On 9 May 2018 Queen Mary University of London and White & Case published their fourth International Arbitration survey. London retained its coveted place as most respect arbitral seat, but 45% of those responding to the survey thought this may be effected by Brexit. At the same time, over the past decade Hong Kong has established itself as a key arbitral seat for Asian disputes (notwithstanding the fact that it exchanged places with Singapore in this year’s survey – moving from 3rd to 4th).
Angeline Welsh talks to Sarah Grimmer (Secretary General of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”)) and Joe Liu (Managing Counsel, HKIAC) about why Hong Kong has been so successful as a seat, how it maintains its position and what London in the post-Brexit world can learn from Hong Kong when it comes to countering misperceptions associated with political developments and local seat rivalry.
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Sarah Grimmer is Secretary-General of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. She was formerly Senior Legal Counsel at the PCA where she served as tribunal secretary in multiple investor-State arbitrations and was appointed registrar in several inter-State arbitrations. Prior to joining the PCA, Sarah served for three years as Assistant Counsel at the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris. She was also a member of the international arbitration group at Shearman & Sterling LLP in Paris, prior to which she worked in private practice in Auckland.
Joe Liu is Managing Counsel of HKIAC. He develops arbitration rules and procedures of HKIAC and promotes HKIAC’s dispute resolution services worldwide. He has acted as secretary to multiple tribunals in HKIAC-administered matters. Joe was instrumental in drafting the 2013 HKIAC Administered Arbitration Rules (the “2013 Rules”) and is a member of the HKIAC Rules Revision Committee that is currently considering amendments to the 2013 Rules. He is also a principal contributor to Moser & Bao, A Guide to the HKIAC Arbitration Rules – a detailed commentary to the 2013 Rules published by Oxford University Press.