ICC: Singapore Top Destination for International Arbitration in Asia

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The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Court of Arbitration released a list of its top destinations for international arbitration. With the growing economic importance of Asia, it is no wonder that an Asian nation has risen to the top of the rankings. Singapore has taken the fourth seat on the list of most chosen arbitration venues overall, and first in Asia. This is the tenth consecutive year the nation has been in the top five.

Last year, more than six percent of all ICC cases filed with the ICC Court of Arbitration requested Singapore as the venue of choice. The 2015 ICC Dispute Resolution Statistics will be published next month, but the ICC announced several of the more interesting findings earlier this week.  Also noteworthy for Singapore, while the number of cases pertaining to disputes originating in or related to Singapore remained fairly constant, the number of foreign parties choosing to have their cases resolved in Singapore has shown a consistent trend for growth.

In fact, in 2015, over 71 percent of all new cases requesting Singapore for the arbitration venue included one or more parties from outside Singapore, and in more than half of those cases a non-Singaporean arbitrator was appointed.

According to the ICC’s Regional Director for South Asia, Abhinay Bhushan, "It is important to highlight that under ICC Rules of Arbitration, parties do not require any Singaporean connections to arbitrate in Singapore. They also have the flexibility to choose an arbitrator of any nationality despite the seat of arbitration.”

In 2015, the ICC Court or Arbitration received the second highest number of newly filed cases it has ever had in its 93-year history. Over the course of the year, 801 new cases were filed, with more than 2,283 total parties involved. The average value of the new disputes set a record, as they rose to US$84 million (the previous record was US$63 million). The aggregate value of all of the disputes filed in 2015 amounted to US$286 billion.

While the findings were a point of pride for Singapore, they were even more important to the ICC. The organization was proud of its growing reach and influence via the arbitration process.

Speaking about the ICC’s recent findings, Alexis Mourre, President of the ICC Arbitration Court, said: "The figures show the unrivaled and growing reach of ICC Arbitration. We are particularly delighted with the strong growth of ICC Arbitration in North America and Asia, reflecting the establishment of new representative offices in these regions in recent years."