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Legal Updates

Legal Updates for June 2021

Guide to Climate-Related Disclosures for Banks, Asset Managers & Insurers
Improving the quality of disclosures is vital to supporting the growth of green finance in Singapore. In this regard, the Green Finance Industry Taskforce ("GFIT") issued an implementation guide for climate-related disclosures by financial institutions on 19 May 2021 ("Guide"). The Guide details the best practices that are aligned with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board's Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

By focusing on climate-related disclosures, the Guide supplements the previously issued Monetary Authority of Singapore Guidelines on Environmental Risk Management for banks, asset managers and insurers ("ENRM Guidelines"), as well as GFIT's handbook that provides practical implementation guidance and good practices on environmental risk management. The Guide is relevant to financial institutions which are expected to meet the expectations of the ENRM Guidelines, namely banks, asset managers and insurers.

This Update briefly explains what climate-related risks and opportunities are, with an overview of the main recommendations for disclosure in the Guide structured around four areas: governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets. We will also highlight certain sector-specific and business-specific matters for consideration by banks, asset managers and insurers.

Successful Appellant Fails to Get Reimbursement of Damages Paid on Behalf of All Co-defendants in Satisfaction of Trial Judgment
In commercial disputes, it is not uncommon for there to be multiple plaintiffs or defendants, which may also be related entities, represented by the same set of counsel. In Crest Capital Asia Pte Ltd v OUE Lippo Healthcare Ltd [2021] SGCA 57, the Singapore Court of Appeal highlighted the importance of distinguishing between the principals despite their common representation.

The High Court had found a number of related defendants jointly and severally liable to the plaintiff for damages. One of the defendants made payment of the judgment sum and costs to the plaintiff, but was subsequently successful on appeal (although three of the defendants remained liable to the plaintiff). The successful defendant failed to obtain repayment of the funds from the plaintiff, with the Court of Appeal finding that the defendant should look to the other defendants for reimbursement.

The plaintiff was successfully represented in this appeal by Lee Eng Beng S.C., Mark Cheng, Jansen Chow, Sasha Gonsalves and Dawn Seow of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.

Application for Declaratory Relief for Arbitral Proceedings Held to be Abuse of Process
In Republic of India v Vedanta Resources plc [2021] SGCA 50, the Court of Appeal considered whether a party in an arbitration, who puts a question of law to a tribunal in an investment treaty arbitration and receives an answer which it does not like, can put the same question before a Singapore court (as the seat court) by way of an application for declaratory relief?

While the High Court Judge answered the question in the affirmative (albeit deciding against exercising his discretion to grant the declaratory relief), the Court of Appeal answered the same question in the negative. The Court of Appeal found the application to be an abuse of process on several levels, which we examine below.

The respondent was successfully represented by Andre Yeap SC, Kelvin Poon, Matthew Koh, and Alyssa Leong of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.

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