Singapore International Arbitration Centre had fewer but more valuable cases in 2018

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The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) handled fewer but more expensive cases in 2018, showing the centre’s global appeal, it said.

In 2018, the centre received 402 new cases, down from 452 cases in 2017, SIAC’s 2018 annual report revealed. Despite fewer cases, the sum in dispute for all new cases totalled US$7.06bn, up from US$4.07bn in 2017.

The SIAC said that it administered 375, or 93%, of the new cases. The remaining 27 were ad hoc appointments.

Last year marked the second consecutive year the centre received more than 400 cases. Over the last decade, new case filings at the centre increased more than four times.

Most new cases involved parties based in the US, the first time the country topped the ranking, SIAC said. India and China also remained strong contributors of cases, while the top 10 jurisdictions where foreign users of the centre are from include Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.

The figures attest to the SIAC’s popularity among users around the world, it said.

“Our 2018 caseload confirms the trend of SIAC’s robust growth. Parties from all around the world select SIAC for its efficiency, expedition, and expert case-management services, in both ordinary and bet-the-company cases. 2018 saw a substantial increase in the amount in dispute in new SIAC cases, as well as US parties becoming SIAC’s top foreign user in 2018. These developments foreshadow even stronger growth in the future,” said Gary Born, president of the SIAC Court of Arbitration.

Davinder Singh, SIAC chairman, said that the centre has the potential for much more growth. He said that the SIAC will “innovate and improve on its offerings and rules to make Singapore an even more attractive dispute-resolution hub.”

“2018 was a year where a broader spectrum of users with higher-value disputes entrusted SIAC with their cases. We are deeply grateful to the local and international arbitration

communities for their strong support, and will further intensify our stakeholder engagement efforts to expand our market outreach,” said Lim Seok Hui, SIAC chief executive.