On 2 December 2019, BAIAC held its year end evening cocktail which was well attended by distinguished guests locally and regionally, amidst heavy downpour. Conducted in a private bar in the Victoria Concert Hall, retired Malaysian Court of Appeal Judge now in private practice, Dato’ Varghese Abraham gave a most enlightening evening talk on his experience dealing with arbitration from the bench to the bar.

During the cocktail, BAIAC’s President Prof. Steve Ngo also announced the Rules of Arbitration after extended consultation with various stakeholders and potential users. It also unveiled its inaugural panel of arbitrators and mediators. The Arbitration Rules of BAIAC adopts the UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) Rules of Arbitration with modifications to include a provision for “Small Claims Procedure” for disputes not exceeding S$100,000. Such procedure provides for abbreviated proceedings. Among others for such proceedings, the arbitral tribunal will be expected to conduct the arbitration for the parties and to provide a draft arbitration award within 60 days from end of hearing. BAIAC will provide a cost efficient fee structure for such proceedings. This is very much in line with BAIAC’s aim of providing alternative arbitration services to small and medium enterprises and also in response to the industry’s common grievance about high cost in arbitration.

BAIAC also unveiled its inaugural panel of arbitrators and mediators. With gender and generational diversities in mind, the panel also comprised of senior regional practitioners who are committed to guiding the younger generation of practitioners which includes arbitration luminaries such as Mr Francis Xavier, Senior Counsel, Regional Head (Dispute Resolution Group) of Rajah & Tann, and CIArb’s Global President for 2020; Dato’ Jude Benny, well-known shipping arbitrator and lawyer; Dato’ Varghese Abraham, retired Malaysian Court of Appeal Judge; Ms Chia Yong Yong, Singaporean lawyer, disability advocate and former Nominated Member of Parliament; Mr Rengarajoo Balasamy, veteran mediator and arbitrator; and young arbitration stars such as Mr Shaun Leong, Partner for International Arbitration at Eversheds Harry Elias LLP who previously served in a judicial capacity with the Singapore High Court and Ms Yvette Anthony, Partner, Braddell Brothers LLP.

BAIAC looks forward to further engagement with local and regional arbitration practitioners as well as developing the “Resolve in Singapore” proposition through collaborations in the region with other arbitral institutions as well as the public and private sectors.