The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”) is pleased to launch a Panel of Arbitrators for Financial Services Disputes (the “Panel”), comprising some of the world’s leading experts in arbitrating financial services matters.
The Panel currently includes 30 members from 17 jurisdictions. Some of them are not only experienced arbitrators but also senior counsel, former judges or former in-house counsel of major financial institutions. The current members speak a total of 12 languages and collectively offer experience in a wide range of disputes arising from the financial services sector, including those in relation to structured financing, sovereign lending, forex trading, derivatives, asset management, interbank and banking regulatory matters. A list of current members and the application procedure are available here.
The Panel is HKIAC’s second specialist panel of arbitrators following the launch of the Panel of Arbitrators for Intellectual Property Disputes in March 2016 and will be the primary source for HKIAC’s appointment of arbitrators for financial services cases. Kathryn Sanger, Chair of HKIAC’s Appointments Committee and Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, says, “The Panel consolidates global expertise on financial services disputes and provides a convenient source of candidates for parties, arbitrators and HKIAC to consider when constituting arbitral tribunals for cases arising from the relevant sector”.
The establishment of the Panel has received worldwide support from practitioners and arbitrators. Carolyn Lamm, Partner at White & Case, is pleased to be a member of the Panel and describes the development as “an important step for HKIAC to tap into the financial services market”. She says, “financial institutions increasingly view international arbitration as a viable alternative to litigation. HKIAC’s new Panel will no doubt facilitate this trend further and appeal to parties to disputes involving financial institutions which often tend to be technical in nature”.
Tao Xiuming, Founding Partner and Managing Partner of JunZeJun Law Offices, is also a member of the Panel. He welcomes HKIAC’s initiative to identity financial services arbitrators based in Asia and beyond. He says, “this saves time and costs in the search of suitable arbitrators for financial services cases and will be part of our advice to Chinese and foreign financial institutions on choice of forum for their existing and future disputes”.
The Panel is launched at a time when Hong Kong has been ranked third worldwide and first in Asia by the latest Global Financial Centres Index, released in March 2018. As Asia’s financial capital and the world’s largest offshore Reminbi business hub, Hong Kong has one of the highest concentrations of financial institutions in the world, with approximately 70 of the largest 100 banks having an operation in the city. Hong Kong’s stature as a global financial centre is, to a large extent, built on its status as the world’s freest economy for the past 24 years and the most judicially independent jurisdiction in Asia for the last ten years.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, HKIAC has handled numerous financial services disputes involving major banks and funds. HKIAC’s experience in this area has been recognised by a number of professional bodies. In September 2013, HKIAC was featured in one of the model clauses in the ISDA Arbitration Guide. In September 2016, the Financial Sector Branch of the London Arbitration Club included HKIAC as a recommended arbitral institution in its Financial Services Expedited Arbitration Procedure. In October 2016, the ICC Commission Report on Financial Institutions and International Arbitration identified HKIAC as one of the most frequently chosen arbitral bodies by financial institutions.
Zachary Xin, Head of Legal at China Everbright Bank’s Hong Kong Branch, comments that “as a user of arbitration from the financial services sector, I appreciate the benefit of having access to a panel of arbitrators with relevant expertise and experience. HKIAC’s Panel is a useful feature that will be of interest to many financial institutions”.
Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
Tel: (852) 2525 2381
Fax: (852) 2524 2171