Legal Updates

Legal Updates for October 2021

Clarification of Amendments to Personal Data Protection Act – Follow-Up Changes to Regulations and Advisory Guidelines
The Personal Data Protection Act 2012 ("PDPA") has been undergoing a series of amendments pursuant to the Personal Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2020, aimed at enhancing the PDPA and strengthening organisation accountability and consumer protection. The changes have taken effect in phases, with the first phase coming into operation on 1 February 2021.

As a follow-up to the earlier changes, a number of subsequent amendments have been made to the Regulations under the PDPA – specifically, the Personal Data Protection Regulations 2021 and the Personal Data Protection (Notification of Data Breaches) Regulations 2021. These amendments have taken effect from 1 October 2021, and serve to clarify the concept of significant harm for mandatory data breach reporting, defences for egregious mishandling of personal data and the provision of business contact information of Data Protection Officers. This Update provides a summary of the amendments to the Regulations.

Exemption Frameworks for Cross-Border Business Arrangements for Foreign Offices & Foreign Related Corporations of Singapore FIs Take Effect
On 9 October 2021, the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS") put in place an exemption framework to exempt the foreign head offices or branches ("FOs") of relevant financial institutions in Singapore ("Singapore FIs") conducting capital markets services and/or financial advisory services from applicable business conduct and representative notification requirements when the FOs conduct business in Singapore, subject to boundary and notification conditions ("Branch Framework"). The Branch Framework aims to level the playing field between FOs and foreign-related corporations of the Singapore FIs ("FRCs") which provide cross-border financial services in Singapore under a MAS approved arrangement with the Singapore FI ("FRC Framework").

At the same time, the FRC Framework has been streamlined, moving away from the case-by-case approval approach to an ex-post notification approach. Before 9 October 2021, FRCs have to be approved by MAS to operate under the FRC Framework so that they are exempted from the licensing and applicable business conduct requirements under the Securities and Futures Act and Financial Advisers Act.

This Update provides an overview of the: (i) scope and boundary conditions under the new Branch Framework and revised FRC Framework; (ii) notification requirement for cross-border arrangements under the Branch Framework and the FRC Framework; and (iii) on-going requirements in relation to the Singapore FI's cross-border arrangements with its FOs and FRCs (including anti-money laundering and countering of the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements).

Singapore High Court Refuses to Impose Conditions in Ordering a Stay of Proceedings in Favour of Arbitration in London
If a claim would be time-barred in arbitration, but not in the court proceedings that had been commenced within time, would that be enough reason to impose conditions when ordering a stay of court proceedings? The Singapore High Court answered the question in the negative in The Navios Koyo [2021] SGHC 131.

This case is a reminder for parties to commence legal proceedings timeously and in the agreed forum, or risk the claim being time-barred. In this Update, we provide a summary of the decision and the key points potential disputants should note.

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