While the UK remains the primary global hub for maritime services, and English law remains the most common legal framework for global maritime contracts, there is growing potential competition in this area. Singapore in particular has been promoting itself as a centre for arbitration of maritime disputes under contracts governed by English law.LLMA (2018), ‘Call for Evidence Response Maritime 2050’.
London currently remains the most popular choice of jurisdiction for maritime arbitration, with Singapore and Hong Kong the two strongest competitors (these currently lag far behind, though they likely have ambition to grow in this area).Although a newly established Nordic arbitration centre promoted by Scandinavian maritime clusters may also emerge as an alternative to the UK for international maritime arbitration. See HFW (2020), … Continue reading The success of the UK as the leading global arbitration seat directly results in significant revenue for the UK. This is not only in the form of legal fees to UK law firms, but also from the use of specialist consultants and technical experts, who are mostly based in the UK.LLMA (2018), ‘Call for Evidence Response Maritime 2050’.Maritime London (2017), ‘London arbitration, just a few good reasons why’. However, as other regional hubs seek to expand in the coming years, the use of English law and the UK as the pre-eminent global hub may become increasingly at risk.
More generally, Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong have each recently pursued active strategies to attract maritime business services. Singapore is now the second largest maritime services hub after London.PwC (2016), op. cit. It has also been estimated that as Asia grows as a market for global container trade flows, an increasing share of some business service transactions—such as marine cargo insurance—may be situated in Asia.See, for example, BCG (2014), ‘London matters: The competitive position of the London Insurance Market’, p. 16.