SIAC opens office at GIFT IFSC, foreign law firms to follow suit?

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has opened its second office in India at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) International Financial Services Centre Zone (IFSC). This is pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement entered into between SIAC and GIFT.

The collaboration will promote to all companies and investors in GIFT, the use of arbitration and related dispute resolution services such as the Arb-Med-Arb service jointly provided by SIAC and the Singapore International Mediation Centre.

In a press release, CEO of SIAC Lim Seok Hui was quoted as saying,

“…Opening a second SIAC office in India in GIFT IFSC will allow SIAC to participate in GIFT’s economic development through the provision of a world-class dispute resolution mechanism to businesses and investors within GIFT IFSC, and will deepen SIAC’s existing ties with the legal and business communities in India.”

The Centre opened its first Indian office in Mumbai back in 2013.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent move to set the entry of foreign law firms in motion, we could well see a few international firms joining SIAC at GIFT. As part of the first phase of liberalisation, foreign law firms would be allowed to set up shop at SEZs like GIFT.

Earlier this year, the government had amended a rule allowing foreign law and accountancy firms to advise clients from SEZs.