Going to Honk Kong to arbitrate your international commercial disputes

Hong Kong

Country:

  • Hong Kong

Overview:

  • Hong Kong is an international arbitration friendly jurisdiction, Hong Kong is pro-arbitration and pro-enforcement

Hong Kong International Commercial Arbitration Legislation:

  • Hong Kong has its own domestic legislation (lex arbitri) for the regulation of international commercial arbitration
  • The Hong Kong lex arbitri is the Arbitration Ordinance (L.N. 38 of 2011) (“Arbitration Ordinance”). The Arbitration Ordinance applies to both international and domestic arbitration.

UNCITRAL Model Law:

  • Hong Kong is a Model Law jurisdiction
  • The Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance states that the provisions of the UNCITRAL Model Law that are expressly stated in Ordinance as having effect, have the force of law in Hong Kong subject to the modifications and supplements as expressly provided for in the Ordinance
  • In particular, see sections 4, 7 to 13, 19 to 21, 23 to 28, 34 to 55, 64 to 69 and First Schedule. Note also that sections 82 and 83 exclude the operation of articles 35 and 36 respectively. However, provisions equivalent to articles 35 and 36 appear in Part 10.

UNCITRAL International Arbitrations Rules:

  • There is no restriction in Hong Kong in respect to the application of these international commercial arbitration rules (see Article 19 of the Model Law, as adopted by section 47 of the Arbitration Ordinance)

Enforcement of International Commercial Arbitration Awards:

  • Upon resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong on 1 July 1997, the Government of China extended the territorial application of the Convention to Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China, subject to the statement originally made by China upon accession to the Convention. This statement was that China made two reservations. China will apply the Convention only: -
    • To the recognition and enforcement of awards made in the territory of another contracting State; and
    • To differences arising out of legal relationships, whether contractual or not, that are considered commercial under China law.
  • See also “Mainland Awards” in Part 10, this is because Mainland China can be regarded as the same country as Hong Kong, despite operating under different legal systems

Hong Kong International Commercial Arbitration Institutions:

Hong Kong International Commercial Arbitration Venues

Hong Kong International Commercial Arbitration Rules:

Other International Commercial Arbitration Institutions:

  • There is no restriction in Hong Kong in respect to foreign international arbitration institutions conducting international commercial arbitrations in Hong Kong (see Article 11 of the Model Law, as adopted by section 24 of the Arbitration Ordinance)

Other International Commercial Arbitration Rules:

  • There is no restriction in Hong Kong in respect to the application of foreign international commercial arbitration rules (see Article 19 of the Model Law, as adopted by section 47 of the Arbitration Ordinance)

International Commercial Arbitration Guidelines:

  • There is no restriction in Hong Kong in respect to the use of foreign international commercial arbitration guidelines – for example, International Bar Association (IBA) Guidelines, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Guidelines, UNCITRAL Notes, etc (see Article 19 of the Model Law, as adopted by section 47 of the Arbitration Ordinance)

Place (or seat) of arbitration:

  • There is no restriction in Hong Kong in respect to the place or seat of the arbitration (see Article 20 of the Model Law, as adopted by section 48 of the Arbitration Ordinance)

Substantive Law:

  • There is no restriction in Hong Kong in respect to the rules applicable to substance of dispute (see Article 28 of the Model Law, as adopted by section 64 of the Arbitration Ordinance)

Representation:

  • There is no specific restriction in the Arbitration Ordiance against foreign representatives appearing for their respective clients before an international commercial arbitration Tribunal in Hong Kong (otherwise see the Hong Kong Legal Practitioners Ordinance)

Useful Links:

  • TBA

New Zealand

Contact details

Telephone: 0508 899 721
Facsimile: 0508 899 723

Suite 25
Floor G
Panama House
22 Panama Street
Wellington 6011
New Zealand