14-15 July 2016 – ALA’s inaugural course in international commercial arbitration

ALA members sharpen their arbitration knowledge and skills.

ALA members from Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam were in Singapore from the 14 to 15 July 2016 to participate in ALA’s inaugural executive course on international commercial arbitration. A total of 20 participants attended the two-day intensive course which comprised of theory and practice of international commercial arbitration, including site visit to Maxwell Chambers.

First day training suite – the venue for intensive lectures and discussions to come.

Study materials for each of the participant – some ‘complained’ that the study and reading materials weight more than 5kg.

The first day registration commenced at 8.50am and swiftly followed by a series of lectures and discussions which ended at 10.30pm. Despite the intensity of the programme, participants were treated to good meals, adequate breaks and snacks throughout the entire day in the comfort of the historic Goodwood Park Hotel. Participants were also able to interact with each other to catch up, strengthening camaraderie among members. Despite the rigorous programme, there was no ‘drop-out’ at all, which in retrospect could be inevitable given that all the participations are busy, senior practitioners who have made sacrifice to leave their office to attend this course in Singapore.

The second day was site visit to Maxwell Chambers – the happy faces tell it all about the first day.

On the second day in the morning, participants went over to Maxwell Chambers for briefings by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC). It was enlightening to learn about the international arbitration growth in Singapore vis-à-vis SIAC. Later, all the participants toured Maxwell Chambers and were impressed with the state of the art arbitration facilities. 

In one of the arbitration hearing suite, Aloysius Wee, Chairman of ALA taking the witness stand and oath was promptly administered!

After lunch, participants were involved in a mock arbitration proceeding in one of Maxwell Chambers’s actual hearing room. This particular room is said to be the most sought after of all the hearing suites in Maxwell Chambers. We are indeed grateful to staffs of Maxwell Chambers for accommodating our despite high occupancy rate and internal policy.

For the record, all the participants are either mid career or senior partner level practitioners;  the mock proceeding is not intended to be another learning exercise for novice lawyers or law students, but clearly a valuable simulation on how counsels and party appointed agents from different jurisdictions and nationalities face each other in an international arbitration proceeding, before an arbitral tribunal comprising of three arbitrators all from different legal jurisdictions.

In the hearing suite, getting ready.

A set of lawyers taking the counsel’s table, ready to present their arguments.

Overall, the programme was a success even though it was intensive, demanding and tiring. It was a closed-door course only for members of ALA, also giving participants the opportunity to discuss matters pertaining to cooperation between their firms as well as on-going work matters openly. Above all, the course demonstrated ALA members’s commitment to continuing legal education and professional development.

We were grateful to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) London, in particular Ms Camilla Godman, Regional Director of CIArb Singapore,  for accrediting the course for admission as Associate member (ACIArb) upon successful completion of an assessment and mock arbitration. In addition, we were also grateful to Mr Abhinav Bushan, Regional Director for South Asia of ICC Arbitration & ADR, Mr Michael Lee, Director of ICDR and WIPO Arbitration Centre Singapore for supporting our endeavor through providing valuable reference materials and corporate identity gifts to our participants.

Group photograph – all smiles and energy before the mock arbitration hearing which eventually reduced them all into grumpy lawyers after a grueling trial.

Presentation of certificate of participation to one of the attendees. 

Mr Aloysius Wee endorsing Maxwell Chambers. May we talk to Maxwell Chambers about possible endorsement fee?