CIArb News

Branch Focus - Singapore Branch

07 Jun 2021

CIArb’s Singapore Branch is home to 488 members as of 2021, including many of the region’s leading lights. Originally a Chapter of the East Asia Branch, we were approved as a Branch in our own right in May 2009. This reflects the standing of our members who contribute to the continued growth of the arbitration and dispute resolution community and Singapore’s ever-increasing prominence as one of the world’s leading international arbitration hubs. We are proud that the Honourable Justice Quentin Loh (Judge of the Appellate Division of the Singapore Supreme Court and President of the Singapore International Commercial Court) accepted the Singapore Branch’s invitation in 2018 to be its Patron.

As an integral part of the CIArb network, we provide education and training for arbitrators, mediators, adjudicators, lawyers, experts and allied professionals in the arbitration and alternative dispute resolution space. Our courses offer a progressive educational “ladder” suitable for newcomers and skilled practitioners alike. Our educational courses qualify participants for membership of CIArb as an Associate (ACIArb), Member (MCIArb) or Fellow (FCIArb). These internationally recognised qualifications provide a powerful mark of quality assurance.

We aim to support the community of arbitration practitioners and allied professionals in Singapore and beyond. We hold talks and workshops that enable attendees to keep abreast of changes in the legal environment, develop their knowledge and skills, network with industry peers and exchange ideas. As one of a growing network of CIArb branches across the world, we offer members the opportunity to communicate and network globally with like-minded professionals.

At the end of 2020, Ann Ryan Robertson C.Arb FCIArb of CIArb’s North America Branch succeeded our Francis Xavier SC PBM C.Arb FCIArb as global president of CIArb. We are very proud of and grateful to Francis Xavier SC for his invaluable contributions to CIArb and the Singapore Branch.

Together with ICC Singapore, we jointly hosted a virtual fireside chat with Ann Ryan Robertson and Claudia Solomon (President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration) in early 2021. More than 200 people across the world joined in by Zoom to hear from these two exceptional women in the arbitration world on a diverse range of topics including ethics for arbitrators, conflicts of interest, diversity and inclusion, and their own stories of their personal journeys in their respective careers.

This is but one example of how we try to achieve the strategic aims of the Singapore Branch, namely: (a) to globally promote the constructive resolution of disputes; (b) to be an inclusive global thought leader; and (c) to develop and support an inclusive global community of diverse dispute resolvers.

Please do not hesitate to join us or reach out to us if you have any questions or matters that you would like to collaborate on.   

Interview with Paul Sandosham FCIArb, Singapore Branch Chair

What do you want to see in your Branch this year?

2020 was an unprecedented year as the world grappled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We, therefore, had to postpone many of our courses and events to comply with social distancing regulations in force to curb the spread of the virus. With the relaxation of social distancing restrictions, we are hoping to hold more courses and events this year. We have also adjusted to the 'new norm'. For instance, we are still conducting many of our on-line courses virtually due to restrictions on travel. On events, our highlights for the year are the Annual CIArb (Singapore)- SIAC Debate and the launch of a Book on Advocacy in Arbitration. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to hold the Debate last year. We are therefore looking forward to holding it this year as it is our flagship event with several hundred attendees each year. We are hoping to hold the event in person, subject to social distancing restrictions in place at the time.

How will you implement and deliver success? 

We have very committed and active directors on the board, as well as members in the various sub-committees, that drive the initiatives and plans for the year.

How have you used social networking?

We have our own webpage which is updated regularly with information about upcoming courses and events the branch is organising. Our publications sub-committee produces a newsletter quarterly which is distributed to all our members. We also have our own LinkedIn and Twitter accounts which we find is a good way for us to publicise our events as well as to engage with our members.

What will you do to engage younger members and students? 

We will continue to engage younger members through a variety of events on topical issues involving arbitrators, in house counsel associations and trade associations. Younger members will then see the benefit of CIArb membership as there will be opportunities for them to seek guidance and mentorship from older practitioners. For students, we will continue to organise our yearly arbitration career seminar which is very well attended. These seminars would usually be the first arbitration-specific career talk that tertiary students attend and would be effective in showcasing the CIArb brand.

How will you communicate more effectively with your members?

We have a website and publications sub-committee that helps to oversee and curate content to be communicated to our members. Apart from maintaining a website for our Branch which provides useful details on the activities and working of our Branch, we also communicate and engage with our members through a range of other platforms. For example, we regularly email our members to promote upcoming courses and events. We also maintain LinkedIn and Twitter accounts which are constantly updated with content that is relevant to our members. More recently, we have started to publish a quarterly electronic e-newsletter which is sent to all our members. Each e-newsletter begins with the Chairman’s message to our members and captures recent as well as upcoming courses and events.

Do you have a social media presence as a Branch?

Yes, we maintain active social media accounts with our Singapore Branch LinkedIn account and Twitter, at @CIArb_Singapore.

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