Reed Smith Client Alerts

This client alert was originally published in Practical Law Arbitration. Reproduced with permission. This client alert is co-written by Reed Smith Pte Ltd and Resource Law LLC who together form the Reed Smith Resource Law Alliance in Singapore. Reed Smith Pte Ltd is licensed to operate as a foreign law practice in Singapore. Where advice on Singapore law is required, we will refer the matter to and work with licensed Singapore law practices where necessary.

In Prometheus Marine Pte Ltd v King, Ann Rita and another appeal [2017] SGCA 61, the Singapore Court of Appeal considered an appeal that arose out of two applications seeking relief to set aside an arbitration award.

Authors: Kohe Hasan

* Kohe Hasan is a Partner in Reed Smith's Singapore office and a Director of Resource Law LLC. Kelvin Tay is an Associate in Reed Smith's Singapore office.


The Singapore Court of Appeal has dismissed two applications that sought to set aside a Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) arbitration award, upholding the decision of the Singapore High Court. The applications were brought under both section 24 of the International Arbitration Act (Cap 143A) (IAA) and section 48(1) of the Singapore Arbitration Act (Cap 10) (SAA), on the grounds that the High Court judge, along with apparent bias against the appellant, erred in finding, among other things, no evidence that the making of the award was induced by fraud on the respondent's part or non-pecuniary corruption on the arbitrator's part. The Court of Appeal raised grave concerns with the appellant's solicitor's willingness to raise unsubstantiated allegations of fraud and corruption against the arbitrator and bias against the judge.

This decision reaffirms Singapore's pro-arbitration outlook. The right to set aside an award is strictly limited by the applicable provisions of the IAA and SAA and courts will not lightly set aside an award unless the grounds relied upon are well proven. 

This case is also a cautionary tale to members of the legal profession and a reminder of their primary duty to the court. An application to set aside an arbitration award is to be taken seriously and any arguments advanced before a court that would involve serious allegations such as fraud or corruption must be properly considered and responsibly brought on credible grounds. (Prometheus Marine Pte Ltd v King, Ann Rita and another appeal [2017] SGCA 61.)