The Ministry of Law and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) today announce that the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce has officially inaugurated its new case management office in Singapore – an endeavor made possible via a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) between ICC and the Singapore Ministry of Law signed in June 2017.
The Singapore case management office will contribute to Singapore’s position as a leading dispute resolution hub and will expertly handle cases in real time, to better serve the dispute resolution needs of users in Singapore and the wider region. Extending ICC’s global footprint beyond its Paris headquarters, the Singapore office is the latest addition to the ICC Court’s case management teams located around the world, following the establishment of case management teams in Hong Kong, New York and Sao Paulo.
The new office is located in Singapore’s Maxwell Chambers, home also to ICC’s Asia Regional Office and the ICC Academy, forming part of a growing presence for ICC in Singapore and South Asia. During its first months of operation, the case management team will comprise a counsel, a deputy counsel and an assistant. It will progressively expand by accommodating additional deputy counsel and assistant positions.
The opening of the case management office in Singapore in addition to the appointment of ICC Court directors in South Asia (Abhinav Bhushan) and North Asia (Mingchao Fan), reflects the ICC Court’s strong commitment to meet the expectations of its users.
Today’s official inauguration ceremony was attended by over 150 participants and featured an address by Guest of Honour Indranee Rajah SC, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance. Han Kok Juan, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Law, Singapore, ICC Court President Alexis Mourre and ICC Court Secretary General Alexander G. Fessas also attended the ceremony.
Mr Mourre said: “Singapore is synonymous with excellence and ICC will contribute to that reputation by offering the highest standards in dispute resolution to meet the demands of users in Singapore and beyond. We are already seeing a growing number of cases featuring Singapore parties, arbitrators and Singapore laws and our new case management team here in the country will bring the benefits of our flexible and globally recognized services to even more users in the region.”
“We are pleased that ICC is expanding its presence here. The new ICC case management office is a welcome addition to Singapore’s dispute resolution landscape. Singapore is one of the most preferred dispute resolution centres in the world, and a key node of international commercial dispute resolution services in Asia. ICC’s presence here is testament to the open and inclusive nature of our regime. With the launch of this ICC case management office, Maxwell Chambers will now house five case management offices, the largest number located in a single venue.” said Ms Indranee Rajah SC.
According to recently released ICC dispute resolution statistics, Singapore retained its position as the number one ranking place of ICC Arbitration in Asia in 2017, the eighth year in which it was ranked as ICC’s top arbitration seat in Asia. The statistics revealed a total of 810 new cases filed in 2017 from a record 142 countries.
Under the globally recognized ICC Rules of Arbitration, parties don’t have to have any connection to the country, or to ICC, to arbitrate in Singapore. The ICC Rules of Arbitration and arbitration agreement do not limit the free choice of parties when it comes to determining place and language of the arbitration, or even the law governing the contract. In new cases registered in 2017, Singapore laws were specified as the applicable law in 23 contracts, a rise of over 40% compared with 2016 figures. This reflects a growing trend of Singaporean law use in business contracts across Asia.
According to the ICC Dispute Resolution Statistics, Singapore also ranked in the top 20 list of arbitrators by nationality in 2017, with 25 appointments or confirmations of Singaporean arbitrators. This represents close to 30% of all appointments or confirmations in the South and East Asia region. The overall number of arbitral appointments in South and South East Asia grew from 74 in 2016 (5.2%) to 85 in 2017 (5.7%).
On 10 April 2018, ICC joined forces with the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) to host an information sharing session on ICC Arbitration for arbitration professionals or anyone eager to engage with the ICC International Court of Arbitration through the SBF which is also ICC’s national committee in Singapore.