On 1 August 2016, the sixth edition of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre's (“SIAC”) rules will enter into force (“2016 SIAC Rules”), applying to arbitrations commenced on or after that date. They replace the 2013 SIAC Rules.

The 2016 revisions to the SIAC Rules reflect the increasingly multi-national and multi-party character of the disputes administered by SIAC, and ensure that SIAC better serves the needs of its users. The 2016 SIAC Rules are the product of an extensive consultative process with SIAC users, with nearly 1000 comments received from law firms and in-house counsel based in more than 15 jurisdictions in, among others, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America.

The 2016 SIAC Rules have been updated in light of current international best practices and also include a number of market-leading innovations. Key features include:

  • A new procedure for the early dismissal of claims and defenses—the first of its kind amongst major institutional rules for commercial arbitration;
  • New provisions to deal with multi-party and multi-contract arbitrations, in particular comprehensive provisions addressing joinder of additional parties, consolidation of multiple arbitrations and commencement of disputes arising in connection with multiple contracts;
  • Refinements to increase the efficiency and efficacy of SIAC's popular emergency arbitrator and expedited arbitration procedures; and
  • The delocalization of the default seat of SIAC arbitration, reflecting SIAC's increasingly multi-national and diverse user base.

The 2016 SIAC Rules will provide a more efficient and flexible set of arbitral procedures that are well-suited to deal with disputes of all sizes and complexities. In many respects, they demonstrate SIAC's commitment to provide world class and cost-effective dispute resolution services for users around the world, and affirm SIAC's place in the market as the pre-eminent global arbitral institution.