Singapore International Commercial Court - Update on Pending Cases

In my earlier post I reported on the Singapore International Commercial Court's first written decision:  BCBC Singapore Pte Ltd and Anor v PT Bayan Resources TBK and Anor [2016] SGHC(I) 01 (12 May 2016).

Three further cases are also pending before the SICC, following transfer from the Singapore High Court. Each is being heard by a court comprising  international judges, including two Australian judges. 

Key Features of the SICC

The SICC is a division of the Singapore High Court; there is a right of appeal to the Court of Appeal unless parties contract otherwise. The coram is 1 or 3 at first instance; coram of 3 or 5 on appeal.

The establishment of the SICC reflects Singapore’s commitment to establishing itself as an international hotspot for cross-border litigation in Asia. The jurisdictional requirements are:

  • claims international and commercial in nature;
  • submission to jurisdiction under a written jurisdiction agreement; and
  • parties do not seek any relief in the form of, or connected with, a prerogative order.

The key features of the SICC include:

  • parties may apply for proceedings to be confidential
  • ability to join third parties
  • Singapore rules of evidence may, on application of a party, be dissapplied, and other rules may apply
  • proof of foreign law may, on application of a party, be dispensed with and any question of foreign law decided on the basis of submissions
  • no general discovery
  • document production process similar to that in the IBA Rules on Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration
  • costs are at the discretion of the Court, generally to be borne by the unsuccessful party.

Pending Cases

Telemedia Pacific Group Limited & Anor v Yuanta Asset Management International Limited & Anor

This case involves foreign individuals and their respective British Virgin Islands companies relating to breaches of agreements for the raising of funds and investments. The case includes a claim of about S$14m and further damages representing the value of shares and a counterclaim of about S$13m.

The trial before Justice Patricia Bergin (International Judge) was completed in February 2016 and closing submissions were heard last month. Justice Bergin is the Chief Judge in Equity and an additional Judge of Appeal of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. 

Teras Offshore Pte Ltd v Teras Cargo Transport (America) LLC

This case involves parties from Singapore and the United States in a dispute over works to be carried out for certain liquefied natural gas projects in Australia.  

The Honourable Justice Henry Bernard Eder (International Judge) has been assigned to hear the case. Sir Bernard was formerly a Judge of the High Court of England and Wales and was assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division and the Commercial Court from 2011 to April 2015 and is the Senior Editor of Scrutton on Charterparties and Bills of Lading

BNP Paribas Wealth Management v Jacob Agam & Anor

This case involves a claim by a French bank against two Israeli individuals on personal guarantees securing loans disbursed by the bank to French and Danish corporations owned by the Israeli individuals. 

A three-Judge panel comprising Justice Steven Chong, Justice Dominique Hascher (International Judge) and Justice Roger Giles (International Judge) has been assigned to hear the case.  Justice Hascher is a Judge of the Supreme Judicial Court in France and previously sat on the Bench of the Court of Appeal as Judge in 1998 and as Presiding Judge in 2008. Justice Giles is also a Judge in the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts and a former judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, becoming Chief Judge of the Commercial Division and in 1998 a Judge of Appeal.

20 May 2016

Dominique Hogan-Doran SC FCIArb is a member of the Australian Bar and a Registered Foreign Lawyer with the Singapore International Commercial Court. Dominique is a member of LawAsia and chairs the Globalisation Working Group of the Law Council of Australia's Futures Committee.

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