MAY 2023








Two weeks ago, I had a nice opportunity to catch up in person with our New York-based Council Member, Meera Rajah, who arranged a visit for SIArb to the NYIAC. This is but one of several recent examples in which SIArb has been invited by arbitral organisations in and beyond Asia to explore collaboration in a variety of ways.  In many respects, this is highly encouraging as it reflects our Institute’s growing reputation beyond its local roots and beyond Asia.  Your Council will continue to work hard to add value to the SIArb brand so that our members can be proud of association.  There will be a few upcoming events that afford opportunity for our members who are interested in networking beyond Singapore to participate.  Details to come in due course.


Meanwhile, I thought I would highlight on this occasion the commendable work that our Young Practitioners Network (YPN) co-chairs Meera and Cathryn Neo, with June Tan of our Secretariat, have been doing in relation to recent YPN events.  Distinct from other arbitral ‘young’ groups, SIArb made a conscious choice to have our YPN be open to members who (i) are professionals under 40 years of age, or (ii) have less than 10 years of arbitration experience. 

According to the most recent ICC statistics available on the subject, in 2020, the average age of arbitrators confirmed or appointed by the ICC Court was approximately 56 years old and about 37% of individuals confirmed or appointed as arbitrators were under the age of 50.  There is room therefore for us to have a more inclusive conception of ‘younger’ arbitration practitioners.

On 2 March 2023, YPN held its third networking drinks – this time in person at Maxwell Chambers – organised around the perennially popular theme of how one might go about getting a first arbitrator appointment.  The event drew a good mix of lawyers and non-lawyers who discussed, among other things, practical advice on how to transition into arbitration mid-career, from a related industry and ways to go about networking effectively.

Later this month, on 25 May 2023, YPN will launch its inaugural SIArb YPN Mentoring Programme.  Meera and Cathryn explain that this programme emerged out of the success of the first two YPN networking sessions (which were conducted virtually during the pandemic).  The programme pairs mentee participants with mentors for a 6 month mentorship – which is intended to allow mentees time to forge professional relationships with mentors with whom they might otherwise not encounter.  Our first batch of mentors come from a variety of backgrounds – some sit full time as arbitrators, others also serve regularly as arbitration counsel and experts, and yet others hail from arbitral institutions.

An initial batch of 30 mentees will be picked to participate and they will be organised into six groups of five mentees each, paired with one mentor and one facilitator.  The programme runs from the kick off at the end of May till the end of 2023.  Singapore-based mentees with four years of experience or less were eligible to apply.  Please look out for more news on this if you are interested in participating in future programmes.

Tay Yu-Jin
President, SIArb 2021-2023

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