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Results: 4 Answers
International Arbitration
7.
Consolidation and third parties
7.1
Does the law in your jurisdiction permit consolidation of separate arbitrations into a single arbitration proceeding? Are there any conditions which apply to consolidation?
 
Singapore
Consolidation of proceedings is permissible when the parties agree or when the rules of arbitration chosen by the parties permit consolidation.

The AA specifically permits consolidation of proceedings on such terms as have been agreed by the parties; the parties may also agree to hold concurrent hearings (Section 26(1) of the AA). Unless the parties have agreed to confer the power on the tribunal to order consolidation or to hold concurrent hearings, the tribunal has no such power (Section 26(2) of the AA).

For more information about this answer please contact: Alvin Yeo and Koh Swee Yen from WongPartnership LLP

For more information about this answer please contact: Alvin Yeo from WongPartnership LLP
7.2
Does the law in your jurisdiction permit the joinder of additional parties to an arbitration which has already commenced?
 
Singapore
The AA and the IAA are silent on the issue of joinder of parties. However, a joinder of parties may be ordered where:

  • the party sought to be joined is found to be a contracting party to the arbitration agreement; or
  • the parties to the arbitration agreement have consented to extend the agreement to a person who was not a party to the agreement, but who consents to be bound by it, with such consent forming an agreement to arbitrate (The Titan Unity [2014] SGHCR 4).

The Court of Appeal has observed that any forced joinder would impinge upon party autonomy and confidentiality (PT First Media TBK v Astro Nusantara International BV [2014] 1 SLR 372). Joinder of parties may also be permissible under the applicable rules of arbitration agreed upon by the parties.

For more information about this answer please contact: Alvin Yeo and Koh Swee Yen from WongPartnership LLP

For more information about this answer please contact: Alvin Yeo from WongPartnership LLP
7.3
Does an arbitration agreement bind assignees or other third parties?
 
Singapore
Section 9 of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act read with Section 2 of the same Act provides that an arbitration agreement binds third parties if:

  • the underlying contract expressly provides that the third party may enforce the terms of the contract in its own right; or
  • the underlying contract purports to confer a benefit on the third party.

If, on a proper construction of the underlying contract, it appears that the parties did not intend the contract to be enforceable by a third party, then the arbitration agreement will not bind that third party.

Under Singapore law, arbitration agreements are capable of being assigned. However, the effect of the assignment – in particular, whether the assignee is entitled to invoke the arbitration agreement, is obliged to perform the arbitration agreement or both – is a matter that has not been finally decided by the Singapore courts. Under common law, assignments are legally capable of transferring rights, but not obligations, and it is an open question whether an assignment of an arbitration agreement transfers only the right to invoke the arbitration agreement, and not the obligation to perform the arbitration agreement (Rals International Pte Ltd v Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza SpA [2016] 5 SLR 455). Pending clarification from the Singapore courts, parties to an assignment wishing for the assignee to be bound by the arbitration agreement in the underlying contract would be well advised either to expressly provide for this in the terms of the assignment or to enter into an agreement to novate the arbitration agreement.

For more information about this answer please contact: Alvin Yeo and Koh Swee Yen from WongPartnership LLP

For more information about this answer please contact: Alvin Yeo from WongPartnership LLP