The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about new norms, one of which is the increase in the familiarity and use of virtual platforms for meetings and hearings. Many of us have “trained” ourselves to be “experts” in conducting meetings virtually. Courts and arbitral tribunals also frequently conduct virtual hearings which are accorded same weight and effect as in-person hearings. In a very unprecedented way, people have unknowingly realised the benefits of virtual hearings and meetings.
This Debate is jointly organised by the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and the Singapore Corporate Counsel Association. Our esteemed debaters will seek to convince the judges and audience that virtual hearings and meetings will in fact become the new norm, even after the pandemic abates.
SIArb’s mission includes the education of arbitration practitioners, the promotion of arbitration and the development of the profession of arbitrator, as well as providing social and networking opportunities for all those involved in arbitration in Singapore.
Following the success of last year’s inaugural debate, we have again assembled a group of leading experts to debate on an issue which cannot be more relevant than during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Welcome Remarks and Introduction
Debate on The Motion:"This House Believes that Virtual Meetings and Hearings will be the Norm Post Pandemic”
About the Debaters:
Benjamin Hughes – Independent Arbitrator, Hughes Arbitration
Benjamin Hughes is an independent arbitrator at The Arbitration Chambers in Singapore and Fountain Court Chambers in London, and adjunct professor at National University of Singapore Law School. A Fellow of CIArb, SIArb and HKIArb, Benjamin is a panel member of numerous arbitration institutions in the Asia-Pacific region including SIAC and HKIAC. He has served as sole, presiding or co-arbitrator in over 150 arbitrations, with several billion USD in dispute. Listed by Chambers & Partners as one of the "Most in Demand Arbitrators" in the Asia-Pacific Region, Benjamin’s experience as arbitrator spans a broad range of commercial disputes including joint venture and shareholder disputes, construction and infrastructure projects, energy and resources, shipping and shipbuilding, intellectual property and technology, manufacturing, military procurement, agency and distributorship, and sale of goods. Benjamin was educated in both the civil law and the common law traditions, first at Seoul National University College of Law (all coursework in Korean) and then at NYU School of Law.
Iain Potter – Partner, MDD Forensic Accountants
Iain is a Partner in MDD Forensic Accountants’ Singapore office, where he specialises in expert witness engagements, particularly those requiring opinions on business valuations, complex loss of profit claims or GAAP compliance. He has been instructed as an expert before courts and tribunals in jurisdictions including the UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Australia, the BVI, Nepal and Korea. Iain is qualified as a Chartered Accountant in England and Wales and Singapore, holds a number of business valuation qualifications and is a Fellow of the Expert Witness Institute. He is currently pursuing a PhD with the University of Leicester, where his research focusses on the extent to which risk and uncertainty are reflected in awards of damages
Lim Wei Lee - Partner, WongPartnership LLP
Lim Wei Lee is a Partner in the Banking & Financial Disputes and International Arbitration Practices.
Her main areas of practice involve litigation and arbitration across a wide range of matters including commercial, corporate, and banking disputes, fraud, cross-border trade and investment disputes, insolvency, and judicial review. In addition to an active court practice as counsel in the High Court and Court of Appeal, Wei Lee has acted as counsel in arbitrations conducted under various arbitral rules, including the SIAC, UNCITRAL, KLRCA, and ICC rules.
Greg Tanner - Group General Counsel, International SOS
Greg is a lawyer admitted to practice in New York by the Supreme Court of the State of New York, in England and Wales by the Supreme Court of Judicature of England and Wales and in France by the Ordre des Avocats de Paris. Greg has practiced at two of the world’s largest law firms, Clifford Chance in London, Luxemburg and Singapore, and White & Case in New York, Singapore, Jakarta and Paris.
About the Judges:
Rebecca Andersen – Head of Legal, Hengyi Industries International
Rebecca is the Head of Legal of Hengyi Industries International, a Singapore oil and gas commodity trading company. She is an Energy, Maritime and International Commodity Trading lawyer and she advises on complex issues in the business of commodities trading, cross-border disputes, sanctions, shipping, trade financing and derivatives. Rebecca was a litigation and corporate lawyer with the Global Ernst & Young Law and she had also been the General Counsel in United States listed company and various public listed companies in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. Rebecca is a Director of the SCCA. She is a Fellow and Council Member of the SIArb and a Fellow with the MIArb and AIADR. She is on the arbitration panels of SIAC (Reserve Panel of SIAC), AIAC as well as AIADR. Rebecca was also appointed by the Honourable Judges of Singapore to sit as committee member in the Promotion of Singapore Law Committee and Commercial Precedent Committee, both under the auspices of the Singapore Academy of Law.
Chia Ho Choon – Council Member, Singapore Institute of Arbitrators
Ho Choon retired as a partner in the litigation and arbitration team of Withers KhattarWong LLP in 2020. He was formerly a partner of Bih Li & Lee, and before that of Allen & Gledhill.
Ben Giaretta – Partner, Fox Williams LLP
Ben Giaretta is a partner and the co-head of international arbitration at Fox Williams LLP. A Chartered Arbitrator and Fellow of both the SIArb and the CIArb, he is the current Chair of the London Branch of the CIArb. He has considerable experience of international arbitration across the world, particularly in London and in Singapore, where he was based for 7 years as the Asia Head of International Arbitration for an international law firm. He represents clients in various sectors, including natural resources, infrastructure, commodities and technology, and he has also been appointed arbitrator (sole arbitrator, party-nominated arbitrator, presiding arbitrator and emergency arbitrator) on many occasions. He is on the panels of arbitrators of several arbitral institutions including the SIAC, the HKIAC, the AIAC, the JCAA and the SCCA. He also teaches arbitration courses for the CIArb and the University of Aberdeen. His first degree was from Oxford University and he has a Postgraduate Diploma in arbitration from QMUL.: Asia Pacific.
About the Moderator
Tan Weiyi - Partner, Harry Elias Partnership LLP
Weiyi is a partner in the Litigation and Dispute Management Practice Group at Harry Elias Partnership LLP. She represents and advises clients in a range of cross-border commercial disputes, including transactional, licensing, intellectual property, employment and tenancy disputes. Weiyi also advises and represents clients in investigations and enforcement actions, focused on corruption, financial fraud and other white-collar criminal offences. Weiyi is an accredited arbitrator and mediator, and has been appointed as sole arbitrator in SIAC proceedings and co-mediator in mediation proceedings administered by the SMC. Weiyi is an elected Council member and serves as Chairperson of the Activities Committee of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators. She is also a Certified Fraud Examiner and serves as President of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ Singapore Chapter.
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REGISTRATION CLOSING DATE: 30th November 2020
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Practice Area: Alternative Dispute Resolution
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