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WIPO Appoints New Director General

The World Intellectual Property Organization has appointed Daren Tang from Singapore as its next director general. Tang will be the first Asian to hold the top job at the United Nations specialized agency.

Daren Tang, who has led the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore since 2015, is the first Asian to hold the top job at the United Nations agency.

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SIAC registers record number of new cases in 2019

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has set a new annual record for new cases after notching up 479 new filings in 2019.It marked the third consecutive year in which SIAC registered more than 400 cases. SIAC recorded 452 and 402 in 2017 and 2018, respectively. About 95 percent of the cases, while the remainder were ad hoc appointments.Additionally, in 2019, SIAC’s total sum in dispute was S$10.91 billion ($8.09 billion), a 14.6 percent increase compared to the amount in the previous year.The year saw parties from 59 jurisdictions arbitrate cases at the SIAC. According to the centre, “while India, China and the U.S. retained their top foreign user rankings, other significant contributors to SIAC’s caseload included new entrants from Brunei, the Philippines, Thailand, Switzerland, UAE and the UK, which is testament to SIAC’s global appeal to users from diverse legal systems and cultures.”

Davinder Singh, SC, SIAC chairman, said, “We are delighted that so many from around the world have placed their trust in us. We remain committed to ensure that SIAC will provide the best service ever in this field.”

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Ex Clifford Chance litigators set up disputes firm in Singapore

Harpreet Singh Nehal, former managing partner of Cavenagh Law, the Singapore Formal Law Alliance (FLA) firm of Clifford Chance, has co-founded a disputes-focused boutique in the city-state called Audent Chambers.

The other co-founder is Jordan Tan, who was previously a counsel at the same firm. The two lawyers will be joint managing partners of Audent.

The firm will have an advocates-only setup, working with solicitor firms.

Nehal, who helped to launch Cavenagh Law, focuses on banking and finance, oil and gas, and TMT sectors. Meanwhile, Tan has experience advising on a number of cases including a minority oppression claim concerning a company with assets above $100 million.

In an interview with Business Times, the lawyers said that they wanted the firm to be one that took on highly complex commercial matters as well as pro bono cases that raised important questions of law and public interest.