SIArb Newsletter Issue 23 (26 September 2017)

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September 2017  (Issue No.23)
the president's column


I am coming to the end of my second term as President of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators. So much has happened in these four years. I will take this opportunity to take stock.

Some of you will remember that Intellitrain took over the running of our Secretariat at the end of 2013. It did a sterling job helping us to tidy up our internal records. Actual paid-up membership at that time was estimated to be about 665. We are now more than 900 members. I am fairly confident that we will hit the 1000 mark within a year. That will surely be a milestone to remember.

SIArb hosted the Regional Arbitral Institutes Forum (RAIF) Conference for the second time in August 2014, after the Conference had made its rounds to the homes of our fellow RAIF members. It was a tremendous success, attended by 120 lawyers from more than 10 countries. 

In December 2014, SIArb signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Singapore Institute of Architects and in January 2016, with the Japan Association of Arbitrators. We are forging friendships with the aim of harmonizing good practices across sectors and borders.

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Chan Leng Sun S.C.
President, SIArb 2013-2017

case LAW Developments

This issue looks at two recent Singapore Court decisions:

a. Gulf Hibiscus Ltd v Rex International Holding Ltd and another [2017] SGHC 210  

This case involves a stay of court proceedings in favour of arbitration, as the matters raised in court proceedings fell within the ambit of an arbitration clause. 

b. GD Midea Air Conditioning Equipment Co Ltd v Tornado Consumer Goods Ltd and another matter [2017] SGHC 193

This case involves the Court setting aside an arbitral award on various grounds:

  • Tribunal exceeding its jurisdiction;
  •  Breach of agreed procedure;
  • Breach of natural justice.
‚ÄčThe Court affirmed the following principles in the following cases:
By Debbie Lee and Sharon Wong Qiao Ling - ECYT Law LLC
in the hot seat!

Jason is the Head of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice at De Souza Lim & Goh LLP. He obtained his LLM degree from University College, London. He was called to the Bar of England & Wales in 1982 and was admitted to the Singapore Bar in October 1983.

Jason was admitted as a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitration in 1999. He has been appointed by the SIAC and the ICC International Court of Arbitrators in both international and domestic arbitrations as sole arbitrator and as co-arbitrator since 2003.

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Recent Events

Prize or Prejudice: The Interplay Between Arbitration And Adjudication - Legal And Practical Issues (20 July 2017)

Mr Chia Chor Leong was the speaker for this seminar, which was chaired by Mr Naresh Mahtani. During the seminar, Mr Chia gave an overview of the latest Singapore decisions relating to adjudication determinations under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (Cap 30B) (“SOP Act”), discussed how the concept of “temporary finality” of adjudication determinations under the SOP Act influenced and affected arbitration proceedings, and highlighted the potential pitfalls that parties to the adjudication determination proceedings face. He also shared with the audience interesting anecdotes from his experience as an adjudicator (and as review adjudicator).

Arbitrator Conflicts of Interest: Are Modern Safeguards Sufficient? (6 September 2017)

Issues of arbitrator conflicts of interest are as old as arbitration itself. The need to ensure that justice is not only done, but is also seen to be done in arbitration cannot be overstated, especially as an increasing volume of high-value disputes continue to take the arbitration route. This however needs to be balanced against frivolous challenges to an arbitrator’s independence and impartiality, so that the arbitration mechanism is not stymied by mere tactical moves.

Judith Gill QC’s lecture explored practical implications for the arbitration process against the backdrop of these competing considerations. Drawing on her vast experience, she took the audience through the various types of conflicts of interest, and instances where a challenge based on conflicts crosses the line and becomes an abusive one. The audience also benefitted from a comprehensive survey of the treatment of this subject under leading institutional rules (like SIAC, LCIA, and ICC), and in the national laws of jurisdictions with established arbitration practices like Singapore, England and US.

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Upcoming Events
28 Sept 2017
28 Sept 2017
Annual General Meeting
   10 Oct 2017
19, 20, 27, 28, 30 Oct 2017
1 Nov 2017
16 Nov 2017
      View our past and Upcoming events HERE.
New Members
The Institute extends a warm welcome to the following members:
  • Poon Yu Da      
  • Mohamed Sameh Amr       
  • Sarakmony Buon 
  • Jun Git Chan
  • Sam Oi Chhim
  • Sun Mei Lai
  • Trevor Lam
  • Sam Lawson
  • Wan Khim Low
  • Celine Menu Lange
  • Wei Han Ooi
  • Adolf Peter
  • Daniel Petrushnko
  • Safia Salem
  • Teck Meng Seah
  • Kin Man Clifford To
  • Chen Han Toh
  • Gerald Mursjid Wiyatno
  • Hock Kiong Heng
  • Atsuko Hirose
  • Richard Pollard      
  • Narvinder Singh    
  • Sandra Somers           
  • Shaun Wong
Call for Contribution of Articles
The SIArb Newsletter is a publication of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators aimed to be an educational resource for members and associated organisations and institutions of higher learning. Readers of the newsletter are welcome to submit to the Secretariat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. well-researched manuscripts of merit relating to the subject matter of arbitration and dispute resolution. Submissions should be unpublished works between 1,500 to 2,500 words and are subject to the review of the editorial team.
    Council (2016 -2017) Publications Committee
Chan Leng Sun S.C.
Vice President
Dinesh Dhillon
Honorary Secretary
Naresh Mahtani
Honorary Treasurer
Chia Ho Choon
Immediate Past President
Mohan R Pillay
Council Members
Francis Goh Siong Pheck
Steven Lim
Johnny Tan Cheng Hye BBM
Tan Weiyi
Tay Yu-Jin (co-opted wef 8 Sept 2016)
Yang Yung Chong
Yeo Boon Tat
Yeo Boon Tat (Editor)
Committee Members
Gan Kam Yuin (Co -Editor)
David K K Chung
Eric Chew
Cameron Ford
Lim Hseng Lu
Tan Weiyi
Tham Wei Chern


The SIArb Newsletter is a quarterly of the publication of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators. Distribution is restricted to members and those organisations and institutions of higher learning associated with the Institute.

The Institute does not hold itself responsible for the views expressed in the Newsletter which must necessarily lie with the contributors.


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