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SIAC gets new chairman: Drew & Napier CEO Davinder Singh to succeed new AG-to-be Lucien Wong

Davinder Singh (SC) to head up SIAC as chairman after Lucien Wong's attorney-general appointment
Davinder Singh (SC) to head up SIAC as chairman after Lucien Wong's attorney-general appointment

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has appointed Drew & Napier CEO and Singapore senior counsel Davinder Singh as its new board of directors chairman to replace Allen & Gledhill chairman Lucien Wong , who is stepping down from SIAC today due to his appointment as Singapore’s attorney general.

According to SIAC’s press release, Wong in his tenure at SIAC since 2013 presided over “receiving a record number of cases and registering a record total sum in dispute in 2013 and again in 2015”, while overseeing the opening of representative offices in Mumbai, Seoul and Shanghai.

Singh is a 1982 graduate from the National University of Singapore, after which he began his career at Drew & Napier’s litigation team. In 1997 he was appointed senior counsel in the first batch of such appointments in Singapore.

Singh said in the press release: “It is an honour and privilege to be succeeding Lucien as Chairman of SIAC. Lucien leaves a hugely impressive legacy, having achieved so much for SIAC. I am looking forward to working closely with Gary [Born, SIAC president], whose formidable reputation and stature have enhanced the international standing of SIAC.

“It is universally acknowledged that SIAC is where it is today because of the standing, professionalism and tireless efforts of the court, board members, CEO and the team. They are deeply committed to ensuring that SIAC consistently delivers world class dispute resolution services and remains at the forefront of international arbitration.”

SIAC has been focusing heavily on India, with Amity Delhi graduate and Clifford Chance lawyer Pranav Mago having been hired in 2015 to oversee its South Asia vertical.

However, SIAC has been facing increasing competition from other centres too, with the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) having also vowed to focus in India (despite slower growth there than in China). ICA had recently promoted Indian lawyer Abhinav Bhushan to become its South Asia regional director.

And in June the Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration (MCIA) had published its arbitration rules and fees, hoping to compete with SIAC and other international arbitration centres on price and local facilities, while also hosting institutional and ad-hoc arbitrations at its centre in Mumbai.

However, in April the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) announced that it would close its India operations after insufficient growth locally.

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