The Singapore Court of Appeal recently ruled in ST Group Co Ltd and others v Sanum Investments Limited and another appeal [2019] SGCA 65 that once an arbitration is incorrectly seated (i.e. in a seat not chosen by the parties), in the absence of a waiver by the parties, any subsequent award would not be recognised and enforced by the court.

This judgment shows that the Singapore courts will unequivocally uphold the principles of party autonomy and free choice that are fundamental to arbitration agreements. Such an approach benefits commercial parties by providing certainty to their agreements - but only if the agreements are clear beyond any doubt.

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