Parties entering into arbitration agreements ordinarily abide by their contractually chosen dispute resolution mechanism and proceed accordingly. However, counterparties sometimes start proceedings in a foreign jurisdiction in breach of an arbitration clause. A recent Singapore Court of Appeal decision sets out firm guidance that a party that finds itself in this scenario should act as fast as possible to restrain the counterparty by way of an anti-suit injunction.
In a recent High Court judgment, the plaintiff successfully imposed a winding-up order on a debtor company six weeks after the service of a statutory demand for an underlying debt of $250 million. This decision is an important comment on the standard of proof required for a debtor company to show that there is a dispute – and therefore stave off winding-up proceedings by a creditor – where the underlying contract is subject to arbitration.
In 2017 Parliament aligned Singapore with other leading arbitration jurisdictions by embracing third-party funding as a viable method for increasing access to justice for parties involved in specific arbitration proceedings. Less than one year later, the market for third-party funding in Singapore has seen significant activity, and practitioners and clients alike are keen to explore the benefits and opportunities associated with third-party funding.
Singapore is positioning itself as a hub for insolvency and restructuring. Imminent changes to Singapore's mediation landscape suggest that mediation will soon become one of the tools available to insolvency and restructuring practitioners in resolving their clients' concerns. Similarly, there is room for employing arbitration in specific types of dispute, which will assist with insolvency and restructuring matters and help to resolve them more expediently.
An online travel platform recently obtained Singapore's first super priority order for rescue financing pursuant to Section 211E(1)(b) of the Companies Act. This groundbreaking decision provides valuable guidance to insolvency practitioners regarding future applications for super priority rescue financing, which will hopefully increase the attractiveness of distressed financing as an investment opportunity in Singapore, fostering its development as an insolvency and restructuring hub.
The Singapore High Court recently delivered a landmark decision on the recognition of foreign bankruptcy proceedings and the public policy exception under the Singapore Model Law. In this groundbreaking decision, the court ruled on several matters relating to the law for the first time, including the relevant date and other factors for determining a debtor's centre of main interests.
The Companies Act was amended in May 2017 to introduce a number of improvements to Singapore's debt restructuring laws regarding super-priority status for rescue financing, schemes of arrangement, judicial management and cross-border insolvency. This article reviews the various court decisions (both reported and unreported) that have been issued since the changes became operative.
The much-anticipated Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Bill was recently passed. The bill aims to ensure that Singapore's restructuring and insolvency laws remain relevant and progressive to support its position as a global restructuring hub. The bill also represents the last phase of implementing recommendations from the Insolvency Law Review Committee and the Committee to Strengthen Singapore as an International Centre for Debt Restructuring.