Christopher Lau SC (Singapore)

Christopher Lau SC (Singapore)

Practice Overview

A Senior Counsel and Chartered Arbitrator, Christopher Lau is recognised as “obviously one of the most experienced arbitrators in Singapore” (Chambers Global Guide 2019) and is ranked by Chambers & Partners as one of the Most In Demand Arbitrators in the Asia-Pacific Region.

His arbitration practice encompasses investment as well as all aspects of commercial disputes including construction, corporate, energy, maritime, aerospace, communications, pharmaceuticals, military & defence procurements involving the laws of various common and civil law jurisdictions including those of Cambodia, Denmark, England & Wales, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, New York, Oman, Pakistan, PRC, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Christopher has also served as mediator in commercial, construction and shareholder disputes both international and domestic.

Having been called to the Bar of England & Wales, Christopher practised as a barrister in London before returning to Singapore where he soon became best known for his shipping, construction and commercial practice. Between 1995 and 1998, Christopher served as a Judicial Commissioner of the Singapore Supreme Court.

Christopher now practises as an arbitrator. He has served in over 190 international arbitrations conducted either on an ad hoc basis or under, amongst others, AIAC (formerly KLRCA), DIFC-LCIA, HKIAC, ICC, ICDR, JCAA, KCAB, LCIA, LMAA, SCMA, SIAC and UNCITRAL arbitration rules seated in various civil and common law jurisdictions. Amounts in dispute in several arbitrations exceeded some billion US Dollars.

Christopher’s appointments as an arbitrator and mediator include the following:

  • Chairman in an institutional arbitration between North and South American parties involving, among others matters, allegations of corruption
  • Co-Arbitrator in an institutional arbitration between European and Asian parties concerning a pharmaceutical dispute
  • Chairman in an institutional arbitration between European parties involving, among other matters, allegations of abuse of power
  • Chairman in an ICC arbitration concerning an infrastructure project in the Middle-East
  • Chairman in an ICC international arbitration concerning the construction of a cement plant in Qatar
  • Co-arbitrator in an ICC arbitration concerning a commercial dispute involving Middle-East and South-East Asian parties
  • Chairman in an ICC arbitration concerning a construction dispute between a Middle-East party and an Asian party
  • Chairman in a SIAC arbitration concerning the procurement of telecommunications network equipment in Cambodia involving, inter alia, a Chinese party
  • Chairman in an ICC arbitration concerning the construction of a power plant in a South Asian state involving a state entity and a Chinese party
  • Chairman in a SIAC international arbitration involving Middle-East and Chinese parties concerning a distributorship dispute
  • Chairman in a JCAA international arbitration concerning the automotive components industry in Korea, Japan and Germany
  • Co-Arbitrator in a SIAC international arbitration concerning an escrow agreement
  • Co-arbitrator in a Bilateral Investment Treaty dispute between a foreign party and an Asian state
  • Chairman in an ad hoc arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules between foreign companies and an Asian government in relation to an oil & gas production sharing dispute
  • Co-Arbitrator in a LCIA international arbitration concerning a mining dispute in Mongolia
  • Sole Arbitrator in a SIAC international arbitration involving Korean and East Asian interests concerning an acquisition dispute
  • Chairman in a number of ad hoc international arbitrations concerning military & defence procurement contracts in a South Asian state
  • Chairman in various arbitrations (ad hoc and institutional) in Asia in respect of share subscription disputes
  • Chairman in an ICC arbitration concerning the construction of a business development complex in South Asia
  • Chairman in a HKIAC international arbitration concerning a joint venture dispute in China involving Chinese parties
  • Chairman in two LCIA international arbitrations concerning an oil rig dispute in Papua New Guinea
  • Chairman in an ICC international arbitration concerning a pharmaceutical-related dispute
  • Sole Arbitrator in a KLRCA international arbitration concerning the construction of a commercial complex in Malaysia
  • Sole Arbitrator in a SIAC international arbitration concerning a share subscription dispute in Thailand
  • Chairman in an ICC arbitration concerning the procurement of frequency for the operation of a mobile phone network in a South Asian State
  • Chairman in an ad hoc international arbitration under UNCITRAL arbitration rules concerning a software development & operation dispute
  • Co-arbitrator in a SIAC international arbitration concerning the construction of a major container terminal in South-Asia
  • Co-arbitrator in a SCMA international arbitration concerning the construction of six multi-purpose platform supply vessels
  • Chairman in a HKIAC international arbitration concerning a shipbuilding dispute in China
  • Chairman in an ICDR international arbitration concerning an agency agreement in respect of electronic products in Taiwan
  • Chairman in an ICDR international arbitration concerning a construction contract in Korea
  • Co-Arbitrator in a SIAC international arbitration involving European and Thai parties concerning the supply of coal
  • Chairman in an ICC international arbitration concerning an infrastructure development dispute in Vietnam
  • Chairman in a HKIAC international arbitration concerning the construction of a gas synthesis plant in the PRC
  • Co-Arbitrator in a LCIA international arbitration concerning a gas production sharing dispute in Ecuador
  • Co-arbitrator in an ICC international arbitration concerning a mining investment dispute in Indonesia
  • Chairman in an ICC international arbitration involving Korean and South Asian parties concerning an infrastructure construction project
  • Mediator in a SMIC mediation concerning a construction/engineering dispute in Myanmar
  • Mediator in a shareholder dispute between Singapore parties
  • Mediator in a construction dispute between a U.S. party, Middle East and Asian party
  • Mediator in an ICDR dispute between an Asian party and a US party in respect of an oil & gas dispute
  • Mediator in an ICDR dispute between a European party and an Asian party concerning an alleged breach of contract in respect of a software agreement

Christopher’s other appointments include:

  • Vice President LCIA Court
  • Member ICC Commission on Arbitration
  • Member of the International Arbitration Committee of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board
  • Member Drafting Group updating ICC’s Report on Construction Industry Arbitrations
  • Member of the ICC Task Force on Decisions as to Costs
  • Member of the ICC Task Force on Maximizing Probative Value of Witness Evidence
  • Member IBA Mediation Committee
  • Member Task Force on IBA Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration
  • Member Working Group IBA Rules on Investor-State Mediation
  • Member of the Board of Advisors of the New York International Arbitration Center
  • Member Council of the Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration
  • Fellow Singapore Academy of Law
  • Independent, non-executive director of the Board of Directors of Wing Tai Holdings Ltd, Chairman of its Remuneration Committee and member of its Audit and Risk Committee
  • Former independent, non-executive director of the Board of Directors of Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd and former Chairman of its Risk Management and Audit Committee
  • Former independent, non-executive director of the Board of Directors of Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd and former Chairman of its Risk Management and Audit Committee
  • Former independent, non-executive director of the Board of Directors of Neptune Orient Lines Limited, Singapore, former Chairman of its Audit Committee and former member of its Enterprise Risk Management Committee (ERMC)
  • Former Member ICC International Court of Arbitration
  • Former Chairman Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Singapore) Limited
  • Former Member and former Director Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF)
  • Former Member General Committee of the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA)
  • Former Chairman IBA Asia Pacific Forum

Christopher is on the Panel of Arbitrators of various arbitral bodies including:

  • Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)
  • Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA)
  • Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)
  • Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) (formerly Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration – KLRCA)
  • Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB)
  • Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC)
  • International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR)
  • South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (SCIA) Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration
  • Thailand Arbitration Center (THAC)

Christopher is listed in Who’s Who Legal as Global Elite Thought Leader – Arbitration 2021. He is also recommended in Who’s Who Legal Global Leader – Construction 2021 and Who’s Who Legal Global Leader – Mediation 2020.

Who’s Who Legal (2020) states:

Christopher Lau SC is an independent practitioner with “a wealth of experience”, lauded for his “fair, diligent and efficient conduct of arbitrations as arbitrator”.

Chambers & Partners (Re: Asia-Pacific Region, Arbitration (International): Most In Demand Arbitrators (Band 1) – 2018) states:

Christopher Lau SC commands an enviably high reputation, both across the region, where he is acclaimed as “exceptionally highly regarded and an absolute standout”, and in his base of Singapore, where one source says: “He is my favourite arbitrator, I would highly recommend him”. He regularly sits on HKIAC, KLRCA, SCMA and SIAC arbitrations, receiving praise for his “methodical, balanced and responsive” handling of matters. He is particularly well acquainted with construction, energy and maritime issues.

The Lawyer Awards 2022: Chambers of the Year