The 2012 Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) Spring Festival Cocktail Reception was held on 14 February 2012 with more than 80 people attending the event from the arbitration and mediation community. Distinguishing itself from previous years, this year's reception was held at the HKIAC premises, particularly befitting as it marked the last year of the HKIAC’s current premises. Although the Centre's location would remain unchanged, by next year’s annual Spring Festival Cocktail Reception, the HKIAC premises would have already undergone a major refurbishment, doubling its office area and revealed its new look to the ADR community.
Mr Huen Wong JP, Chairman of the HKIAC, delivered an opening speech to welcome the guests, highlighting the significant legislative developments for arbitration and dispute resolution in 2011. Worth emphasizing is the coming into effect of the new Arbitration ordinance, which had brought in the long-awaited unitary regime for arbitration in Hong Kong. Mr Wong also mentioned another piece of landmark legislation – the Mediation Bill, which will provide a regulatory framework for the conduct of mediation by setting out certain standards expected of a mediator. All these remarkable instances would not have occurred without the devoted support from the Hong Kong government and the ADR community as a whole.
2012 will be an exciting year for the HKIAC and the arbitration community in Hong Kong. The first item on the agenda, the revision of the HKIAC’s Administered Arbitration Rules follow by the first enacted legislation on mediation in Hong Kong. With all these major events taking place, the HKIAC will be well poised to herald in a new era of dispute resolution in Asia.