This article 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 LLP is licensed to operate as a foreign law practice in Singapore under the name and style, Reed Smith Pte Ltd (hereafter collectively, “Reed Smith”). Where advice on Singapore law is required, we will refer the matter to and work with Reed Smith’s Formal Law Alliance partner in Singapore, Resource Law LLC, where necessary.
In Yau Lee Construction (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Far East Square Pte Ltd and another matter  SGHCR 11, the Singapore High Court considered the issue of whether the entitlement of an employer to seek summary judgment on architect’s certificates under the Articles of Agreement and Conditions of Contract of the Singapore Institute of Architects (“the SIA Conditions”), and the general policy of facilitating cash flow in the construction industry, ought to have an impact on how closely the court considers the quality of the claim and defence in determining the existence of a dispute to be referred to arbitration.
Sections 6(1) and 6(2) of the Arbitration Act (Cap 10, 2002 Rev Ed) (“AA”) provides that:
Stay of legal proceedings
6.—(1) Where any party to an arbitration agreement institutes any proceedings in any court against any other party to the agreement in respect of any matter which is the subject of the agreement, any party to the agreement may, at any time after appearance and before delivering any pleading or taking any other step in the proceedings, apply to that court to stay the proceedings so far as the proceedings relate to that matter.
(2) The court to which an application has been made in accordance with subsection (1) may, if the court is satisfied that —
(a) there is no sufficient reason why the matter should not be referred in accordance with the arbitration agreement; and
(b) the applicant was, at the time when the proceedings were commenced, and still remains, ready and willing to do all things necessary to the proper conduct of the arbitration,
make an order, upon such terms as the court thinks fit, staying the proceedings so far as the proceedings relate to that matter.