Hong Kong Mediation Council to Oversee Investment Treaty Disputes

The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) announced this week that its Hong Kong Mediation Council (HKMC) will administer investment disputes between a Mainland Chinese investor and the Government of Hong Kong in accordance with 2017’s Investment Agreement under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (“Investment Agreement”). The Investment Agreement encourages investment activity between Mainland China and Hong Kong, but also contains significant protections and obligations for both sides.

The Investment Agreement embraces multiple dispute resolution mechanisms, including mediation by a mediation institution previously designated by the host government and agreed to by the other government. The Government of Hong […]

Hong Kong Mediation Council to Oversee Investment Treaty Disputes 2019-01-30T00:41:32+00:00

Hong Kong Now Allowing Third-Party Funding for Arbitration

On December 7, 2018, the Hong Kong Department of Justice released its long-awaited Code of Practice for Third-Party Funding of Arbitration, which can be found HERE. The Code—which takes effect on February 1, 2019—sets out standards of compliance for third-party funders of arbitration and includes a system of supervision by an advisory body (non-compliance will not result in judicial or other proceedings, however). Previously, according to the common law doctrines of “maintenance and champerty,” Hong Kong prohibited third party funding of litigation. The Hong Kong DOJ passed an Amendment Ordinance in June 2017 abolishing the doctrines of maintenance and champerty but […]

Hong Kong Now Allowing Third-Party Funding for Arbitration 2019-01-15T19:24:37+00:00

US Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Arbitrator Competence to Decide Arbitrability

In Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s first majority opinion, issued January 8, 2019, the Supreme Court unanimously held that the Federal Arbitration Act requires courts to respect valid arbitration clauses and does not empower courts to determine the “gateway” issues of arbitrability when the question of arbitrability has been delegated, by contract, to the arbitrator. The case, Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer and White Sales, Inc., involved alleged antitrust violations and a request for injunctive relief and monetary damages.

Despite the presence of an arbitration clause in the agreement between the parties, Archer and White filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court in […]

US Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Arbitrator Competence to Decide Arbitrability 2019-01-11T17:59:26+00:00

California Supreme Court to Decide on Hague Service Convention

On 26 September 2018, the Supreme Court of California granted a petition to review a case to resolve the question: “Can private parties contractually agree to legal service of process by methods not expressly authorized by the Hague [Service] Convention?”

The issue arose in Rockefeller Tech. Inv. (Asia) VII v. Changzhou Sinotype Tech. Co. Ltd., 24 Cal. App. 5th 115 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018)where an American party–Rockefeller Technology Investment (Asia) VII (“Rockefeller Asia”)–sought to confirm its arbitration award and served the counterparty according to the method outlined in the arbitration clause of the parties’ Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”). Changzhou Sinotype Tech. Co. Ltd. (“Sinotype”), the Chinese counterparty, […]

California Supreme Court to Decide on Hague Service Convention 2019-01-10T03:34:20+00:00

Prague Rules Released

After almost ten years of drafting, the Rules on the Efficient Conduct of Proceedings in International Arbitration (“the Prague Rules,” available for download HERE) were officially confirmed during a signing ceremony on December 14, 2018. These Rules originated as a response to growing concerns regarding the costs and inefficiencies involved in arbitration proceedings. Since 1999, the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration (“IBA Rules”) have served as a popular compromise between common and civil law traditions for the taking of evidence in international arbitrations. Over the years, however, critics voiced concerns that the IBA Rules lean toward […]

Prague Rules Released 2019-01-08T00:43:30+00:00