The SIAC released its Annual Report for 2013 at its Annual Appreciation Cocktail Reception on 18 February 2014. The SIAC Annual Report 2013 highlights case statistics which further signal and cement SIAC’s reputation as one of the premier international arbitration centres in the world.
A number of key highlights and figures deserve special mention:
- SIAC saw a 10% increase in new cases from 235 cases in 2012 to 259 new cases in 2013. Once again, the SIAC has exceeded 200 new case filings for the second year running.
- SIAC once again registered a record-high figure in terms of the total sum of disputes arbitrated. 2013 saw the SIAC handling disputes amounting to S$6.06 billion. This far surpasses the combined amounts from 2010 (S$1.35 billion), 2011 (S$1.32 billion) and 2012 (S$3.61 billion). The highest claim amount for 2013 was S$3.5 billion, which is more than double the amount of the largest claim in dispute in 2012 (S$1.5 billion).
- The average amount in dispute for cases in 2013 was S$24.44 million (or S$10.48 million without the S$3.5 billion dispute). This marks a significant upward tick from 2012, where the average claim in dispute was S$15.36 million (or S$9.01 million without the S$1.5 billion dispute).
- SIAC received 19 applications for emergency arbitration (and emergency arbitration relief) in 2013 and accepted all 19. This takes the total of all such applications accepted since July 2010 to 30.
India, with 85 new cases filed, took over from China as being the biggest foreign contributor of cases to the SIAC. China was 2nd with 41. This makes it the 4th time in the last 5 years that India has been the largest contributor of arbitration cases to the SIAC. We had noted last year that new filings from Indonesia came in third with the biggest surprise being the USA which came in fourth. However, statistics for 2013 showed that these were no aberrations as Indonesia maintained its 3rd place ranking with 36 new case filings while the USA was in 5th with 25.
The SIAC also provided choice of governing law statistics for the first time. 91.5% of parties had chosen a particular law to govern their contracts (and dispute). The overwhelming number of contracts chose 1 of the following 3 governing laws: Singapore law (44.5%), English law (31.6%) and Indian law (7.4%). This aligns with anecdotal evidence of the growing importance and parties’ comfort with Singapore law as an international commercial law.
The SIAC had announced its intention to open new offices overseas last year. 2013 saw the SIAC opening its first overseas liaison office in Mumbai, India, followed by the opening of its second overseas liaison office at the new International Dispute Resolution Centre in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea was the 7th largest contributor of cases to the SIAC in 2013 with 19 new case filings. This was just behind Malaysia which had 20 new case filings.
2012 had been considered by many arbitration practitioners in Singapore to have been a bumper year for the SIAC. However, the SIAC has managed to improve on that in 2013. The SIAC’s growth over the years coincides with the rapid development of arbitration in Singapore (and the region) which has been nothing short of remarkable and the statistics for 2013 suggests that growth will continue for the foreseeable future.