On 5 July 2017, HKIAC held its Arbitration Clause Negotiation Workshop in Tokyo. This workshop, the first of its kind in Japan, was sponsored by Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune and Orrick Tokyo Law Offices and supported by CIArb’s Japan Chapter. The workshop was conducted in Japanese and attracted over 150 in-house counsel and private practice lawyers.
The purpose of the workshop was for attendees to observe the mock negotiation of two arbitration clauses. The clauses were included in contracts relating to a joint venture transaction between a Chinese private equity fund and a Japanese company backed by a Singaporean state-owned enterprise.
Shiro Kuniya of Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners welcomed attendees by stressing the importance of the dispute resolution clause in contract negotiation for Japanese companies, who have a growing interest in international arbitration. During the One on One session with HKIAC, Hiroko Nihei from O'Melveny asked HKIAC representative, Kiran Sanghera, questions about HKIAC's experience in managing international disputes, and the essential information about arbitration at HKIAC that would be beneficial to Japanese parties.
Yoshimasa Furuta of Anderson Mori & Tomotsune explained the case scenario for the mock negotiation. The lawyers, Shin Tada and Hisako Matsuda of Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners, Aoi Inoue of Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, and Kei Kato from Orrick Tokyo Law Offices represented their fictional clients' interests throughout the negotiation. They covered a wide range of points including; the selection of governing laws, the choice of the seat of arbitration, the choice of the arbitral institution and the institutional rules, the number and appointment of arbitrators, the language of the arbitration, the costs of arbitration, the option to litigate, and the suitability of a multi-tiered dispute resolution clause.
Yoshimasa Furuta, and Yoshihiro Takatori from Orrick Tokyo Law Offices used their experience to comment and further develop the points raised during the negotiation. During the Q & A session many questions were raised from the attendees in relation to drafting and negotiation techniques reflecting the level of interest in HKIAC’s innovative and practical workshop.