The SIAC Annual Report 2023 – key takeaways in year of growth and record caseload


In April 2024, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”) published its Annual Report 2023, recording another year of high caseload and usage of the institution’s services across a broad and diverse geography of jurisdictions.

We summarise some of the important highlights from the Report and share our key takeaways.

Increase in Caseload

SIAC recorded its second highest caseload since its inception with 663 new cases filed in 2023, comprising 640 (97%) SIAC-administered cases, with the remaining 23 cases (3%) being ad hoc appointments. This represented a significant increase in caseload of about 46% from 2022, when 357 cases were filed.

The total sum in dispute for the new case filings was USD 11.90 billion (SGD 15.71 billion), representing a more than 50% increase in the total sum in dispute from 2022. The average value for new case filings was USD 37.31 million and the highest sum in dispute for a single administered case was USD 48 billion.

93% (614) of the new cases filed were international in nature. They involved countries such as Hong Kong, China, India, the United States of America (“the US”), the United Kingdom (“the UK”), Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and France, amongst others.

Sectors and Top Users

Cases filed with SIAC spanned a broad range of sectors with trade (47%), commercial (14%) and maritime/shipping (13%) leading the way. The rest of the cases came from a variety of other sectors such as corporate, construction/engineering, aerospace/defence, arts/entertainment, sports, technology, agriculture and the banking and finance sector. 

China, India and the US remained the SIAC’s top foreign users, with Hong Kong SAR and China alone accounting for more than 2,200 users. There was an all-around increase in the number of parties from the top 10 foreign jurisdictions compared to 2022.

Governing Laws

The governing laws applied remained diverse with the laws of 27 jurisdictions and the UNIDROIT Principles being applied in new cases. The laws of Singapore (64.6%), the UK (20.7%) and India (4.5%) remained the most commonly applied, demonstrating SIAC’s popularity with common law jurisdictions.  Other governing laws of interest include, amongst others, the laws of Armenia, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Nepal and Seychelles.

Arbitrator Appointments

SIAC made a total of 164 individual arbitrator appointments in 2023, with 126 to sole arbitrator tribunals and 38 appointments to three-member tribunals. 147 of these appointments were made under the SIAC Rules, whilst 3 were for cases administered under other institutional rules. The remaining 14 appointments were for ad hoc arbitrations.

There was geographical diversity in the arbitrator appointments, with arbitrators appointed from 38 jurisdictions, including the UK, Australia, the US, India, Malaysia, Canda, France Germany, New Zealand, Ireland, South Korea, China and Switzerland. Out of 359 arbitrator appointments, 146 (35%) were non-Singaporean arbitrators appointed by SIAC and 103 (25%) were of non-Singaporean arbitrators nominated by parties. Only 43 (10%) of the arbitrators appointed by SIAC were Singaporean, whilst the other 81 (20%) Singaporean arbitrators were either nominated by parties or co-arbitrators.

Gender Diversity in SIAC’s Workforce

Gender diversity continued to play an important role in SIAC’s overall working framework. In 2023, women constituted 71% of SIAC’s overall workforce whilst 60 (37%) of the arbitrator appointments were female. The SIAC Court of Arbitration is represented by 9 women (with Lucy Reed serving as President), constituting 26% of the Court’s representation.

Usage of SIAC’s Procedural Rules

In 2023, 5 arbitrator challenges were decided by the SIAC Court of Arbitration. 4 of these challenges were rejected, with 1 upheld by the Court.

SIAC accepted all 11 of the Emergency Arbitration applications received in 2023. Interestingly, since its introduction in the SIAC Rules 2010, all 152 of the Emergency Arbitrator applications have been accepted. Most of the Emergency Arbitration applications were for corporate disputes (38%), with 18% for commercial disputes and 15% for disputes of other nature.

Of the 94 Expedited Procedure applications received, 41 were accepted. 896 Expedited Procedure applications have been filed since the introduction of the mechanism in 2010, with 514 accepted. This shows the SIAC Court of Arbitration exercising a fair amount of discretion in deciding whether cases were suitable to be conducted under the Expedited Procedure.

In 2023, 9 Early Dismissal applications were filed. 3 were allowed to proceed while 4 were not, with 1 application pending under Rule 29.3 of the SIAC Rules 2016 and the remaining 1 withdrawn. Of the 3 applications that were allowed to proceed, only 1 was granted while the other 2 were rejected and withdrawn, respectively. Whilst exact details were understandably not disclosed, this continues to demonstrate the high legal threshold required to be met in order for a party to succeed in such an application.

40 out of 64 applications for consolidation were granted.  4 out of 9 joinder applications were granted in 2023.


SIAC issued 167 awards in 2023, including 11 awards/orders issued by Emergency Arbitrators for urgent interim relief.

All awards were carefully scrutinised by the Secretariat and approved by the Registrar. Apart from matters of form, the Registrar draws the tribunal’s attention to points of substance for the tribunal’s consideration, bearing in mind that it is the tribunal that makes the ultimate decision in awards. The scrutiny process has been a highlight of SIAC’s attractiveness to users and is lauded for enhancing the enforceability of SIAC-issued awards.


2023 saw a significant upturn in caseload for SIAC, which is perhaps unsurprising with the world emerging from the negative outlook of 2022 as news of a global recession, political instability and war dominated the headlines.

Whilst geopolitical tensions have by no means abated, parties appear to be more prepared to initiate legal action as compared to the year before, buoyed by the more positive economic outlook and an increased risk appetite.

The figures and statistics from SIAC’S Annual Report 2023 bode well for its reputation as one of the preferred arbitral institutions of the world, and sees the institution making a strong recovery following a relatively modest 2022. With the impending introduction of the 7th edition of the SIAC Rules and SIAC Gateway (SIAC’s own integrated online filing system), users can look forward to more innovative methods of dispute resolution and a more efficient case management system in the near future.