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29 Sep 2022

Arbitration insights from Singapore - Investment disputes - September 2022


In the September edition of Arbitration insights from Singapore, Singapore-based international arbitration partner, Chris Bailey and the global international arbitration team examine recent developments in investor-State arbitration.

Our lead article focuses on efficiency and transparency with a deep dive on the July 2022 amendments to the World Bank's ICSID Convention's Institution Rules, Arbitration Rules and Additional Facility Rules, and in other developments, we take a closer look at double hatting in investment disputes and a recent Paris Court of Appeal case on exclusion clauses in the context of BITs.

Lead article: Efficiency and transparency in investment disputes – the July 2022 ICSID Convention Rules Amendments

Singapore-based partner, Chris Bailey - alongside London-based partner Rovine Chandrasekera and associate Daniel Boon - examine the July 2002 amendments to the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ("ICSID") Convention's Institution Rules, Arbitration Rules and Additional Facility Rules (together, the "Rules").

In order to improve costs and time efficiencies in investor-State arbitrations, the amendments introduce innovative changes including electronic filing, mandatory case management conferences, timeline changes, bifurcation, a new expedited arbitration procedure and the costs of the proceedings. As for transparency, the amendments also address third-party funding, security for costs and the early provision of a description of the investment and of its ownership and control.

The team also considers each of these changes,and others in detail, in the lead article and their potential impact on investor-State arbitration proceedings. Click here for the full article.

Other developments: Draft Code of Conduct for Adjudicators in International Investment Disputes and Recent Decision on Exclusion Clauses in BITs

The July 2022 ICSID Convention Rule Amendments are not the only such developments in investor-State arbitration. In 2021, further to a UN General Assembly resolution, the third version of the Draft Code for Adjudicators in International Investment Disputes was released. In collaboration with King's College London, we consider whether this third version of the Code addresses the issue of individuals acting variously as arbitrators, party representatives and experts across multiple sets of proceedings. Click here for the full article.

In addition, Hong Kong partner Andrew Rigden Green, has examined the recent decision of the Paris Court of Appeal in the proceedings brought by Schooner Capital LLC, Atlantic Investment Partners LLC and Ors against the Republic of Poland. The subject matter of the proceedings was the tax treatment of the investors in Poland. The issues of interest concern the interpretation of bilateral investment treaties and, in particular,exclusion clauses. Click here for the full article.

Market recognition: The firm's global investor-State capabilities and experience

Stephenson Harwood has been advising both investors and States for many decades. Of matters in the public domain, Stephenson Harwood received early recognition in sovereign matters from, amongst others, the U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance for its involvement in the negotiations between Iran and the U.S. during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. 

In more recent years, the firm has acted for States including India, Iraq, Nigeria and Venezuela in arbitration and enforcement proceedings. The team won Dispute Resolution Team of the year in 2018 at the British Legal Awards for the ground-breaking work done in the case of IPCO Nigeria Limited v Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation which was an epic 15-year battle in London (and Nigeria). We also regularly act for investors, most notably in the public domain for the former shareholders of the Yukos Oil Company against the Russian Federation.