Singapore tops ranking for seat of arbitration


Singapore was selected along with London as jointly the most preferred places for arbitration in the world, followed by Hong Kong in second place, according to the 2021 Queen Mary University of London and White & Case International Arbitration Survey released on 6 May.

This is a first for Singapore, to top the ranking with London – each was included in the top five picks of 54% of the respondents. Hong Kong came close behind with 50%, while Paris and Geneva secured 35% and 15%, respectively.

In the previous 2018 survey, the island country held third place with 39% of respondents, and wasfourth in 2015, with 19% of respondents. Hong Kong took fourth place in 2018 with 28% of respondents, and was third in 2015 with 22% of respondents.

The triennial survey also found the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration in Paris the most preferred arbitral institution worldwide, according to 57% of respondents, followed by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) with 49% and 44% of respondents, respectively. Other institutions in the top five are the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) with 39%, and the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), with 17% of respondents.

Source: 2021 International Arbitration Survey by Queen Mary University of London, White & Case

Gary Born, president of the SIAC Court of Arbitration in London, said the survey confirmed that Singapore and the SIAC were at the top of the list of forums for resolving international disputes. “The results are exceptional, and SIAC is grateful to its users for their trust and confidence,” said Born.

Sarah Grimmer, secretary-general of the HKIAC in Hong Kong, said the survey reflected the users’ confidence in the HKIAC and Hong Kong. “We will keep striving to provide the best dispute resolution process possible,” said Grimmer. “We will never be complacent.”

The respondents in the survey cited more than 90 different seats from a range of jurisdictions worldwide. This year, the survey was based on the responses of 1,218 participants, including in-house counsel from both public and private sectors, private practitioners, arbitrators, representatives of arbitral institutions and trade associations, academics, experts and third-party funders.