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Hong Kong: Arbitration

Often referred to as a gateway to China, Hong Kong (HK) is the world’s number one arbitration site & a mecca for entrepreneurs wishing to settle disputes in East Asia. Its popularity increased even further following the adoption of new legislation aimed at streamlining arbitration in Hong Kong in 2011-2018. 

Under the new legislation:

  • arbitrations held domestically & internationally are no longer considered as two distinctly separate processes (hence, all provisions relating to resolution of disputes via arbitration in HK are also applicable to international disputes);
  • parties are now free to choose arbitration rules that they wish to use for settling disputes in Hong Kong;
  • it is now up to the participants to decide which laws are going to be governing their contracts;
  • settling disputes over IP rights through arbitration & attracting 3rd party financing in arbitration in Hong Kong are now legally permissible.

Another reason why Hong Kong is a popular arbitration site is because it has a lot of barristers specializing in arbitration cases & a system of courts which is fully independent from the government.

In addition, Hong Kong is a signatory to a number of international treaties & conventions (e.g. the NY Convention) which makes its attractiveness to foreign businessmen seeking to settle their differences in HK jurisdiction even greater. Unlike before, when parties to a dispute had to wait weeks, months or even years for their arbitration awards to be enforced, the signing of the said treaties has made that process swifter & more efficient. 

Hong Kong: Mediation

The popularity of mediation as a method of resolving disputes in Hong Kong increased dramatically after the revamping of the existing civil justice system. From now on, participants are required to do their best to settle disputes through mediation in Hong Kong. Failure to do so may result in either of them having to pay a steep fine, providing it is established by the end of the trial that they didn’t attempt to resolve a dispute through mediation in Hong Kong deliberately & conscientiously.  

According to the amended mediation legislation, participants are now guaranteed a much higher level of confidentiality in their communication. Disclosures can now be made in specific situations, such as:

  • when participants & mediators reach an agreement on making a disclosure in HK;
  • when making a disclosure is vital for the prevention of damage or harm to a grown up person or minor; 
  • when law requires a disclosure to be made.

Also, investors that have incurred financial loss due to being treated unfairly by banking institutions or go-betweens (as a result of mis-selling banks) can now seek recompense in HK in the amount that doesn’t exceed one million HK dollars. Previously, they had no such opportunity & could only make up their financial loss by going to court. That consumed a lot of time & money & didn’t necessarily guarantee the result they wanted to achieve. In addition, entrepreneurs are now able to make use of alternative dispute resolution centers for settling differences through mediation in HK, which’s a far more effective & affordable option. 

Conclusion

Litigation in Hong Kong isn’t always the most effective way of resolving disputes. Therefore, potential or existing investors are highly recommended to consider using the two highly reliable & time-tested methods - mediation & arbitration in HK. Consuming less time & money, they ensure swift & effective enforcement of arbitral awards in HK, providing investors with the exact result they want.

Considering settling a dispute in HK? Looking to get legal advice on mediation & arbitration in Hong Kong? Why not reach out to IQ Decision UK? Our legal experts will be delighted to give you a hand with any legal issue you’re facing in this regard.