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Force Majeure: a New Analysis Post Local Enactment of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”)
Tara Liao | July 2022
This article first appeared in the July 2022 issue of Hong Kong Lawyer, the official journal of The Law Society of Hong Kong
Beyond the Litigation Narrative: The Place and Roles of ADR in Climate change Disputes
Iris Ng | 13 June 2022
In Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises (1926), one of the characters explains how he became bankrupt. “Two ways. Gradually and then suddenly.” This description of a slow lead-up to precipitous decline aptly describes the scenario Earth currently faces.
Resolving Climate Change-Related Disputes through Alternative Modes of Dispute Resolution
Reynold Orsua | 13 June 2022
In his Address to the 66th United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2011, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that - “[w]e must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.”
Hong Kong court stays proceedings in favour of arbitration where no 'clear intention by the parties to conclusively and unreservedly abandon the arbitration agreement'.
Ben Bury, HFW | 11 October 2021
The Hong Kong court has re-emphasised its pro-arbitration stance by staying proceedings in favour of arbitration in circumstances where the respondent accepted the existence of an arbitration agreement but argued that the parties had agreed to abandon it in favour of litigation.
Outcome related fee structures for arbitrations: gearing Hong Kong up for a competitive uplift
Felda Yeung and Kritika Sethia | 30 March 2021
Outcome related fee structures (“ORFS”) for arbitration and litigation are currently prohibited in Hong Kong.
Tread Your Arbitral Path in Asia: Navigating the Promise and Perils of Your First Appointments
Hana Karawya | 10 March 2021
On 23 February 2021, the Rising Arbitrators Initiative (RAI) and HK45 co-hosted the third installment of the webinar series The Rising Arbitrator’s Challenge: Navigating the Promise and Perils of Your First Appointments.
A Cautionary Tale - case commentary on X v Y: a rare Hong Kong non-enforcement decision
Nathaniel Lai and Dennis Wu, Sidley Austin | 22 February 2021
The recent Hong Kong Court of First Instance decision in X v Y  HKCFI 2782 clarified the principles regarding the proper interpretation of arbitration agreements, and provided an important reminder to tribunals to be careful not to stray beyond the parties’ pleaded cases.
Hong Kong Arbitration Week Recap: ADR in Asia Conference on US-China Relations – Challenges and Opportunities
Tze Siong Ang, Allen & Overy | 22 October 2020
Day three of Hong Kong Arbitration Week 2020 featured, as part of the ADR in Asia Conference, a panel session on US-China relations and the challenges and opportunities that arise out of that relationship. The session was chaired and moderated by Mr Peter Yuen of Fangda Partners. Mr Yuen was joined by a diverse group of panellists who each brought a different perspective on the current state of US-China relations and its impact on the global economy and how businesses operate.
Mainland China-Hong Kong Interim Measures Arrangement One Year On: Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones
Dong Long and Suraj Sajnani, King & Wood Mallesons | 4 September 2020
On 1 October 2019, the Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the “Arrangement”) came into force. Kluwer previously reported it here and here. On 8 October 2019, the first interim measure under the Arrangement was granted by the Shanghai Maritime Court. We can expect to see more applications under the Arrangement. Inevitably, challenges will follow, creating a situation of “crossing the river by feeling the stones” (摸着石头过河) for parties and practitioners.
Encouraging Mediation as a Form of ADR in Hong Kong
Kenix Yuen & Felda Yeung, Gall Solicitors | 14 August 2020
Hong Kong has engaged in valiant efforts for over a decade to increase the appetite for mediation as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism to resolve commercial disputes. Hong Kong first introduced mediation as a voluntary resolution process under the Civil Justice Reform (CJR) on April 2, 2009 though only time will tell if there is a strong, lasting appetite for mediation as a means of resolving disputes.
ADR in Asia - Arbitrating for Settlement
Lester Fung & Dennis Wu, Sidley Austin | 16 April 2020
The seminal event of Arbitration Week 2019, the “ADR in Asia – Arbitrating for Settlement” conference, was held on 22 October 2019 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Central. This year’s conference brought together prominent figures of the international arbitration community to explore, as Mr. Matthew Gearing QC noted in his opening remarks, the interplay between formal final dispute resolution on one hand, and mediation and settlement techniques on the other.
Time Limits: Help or Hindrance?
Nathaniel Lai, Sidley Austin | 16 April 2020
In recent years, the use of time limits in international arbitration has garnered increasing support from practitioners and users of international arbitration, given the increasing duration and associated expense in conducting large international arbitrations. Proponents argue that time limits provide a viable means to curb unnecessarily long proceedings and ensure that arbitrations are conducted efficiently and cost-effectively. However, time limits are not without their problems: detractors argue that as a general matter they can be unrealistic, and come at the cost of due process.
Chinese Investors Investing in One Belt One Road Lack an Effective Enforcement Mechanism at Home
Anton Ware & Tereza Gao, Arnold & Porter | 21 November 2019
Encouraged by the Chinese Government’s expansive Belt and Road Initiative, and often relying on the investor protections afforded to them under China’s dense network of investment treaties, Chinese companies are investing overseas in record numbers. As the volume of such outbound investment has grown, so too has the number of disputes between Chinese investors and host States regarding alleged violations of investment treaty protections.
The Indian Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019: Double Whammy
Sanjna Pramod, CMS Asia Pacific | 12 November 2019
Considerable progress has been made in the last decade by legal practitioners, constitutional courts and the government to promote arbitration in India. Recent pro-arbitration decisions of the Indian Supreme Court show a joint effort to establish India as a leading hub for international arbitration.
The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”) is the primary source of law governing arbitration in India. Traditionally, India has favoured ad-hoc rather than institutional arbitration. In addition, arbitration in India has been riddled with excessive costs, and proceedings are often protracted. These distinct characteristics have caused Indian parties to prefer Singapore and London as their seats for arbitration of their disputes.
4th Annual Harbour Lecture with Sophie Lam QC
Felicia Cheng & Dominique Yong, Clifford Chance | 5 November 2019
The theme of this year's lecture was whether arbitration is sustainable. The premise was the necessary and unavoidable disruption (a 'great transition' of sorts) that will affect not only the arbitration industry, but life and business more broadly. Ms Lamb used the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a loose framework to take the audience through a wide array of topics and ideas, from crowd-funded robot arbitrators to climate change, rapid urbanisation, and a growing 'silver economy'.
Interview with Dr Wang Wenying, Secretary General of CIETAC Hong Kong
Wilfred Ho, Skadden & Andrew Chin, DLA Piper | 15 October 2019
Michael Hwang's Selected Essays on Dispute Resolution
Wilfred Ho, Skadden & Andrew Chin, DLA Piper | 14 October 2019
Many lawyers in Hong Kong will know Dr Michael Hwang S.C. as a leading international arbitration practitioner from Singapore who often appears in Hong Kong for arbitrations and conferences. Many will also have read his first volume of essays titled “Selected Essays on International Arbitration”, which is available for free download at www.mhwang.com. Dr Hwang has now written a second volume of essays called “Selected Essays on Dispute Resolution” (which is also available for free download on the same website). The change in title indicates that this volume has added dimensions as there are further writings on topics other than international arbitration.
The Prague Rules and the IBA Rules: Different Sides, Same Coin
Rafael Roman T. Cruz, Quisumbing Torres | 24 May 2019
On 14 December 2018, after 4 years of drafting, the Rules on the Efficient Conduct of Proceedings in International Arbitration (Prague Rules) were officially signed in the Martinic Palace in Prague's Old City. During the signing, the speakers, including Vladimir Khvalei, Chairman of the Board of the Russian Arbitration Association, heralded the Prague Rules as the answer of civil law jurisdictions to the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration (IBA Rules), which have come under scrutiny for supposedly unduly increasing the complexity and costs associated with arbitration. The purpose of the Prague Rules is apparent from its title: the efficient conduct of proceedings.
Third Party Funding - The Answer to Access to Justice?
Felicia Cheng, Squire Patton Boggs | 9 May 2019
In any event, the introduction of the third party funding scheme is a welcome step forward in bringing Hong Kong in line with England, Singapore and other jurisdictions.
Prospects for Investor-State Mediation in Asia: Belt and Road projects and the Singapore Convention
Mushegh Manukyan, Three Crowns | 9 May 2019
Becoming a Rising Star in International Arbitration
Carolina Carlstedt, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner | 5 April 2019
The panel consisted of Chiann Bao, an independent arbitrator from Arbitration Chambers, Sarah Grimmer, Secretary General of HKIAC, May Tai, Managing Partner (Greater China) of Herbert Smith Freehills, and Mary Thomson, barrister and independent arbitrator from Pacific Chambers and Chair of CIArb (East Asia Branch). The panel was moderated by Eliza Jiang of Fangda Partners.
Interview with Sir Christopher Greenwood, GBE, CMG, QC
Felicia Cheng, Squire Patton Boggs & Joanne Lau, Allen & Overy | 5 April 2019
Sir Christopher was a lecturer in International Law at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Magdalene College from 1978 to 1996, and subsequently the Chair of International Law at the London School of Economics until 2009. During his practice as a barrister from 1984 to 2009 (including as Queen’s Counsel from 1999 onwards), he argued numerous high-profile cases including before the European Court of Human Rights and the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”). Following election by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council, Sir Christopher served as a Judge of the ICJ from 2009 to February 2018. Most recently, in March 2018, he was appointed by the United States to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal (“IUSCT”).
Ensuring Efficiency in International Arbitration Proceedings: Tips for Asian Users
Andrew Chin & Eugene Thong & Edern Coent, DLA Piper | 28 February 2019
ICC and ICC-HK Seminar
Suraj Sajnani, King & Wood Mallesons | 28 February 2019
Report on Hong Kong Arbitration Week China Focus Session - Current & Future Development of ADR services for the Belt and Road Initiatives & the Greater Bay Area Initiatives
Dennis Wu, Sidley Austin | 14 January 2019
China and Russia: Hong Kong at the intersection of big business and big politics as a global dispute resolution venue
Olga Boltenko & Kaiyu Liu, Fangda Partners | 14 January 2019
HK45 Annual Arbitration Pub Quiz
Rebecca Sargent, Bird & Bird | 17 December 2018
Chinese Arbitral Women from Hong Kong to the World
Lester Fung, Sidley Austin | 17 December 2018
The Women in Arbitration ("WIA") initiative was launched by the HKIAC in February 2018 to promote and support female practitioners in international arbitration and related practice areas in China. Having previously hosted two successful events in Shanghai and Beijing respectively, the HKIAC hosted its inaugural WIA seminar in Hong Kong during the Hong Kong Arbitration Week on 29 October 2018.
2018 KCAB International Seminar in Hong Kong - Being "International" in International Arbitration: Tackling Disputes in Multi-cultural settings
Tze Siong Ang, Allen & Overy | 17 December 2018
The cross-border nature of international arbitration necessarily entails dealing with a wide variety of cultures and legal traditions. The management of such differences has been, and still is, a pertinent issue to consider in any international arbitration. On 29 October 2018, KCAB International, the international division of the KCAB established at the beginning of this year to cater to the growing needs of the KCAB's international users, hosted a seminar aptly titled "Being 'International' in International Arbitration: Tackling Disputes in Multi-cultural settings".
The Rising Commercial and Investment Interface between Africa and Asia: Challenges and Opportunities
Soma Hegdekatte & Dr. Mariel Dimsey, CMS Hasche Sigle | 17 December 2018
The event was hosted by MCCI Arbitration and Mediation Center ("MARC") and supported by CMS Hasche Sigle, Hong Kong LLP during Hong Kong Arbitration Week 2018, and took place in the beautiful setting of the China Club. The overarching theme for the discourse was "The Rising Commercial and Investment Interface between Africa and Asia: Challenges and Opportunities".
Belt and Road: Financing and other Issues
Wilfred Ho, Skadden | 17 December 2018
The hotly-anticipated second event of Hong Kong arbitration week was a seminar hosted by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom concerning "Belt and Road: Financing and other Issues". Because of the topical nature of the presentation, the event was entirely over-subscribed. However, in order to accommodate as many participants as possible, the presentation was video-linked to a separate "spill-out" room. The seminar took the form of an introduction to the Belt and Road Initiative ("BRI"), constituting the first part, with panel members answering a series of incisive questions on the topic, constituting the second part.
Harbour Lecture: The Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics - Impact on the Belt and Road
Dominic Afzali, Harbour Litigation Funding | 17 December 2018
The Harbour Lecture continues to be a showpiece of the Hong Kong Arbitration Week. Following the insightful lectures by Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS and Gavan Griffith QC in the previous two years, Meg Utterback (partner at King & Wood Mallesons) delivered the third annual Harbour Lecture on 30 October 2018 on the topic of "The Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics: Impact on the Belt and Road". The purpose of the Harbour Lecture is to provoke thought and to challenge the audience, and Meg's lecture did not disappoint. Meg delivered the lecture to an (over)capacity crowd. Indeed, extra rows of chairs had to be brought in to accommodate the overflow of attendees.