Gearing up for HKIAC Chairmanship

19 Oct 2016

HomeNewsGearing up for HKIAC Chairmanship
19 Oct 2016
General News


Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) is pleased to announce that Mr Matthew Gearing QC has been elected as the next HKIAC Chair.  He will take office in 2017. Gearing succeeds Ms Teresa Cheng SC who has served as HKIAC Chair since 2014.

Cheng welcomes Gearing’s election: “It is with great confidence that I will hand over the Chairmanship to Matt.  Matt has played a very important role at HKIAC and I cannot think of a better candidate.  He has my warmest support going forward and I have no doubt that he will ensure HKIAC remains an acclaimed powerhouse that serves its users worldwide and pioneers best practices that impact the way the world resolves disputes.”

Gearing has been an HKIAC Council Member since 2008, respectively a member and current chair of HKIAC’s Executive and Proceedings Committees.  Commenting on his election, Gearing says: “It is a privilege and an honour to be elected Chair of the HKIAC.  To take over from Teresa will be no mean feat, as she has done a fantastic job seeing the HKIAC through to a new level of success over the past three years, with its fantastic staff, excellent rules and a healthily growing case load. Together with the support of my able Council members, I will strive to do justice to the role and its objectives, and in particular to ensure that the HKIAC and Hong Kong continue to have a prominent place on the arbitral globe”. 

Hong Kong-based global co-head of international arbitration at Allen & Overy, Gearing first worked in Hong Kong from 2000 to 2003 (after a short stint in 1998 working on a particular case) and has been back in Hong Kong since 2008.  He is a Solicitor-Advocate qualified in Hong Kong, Queen's Counsel (England & Wales), Vice President of the LCIA Asia Pacific Users Council, and joint editor of "Russell on Arbitration", a leading text book on arbitration in England & Wales.  Gearing routinely appears as advocate in international arbitrations and sits regularly as sole, party-appointed, or presiding arbitrator. “Matt has spent his career in arbitration seeing both sides of the table and is uniquely placed to take HKIAC to an even higher level,” says Mr Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS, Honorary Chairperson of HKIAC. “I have known Matt for many years and I am supremely confident that he will make an excellent Chair. He has my congratulations and continued support”, Kaplan adds. 

Dr Michael Moser, Honorary Chairperson of HKIAC further adds: “I am delighted that Matt has agreed to serve as the next Chair of the HKIAC. Matt is a long-standing member of the HKIAC Council and he spear-headed the revision of the HKIAC Rules in his capacity as head of the drafting committee. His diligence, enthusiasm and high standing in the international arbitration community are assets that will no doubt serve us well. I am confident that with Matt’s hands on the tiller, the Centre will maintain and enhance its position as a premier arbitral institution.” Another leading arbitration practitioner, Ms Domitille Baizeau, Partner at Lalive, echoes Moser’s sentiment: “Matt is the perfect candidate for this position. Not only does he have an incredible intellect, he is also very down-to-earth and open-minded, hence also his deep understanding of Asian cultures. The HKIAC is lucky to have him take the lead of the organization”. 

Ms Sarah Grimmer, Secretary-General of HKIAC says that she looks forward to working closely with Gearing: “I am excited by the prospect of working with Matt over coming years. His legal skills are renowned the world over. He is an eminent presence in Hong Kong and has made a critical contribution to HKIAC’s success to date. It is an honour and will be a pleasure to help write the next chapter in HKIAC’s success story with him”.

This announcement comes at a time where HKIAC adds four new members to its Council Board: Ms Chiann Bao, former Secretary-General of HKIAC and Asia Pacific Counsel of Skadden; Ms Briana Young, Foreign Legal Consultant of Herbert Smith Freehills; Mr Danny Mok, full-time maritime and commercial arbitrator; and, Mr Anthony Houghton SC, Barrister and Senior Counsel at Des Voeux Chambers.  Kaplan commends these changes, “I am delighted that HKIAC has added new blood to its Council.  Each brings a different background and experience to Council which will be of great value”.   Cheng is also delighted to see the new council members on board.  "They will bring a new dimension and perspective to the strong, steady and sustainable growth of HKIAC", she says.

Media Contact

Karen Tan
Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
Tel: (852) 2525 2381

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