Singapore sees record-breaking numbers of arbitration cases

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has reported a 22 per cent increase in the number of new cases filed in 2015, reaching a new record of 271 cases.

In 2015, SIAC received 271 new cases from parties from 55 jurisdictions, marking a 22 per cent jump from 222 new cases filed in 2014. A majority – 244 – of the 271 cases filed in 2015 are administered by the SIAC rules. Both numbers are the highest in the history of the centre, which was established in 1991.

However, the number of new cases only represents a 5 per cent increase from the 259 cases filed in 2013, which was another record-breaking year for the SIAC.

Another new record set in 2015 was the total sum in dispute, which reached S$6.2bn (£3.2bn), up 24 per cent from S$5bn in 2014 and 3 per cent from S$6bn in 2013. The highest claim amount, according to SIAC’s latest statistics, was S$2bn.

The newly established Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) has also released its first annual report, covering the period from commencement of operations in November 2014 to December 2015.

SIMC saw its first case filed in December 2014, a month after its launch. Last year, SIMC received five new cases, three of which were Arb-Med-Arb cases jointly administered with SIAC.

The sums in dispute in these cases ranged from S$5m to more than S$600m. All six cases filed with SIMC involved at least one foreign party and were successfully settled.

The latest statistics further reflect Singapore’s rising popularity and growing rivalry towards London and New York as an international dispute resolution hub, a key finding in The Lawyer’s Litigation Top 50 2015 report.