8 July 2016
SIAC Celebrates 25th Anniversary with SIAC Congress Week 2016


The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) successfully concluded its first-ever SIAC Congress Week from 25 to 27 May 2016, which featured a series of arbitration-related events that attracted sell-out crowds from different parts of the globe.

25 May 2016 - YSIAC Lunchtime Talk with Toby Landau QC

The SIAC Congress Week kicked off with a YSIAC Lunchtime Talk by Mr Toby Landau QC, a member of the SIAC Court of Arbitration and an eminent barrister and arbitrator, who spoke on the topic Apparent Bias: Paranoia on the Clapham Omnibus. The standing-room only event attracted 193 attendees, with delegates coming from 12 different countries including South Korea, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Always an interesting and witty speaker, Mr Landau regaled the audience with amusing anecdotes during his lecture which covered the different tests used for actual and apparent bias, as they applied to international commercial arbitration and questioned whether they also applied to inter-state arbitration. He elucidated on the origins of the term “Clapham Omnibus”, and asked whether the traditional view still holds in view of the changes in the practice of international arbitration since the term was first coined. Mr Landau took questions from the floor at the conclusion of his talk.

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Left to Right: Sapna Jhangiani, Koh Swee Yen, Toby Landau QC, Kabir Singh, Madhur Baya, Jonathan Lim

Members of the audience

26 May 2016 - SIAC-CIArb Debate

The SIAC-CIArb Debate featured 4 members of the SIAC Court of Arbitration who are world-renowned names in international arbitration. The debate proposition was “This house proposes that an arbitral award that has been set aside at the seat may, and often should, be enforced abroad.” Arguing for the motion were Mr Gary Born, President of the SIAC Court of Arbitration and Professor Bernard Hanotiau. Arguing against the motion were Mr Toby Landau QC and Ms Lucy Reed. They were joined by Mr Francis Xavier, SC as the moderator. The Debate was attended by 198 delegates and featured a lively exchange amongst some of the biggest names in arbitration. Among other matters, the debaters dissected specific provisions of the New York Convention and the circumstances in which a set-aside award may still be enforced. At the end of the debate, Mr Xavier, after taking a vote from the audience, noted that the opposition carried the motion for the day.

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Members of the audience Left to Right: Gary Born, Prof Bernard Hanotiau,
Francis Xavier, SC, Lucy Reed, Toby Landau QC

27 May 2016 – SIAC Congress

The last day of the Congress Week featured SIAC’s flagship event, the SIAC Congress 2016, which attracted 363 delegates from 25 different jurisdictions, spanning 5 different continents and from jurisdictions as far away as Belgium, Bermuda, Luxembourg, South Africa, the Ukraine and the United Kingdom. 64% of the delegates were private practice lawyers, 11% were in-house counsel and the remaining 25% included academics, arbitrators, barristers, expert witnesses and government officials.

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Left to Right: Lucien Wong, Minister K Shanmugam, Lim Seok Hui,
Gary Born

Lucien Wong

The Congress programme featured a Welcome Address by Mr Lucien Wong, Chairman, SIAC Board of Directors, and a Keynote Address by the Guest of Honour, Minister K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law. A Q&A session with Minister Shanmugam and Mr Gary Born, moderated by Mr Toby Landau QC, followed. The rest of the Congress programme focused on the key provisions to be included in the new SIAC Arbitration Rules 2016, with two plenary sessions.

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Guest of Honour:
Minister K Shanmugam

Members of the audience
The first plenary session was moderated by Mr Alvin Yeo, SC, a member of the SIAC Court of Arbitration, and discussed the new draft Investment Arbitration Rules which will be launched later this year. This session also featured some other members of the SIAC Court, namely, Dr Claudia Annacker and Mr Toby Landau QC.

The second plenary session was moderated by Mr Chan Leng Sun, SC and included Prof Bernard Hanotiau, another member of the SIAC Court of Arbitration, and Dr Michael Pryles AO PBM, Founder President of the SIAC Court of Arbitration. This session discussed the key revisions to the commercial Arbitration Rules, such as joinder, intervention, consolidation and multiple contracts.

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Left to Right: Dr Claudia Annacker, Toby Landau QC, Alvin Yeo, SC, Nish Shetty, Prof Hi-Taek Shin,
Christopher Tahbaz

Left to Right: Cameron Ford, Ronnie King,
Chan Leng Sun, SC, Prof Bernard Hanotiau,
Dr Michael Pryles AO PBM
The Congress wrapped up with an interactive Users Dialogue Session, moderated by Mr David Bateson which discussed enhancements in the new SIAC Rules to the Emergency Arbitrator and Expedited Procedure provisions as well as the Arb-Med-Arb Protocol. The session featured a Vice-President of the SIAC Court of Arbitration, Mr John Savage.

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Left to Right: John Savage,
Guy Spooner

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Left to Right: Josephine Wan-Wen Hadikusumo, Chanaka Kumarasinghe, David Bateson Left to Right: Vyapak Desai, Josephine Wan-Wen Hadikusumo,
Chanaka Kumarasinghe, David Bateson, Steven Y.H. Lim, Prakash Pillai,
John Savage, Guy Spooner

The winners of the second YSIAC Essay Competition were presented with their prizes during the Congress. The winner was Rajat Rana of Baker Botts, L.L.P., USA, the 1st Runner Up was Arie Chase Eernisse of Shin & Kim, South Korea, and the 2nd Runner Up was Sinyee Ong of Ashurst LLP, Singapore.

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Left to Right: Nicholas Lingard, Rajat Rana

Members of the audience
The stellar line-up of panellists, which included members of the SIAC Court of Arbitration, other leading arbitration practitioners and senior in-house counsel, shared their collective insights and views on current hot topics, recent global trends and developments and what lies ahead in the complex world of multi-jurisdictional disputes. The SIAC Congress 2016 was a landmark event for practitioners and in-house counsel alike, as it provided them with the unique opportunity to be the first to learn about the new SIAC Rules.

27 May 2016 – SIAC Charity Gala Dinner

The social highlight of the SIAC Congress Week was the SIAC Charity Gala Dinner, a black-tie event in celebration of SIAC’s 25 years in arbitration, which featured a charity auction in support of the Community Justice Centre (CJC). The CJC is a Singapore charity that provides support to litigants-in-person including the homeless, disabled and victims of domestic violence. Over 350 guests attended the Gala Dinner with Mr Chelva Rajah, SC, a member of SIAC’s Board of Directors, keeping the mood festive and everyone entertained as Master of Ceremonies for the evening.

Ms Lim Seok Hui, CEO of SIAC and SIMC, opened the evening with a Welcome Speech and Toast. She thanked members of the SIAC Congress Organising Committee for their hard work, and presented them with tokens of appreciation. In celebration of SIAC’s 25 years, Ms Lim introduced some members of the present and former management of SIAC, and invited them up on stage for a toast along with the Chairman, President and members of SIAC’s Board of Directors and Court of Arbitration.

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SIAC Charity Gala Dinner Left to Right: Lucien Wong, SMS Indranee Rajah, Lim Seok Hui,
Gary Born

Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Law, and the Charity Gala Guest of Honour, delivered an engaging Opening Address. She was followed by Judicial Commissioner See Kee Oon, Presiding Judge, State Courts, who spoke about the CJC, its mission and projects. A short, touching video on the CJC was screened, leaving hardly a dry eye in the room.

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Guest of Honour: SMS Indranee Rajah Board & Court Members, former SIAC management,
SIAC Congress Organising Committee, SIAC Secretariat,
Guest of Honour: SMS Indranee Rajah

The Gala Dinner featured both a silent auction and a live auction to raise funds for the CJC. The highlight of the evening was the live auction by guest auctioneer Mr Thio Shen Yi, SC and President of the Law Society of Singapore and Joint Managing Director of TSMP Law Corporation, who “sold” Mr Toby Landau QC as “trainee for a day” for a respectable SGD10,000 to leading India lawyer and a member of SIAC’s Board of Directors, Mr Rajiv Luthra.

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Thio Shen Yi, SC Left to Right: Toby Landau QC, Rajiv K Luthra

SIAC would like to express its sincere thanks and utmost appreciation to all donors and bidders for their participation in the charity auction and their generous cash pledges. We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to partner with CJC and members of the international arbitration community to support the CJC’s charitable programmes.
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