A Senior Counsel and Chartered Arbitrator, Christopher Lau is recognised as “obviously one of the most experienced arbitrators in Singapore” (Chambers Global Guide 2019) and is ranked by Chambers & Partners as one of the Most In Demand Arbitrators in the Asia-Pacific Region.


His arbitration practice encompasses investment as well as all aspects of commercial disputes including construction, corporate, energy, maritime, aerospace, communications, pharmaceuticals, military & defence procurements involving the laws of various common and civil law jurisdictions including those of Cambodia, Denmark, England & Wales, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, New York, Oman, Pakistan, PRC, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Christopher has also served as mediator in commercial, construction and shareholder disputes both international and domestic.

Having been called to the Bar of England & Wales, Christopher practised as a barrister in London before returning to Singapore where he soon became best known for his shipping, construction and commercial practice. Between 1995 and 1998, Christopher served as a Judicial Commissioner of the Singapore Supreme Court.

Christopher now practises as an arbitrator. He has served in over 190 international arbitrations conducted either on an ad hoc basis or under, amongst others, AIAC (formerly KLRCA), DIFC-LCIA, HKIAC, ICC, ICDR, JCAA, KCAB, LCIA, LMAA, SCMA, SIAC and UNCITRAL arbitration rules seated in various civil and common law jurisdictions. Amounts in dispute in several arbitrations exceeded some billion US Dollars.

Christopher’s appointments as an arbitrator and mediator include the following:

  • Chairman in an institutional arbitration between North and South American parties involving, among others matters, allegations of corruption
  • Co-Arbitrator in an institutional arbitration between European and Asian parties concerning a pharmaceutical dispute
  • Chairman in an institutional arbitration between European parties involving, among other matters, allegations of abuse of power
  • Chairman in an ICC arbitration concerning an infrastructure project in the Middle-East
  • Chairman in an ICC international arbitration concerning the construction of a cement plant in Qatar
  • Co-arbitrator in an ICC arbitration concerning a commercial dispute involving Middle-East and South-East Asian parties
  • Chairman in an ICC arbitration concerning a construction dispute between a Middle-East party and an Asian party
  • Chairman in a SIAC arbitration concerning the procurement of telecommunications network equipment in Cambodia involving, inter alia, a Chinese party
  • Chairman in an ICC arbitration concerning the construction of a power plant in a South Asian state involving a state entity and a Chinese party
  • Chairman in a SIAC international arbitration involving Middle-East and Chinese parties concerning a distributorship dispute
  • Chairman in a JCAA international arbitration concerning the automotive components industry in Korea, Japan and Germany
  • Co-Arbitrator in a SIAC international arbitration concerning an escrow agreement
  • Co-arbitrator in a Bilateral Investment Treaty dispute between a foreign party and an Asian state
  • Chairman in an ad hoc arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules between foreign companies and an Asian government in relation to an oil & gas production sharing dispute
  • Co-Arbitrator in a LCIA international arbitration concerning a mining dispute in Mongolia
  • Sole Arbitrator in a SIAC international arbitration involving Korean and East Asian interests concerning an acquisition dispute
  • Chairman in a number of ad hoc international arbitrations concerning military & defence procurement contracts in a South Asian state
  • Chairman in various arbitrations (ad hoc and institutional) in Asia in respect of share subscription disputes
  • Chairman in an ICC arbitration concerning the construction of a business development complex in South Asia
  • Chairman in a HKIAC international arbitration concerning a joint venture dispute in China involving Chinese parties
  • Chairman in two LCIA international arbitrations concerning an oil rig dispute in Papua New Guinea
  • Chairman in an ICC international arbitration concerning a pharmaceutical-related dispute
  • Sole Arbitrator in a KLRCA international arbitration concerning the construction of a commercial complex in Malaysia
  • Sole Arbitrator in a SIAC international arbitration concerning a share subscription dispute in Thailand
  • Chairman in an ICC arbitration concerning the procurement of frequency for the operation of a mobile phone network in a South Asian State
  • Chairman in an ad hoc international arbitration under UNCITRAL arbitration rules concerning a software development & operation dispute
  • Co-arbitrator in a SIAC international arbitration concerning the construction of a major container terminal in South-Asia
  • Co-arbitrator in a SCMA international arbitration concerning the construction of six multi-purpose platform supply vessels
  • Chairman in a HKIAC international arbitration concerning a shipbuilding dispute in China
  • Chairman in an ICDR international arbitration concerning an agency agreement in respect of electronic products in Taiwan
  • Chairman in an ICDR international arbitration concerning a construction contract in Korea
  • Co-Arbitrator in a SIAC international arbitration involving European and Thai parties concerning the supply of coal
  • Chairman in an ICC international arbitration concerning an infrastructure development dispute in Vietnam
  • Chairman in a HKIAC international arbitration concerning the construction of a gas synthesis plant in the PRC
  • Co-Arbitrator in a LCIA international arbitration concerning a gas production sharing dispute in Ecuador
  • Co-arbitrator in an ICC international arbitration concerning a mining investment dispute in Indonesia
  • Chairman in an ICC international arbitration involving Korean and South Asian parties concerning an infrastructure construction project
  • Mediator in a SMIC mediation concerning a construction/engineering dispute in Myanmar
  • Mediator in a shareholder dispute between Singapore parties
  • Mediator in a construction dispute between a U.S. party, Middle East and Asian party
  • Mediator in an ICDR dispute between an Asian party and a US party in respect of an oil & gas dispute
  • Mediator in an ICDR dispute between a European party and an Asian party concerning an alleged breach of contract in respect of a software agreement

Christopher’s other appointments include:

  • Vice President LCIA Court
  • Member ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR
  • Member of the International Arbitration Committee of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board
  • Member Drafting Group updating ICC’s Report on Construction Industry Arbitrations
  • Member of the ICC Task Force on Decisions as to Costs
  • Member of the ICC Task Force on Maximizing Probative Value of Witness Evidence
  • Member IBA Mediation Committee
  • Member Task Force on IBA Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration
  • Member Working Group IBA Rules on Investor-State Mediation
  • Member of the Board of Advisors of the New York International Arbitration Center
  • Member Council of the Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration
  • Fellow Singapore Academy of Law
  • Independent, non-executive director of the Board of Directors of Wing Tai Holdings Ltd, Chairman of its Remuneration Committee and member of its Audit and Risk Committee
  • Former independent, non-executive director of the Board of Directors of Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd and former Chairman of its Risk Management and Audit Committee
  • Former independent, non-executive director of the Board of Directors of Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd and former Chairman of its Risk Management and Audit Committee
  • Former independent, non-executive director of the Board of Directors of Neptune Orient Lines Limited, Singapore, former Chairman of its Audit Committee and former member of its Enterprise Risk Management Committee (ERMC)
  • Former Member ICC International Court of Arbitration
  • Former Chairman Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Singapore) Limited
  • Former Member and former Director Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF)
  • Former Member General Committee of the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA)
  • Former Chairman IBA Asia Pacific Forum

Christopher is on the Panel of Arbitrators of various arbitral bodies including:

  • Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)
  • Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA)
  • Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)
  • eBRAM (Panels of Arbitrators, Mediators and APEC Neutrals)
  • Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB)
  • Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC)
  • Shanghai Arbitration Commission (SHAC)
  • South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (SCIA) Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration
  • International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR)
  • Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) (formerly Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration – KLRCA)
  • Thailand Arbitration Centre (THAC)

Christopher is listed in Who’s Who Legal as Global Elite Thought Leader – Arbitration 2022. He is also recommended in Who’s Who Legal Global Leader – Construction 2022 and Mediation 2021.

Chambers & Partners (Re: Asia-Pacific Region, Arbitration (International): Most In Demand Arbitrators (Band 1) - 2022) states:

Christopher Lau SC is a veteran arbitrator, experienced in the procedures of leading arbitral regimes both within and beyond the region, acting particularly prominently on matters arising from the construction, energy and resources, and shipping sectors. He is described by one interviewee as "a very experienced arbitrator who is respected across Asia - very sound in judgement and fair in his treatment of parties," while another similarly characterises him as "a very big name who makes well-reasoned and judicious awards."

Who’s Who Legal (2020) states:

Christopher Lau SC is an independent practitioner with “a wealth of experience”, lauded for his “fair, diligent and efficient conduct of arbitrations as arbitrator”.

Christopher has contributed to various books and articles on arbitration. His representative publications include:

  • Early Conflict Resolution and Efficiency in Arbitration: To Germany and Back Again? Liber Amicorum Michael Moser (2020)
  • Assignments ‘Mid-Arbitration’: Some Practical Considerations Chapter 2 in Jurisdiction, Admissibility and Choice of Law in International Arbitration, Liber Amicorum Michael Pryles (2018)
  • Equality of Arms in International Arbitration: Do Rules and Guidelines Level the Playing Field and Properly Regulate Conduct? – An Arbitrator’s Perspective, ICCA Mauritius (2016)
  • Obstacles and Opportunities - Whither Summary Dispositions? Festschrift Neil Kaplan (2012)
  • Party Autonomy - The Turning Point, Disp. Res. Int’l, Vol. 4 No. 1 (2010)
  • The Asian Perspective on Advocacy Chapter in Doak Bishop’s The Art of Advocacy in International Arbitration (2nd ed., 2010)

Christopher has recently been a speaker or moderator at, amongst others, the following events:

  • 5th IPBA Arbitration Day – 13 November 2019, Osaka
  • ITA-IEL-ICC Joint Conference on International Energy Arbitration – 18 September 2019, Singapore
  • GAR Live Construction Disputes – 4 April 2019, Paris
  • IPBA’s 27th Annual Meeting and Conference – 7 April 2017, Auckland on Impact of Ethical Standards on International Arbitration
  • 2016 ICCA Mauritius Congress – 10 May 2016 on Equality of Arms in International Arb: Do Rules & Guidelines Level the Playing Field & Properly Regulate Conduct?