November 28, 2022
From London and The Hague, to Singapore and Hong Kong – Liu leverages on his international experience as he forges a new path as independent arbitrator 1.  Can you please share with us a little of your background prior to joining the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), and what your time spent there was like? I started my career at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. I then did two internships at the High Court of Hong Kong and the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. After completing the internships, I joined Allen & Overy (A&O)’s Hong Kong office as part of their Global Arbitration Group. During my time at A&O, I was appointed as a member of the HKIAC Rules Revision Committee which was tasked for with drafting the 2013 HKIAC Administered Arbitration Rules. With that experience, I joined the HKIAC in 2014 and began my eight years of journey at the institution.     I had a hand in many aspects of HKIAC’s operations including case management supervision, rules drafting, corporate governance and business development. There was no fixed description of my role at the HKIAC and my work every day was different and interesting. I spearheaded many of the HKIAC’s initiatives and drafted some of their practice notes and guidelines.  It was an invaluable opportunity to gain insights on the institution’s internal management and practice and to work with many talented people.  2.  What prompted your recent move to being an independent arbitrator and how have you found the transition thus far? Can you tell us a little about your new practice? Having worked in private practice and...
September 8, 2022
In this issue, we turn our focus to energy and natural resources. We take a look at the impact of the pandemic and war on energy production and projects in the Middle East, India, China and Southeast Asia. We also hear about climate change disclosure and staying abreast of regulatory reform in China (Schroeder), and about Thailand’s energy transition, reshaping its energy market from one based on fossil fuels to renewable sources (Chandler MHM). We further hear from our In-House Community “Energy & Natural Resource” Legal Team of the Year (2021) winner, Royal Golden Eagle (together with Rose Kong), as they reimagine “business as usual” in the area of sustainability.
July 7, 2022
  It is common knowledge that a well-drafted contract will help to minimize disputes in business transactions, but not everyone fully understands what constitutes a well-drafted contract. Is a contract that clearly regulates the obligations of the parties sufficient? No, a well-drafted contract will not only let the parties know what to do; but should also force them to do what they promised, regardless of whether they want to do so or not. To achieve that, all contracts should have a well-designed system of remedies that the parties can invoke to prevent breach of contract or, in some cases, collect the reasonable compensation for the damage caused by such breach. Below is our analysis of some common remedies and how to effectively use them in contract drafting. Monetary Remedies Compensatory damages Compensatory damages are money to compensate for all losses caused by the breach of contract. This remedy can be regulated for almost all types of contracts and all types of breaches. Nevertheless, the reliability of compensatory damages is low because it requires heavy burden of proof in practice. At the court, the plaintiff will be required to prove the accurate number of losses by documents such as contracts, invoices, etc. and estimation of losses is usually not allowed, which can be quite impractical for some kinds of losses. For instance, in a case where Company A fails to deliver the goods to Company B, Company B can claim the costs for purchasing the goods from another third party using the corresponding contracts and invoices. However, for the losses of profits and business disruption caused by Company A’s breach...
June 23, 2022
Please give us a brief overview of your professional background. I am the managing partner of the Singapore office of Three Crowns LLP, the world’s first global specialist arbitration firm. Apart from chairing the Board of Maxwell Chambers, I co-chair the Young Singapore International Arbitration Centre (YSIAC) committee and serve on the International Bar Association (IBA) Arb40 Steering Committee, Singapore Management University School of Law Advisory Board, and various governmental and regional arbitration committees. What was it that attracted you to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)? The process of working with a passionate team to solve complex problems in a cross-border context, coming to grips with the nuances and dynamics of business problems and disagreements, and formulating strategy to achieve the client’s objectives never gets old – it is intellectually challenging but very human-centered as well. The diversity of issues across different industry sectors – from nuclear power projects to complex financial instruments – and the interposition of various cultures and nationalities in cross-border disputes also means that every case is a new learning opportunity and challenge.   It is almost one year on from your appointment as chairman of the Board of Directors of Maxwell Chambers. How would you describe your experience at the helm thus far? It has been a privilege and fulfilling experience. I assumed the role amidst the pandemic which presented several challenges but also significant opportunities for Maxwell Chambers. Our immediate priority was to take stock of the post-pandemic landscape and be relentless in finding new ways to improve our offering and the user experience. We took the opportunity presented by the pandemic to enhance...
June 20, 2022
Share deals and asset deals In a typical M&A operation, shares or assets of the target company may be assigned from the seller to the buyer. In a share deal, the buyer’s aim is to become one of the owners or the new owner of the target company by acquiring part or the whole of its equity capital. In an asset deal, the buyer acquires assets of the target company and is not, in principle, to have any stakes in its ownership. Both share deals and asset deals are legally recognised by the Law on Investment, Law on Enterprises and relevant regulations in Vietnam. Quite often in practice, however, share deals and asset deals are interchangeable: the parties would go for a share deal if they discovered an asset deal to be complicated or time-consuming. From the view of the buyers and sellers, share and asset deals are equally valid and lawful options for them to structure their deals, depending on which one will provide them with the largest benefits. Such practice may be observed in Vietnam, although, statistically, share deals outnumber asset deals. By contrast, it appears that the relevant State authorities, especially the courts, are somehow very reluctant to accept such business practice. Risks in M&A deals arise therefrom. A conservative judicial precedent In August 2020, in a case adjudicated on appeal by the High Court in Ho Chi Minh City, the target company was a one-member limited liability company wholly owned by the plaintiff (the Company). On 10 June 2014, the plaintiff and the respondent signed a capital contribution agreement (the CCA) whereby they agreed to...
June 20, 2022
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok, play a vital role in the dissemination of information, as well as in the discourse of opinions among Filipinos.  According to We are Social’s 2021 Digital Report, the Philippines, known as the “social media capital of the world”, ranked as the country with the highest social media daily usage, with an average of 4 hours and 15 minutes a day. In the same report, data revealed that about 80.7% of the Philippine population, or around 89 million out of 110.3 million Filipinos, are active social media users. The prevalence of social media as a means of communication and channel of information brought with it the Filipinos’ reliance on these platforms for sources of daily news. Around 72% of Filipinos get news from social media sites, with Facebook as the number one news source (see We are Social’s Digital Report 2021). A problem, however, arises when news pieces obtained from these platforms are unverified, false, or misleading. Over the years, social media developers have received multiple criticisms on the circulation of fake news on their platforms.  Based on the Community Standards or Guidelines of social media developers, the most that these platforms can do to combat fake news is to substantially limit the reach of the post, temporarily or permanently suspend the account, or take down the post, if necessary. Beyond these platforms, however, there is a lack of accountability on the part of the user who posted the false information online. Consequently, peddlers of fake news are not afraid to create fake accounts and post false or misleading information...