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Case Summary: DBX and Another v DBZ [2023] SGHC(I) 18 SIC/OA 10/2023


15 November 2023

In a landmark decision by Roger Giles IJ, the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) has rendered a judgment in the case of DBX and Another v DBZ [2023] SGHC(I) 18, dismissing the application to set aside final awards in two Singapore-seated arbitrations.


  1. The respondent initiated two arbitrations against the applicants, who are an investment holding company and its sole director, respectively.
  2. The dispute arose from a margin financing facility provided by the respondent to the first applicant for investment activities.
  3. The arbitration clauses were invoked based on the terms and conditions incorporated into the margin facility letter and a separate deed of guarantee and indemnity.
  4. The applicants, failing to participate in the arbitral proceedings, now sought to set aside the awards on various grounds.
  1. There was no valid arbitration agreement between the first applicant and the respondent:
  2. No proper notice was given to the applicants regarding the arbitral proceedings:
  3. The awards violate Singapore’s public policy
  1. The respondent argued that the respondents did not establish any of the grounds for setting aside the awards and that their application was barred by limitation.[1]

The Court’s Decision:

  1. Even Considering the tribunal's corrections made on its initiative, the application was deemed to be brought out of time.[2] Although the awards were initially passed on 18 February 2023 and corrected and received by the applicants on 6 March 2023 ‘the corrections did not affect the commencement’[3] of the limitation period.
  2. The court upheld the validity of the arbitration agreement, rejecting the applicant's argument that the arbitration clause was not incorporated into the margin facility letter.
  3. Proper notice of the arbitral proceedings was given, and the applicants chose not to participate, failing to rebut the deemed service as per the Model Law.[4]
  4. The court determined that the awards did not violate public policy, even if the provision of the margin financing facility might be illegal in Hong Kong.
  5. Consequently, the court dismissed the application, affirming the validity of the awards.


[1] Article 34, UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, 1985, With amendments as adopted in 2006: The limitation period for application for the setting aside of an award is three months.

[2] In the present case at para. 45

[3] Roger Giles IJ at para. 59

[4] Model Law, Op cit. Article 3: Receipt of Written Communication

  • The correction of awards does not affect their limitation period.
  • In Singapore, the awards did not violate public policy, even if the provision of the margin financing facility might be illegal in Hong Kong.
  • Proper notice was given to the parties in accordance with the Model Law and they chose not to participate.


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