Singapore’s recipe for becoming a top international arbitration hub

Jana Lamas de Mesa.

2023 International Arbitration Outlook Uría Menéndez, n.º 12


Chicken rice, Singapore's national dish, is loved by both locals and foreigners. The recipe is known to all and deceptively simple: poached chicken served with seasoned white rice and chilli sauce on the side. And yet you will never be able to cook it at home quite like they do at the hawker centres found across the country.

Something similar is happening in arbitration: the essential features of a robust arbitration forum are well known, but Singapore has been carving out its unique position in the global arbitration arena in a manner that is not easy to replicate. The city-state has emerged as a both regional and global arbitration and dispute resolution hub in a short period of time. Alongside London, Singapore is the top arbitration venue in the world.[1] And from a regional perspective, over recent years Singapore has also experienced a remarkable increase in its share of Asian disputes.[2] But why is this?

Several key factors have played a role in Singapore's journey to becoming a premier arbitration seat. On the one hand, its strategic location at the heart of Southeast Asia – one of the largest and most dynamic economic areas in the world – positions the city-state as a bridge between the East and West, making it a convenient meeting point for parties from diverse jurisdictions. Singapore has low income-tax rates, zero levies on capital gains and incentives for multinational firms to choose it for their Asian headquarters.[3] It also benefits from a stable political environment and robust legal system. Throughout the years Singapore has consistently been ranked as the top Asian country in the Corruption Perception Index[4] and in the 2021 Rule of Law Index it was ranked as the second-top Asian country,[5] instilling confidence in international players choosing it as their base to channel their investments, finance and trade, and to centralise their business in the Southeast Asia region.

On the other hand, Singapore's position is also explained by the reputation it has earned as a 'safe seat'. When it comes to resolving international disputes, contracting parties prioritise aspects of international arbitration such as respect for the arbitration agreement and arbitrator's authority, neutrality, enforcement of awards, and confidentiality – and Singapore's legal framework and judiciary have a solid reputation for upholding them. It is also worth mentioning that shifting perceptions about Hong Kong's status as an international arbitral seat in the past couple of years have been to Singapore's benefit.[6]

This article provides an overview of the legal framework and infrastructure underpinning Singapore's position in the global arbitration arena, with references to key judicial decisions that showcase its pro-arbitration approach.

Legal framework for arbitration

Singapore has a dual-track arbitration framework – domestic and international. The International Arbitration Act 1994 ('IAA') governs arbitrations arising from international arbitration agreements,[7] while the Arbitration Act 2002 establishes the framework for domestic arbitrations. The IAA incorporates the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, embracing the worldwide consensus on key aspects of international arbitration.[8]

Led by the 'law follows business' principle, in the last years the Singaporean government has proactively revised and improved its arbitration laws to create a favourable environment for arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution ('ADR') mechanisms such as mediation. Recent examples of this are the 2017, 2021 and 2022 amendments to the third-party funding framework and the enactment of a framework for conditional fee arrangements allowing these types of arrangements in international arbitration proceedings and related court and mediation proceedings.[9] This new legislation introduces additional financial and risk-management tools for businesses and allows parties under financial constraints to pursue their claims. Other recent amendments of the IAA include establishing a default mechanism for appointing arbitrators in multi-party cases where there is no specific agreement in that regard, and recognising the powers of the arbitral tribunal and the Singapore High Court to enforce confidentiality obligations in arbitrations.[10]

Lastly, Singapore is a signatory to the New York Convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, which means that awards rendered in Singapore are enforceable in over 170 jurisdictions and vice versa (save for the exceptions expressly set out in the Convention). This reciprocal commitment reduces the risk and uncertainty associated with enforcing foreign arbitral awards in Singapore and Singaporean awards elsewhere.

Stance of the Singapore courts

The Singapore courts are known for their steadfast support of international arbitration proceedings and their tendency to uphold the integrity of arbitration agreements made by parties. Recently, in the SIAC Symposium 2023 Justice Prakash highlighted how important domestic courts are in ensuring the legitimacy of arbitration by first, setting the boundaries of arbitration; second, providing support for arbitration through court-ordered interim measures; and third, enforcing arbitral awards based on a policy of 'minimal curial intervention' and of avoiding an overly broad concept of natural justice.[11] Below we briefly present these features from the perspective of Singapore's judiciary.


The IAA recognises the kompetenz-kompetenz principle by virtue of which the arbitral tribunal has the power to rule on its own jurisdiction. Under Section 10 IAA, parties can have recourse to a court to review a tribunal's ruling on the issue of jurisdiction, while Section 6 IAA allows a party to an arbitration agreement to apply to a court that is hearing a dispute subject to that arbitration agreement to stay the proceedings in favour of the arbitration.

Singapore courts apply the 'tribunal versus claim test' to differentiate between objections targeted at the jurisdiction of the tribunal and those targeted at the admissibility of a claim. This test consists of a consent-based analysis under which an objection is jurisdictional in nature only if it contests the existence of party consent to arbitration in the arbitration agreement. The test has been applied by the Court of Appeal in several cases and aims to filter out objections that are, in fact, attempts to challenge the tribunal's findings on the merits.[12]


In Singapore no specific subjects have been identified by statute as non-arbitrable,[13] so it is for the court to delimit what is and is not arbitrable based on various factors, including the scope of the arbitration agreement and public policy considerations.[14] Prior to resolving that question, however, the law that determines the arbitrability of a dispute must be identified. In Anupam Mittal v Westbridge Ventures II Investment Holdings, the Singapore Court of Appeal recently established a composite approach according to which subject-matter arbitrability should be determined first under the law applicable to the arbitration agreement and, if that law deems the subject matter arbitrable, then, second, under the law of the seat of the arbitration[15] (regardless of the law applicable to the merits of the case).

Interim relief in support of arbitration

Under Section 12A IAA, the General Division of the Singapore High Court is conferred with substantially the same powers as are available to arbitral tribunals when imposing interim measures.[16] Courts will grant anti-suit injunctions regarding foreign proceedings where there is a breach of an arbitration agreement, unless there are compelling reasons not to do so or the anti-suit injunction was not promptly requested and the overseas proceedings are too far advanced.[17]

Enforcement and recognition of awards

Arbitral awards are final and grounds for setting them aside or resisting their enforcement are limited and in line with those established in the New York Convention, which is directly applicable to the recognition and enforcement of foreign awards.[18] Foreign awards are enforced in the same manner as domestic awards. Court intervention is therefore limited to instances expressly provided by law. Courts will not revisit an arbitral tribunal's findings of fact[19] unless there is a violation of 'the most basic notions of morality'[20] such as fraud or breach of natural justice.

One of the most common grounds to seek the annulment of an award due to a conflict with Singaporean public policy is for breach of natural justice. The threshold for that is quite high and difficult to meet.[21] However, although it happens infrequently, Singapore courts do not hesitate to intervene and annul an award when there is merit in doing so.[22]

Additionally, Singapore courts will enforce foreign emergency arbitral awards.[23]

Arbitral institutions

Along with its supportive local courts, Singapore has also become known for the arbitration institutions and infrastructure it offers, with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre ('SIAC') leading the way. SIAC was formed in 1991 and in recent years has been named the preferred arbitral institution in the Asia-Pacific region and second most popular in the world, after the ICC International Court of Arbitration.[24] It has representative offices in China, India, Korea and the United States of America ('US').

SIAC is highly regarded for its efficiency and effectiveness.[25] In 2022, it handled 357 new cases (88% of which were international) concerning a wide variety of sectors and multijurisdictional parties,[26] and issued 161 awards.[27] SIAC's cases are not limited to its own rules; it is also adept at administering arbitrations under other rules as agreed upon by the parties involved, and since 2017 it has also had a specialised set of rules to address unique issues in investment arbitration.[28] SIAC's panel of arbitrators is composed of over 600 experts from more than 40 jurisdictions. Appointments are made on the basis of the arbitrator's expertise, experience and track record.

In addition to SIAC, Singapore hosts several other renowned international arbitration institutions, further enhancing its status as a global arbitration hub. Notable organisations include the ICC International Court of Arbitration, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution Singapore (ICDR-AAA Singapore), the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration[29] and the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre.

Singapore's allure as an arbitration destination is further enhanced by Maxwell Chambers,[30] a state-of-the-art complex launched in 2021 by the Singapore government.This integrated dispute resolution complex offers hearing facilities and hosts the offices of most of the abovementioned international dispute resolution institutions and many dispute resolution practitioners.

Lastly, Singapore is seeing an increasing number of arbitration practitioners and international law firms' dispute resolution practices settling in Singapore, attracted by its pro-arbitration approach and institutional infrastructure.[31]

The Singapore International Commercial Court

Singapore acknowledges that diverse needs require diverse solutions and, as a response to this, the Singapore International Commercial Court ('SICC') was established in 2015 to enhance Singapore's 'status as a leading forum for legal services and commercial dispute resolution'.[32] The SICC is a specialised division of the High Court of Singapore that handles claims of an 'international' and 'commercial' nature,[33] even when such claims have no connection to Singapore and are not governed by Singapore law. With specific criteria and procedures in place, the SICC combines best practices from arbitration with key advantages of court litigation.

Some key features of the SICC are the following:

  1. Proceedings in the SICC are conducted in English, making it accessible to a wide range of international parties and legal professionals.
  2. SICC cases are adjudicated by a panel of international judges (in sets of one or three, or five in appeal cases) with expertise in international and commercial law. The SICC panel of adjudicators includes judges from Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US.
  3. Proceedings are flexible and to a point tailor-made to meet the parties' – and the dispute's – particular needs. Parties may agree on familiar procedural rules (e.g. the IBA Rules) or document production rules similar to international arbitration.
  4. In cases known as 'offshore cases' – where there is no substantial connection to Singapore or the only connections between the dispute and Singapore are the parties' choice of Singapore law as the law applicable to the dispute and the parties' submission to the jurisdiction of the SICC – foreign lawyers can represent the parties involved. They need to be previously registered and can only make submissions on questions of foreign law. In this regard, determination of foreign law in SICC proceedings may be based on submissions by counsel instead of evidence from expert witnesses.
  5. Parties may apply for confidentiality orders in respect of the proceedings. Although hearings generally take place in open court, special rules apply to the so-called offshore cases.
  6. Fees are based on factors such as the type of hearing, the number of days required for the hearing and the number of judges hearing the case.
  7. The 'costs follow the event' principle, subject to proportionality and reasonableness, applies to SICC proceedings. And the third-party funding framework referenced earlier also covers certain proceedings in the SICC, and any appeals.[34]

As mentioned, SICC proceedings also benefit from some advantages of court litigation – for example, as a domestic court the SICC is vested with powers to issue court orders such as those for the joinder of third parties, and access to the SICC is less costly than arbitration. Its judges are also independently appointed.

SICC decisions may be appealed unless otherwise explicitly agreed between the parties. Once final, a SICC judgment is enforceable in the courts of countries that have reciprocal enforcement arrangements with Singapore.[35]

Parties may submit to the jurisdiction of the SICC through a written jurisdiction agreement.[36] However, proceedings may also be transferred to the SICC from other divisions of the High Court in specific cases.[37]

Furthermore, the SICC is empowered to deal with arbitration-related court applications that fall under the scope of the IAA, such as jurisdictional challenges, enforcement applications and those seeking interim relief and the setting-aside of proceedings. This provides parties with a swift, efficient and expert platform to resolve disputes arising from arbitration proceedings. The SICC has introduced a model jurisdiction clause with which parties can appoint the SICC to rule on IAA-related matters (i.e. as a supervisory court to hear these issues if they arise in the arbitration). Additionally, parties to a SIAC arbitration may also obtain interim relief from the SICC if they have chosen the SICC as the supervisory court of the arbitration (by including the relevant 'SIAC Model Clause' in the arbitration agreement).

Mediation and other mixed ADR formulas

Singapore has also made efforts to promote other forms of ADR, namely mediation. The creation of the Singapore International Mediation Centre ('SIMC') in 2014 following the recommendations of a Working Group convened by the Ministry of Law is just one example of these efforts. SIMC has a panel of 69 mediators from 17 jurisdictions and specialist mediator panels from various countries.[38] To date, it has managed a total of 250 cases with an average value of USD 90.4 million and has an average settlement rate of 70-80%. The top three countries its users originate from are India, China and the US.[39]

In Singapore mediation agreements must be in writing, in the form of a clause in a contract or a separate agreement. Parties reaching a mediated settlement agreement can have it recorded as an order of court as per Section 12(1) of the Mediation Act. Also, akin to the framework provided by the New York Convention for arbitral awards, the 2019 Singapore Convention on Mediation established the necessary legal body for cross-border recognition and enforcement of mediated international settlement agreements that before was missing – although to really provide certainty in resolving cross-border disputes through mediation more countries will need to ratify it.

In Singapore mediation is also used as a complement to other dispute resolution mechanisms, under different formulas established through collaboration between SIMC and the SICC or SIAC, combining the benefits of mediation (i.e. flexibility, confidentiality, hands-on negotiation and an amicable solution) with those of litigation or arbitration (i.e. enforceability, registrability and reciprocal recognition). Under the Litigation-Mediation-Litigation (launched in January 2023 by the SICC[40]) and Arbitration-Mediation-Arbitration protocols, parties can decide to initiate litigation before the SICC or arbitration before SIAC, respectively, but then suspend the proceedings (up to eight weeks, subject to any extension that the SICC or SIAC may find reasonable[41]) and try to settle the dispute through mediation under the SIMC Mediation Rules.

If a settlement agreement is reached, parties may have it recorded as a court order or as an award, as the case may be, hence benefitting from the reciprocal recognition and enforceability of an international commercial court order or an international award. If only part of the dispute has been settled through mediation, parties may go forward with the proceedings before the SICC or SIAC, as the case may be, in respect of the unsettled disputes. Parties can choose to include this protocol in their dispute resolution agreement or may agree to use it separately at a later stage.[42]


In recent years, Singapore has demonstrated a keen awareness that, for international arbitration to succeed as a genuine ADR mechanism within its borders, it must be supported by a robust and effective legal framework. It has meticulously refined its legal ecosystem, aligning international arbitration standards with strong backing from its judiciary and a pro-business environment. To meet the varied needs of potential dispute resolution users Singapore has also created an enticing alternative for international disputes: the SICC, which provides a unique fusion of the strengths of arbitration and court litigation in the region.

Furthermore, parties may not always be inclined to pursue arbitration or litigation until a final judgment or award is reached; instead, they may seek more control over the outcome while minimising time and expenses. In response to this, Singapore has implemented state-of-the-art mechanisms that allow parties to resolve some or all of their disputes through mediation. To ensure that mediation remains an attractive ADR option, Singapore has taken the lead with the Singapore Convention on Mediation, which aims to make mediation decisions legally binding in various jurisdictions worldwide.

In conclusion, Singapore's journey towards becoming a global hub for arbitration and dispute resolution is a testament to its commitment to innovation, integrity and flexibility in meeting the diverse needs of international parties seeking justice and the final settlement of their disputes. The evolution of Singapore's legislation and arbitration-related case law further underscores its dedication to remaining at the forefront of international arbitration. This pro-arbitration environment, combined with world-class infrastructure, has earned recognition from the arbitration community and will continue to serve as a magnet for arbitration practitioners and international law firms – although we cannot help but wonder whether they were in the first place drawn to Singapore for its renowned, delicious national dish.


[1] White & Case and Queen Mary University of London, '2021 International Arbitration Survey: adapting arbitration to a changing world' (2021) <> accessed 30 October 2023. In the same survey in 2015 and 2018, Singapore was ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

[2] Pinsent Masons and Queen Mary University London, 'Future of International Energy Arbitration Survey Report' (20 January 2023) <> accessed 30 October 2023; International Chamber of Commerce ('ICC'), 'Dispute Resolution 2020 Statistics' (2020), p. 16 <> accessed 30 October 2023.

[3] Doing Business in Singapore, 'Taxation and Accounting in Singapore' <> accessed 30 October 2023; Chanjaroen, C. Chan and D. Ramli, 'Financial Firms Are Flocking to Singapore But Hong Kong Keeps Its Edge' in TIME (6 October 2023) <> accessed 30 October 2023.

[4] Transparency International, '2022 Corruption Perceptions Index: Singapore' (2022) <> accessed 30 October 2023.

[5] World Justice Project, '2023 WJP Rule of Law Index' (2023) <> accessed 30 October 2023.

[6] C. Chanjaroen, C. Chan and D. Ramli, 'Financial Firms Are Flocking to Singapore But Hong Kong Keeps Its Edge' in TIME (6 October 2023) <> accessed 30 October 2023; H. Tse, 'Hong Kong loses edge to Singapore as world's freest economy, as think tank cites interference and waning rule of law' in Hong Kong Free Press (30 September 2023) <> accessed 30 October 2023. This shift was also recognised in: Pinsent Masons and Queen Mary University of London, '2022 Energy Arbitration Survey' (Ibid, pp. 6; 29) and evidenced in recent months by the increase in the number of law firms and arbitration practitioners opening up their dispute resolution practices to the Singapore market, or even moving them there from Hong Kong (e.g. see <>). Additionally, according to the 'UNCTAD World Investment Report 2023' (5 July 2023), p. 5 <> accessed 30 October 2023; global FDI inflows to Hong Kong amounted to USD 117.7 billion in 2022 (fourth globally), behind Singapore's USD 141.2 billion (third globally).

[7] Section 5(2) IAA defines an arbitration as international if: (i) at least one of the parties to the arbitration agreement has its place of business outside of Singapore; (ii) the place of arbitration is outside of the state in which the parties have their place of business; (iii) any place where a substantial part of the obligation of the commercial relationship is to be performed, or the place to which the subject matter of the dispute is most closely connected, is situated outside of the state in which the parties have their place of business; or (iv) the parties have expressly agreed that the subject matter of the arbitration agreement relates to more than one country.

[8] The IAA rules apply in the absence of other rules agreed between the parties to the extent that they are not inconsistent with the non-derogable provisions of the Model Law or the IAA (see IAA, Sections 15 and 15(A)).

[9] In 2017 Singapore introduced third-party funding in international arbitration proceedings and related court and mediation proceedings. Then in 2021 and 2022 it extended the third-party funding framework to cover Singapore International Commercial Court proceedings, domestic arbitration proceedings and related mediation proceedings. However, damages-based agreements are not permitted. In Singapore, only entities that meet the criteria set out in the Civil Law (Third-Party Funding) Regulations 2017 may provide third-party funding (e.g. they must be professional funders whose principal business is funding the costs of dispute resolution proceedings and they must have a minimum paid-up share capital).

[10] See IAA, Sections 9(B); 12(1)(j); 12A(2). These amendments came into force in December 2020.

[11] SG Courts, 'Justice Judith Prakash: Speech delivered at Singapore International Arbitration Centre Symposium 2023' (29 August 2023) <> accessed 30 October 2023. See also, S. Moody, 'Justice Prakash reflects on arbitrability at GAR Live Singapore' in Global Arbitration Review (4 September 2023) <> accessed 30 October 2023.

[12] In BBA and others v BAZ and another appeal [2020] 2 SLR 453 the Court held that time bar issues arising from statutory limitation periods constitute admissibility objections (paras. 77-80). The same conclusion was reached as to the issue of the res judicata effect of a previous decision (see BTN and another v BTP and another [2021] 1 SLR 276, para. 71). However, on the issue of non-satisfaction of pre-arbitration requirements, in International Research Corp PLC v Lufthansa Systems Asia Pacific [2014] 1 SLR 130 the Court of Appeal found that the pre-arbitration requirements were a condition precedent to consent and, as such, non-compliance with them would be treated as a jurisdictional defect. It is still to be seen whether Singapore courts will change this approach in upcoming decisions.

[13] Aloe Vera of America, Inc v Asianic Food (S) Pte Ltd [2006] 3 SLR(R) 174, para. 72.

[14] Tomolugen Holdings Ltd and another v Silica Investors Ltd and other appeals [2016] 1 SLR 373, para. 75., Section 11(1) IAA reads as follows: 'Any dispute which the parties have agreed to submit to arbitration under an arbitration agreement may be determined by arbitration unless it is contrary to public policy to do so'. As Justice Judith Prakash put it (Ibid): '[t]he question of arbitrability requires careful consideration of whether the dispute raises public policy concerns, and whether these concerns are of such a nature that they should be determined by the court instead of by privately appointed adjudicators. Therefore, while it is not incorrect to refer to certain types of disputes as being arbitrable, it should be borne in mind that this is analytical shorthand that should not eclipse the actual enquiry that underlies the determination of the arbitrability of a dispute.'

[15] Applying this composite approach, the Court of Appeal held that the dispute in Anupam Mittal v Westbridge Ventures II Investment Holdings [2023] SGCA 1 was arbitrable as, although the main contract was governed by Indian law (which considered the subject matter of the dispute non-arbitrable), Singapore law was both the law of the arbitration agreement and the law of the seat, and under Singapore law claims of corporate mismanagement and oppression are arbitrable. What the decision in Anupam illustrates is the court's role in providing clarity on how arbitrability is determined.

[16] Such as security for costs, discovery of documents and discovery of facts, giving of evidence by affidavit, preservation or interim custody of evidence, securing the amount in dispute, etc.

[17] Sun Travels & Tours Pvt Ltd v Hilton International Manage (Maldives) Pvt Ltd [2019] SGCA 10. Parties to a SIAC arbitration may also obtain interim relief from the Singapore International Commercial Court (to which we will refer below) if they have chosen it as the supervisory court of the arbitration (e.g. by including the 'SIAC Model Clause' in their arbitration agreement).

[18] Section 31 IAA, lists the grounds on which a Singapore court can refuse to recognise and enforce an award, replicating those in the New York Convention.

[19] Arbitral tribunals' findings on foreign law are treated as findings of fact; hence they cannot be reviewed by the domestic court. However, the courts have yet to rule on whether findings of law can be reopened.

[20] See e.g. PT Asuransi Jasa Indonesia (Persero) v Dexia Bank SA [2007] 1 SLR(R) 597, para. 59.

[21] As the Court of Appeal put it, it is in '[e]xceptional cases that a court will find the threshold crossed' (see China Machine New Energy Corp v Jaguar Energy Guatemala LLC and another [2020] 1 SLR 695, para. 87).

[22] In CAJ v CAI [2021] SGCA 102, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court decision to annul an award for 'breach of natural justice'. A complete new defence had been raised by the defendants in their closing briefs and the claimant had not had the opportunity to furnish or examine evidence on the issues raised. The arbitral tribunal had accepted this new pleading and assessed it based on its experience in the matter (even though there had been no direct evidence on the issue). The Court of Appeal annulled the award, highlighting the importance of 'each party's pleaded case in the arbitration' for the definition of the jurisdiction of the tribunal. Another example is the Singapore High Court's decision in Sai Wan Shipping Ltd v Landmark Line Co Ltd [2022] 4 SLR 1032 (paras. 57-74).

[23] In CVG v CVH [2022] SGHC 249 (paras. 28; 35), applying a 'purposive interpretation', the High Court found that the term 'arbitral award' in IAA, Section 27(1), is to be interpreted as including awards by emergency arbitrators. Consequently, Section 29 IAA ('Recognition and enforcement of foreign awards') applies to foreign awards by emergency arbitrators.

[24] White & Case and Queen Mary University of London, '2021 International Arbitration Survey: adapting arbitration to a changing world' (2021) <> accessed 30 October 2023.

[25] An example of SIAC's ongoing commitment to efficiency is the recent public consultation on amending the SIAC Rules, which finished in November 2023. The topics covered include: the creation of an expedited procedure for cases up to SGD 10 million or if '[t]he circumstances of the case warrant the application of the Expedited Procedure', and a 'Streamlined Procedure' for cases under SGD 1 million.

[26] The top five jurisdictions in 2022 were India, China, Hong Kong, the US and Malaysia.

[27] Singapore International Arbitration Centre, 'Annual Report 2022' (2022) <> accessed 30 October 2023.

[28] Key features of these rules include a procedure for early dismissal of claims and defences, provisions for submissions by non-disputing parties, provisions to enable the tribunal to order disclosure of third-party funding arrangements and to take such arrangements into account when apportioning costs, and an opt-in mechanism for appointment of an emergency arbitrator.

[29] Singapore's importance in trade and shipping has also made it a particularly appealing venue for maritime arbitrations.

[30] See web of Maxwell Chambers <> accessed 30 October 2023.

[31] See e.g., T. Jones, 'Quinn Emanuel sets sights on Singapore' (2 October 2023) <> accessed 30 October 2023; N. Dixit, 'Mayer Brown expands in Singapore with new law firm joint venture' (25 October 2023) <> accessed 30 October 2023; K. Nair 'Major South Korean law firm Bae Kim & Lee launches in Singapore' (24 August 2021) <> accessed 30 October 2023; S. Moody, 'New Zealand set launches Singapore practice' (12 December 2022) <> accesed 30 October 2023.

[32] 'Report of the Singapore International Commercial Committee' (November 2013) <> accessed 30 October 2023. The Report highlighted that the '[n]eed for greater harmonisation is increasingly evident as the rapid developments of the commercial world bring significant challenges to legal frameworks which have yet to be rationalised from an international perspective at the same pace [...] (and) [...] there is a “need for a freestanding body of international commercial law in tandem with Asia's continued growth as a trade and investment hub"' (the SICC sought to serve that purpose).

[33] As defined in the Rules of the Court, Order 101(2)(a)-(b) (<> accessed 30 October 2023), by reference to the parties' place of business when it is distinct from Singapore, and a non-exhaustive list of types of commercial relationships.

[34] In Senda International Capital Ltd v Kiri Industries Ltd [2022] SGCA(I) 10, the Singapore Court of Appeal ruled for the first time on the principles governing the assessment of costs for proceedings in the SICC and granted over SGD 8 million in costs. The criteria adopted look at the costs reasonably incurred by the successful party, while also taking into account the complexity of the dispute and the nature and extent of the differences between the parties. This was an important decision for third-party funding (which since June 2021 is allowed in proceedings commenced in the SICC and any appeals from those proceedings), since it established that the level of costs that can be recovered is high, similarly to arbitration proceedings.

[35] The 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements, of which Singapore is a Contracting State, allows the enforcement of SICC judgments across 30 contracting jurisdictions – which currently include the Member States of the EU, the United Mexican States and the United Kingdom.

[36] This is as long as the parties do not seek prerogative orders or remedies of a non-commercial nature.

[37] Pursuant to the Rules of the Court, Order 110, rules 12(3B); 12(4) (18 November 2021) <> accessed 30 October 2023).

[38] Data from October 2022.

[39] From 2014 to 2021.

[40] SICC and SIMC Media Joint Release, 'Singapore International Commercial Court Launches Mediation-Friendly Protocol with Singapore International Mediation Centre to Advance Singapore as Asian Hub for Dispute Resolution' (12 January 2023) <> accessed 30 October 2023; SIMC, 'SIAC-SIMC Arb-Med-Arb Protocol' <> accessed 30 October 2023.

[41] Under the Litigation-Mediation-Litigation protocol, the SICC maintains its powers to grant interim or supplementary relief for the purposes of preserving the rights of any party.

[42] The SIMC proposes different model clauses depending on whether they are to be used before a dispute arises or after a dispute has arisen (see SIMC, 'SIMC – SIMC LIT-MED-LIT Model Clause', in LML protocol <> accessed 30 October 2023).

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