, Singapore International Commercial Court; The Honourable Mr Geoffrey Tao Li Ma, GBM, Former Chief Justice of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal; as well as Dr Michael Hwang, SC, Senior Counsel and Chartered Arbitrator, Michael Hwang Chambers LLC. The moderators of the plenary session were Professor Lawrence Boo, Member, SIAC Court of Arbitration; Independent Arbitrator, The Arbitration Chambers and Dr Michael Pryles AO PBM, Independent Arbitrator.

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Left to Right: The Honourable Justice Judith Prakash, The Honourable Justice Beverley McLachlin PC, The Honourable Mr Geoffrey Tao Li Ma, GBM, Dr Michael Hwang, SC, Professor Lawrence Boo, and Dr Michael Pryles, at the SIAC Virtual Congress 2021 plenary session
The plenary session was followed by panel discussions on “The Multi-Million Dollar Question: Will the Pandemic and Governments’ Responses to it lead to a Spike in Investor-State Arbitrations?”, “Shifting Paradigms in International Arbitration: Arbitral Tribunals, Party-Nominated Arbitrators and Diversity”, and “The Role of Arbitral Institutions in controlling the Time and Costs of Arbitral Proceedings”.

The write-ups for the SIAC Virtual Congress may be viewed here.

5 Expanded SIAC Academy Curriculum and Launch of the SIAC Academy Audit Panel and SIAC Academy Alumni

In January 2021, SIAC launched an expanded SIAC Academy curriculum to enhance the range and quality of training programmes offered at SIAC.

The 18 courses conducted in 2021 included a Review of Key Arbitration-Related Developments and Decisions in 2020: Singapore and United Kingdom seminar, foundational courses on Understanding the International Arbitration Legal Framework and a Practicum on Discovery and Document Production in International Arbitration, a ten-part series on Enforcement of Arbitral Awards in Asia: Theory & Practice, a Tribunal Secretaries in International Arbitration training course, as well as a Masterclass on Advocacy Training.

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Left to Right: Some of the lecturers Mr Alastair Henderson, Mr Michael Brindle QC, and Mr Lok Vi Ming, SC at the SIAC Academy “Review of Key Arbitration-Related Developments and Decisions in 2020: Singapore and United Kingdom” seminar

The teaching faculty for the 2021 SIAC Academy courses featured SIAC Board and Court members, YSIAC Committee members, as well as leading arbitration practitioners and arbitrators from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Middle East, Myanmar, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam, and other jurisdictions.
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Left to Right: Some of the lecturers Mr Daryl Chew, Mr Paul Tan, Ms Koh Swee Yen, and Mr Ankit Goyal at the SIAC Academy course “Arbitration 101: Understanding the International Arbitration Legal Framework”
The SIAC Academy Audit Panel was also launched in January 2021 to oversee the course planning for the SIAC Academy curriculum. The Audit Panel is now chaired by Ms Lucy Reed, President of the SIAC Court of Arbitration, and comprises SIAC Court members Mr Chan Leng Sun, SC, Dr Claudia Annacker, and Professor Lawrence Boo.

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Left to Right: Speakers Professor Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, Mr Avinash Pradhan, and Ms Weina Ye at the SIAC Academy Lecture
To provide a platform for participants of SIAC Academy courses to network and share their knowledge, insights and expertise, the SIAC Academy Alumni was established in the second half of 2021. To support the SIAC Academy Alumni in their continuing professional development, all SIAC Academy Alumni will receive a 10% discount on the listed course fees for SIAC Academy courses in 2022.

6 Expansion of partner universities for the SIAC and Institutional Arbitration Module

In 2021, the “SIAC and Institutional Arbitration” module (SIAC Module) was conducted for the first time at the law faculties of the Singapore Management University in Singapore, Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, and Keio University in Japan.

The SIAC Module was also conducted for the fourth year running, at the National University of Singapore law faculty, and for the second year running, at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University of Law, Hyderabad, India and Fudan University Law School in China.

The SIAC Module introduced participants to the role and function of arbitral institutions in guiding and shaping the practice and development of international arbitration, and to the complex issues that arbitral institutions face in the administration of arbitrations, including, among others, the appointment of arbitrators and the issuance of arbitral rules and practice notes.

SIAC Board and Court members, as well as leading international arbitration practitioners and arbitrators served as lecturers in the various online/hybrid editions of the SIAC Module.

7 SIAC International Arbitration Webinar Series, Partnerships, and Representative Office Activities

SIAC organised a total of 52 webinar events in 2021, with participants tuning in from all over the world, across different time zones.

Discussion topics included virtual hearings, an inside look at SIAC case administration, strategies for negotiating contracts and resolving disputes, an introduction to the Singapore legal system and international arbitration framework, global trends and developments in arbitration, as well as emerging and topical legal issues.
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Left to Right: Hon’ble Justice Steven Chong, Hon’ble Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, The Right Hon’ble Lord Jonathan Mance, Hon’ble Ms Justice Indu Malhotra, and Mr Toby Landau QC at the SIAC India Webinar ”Evolution of Arbitration in India and Singapore: Perspectives from the Bench”

SIAC also organised joint webinars and hybrid events with various partner organisations, including the Arbitration Place, Arbitrator Intelligence, ASEAN-Japan Centre, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (New York Branch) the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Singapore Branch), the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Comissão de Arbitragem (CA) (OABRJ), Harvard International Arbitration Law Students Association (HIALSA), In-House Counsel Forum (IHCF), International Association of Lawyers, JAMS, Japan Association of Arbitrators (JAA) Kansai Chapter, KCAB International, Korea In-House Counsel Association (KICA), Latin American Association of Arbitration (ALARB), New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC), Russian Arbitration Association (RAA), Santiago Arbitration and Mediation Centre (CAM Santiago), Shanghai International Arbitration Center (SHIAC), Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center, Singapore Institute of Arbitrators (SIArb), Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC), Society of Construction Law India, Thailand Arbitration Center (THAC), and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).

These events and webinars featured members of the judiciary, the SIAC Board and Court, SIAC CEO, Registrar, SIAC Overseas Heads, SIAC Secretariat, as well as other leading international arbitration experts.

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Left to Right: Mr Jooyup Chae, Mr Bryan Ghows, Mr Jun Hee Kim, Ms Christina Jiwon Park, Mr Corey Whiting, Ms Sue Hyun Lim, and Ms Michele Sonen at the SIAC-KICA-KCAB International Korea Webinar “Arbitration Hotline: Answering In-House Counsel’s Most Pressing Questions About International Arbitration”
In addition, SIAC was invited to speak and participate in more than 180 events, conferences, courses, and panels hosted by arbitral institutions, associations, law firms, universities, trade commissions, government organisations, as well as other leading partner institutions. This included events during the Canadian Arbitration Week, China Arbitration Week, Dubai Arbitration Week, New York Arbitration Week, Paris Arbitration Week, Peruvian Arbitration Institute Arbitral Week, Seoul ADR Festival, and Shanghai Arbitration Week.

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Left to Right: Mr Andreas Li, Mr Edwin Li, Mr Henry Mao, Mr Henry Huang, Mr Ma Yi, Mr, Zhou Hanmin, Ms Jessica Fei, Mr Denning Jin, Mr Cunyuan Zhang, Mr John Liu, and Ms Wang Weijun at the SIAC-SHIAC 2021 Shanghai-Singapore Arbitration Forum “The International Arbitration Hubs in the Asia Pacific Areas”

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Ms Adriana Uson and Ms Yixian Sun with Harvard law school students at the HIALSA-SIAC Public Lecture “International Arbitration: Challenges & Evolution”
SIAC also conducted training workshops for members of the judiciary and government agencies from various jurisdictions.

In 2021, SIAC entered into MOUs with each of the Abu Dhabi Global Market Arbitration Centre, the Arbitration Place, the Korea In-House Counsel Association, the Santiago Arbitration and Mediation Center, Yonsei University Law School, as well as the Suzhou Industrial Park Administrative Committee.

SIAC (Americas) was also pleased to announce its new premises at 45 Rockefeller Plaza, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10111.

8 New YSIAC Committee

In March 2021, SIAC welcomed the members of the new YSIAC Committee, led by co-chairs Mr Daryl Chew and Ms Wendy Lin.

The 38-member Committee comprises young arbitration practitioners from Brazil, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, USA, and Vietnam.

9 YSIAC Conference 2021, Writing Competition, and Webinars

The biennial YSIAC Conference 2021 was held over a 3-day period and virtually for the first time in November. Five webinars were held on topics ranging from ESG disputes, the impact of cryptocurrency, blockchain and NFTs to a review of the global arbitration landscape in the Americas and Asia-Pacific.

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Left to Right: Ms Wendy Lin, Mr Calvin Koo, Mr Matthew McGhee, Mr Rakesh Kirpalani, and Mr Andy Meehan at the YSIAC Conference webinar session titled “Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and NFTs (“CBNFT”) – What Do They Mean for Arbitration Practitioners?”

The YSIAC Writing Competition 2021 required participants to prepare written speeches for and against the debate topic: “This House believes that contractual preconditions to arbitration should be regarded as impediments to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction”. The prize winners, Mr In Hyuk Hwang from South Korea (for best written speech for the motion), and Ms Joan Lim-Casanova from Singapore (the best written speech against the motion), were given the opportunity to present their winning speeches during the YSIAC Conference.

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Left to Right: Mr In Hyuk Hwang, Ms Joan-Lim Casanova, Ms Kate Apostolova, Ms Shaneen Parikh, and Mr Steven Lim at the webinar session titled “YSIAC Writing Competition 2021 – Prize Presentation and Debate” ”

Other YSIAC events organised in 2021 included panel discussions, interviews featuring younger practitioners and expert speakers, and a debate. Joint webinars were also held with the Asian International Arbitration Centre Young Practitioners Group (AIAC YPG), Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Young Members Group, CIArb Malaysia Young Members Group, Korean Commercial Arbitration Board Next (KCAB Next), Russian Arbitration Association 40 (RAA40), Swiss Arbitration Association Below 40 (ASAb40), and Young Society of Construction Law (YSCL).

SIAC will continue to work closely with YSIAC, to explore how we can do even more on this important platform to serve the needs of young practitioners, and increase opportunities for learning, gaining international exposure and useful networking opportunities for our YSIAC members.

10 SIAC Podcasts

In June 2021, SIAC introduced a monthly podcast series featuring interviews with leading arbitration practitioners and arbitrators on the latest developments and emerging trends in international arbitration. Interviews have been conducted with Mr Toby Landau QC, Mr Darius J. Khambata, SC, Mr Cao Lijun, Mr Hiroyuki Tezuka, Mr Jose Amado, Ms Lucy Reed, and Dr Eun Young Park.

We would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to members of the SIAC Board, SIAC Court and the YSIAC Committee as well as all of our partners and friends in the local and international legal and business communities for their invaluable contributions and participation in SIAC’s initiatives and activities.

Thank you for your support, and we look forward to working with you in 2022!

With best regards,
The SIAC Team
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