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  • Writer's pictureStefan Schmierer

Hong Kong Takes Lead in Arbitration as HKIAC 2022 Statistics display Growth and Strength

According to the recently released 2022 case statistics, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) has had its highest caseloads in 2022 over a decade. The newly provided data by the HKIAC, indicates that Hong Kong continues to be a hot spot as an international arbitration destination, particularly for China-related disputes. The figures show that the third-party funding regime, which was introduced in 2019, is becoming more popular, suggesting that success-based fee arrangements may also gain quick acceptance.

The statistics of the HKIAC 2022 Statistics displayed that Hong Kongs Arbitrational Centre grew in numbers


Appealing to the Globe

The HKIAC received 344 new arbitration filings in 2022, up by almost 25% from 2021, with approximately 50% of these arising from contracts signed in 2020 or later. The total amount in dispute in all administered cases fell slightly to HK$36.7 billion (approximately US$4.7 billion), a reduction of 7% year-on-year. The vast majority of administered arbitrations (93.4%) and most arbitrations (83.1%) were international, with 63 jurisdictions represented.


The HKIAC received 344 new arbitration filings in 2022, up by almost 25% from 2021

Mainland China relations

Regarding China-related disputes, there was an almost equal split between arbitrations involving no parties from Mainland China and those involving at least one party from the mainland, highlighting Hong Kong's status as a centre for the resolution of both China-related and international disputes. The agreement with mainland China on interim measures, which came into effect in 2019, is a crucial factor in Hong Kong's suitability for China-related disputes. The HKIAC processed 26 applications to 14 different mainland courts under the arrangement in 2022, and out of 58 decisions, 54 applications were granted, indicating the willingness of mainland courts to preserve assets in support of Hong Kong-seated arbitrations.


Funding

The number of disclosures of third-party funding in arbitrations administered by the HKIAC increased more than twelve-fold, with 74 disclosures made in 2022 compared with six in 2021. This suggests that parties in a significant number of HKIAC arbitrations are now benefiting from third-party funding.


This is the highest level of female appointments published by the HKIAC since its inception.

Diversity and Inclusion

In 2022, the HKIAC appointed 27% female arbitrators, a rise from 21.8% in 2021, demonstrating progress towards diversity and inclusion. This figure is notably higher than the proportion of female arbitrators nominated by the parties (18.9%) and co-arbitrators (11.4%). Nevertheless, there is still work to be done in this area. This is the highest level of female appointments published by the HKIAC since its inception.


Summary

Overall, the data portrays Hong Kong's appeal as an international arbitration hub and its success in its third-party funding regime. The figures displayed suggest that a success-based fee arrangement may gain rapid adoption and furthermore, push Hong Kong's unique status as a centre for the resolution of both China-related and international disputes. This is also due to its advancements, especially with China's willingness to preserve assets in support of Hong Kong-seated arbitrations.



Disclaimer: This publication is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.


For specific advice about your situation, please contact:


Stefan Schmierer

Managing Partner

+852 2388 3899

sschmierer@rs-lawyers.com.hk

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