On 1 June 2011, the much anticipated Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 609) (the AO) came into effect. This new legislation, based largely on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the Model Law), will not only make Hong Kong’s arbitration law more user-friendly but will also cement Hong Kong’s position as a leading arbitration centre in Asia and as an international centre for dispute resolution.
By enabling participants to operate within an arbitration regime that accords with widely accepted international practices and development and as the Model Law is familiar to participants from both civil law and common law jurisdictions, the AO will certainly promote Hong Kong within the international business community as an attractive place to conduct arbitrations.
Rachel Bendayan and Stephen Drymer, co-Chair of International Arbitration of Norton Rose OR LLP in Canada commented that “the introduction of the Arbitration Ordinance is perfectly timed to take advantage of the growing cross-border investment and trade in Asia and the international and domestic disputes arising therefrom. The fact that it creates a unitary regime for both domestic and international arbitrations based on the well known Model Law makes Hong Kong an even more inviting home for arbitrations.”
Michael Hart of Norton Rose South Africa comments, “The new Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance will be well received in Africa in general and South Africa in particular because the exponential increase in trade with China makes Hong Kong a logical forum for dispute resolution. South African traders and shippers will be familiar with the process and like its new format.”