LawFlash

SIAC Ranked Most Preferred Arbitral Institute in Asia, Singapore Most Preferred Seat

May 15, 2018

According to the latest Queen Mary University of London International Arbitration Survey released on 9 May, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre is the most preferred arbitral institution in Asia, and ranks third of the top five arbitral institutions in the world. In addition, Singapore was ranked as the most preferred seat in Asia. These rankings show that Singapore and SIAC continue to make strong headway as preferred venues for resolving international disputes—a trend that is expected to continue.

The results of the survey are supported by statistics published in the 2017 SIAC Annual Report. The Annual Report provides various statistics for cases filed in the preceding calendar year, including the number of new cases filed; total, highest, and average sum in dispute; and nationality and industry sectors of the parties.

Key Statistics

Published on 7 March 2018, the 2017 Annual Report reported the following:

  • Number of new case filings: 452 (93% SIAC administered), the highest since SIAC was established in 1991, which represents a 32% increase from 2016 (343 cases) and a 67% increase from 2015 (271 cases)
  • Total quantum in dispute for new case filings: $4.07 billion (SGD 5.44 billion)
  • Average value for new case filings: $14.47 million (SGD 19.34 million)
  • Average value of new SIAC-administered cases: $15.82 million (SGD 21.14 million)
  • Top five non-Singapore users of SIAC arbitration: India, China, Switzerland, United States, Germany

Utilisation of SIAC Procedures

Early Dismissal Procedure

After having introduced an early dismissal procedure in the SIAC Rules 2016, in 2017, SIAC received five early dismissal applications. As of 31 December 2017, four applications were allowed to proceed, with one application pending.

Expedited Procedure

In 2017, SIAC received 107 applications for the arbitration to be conducted in accordance with its expedited procedure, of which 51% were accepted. The 107 applications received in 2017 represent a 52% increase from the 70 applications received in 2016, of which 40% were accepted.

Appointment of Emergency Arbitrator

In 2017, SIAC received and accepted 19 applications for emergency arbitrator. This represents a significant increase from the six emergency arbitrator applications received and accepted in 2016.

Comparison of Key Statistics by Year

The information published in the SIAC annual reports (2014­–2017) is summarised below:

Number and Value of New Case Filings (US dollars)

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

New Cases

222

271

343

452

Total in Dispute

$3.81 billion

$4.41 billion

$11.85 billion

$4.07 billion

Highest Dispute

$1.72 billion

N/A

$3.47 billion

$601.03 million

Average Dispute

$16.91 million

$16.45 million

$38.46 million

$15.82 million

Nationality of Parties

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

Singapore

147

239

323

436

India

37

91

153

176

China

41

46

76

77

United States

38

33

42

70

Indonesia

13

24

38

32

South Korea

17

34

38

27

Australia

15

32

36

12

Malaysia

21

15

28

25

Hong Kong

27

26

27

38

United Kingdom

21

12

27

25

Netherlands

5

10

19

12

Industry Sectors

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

Commercial

27%

19%

24%

22%

Corporate

13%

17%

16%

14%

Construction

12%

12%

16%

9%

Shipping

14%

17%

19%

20%

Trade

25%

29%

19%

31%

Other

9%

6%

6%

4%

Observations

The published statistics and the Queen Mary University of London International Arbitration Survey rankings show that Singapore and SIAC continue to make strong headway as the preferred seat and forum for resolving international disputes. This trend is expected to continue as, armed with the SIAC Rules 2016, parties to SIAC arbitrations have a greater assortment of tools at their disposal to ensure the advancement of arbitrations in a fair, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

Contacts

If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact the author, Stephen Cheong, a solicitor of Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC, a Singapore law corporation affiliated ‎with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP. As an added resource, our firm has released the second edition of An Introductory Guide to Arbitration in Asia addressing questions global businesses should consider in connection with international arbitration in 14 key Asian jurisdictions.