New case management office for international arbitration by 2018

A new case management office will start operations in the first quarter of next year (2018) at Maxwell Chambers.
A new case management office will start operations in the first quarter of next year (2018) at Maxwell Chambers.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A new case management office - allowing international arbitration cases to be handled here - will start operations in the first quarter of next year (2018) at Maxwell Chambers.

Set up by the International Chamber of Commerce's International Court of Arbitration (ICC court), it will be the first such office set up here by an international arbitration institution.

This follows amendments to legislation earlier in the year, allowing third-party funding in international commercial arbitration here, offering businesses an additional financing and risk management tool.

The Singapore office will be the ICC Court's fourth overseas office. ICC has offices in Hong Kong, New York, and Brazil.

The Paris-headquartered institution administered almost 1,000 arbitration cases from around the world last year (2016).

The move, announced by the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and ICC Court at the third ICC Asia Conference on Wednesday (June 28), is expected to "augment Singapore's offerings and raise our hub status", said Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah.

"It is a vote of confidence in Singapore as a base for major players to access and capture opportunities," she said, adding that she looks forward to working with the ICC to deepen arbitration expertise and build up a younger generation of arbitrators and counsel.

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre registered 343 cases in 2016. The sum involved in last year's new cases was $17.13 billion, the highest amount in dispute it has registered

The new office here will take up about 2,000 sq ft in the new Maxwell Chambers Suites - which was previously the Red Dot Traffic Building.

Maxwell Chambers Suites will have four floors of about 50 offices for dispute resolution institutions, arbitration chambers, law firms and other ancillary service providers. Tenants have already taken up 65 per cent of the new office space and include The Arbitration Chambers, headed by Professor Lawrence Boo, and London barristers One Essex Court.

At the event, Deputy Secretary of MinLaw Mr Han Kok Juan, and President of the ICC Court Mr Alexis Henri Louis Mourre, signed a memorandum of understanding, in announcing the collaboration. This was witnessed by Ms Indranee and ICC secretary-general Mr John Danilovich.

Mr Mourre said of the agreement: "With its two case management teams in Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as its representative office in Shanghai, the court is now able to offer a unique international arbitration platform across the entire Asian continent."