In an effort to boost the territories’ attractiveness as a hub for international arbitration, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) has recently made a number of key changes to its arbitration procedures, policies and practices.

In force since November 2018, HKIAC’s revised Administered Arbitration Rules (AAR) – the result of a comprehensive process overseen by its Rules Revision Committee – include changes to the use of technology, third-party funding, multi-party and multi-contract arbitrations, the early determination of disputes, alternative means of dispute resolution, emergency arbitrator proceedings and time limits for the delivery of awards.

“HKIAC generally revises its AAR every five years, with the first set in force in 2008 and the second in 2013,” says Joe Liu, deputy secretary-general at HKIAC. “As international arbitration evolves rapidly, there have been important developments in the field and changing needs from users since November 2013. In response, HKIAC’s Rules Revision Committee decided to commence a rules revision process in August 2017, with a view to introducing a new set of AAR to reflect international best practice and users’ feedback.”

A significant factor driving HKIAC’s semi-regular rules revisions is the intense competition that exists between arbitral institutions in Asia, particularly HKIAC and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) – each updating their rules in line with the latest developments in international arbitration law and practice in order to be designated first choice arbitral institution in the region.

Apr-Jun 2019 issue

Fraser Tennant