Jurisdictional Location of Cryptoassets: Recent Decisions Involving Three Arrows Capital Ltd

14 May 2024 CaseWatch

As cryptoassets lack tangible existence or connection to the material world, it is especially challenging to determine through conventional lenses their notional “location” (or jurisdictional location) for the purposes of various legal doctrines. For instance, the jurisdictional location of an asset may be a relevant factor when determining whether the Singapore court is the more appropriate forum than a foreign court to hear a dispute (i.e., a forum conveniens analysis). The forum conveniens analysis arises where a defendant to Singapore proceedings seeks a stay of the Singapore proceedings to have the dispute heard by a foreign court.

In the recent decisions of Cheong Jun Yoong v Three Arrows Capital Ltd and others [2024] SGHC 21 (3AC HC) and Three Arrows Capital Ltd and others v Cheong Jun Yoong [2024] SGHC(A) 10 (3AC AD), both the General and Appellate Divisions of the High Court had to decide whether the Singapore court or the British Virgin Islands court was the more appropriate forum to hear a dispute concerning an alleged trust over certain cryptoassets. They thus had the opportunity to consider for the first time the issue concerning the jurisdictional location of cryptoassets and its significance in a forum conveniens analysis.

This update takes a look at 3AC HC and 3AC AD.

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