Out-Law News 1 min. read

HKIAC’s new arbitration rules will enhance user experience

The new provisions and amendments in the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre’s (HKIAC) latest administered arbitration rules will provide an enhanced user experience for parties agreeing HKIAC administered arbitration in their arbitration agreements, legal experts have said.

Introducing a range of new powers and duties for arbitral tribunals and the HKIAC, the recently implemented 2024 Administered Arbitration Rules (79-page / 528KB PDF) aim to maintain the integrity of proceedings, and combat delay tactics and other obstacles to ensure the timely and cost-effective resolution of disputes. 

The HKIAC can now, during the initial stages of the arbitration, take any measure it deems necessary to preserve the efficiency or integrity of the proceedings. In addition, in exceptional circumstances, it can revoke the appointment of an arbitrator who is unable to fulfil their duties even when there has not been a challenge to the tribunal by the parties.

Once the tribunal is in place, new provisions allow the HKIAC to exclude a party's proposed new legal representatives and take any other measure necessary to avoid a conflict of interest.

Enhanced powers have also been given to the arbitral tribunal to determine preliminary issues or otherwise adopt procedures to decide the case efficiently. This is intended to codify the existing power to decide preliminary issues, bifurcate, conduct the arbitration in stages and decide the stage at which an issue will be resolved by the tribunal.

Nicholas Turner, a construction law expert at Pinsent Masons, said: “[These enhanced powers] will help address situations where a party seeks to derail or delay proceedings through conduct designed to undermine the effectiveness of the proceedings.”

He also highlighted an amendment to the rules allowing for multi-party and multi-contract arbitrations. “This will provide clarity for the tribunal and parties in situations where adding another party or consolidating arbitrations would ensure efficiency of the dispute resolution, and provide recognition of the commercial reality that related claims often span multiple contracts and transactions,” he said.

“Overall, the new provisions and amendments are welcome developments and will provide an enhanced user experience for those agreeing HKIAC administered arbitration in their arbitration agreements.”

Kanyi Lui, a Beijing-based corporate law expert at Pinsent Masons, said: “Arbitration using HKIAC is a significant jurisdiction for mainland China companies, and these developments will be welcomed by Chinese companies who agree to resolve their disputes in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region using the HKIAC’s rules.”

The HKIAC’s new provisions and amendments also include changes recognising diversity, environmental impact considerations, information security and data protection, and emergency measures.

We are processing your request. \n Thank you for your patience. An error occurred. This could be due to inactivity on the page - please try again.