On 16 November 2017, the Singapore arbitration community gathered for the annual SIArb commercial arbitration symposium, during which the SIArb launched its guidelines for third party funders of arbitral and related proceedings. The drafting of such guidelines was to be expected after the third party funding activity was legalized earlier in 2017 in Singapore. The guidelines address various classical issues, such as funding contract terms, confidentiality, funder’s financial obligations and disclosure of the existence of a funding arrangement.
This initiative is not unique in Singapore and derives directly from other guidelines published by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) earlier this year, as well as from those published by the Law Society of Singapore. Similarly to those of the Law Society, said guidelines have a universal goal, whereas those published by SIAC are specifically addressed to the arbitrators.
This is one of the very first initiatives to set an official standard for all arbitral third party funding activity (in Singapore in this case), under the alertness of the government, as well as the institutions. It is particularly interesting to notice that said local guidelines have been drafted by an institution independent from the funding industry (as opposed to other soft regulations or guidelines drafted by market-related actors such as the Association for Litigation Funders). SIArb’s goal with these guidelines is to allow the funders to be in the best position in order to abide by the new applicable rules in Singapore on third party funding.
NB: Concerning the sensitive issue of market regulation, while the funding industry is largely out of the regulatory scope, La Française IC2 has made the choice to establish itself within the very stringent EU regulations and more precisely those of Luxembourg (second most important place of incorporation of investment funds and asset management companies in the world) and as such is in full compliance with the Singapore-drafted guidelines. As a panelist at SIArb’s Symposium, our director Alain Grec had a chance to discuss this topic, as well as many others, with the arbitration community in Singapore.