eOASIS is Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP's legal information website for clients, containing business and legal information prepared from a practitioner's viewpoint. It has four different modules, updated regularly, and materials range from commentaries on the latest legal developments to key legal and business information.
Insurance Claims for Marine Collision: Court Examines Constructive Total Loss, Responsibilities of the Insured, and Notification
In PT Adidaya Energy Mandiri v MS First Capital Insurance Pte Ltd  SGHC(I) 14, the Singapore International Commercial Court ("SICC") was faced with a claim for constructive total loss ("CTL") under a marine insurance policy arising from collision damage. The SICC held that the insurer was not liable to the insured, and considered a number of issues relating to the insurance coverage for the claim, including the proving of CTL; late notice of abandonment; the responsibilities of the insured under certain warranties provided in the policy; and compliance with the policy's claim notification requirements.
The insurer was successfully represented by Jainil Bhandari, Aleksandar Georgiev, Kristin Ng and Nathaniel Loh of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
In this Update, we provide a summary of the key points of the judgment and the SICC's consideration of the issues above.
SICC's Jurisdiction over Cross-Border Restructuring and Insolvency Matters
Singapore has been strengthening its position as a key nodal jurisdiction for cross-border restructuring and insolvency. This includes the establishment of the Singapore International Commercial Court ("SICC") to handle international commercial disputes, the adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency, and the introduction of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act.
This process continues with amendments to the laws to provide that the SICC has jurisdiction over international restructuring and insolvency matters. These amendments come into effect on 1 October 2022. This development is expected to further enhance Singapore's capabilities and attractiveness as a forum of choice for cross-border insolvency. In this Update, we highlight the key amendments, and how they will affect the framework for cross-border restructuring and insolvency in Singapore.
Launch of the Code of Practice on Chief Executives' and Board of Directors' Workplace Safety and Health Duties
The Code of Practice on Chief Executives' and Board of Directors' Workplace Safety and Health Duties ("COP") was launched on 19 September 2022, and is expected to be gazetted as an Approved COP by October 2022. Once gazetted, the COP will be relevant in the event of offences under the Workplace Safety and Health Act 2006, as the Courts can consider compliance to the COP in determining the liability of the organisation and its management team.
The COP sets out the principles that Company Directors should observe in improving workplace safety and health ("WSH") performance and management, as well as the practical measures that should be taken. It should be noted that WSH includes both physical health and mental well-being, and organisations should ensure that both aspects are addressed in their WSH policies. In this Update, we highlight the key principles and measures in the COP, and the effect of the COP being gazetted.
Business Trusts (Amendment) Bill Introduced to Align with Regulatory Regimes for Companies and REITs
On 12 September 2022, the Business Trusts (Amendment) Bill ("Bill") was tabled in Parliament for First Reading. The Bill seeks to amend the Business Trusts Act 2004 ("BTA") which governs the registration and regulation of business trusts ("BTs"). Introduced in 2004, a BT is a hybrid structure embodying the features of both a company and a trust. A key advantage of a BT is the ability to pay dividends to unitholders out of its cash profits, unlike a company which may only do so out of accounting profits. Given a BT's similarities with a company, many provisions of the BTA are based on the Companies Act 1967 ("CA"). From the time the BTA came into effect, there have been various amendments to the CA, as well as revisions to the real estate investment trusts ("REITs") regime.
In view thereof, the Monetary Authority of Singapore conducted a public consultation in November 2021 concerning proposed amendments to the BTA, mainly to align it with 2014 and 2017 amendments to the CA pursuant to the Companies (Amendment) Acts, "CAA", as well as the regulatory regime for REITs. The amendments to the BTA also seek to streamline and clarify regulatory requirements. The proposed Bill received general support from respondents.
In this Update, we outline certain key amendments to the BTA set out in the Bill.