Meet one of the course directors of the APAC Diploma

We speak to one of course directors Dr Caroline Kenny KC C.Arb FCIArb about the upcoming Asia Pacific Diploma Course (APAC) in Singapore. 

The APAC Diploma is a joint venture between the Australian, Singapore and East Asia Branches of Ciarb, with the faculty consisting of lecturers from all three jurisdictions. It’s an intense learning course over nine days delivered through lectures and interactive workshops, with three social events.  

Dr Caroline Kenny KC C.Arb FCIArb explains that candidates will come away with a thorough understanding of the main ‘pillars’ of international arbitration law and will learn how to find the answers to procedural issues by navigating institutional rules. “Candidates will also learn how to write an enforceable award by studying and dissecting a past award writing exam,” she explains. 

For candidates who have some knowledge of international commercial arbitration, the course will deepen their knowledge and also provide intense instruction on how to determine the main issues in the dispute, weigh the evidence and write an enforceable award. Applicants will have the opportunity to network with leading arbitrators and jurists through the social activities and, more generally, by participating in the course with up to 30 other candidates. 

The key takeaways from the Diploma are: 

  • learning the main pillars of international arbitration law 
  • learning how to dissect a complex cross-border problem to tease out the issues which need to be decided 
  • weighing conflicting evidence to resolve the dispute, and 
  • applying the law to the facts and writing an enforceable award. 

Continuous education is particularly important in international commercial arbitration, to keep abreast of developments in the rules and laws of leading arbitration jurisdictions and institutions. But it’s not just about technical knowledge; soft skills are vital for private dispute resolution professionals. The most important skills to have are, “Patience, the ability to listen, and be able to determine the outcome you want to achieve, and drive a strategy towards that end”, explains Dr Kenny. 

Mediation has been a core part of Dr Kenny’s career from the beginning. “Mediation as a form of ADR is compulsory in Australia as it is very rare for a civil case to be listed for trial without the parties attending at least one mediation,” explains Dr Kenny, whose career highlight was being awarded the status of King’s Counsel. “I became a national accredited mediator very early in my career and I continue to participate in mediations, mostly as a mediator. I have been involved in international arbitrations for a long time including in the past 12 years as an arbitrator. It is fascinating sitting with arbitrators from different jurisdictions as we apply various institutional rules and foreign laws to resolve disputes.” 

Dr Kenny explains that Australia is a good jurisdiction in which to conduct an international arbitration. “It has a stable judiciary which is well versed in the law of international arbitration, and which exhibits a pro-enforcement policy to the enforcement of awards. All Australian states have first-class facilities to host an arbitration and the necessary infrastructure to support the arbitration process,” she concludes. 

Dr Kenny says, “I enjoy watching candidates improve their knowledge of international commercial arbitration over the nine days of the course and interacting with my experienced arbitrator colleagues on the faculty. I also have a great sense of joy (and relief) when candidates pass their exams which are assessed by Ciarb Headquarters.” 


Dr Caroline Kenny KC KC C.Arb FCIArb is an international arbitrator specialising in commercial disputes. She has more than 35 years’ experience acting in complex international matters, including over 15 years as King’s Counsel. She is admitted as a legal practitioner in Australia, the United Kingdom and New York and maintains chambers in Melbourne and London. Caroline is a former Chair of the Australian Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Ciarb) and is currently the Ciarb Trustee for Australasia and the only female Chartered Arbitrator in Australia. She is highly respected in the international arbitration community for her commitment to the promotion of arbitration as the preferred means for resolving international disputes and for her diligent, responsive, and practical approach as an arbitrator. 

Caroline regularly sits as an arbitrator in the Asia Pacific Region, having served as presiding arbitrator, sole arbitrator and wing arbitrator in a range of complex disputes, principally in the finance, energy, insurance, M&A, CISG and sports sectors. Caroline is on the panel of all major arbitral jurisdictions including the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR). 


The Faculty members for the Diploma are: 


  • Matthew Secomb FCIArb Partner, White & Case 
  • Edmund Kronenburg FCIArb Managing Partner, Braddell Brothers 
  • Alastair Henderson Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills [MEMBERSHIP REVOKED - MCIARB]  
  • Paul Sandosham C.Arb FCIArb Partner, Clifford Chance 
  • Steven Lim FCIArb Arbitrator and Barrister, 39 Essex Chambers 
  • Tan Chuan Thye SC FCIArb Partner, Rajah & Tann 
  • Amanda Lees FCIArb Partner, King & Wood Mallesons 
  • Jonathan Choo FCIArb Managing Director, Vantage Chambers Hong Kong 

Hong Kong 

  • Dr David Fong FCIArb Barrister-at-Law, Harcourt Chambers 
  • Dr Helena Chen C.Arb FCIArb Managing Partner, Chen & Chang 
  • James Kwan Partner, Hogan Lovells 
  • Paul Barrett C.Arb FCIArb Barrister, Arbitrator and Mediator, Pacific Chambers 
  • Julian Cohen FCIArb Barrister and Arbitrator, Resolution Chambers Australia 


  • Albert Monichino KC FCIArb Barrister, Chartered Arbitrator and Mediator, List A Barristers 
  • Paul Hayes KC FCIArb Barrister-at-Law, Dever's List 
  • Martin Scott KC (Pending) FCIArb Barrister, List G Barrister 
  • Simon Davis FCIArb Barrister and Arbitrator, Francis Burt Chambers 


The Asia Pacific Diploma Course in International Arbitration is being held from 11-19 May 2024, in Singapore. The course is strictly limited to 30 candidates. To apply for a space, please email the Ciarb Singapore Branch Secretariat at 

Read: The future of international commercial arbitration looks bright according to APAC course director