Singapore’s position as a maritime hub is likely to be enhanced in a post-Brexit environment, according to Singapore-based Ince Law Alliance, comprising Ince & Co Singapore LLP and Incisive Law LLC.
The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has pushed the island towards a recession that could negatively impact the country’s maritime sector, which contributes £4.4bn to the UK economy.
Bill Ricquier, managing director at Incisive Law, commented: “It can be argued that Brexit means good news for Singapore regardless of the permutations ahead, which remain largely unknown. Looking at Brexit with the glass half-empty from a UK perspective, Singapore is well-positioned to benefit from any decline in London’s status as a maritime centre, given the low barriers to doing business in Singapore, its legal, cultural and services-focused synergies with the UK, particularly when it comes to meeting the needs of shipping interests, as well as its vital geo-strategic position in the world’s fastest growing maritime region.
“There may be a further Brexit dividend for Singapore, given that the complexities resulting from the impact of EU law on English commercial law will no longer be a consideration. In addition, although it is likely that the UK would seek to maximise the convergence and harmony between the UK and EU in terms of compliance, any additional burden that might result from divergence between the two systems may serve to make Singapore more attractive.”
Commenting on the uncertainity surrounding the implications of Brexit, John Simpson, managing partner at Ince & Co Singapore, added: “Once again, Brexit underlines the impact of global events on shipping. Whilst I do not consider that this should have any impact on the position of English law at the forefront of maritime dispute resolution, more shipping interests may seek to include Singapore as a venue for arbitration following the takeover of the Baltic Exchange. For those who can move quickly, and in particular Singapore-based shipping interests, there may also be other opportunities. The Ince Law Alliance is well-positioned to manage both international and domestic issues arising for our clients here in Singapore, providing a genuine understanding of the local legal and business culture, combined with international levels of service and expertise.”
Concluding Incisive’s Ricquier said: “There is a strong case for arguing that Brexit can be win-win for Singapore.”