On 1 November 2018, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre’s (HKIAC’s) highly-anticipated new administered arbitration rules came into force. The rules maintain the best-known attributes of HKIAC arbitration and introduce a number of new provisions that respond to users’ needs and key market trends.

The key provisions introduced in the rules are outlined below.

Online delivery of documents. The use of a secured online repository is recognised as an option of delivering and storing documents subject to all parties’ agreement.

Use of technology. The use of technology is identified as a factor to be considered by an arbitral tribunal when determining appropriate arbitral procedures.

Third-party funding. Express provisions have been included to address the disclosure, confidentiality and costs of third-party funding.

Single arbitration under multiple contracts. Relevant provisions have been expanded to permit a party to commence a single arbitration under several contracts, even if the parties to the arbitration are not bound by each of the arbitration agreements.

Concurrent proceedings. There is an express basis for an arbitral tribunal to conduct multiple proceedings on a concurrent or sequential basis, or to suspend any of the arbitrations pending the determination of another arbitration.

Early determination procedure. A new procedure has been introduced to empower an arbitral tribunal to swiftly deal with a question of law or fact that is manifestly incorrect on jurisdiction or the merits without going through the full arbitral process.

Apr-Jun 2019 issue