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Singapore law the second-most adopted governing law in cross-border transactions in Asia

Singapore Academy of Law study highlights growing regional acceptance of the Republic’s law.

Singapore, 17 April 2019 — Singapore law is increasingly accepted and is now the second-most adopted governing law in cross-border transactions in Asia after English law. That’s what the results of an independent survey conducted by global research company Ipsos Pte Ltd suggest.

Commissioned by the Singapore Academy of Law’s (“SAL”) Promotion of Singapore Law Committee, the survey[1] reached out to more than 600 legal practitioners and in-house counsel who engage in cross-border transactions in Asia. The survey results also suggest that the volume of such transactions has grown in recent years.

Singapore’s status as a dispute resolution hub has also strengthened, with 63 per cent of total participants polled picking the Republic as the preferred venue for dispute resolution, an increase of more than 10 per cent from 2015.  

Familiarity with Singapore’s arbitration services — namely the Singapore International Arbitration Centre — remains high, while recognition of the Singapore International Commercial Court has grown significantly since 2015.

Commenting on these results, the Chair of the Promotion of Singapore Law Committee Justice Vinodh Coomaraswamy said, “The results highlight the great strides that Singapore law has made in its short history.  Our law provides a business-friendly framework and includes an established and well-developed body of commercial law equipped to deal with cross-border transactions. It is well-placed to serve the needs of businesses in Asia.”

Added Ms Serene Wee, SAL’s Chief Executive, “SAL seeks to promote Singapore as the leading legal hub in Asia. In line with this, we have seen the increasing use of Singapore law as the alternative governing law for contracts in Asia whenever neutral law and venue are required. We are delighted that these efforts are gaining traction.”

The key results of the study can be found in Appendix A.

The survey, conducted in the first quarter of 2019, is the second such study commissioned by SAL. In 2015, SAL commissioned a study to understand the adoption of Singapore law and attitudes towards choosing the Republic as a jurisdiction for dispute resolution in cross-border transactions. The 2019 enhanced study aimed to understand the changes in perception towards governing law and jurisdictional choices in cross-border transactions, as well as to cover a broader scope and wider reach.

[1] The survey was carried out online by research firm Ipsos Pte Ltd from 7th January to 8th February 2019. It polled 606 local (based in Singapore) and foreign legal practitioners.




Ashutosh Ravikrishnan
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications
Singapore Academy of Law
Tel: 6332 5371 / 8498 7507
Email: [email protected]

Foo Kim Leng
Deputy Director
Corporate Communications
Singapore Academy of Law
Tel: 6332 5365
Email: [email protected]