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Tag Archives: Singapore High Court

Macanese Investor Succeeds in Reversing Singapore High Court’s Decision on Jurisdiction in its BIT Claim

A Macanese investor, Sanum Investments Ltd (“Sanum“), has successfully appealed a Singapore High Court decision on a tribunal’s jurisdiction to determine Sanum’s claims under the bilateral investment treaty (“BIT“) between the People’s Republic of China (“China“) and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (“Laos“). The Court of Appeal’s decision in Sanum Investments Ltd v Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic [2016] SGCA 57, which was handed down on 29 September 2016, is discussed below. Background While Macau was under Portuguese rule, the China-Portugal Joint Declaration (“Declaration“) was signed in 1987,

The arbitrability of minority shareholder rights in Singapore

In Maniach Pte Ltd v L Capital Jones Ltd and another [2016] SGHC 6, the Singapore High Court recently handed down a decision concerning a dispute between the shareholders of the international gourmet food business Jones the Grocer. In response to the majority shareholder’s move to have the dispute settled through arbitration, the Court decided that seeking damages for minority shareholder oppression (under the Companies Act) is not arbitral, and that such action must be pursued through the courts. In reaching its decision, the Court cited Silica Investors Ltd v

Who gets the first bite? Singapore High Court gives primacy to the tribunal where existence of an arbitration agreement is in dispute

In Malini Ventura v Knight Capital Pte Ltd [2015] SGHC 225, the Singapore High Court dismissed an application for an interim injunction staying SIAC arbitration proceedings.  The application had been made on the basis that the plaintiff’s signature in an arbitration agreement was forged and, as a consequence, that the arbitration agreement did not exist. The High Court held that an arbitral tribunal has the first bite at deciding whether or not there is an arbitration agreement and that, under Singapore law, a party needs only show on a prima

Bouvier and the Billionaire – Singapore Court of Appeal sets aside Mareva Injunctions over assets of Swiss art dealer

In Bouvier v Accent Delight International [2015] SGCA 45, the Singapore Court of Appeal set aside Mareva injunctions (otherwise known as freezing injunctions) over the assets of Swiss art dealer Mr. Yves Charles Edgar Bouvier.  The Court held that, to prove a real risk of  dissipation of assets, it would not be enough to establish a good arguable case of dishonesty; the nature of the dishonesty that is alleged must be of such a nature that it has a real and material bearing on the risk of dissipation.  In this

Singapore Court of Appeal finds arbitration agreement contained in standard terms incorporated into a contract made by email

The Singapore Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal against a decision of the Singapore High Court, finding that standard terms (containing an arbitration agreement) sent by one party after the essential terms to the transaction had been agreed upon, were nonetheless incorporated into the agreement between the parties. R1 International, a Singapore incorporated company, supplied natural rubber to Lonstroff AG, a Swiss incorporated company, under several orders. The first and second orders were confirmed by email and subsequently, sales contracts purporting to incorporate the terms of the International Rubber

Singapore High Court rules on the application of the PRC-Laos bilateral investment treaty to Macau

In Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (“Laos”) v Sanum Investments Ltd (“Sanum”) [2015] SGHC 15, the Singapore High Court allowed an appeal under section 10 of the Singapore International Arbitration Act (the “IAA”) to an UNCITRAL arbitral tribunal’s ruling on jurisdiction, finding that the bilateral investment treaty between the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) and the Laos (the “BIT”) did not extend to the Macau Special Administrative Region of China (“Macau”). Sanum, a Macau-based entity, had invested in Laos’ gaming and hospitality industry through a joint venture with

Another dispute resolution option: Singapore officially launches the Singapore International Commercial Court

The Singapore International Commercial Court (“SICC”) was officially launched at Singapore’s Opening of the Legal Year, on 5 January 2015. The SICC is a unique offering in Asia and provides a further choice of dispute resolution procedures for parties in Singapore. The SICC is a division of the Singapore High Court and it seeks to incorporate some of the popular aspects of arbitration whilst retaining other fundamental principles of court proceedings, such as the right to appeal a decision to the Court of Appeal. The SICC will hear cases that

Singapore Court of Appeal confirms principle of minimal judicial intervention in arbitration proceedings

In BLC and others v BLB and another [2014] SGCA 40, the Singapore Court of Appeal considered an appeal against the High Court’s decision to remit a counterclaim back to arbitration. The appellant had obtained an arbitration award against the respondent. The respondent subsequently applied to the Singapore High Court to set aside the award on the basis that the arbitrator had failed to consider one of its counterclaims.  The court agreed, holding this to be a breach of natural justice.  It remitted the counterclaim to arbitration but upheld the

Determining the governing law of arbitration agreements: the Singapore High Court rejects the English courts’ approach

In FirstLink Investments Corp Ltd v GT Payment Pte Ltd the Singapore High Court held that where no national law is expressly stated to govern an arbitration agreement and it falls to the courts to determine the issue, the courts’ key consideration is likely to be the parties’ choice of seat for the arbitration, rather than the stated governing law of the contract. In this case, the court considered the claimant’s submissions that the respondent’s application for a stay in favour of arbitration should not be granted on the grounds

Singapore High Court considers arbitrability of intra-corporate claims

Abstract: In Silica Investors Ltd v Tomolugen Holdings Ltd [2014] SGHC 101], the Singapore High Court considered the principles of arbitrability in the context of a minority oppression claim. Speedread: The Singapore High Court has held that a minority oppression claim brought by a shareholder against the company and other shareholders was not arbitrable, as the relief would affect third parties to the arbitration agreement. In the court’s view, such claims would not be arbitrable unless all parties that could be affected were parties to the arbitration agreement. (Silica Investors

Singapore High Court confirms the application of Kompetence-Kompetence

In The Titan Unity, the Singapore High Court considered an application to stay court proceedings in favour of arbitration. The claimant had commenced court proceedings in Singapore relating to the defendant’s failure to deliver a cargo under certain bills of lading.  The defendant applied for a stay of the proceedings in favour of arbitration under section 6 of the International Arbitration Act (“IAA“) on the basis that an arbitration clause in a separate time charter party between the parties had been incorporated into the bills of lading. The claimant denied

Astro v Lippo: Singapore Court of Appeal clarifies award debtor’s right to challenge arbitral tribunal’s decision on jurisdiction and joinder of third parties

The Singapore Court of Appeal has given its much-anticipated decision in the latest chapter of the long running Astro v Lippo dispute, allowing an appeal by PT First Media TBK (a Lippo company) against enforcement orders issued by the Singapore High Court in respect of arbitral awards worth US$250 million made in favour of eight companies belonging to the Astro group.  (PT First Media TBK (formerly known as PT Broadband Multimedia TBK) v Astro Nusantara International BV and others and another appeal [2013] SGCA 57.) The arbitration proceedings related to

Breach of natural justice and the limited rights of appeal under the Singapore International Arbitration Act

Two recent decisions the Singapore High Court confirm the principle of minimal curial intervention in arbitral awards and highlight the limited rights of appeal to the Singapore courts for parties who elect to arbitrate. There is no provision under the Singapore International Arbitration Act (“IAA”) or the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law for the courts to set aside arbitral awards in cases of errors of law or fact on the part of the arbitral tribunal.  Applications to the Singapore courts for an arbitral award to be set aside can only be