Hong Kong—anti-arbitration injunctions
Produced in partnership with Simon Powell and Ing Loong YANG of Latham & Watkins (Hong Kong)

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Simon Powell and Ing Loong YANG of Latham & Watkins (Hong Kong) provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Hong Kong—anti-arbitration injunctions
  • Jurisdiction of the courts to grant an anti-arbitration injunction
  • Application procedure
  • Approach of the courts

Hong Kong—anti-arbitration injunctions

Where one party has commenced arbitral proceedings in breach of an agreed dispute resolution process, such as where the arbitration has been commenced in the wrong seat or it was bound to submit the dispute for resolution via mediation, another party to the proceedings may seek an injunction restraining those arbitral proceedings.

Jurisdiction of the courts to grant an anti-arbitration injunction

The current position of the Hong Kong courts in relation to anti-arbitration injunctions is that it possesses the jurisdiction to order such injunctions.

This point was considered by Deputy High Court Judge Peter Ng SC sitting in the Court of First Instance in Lin Ming v Chen Shu Quan. The applicant seeking an anti-arbitration injunction in that case relied upon the court’s general jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief under section 21L of the High Court Ordinance, Chapter 4u (HCO), which provides that the Court of First Instance may grant an injunction where ‘just or convenient to do so’.

In response, the counterparty in that application cited sections 12 and 20 of the Arbitration Ordinance, Chapter 609 (AO), which respectively provide that in ‘matters governed by this Law, no court shall intervene except where so provided in this Law’, and that a court ‘before which an action is brought in a matter which is the subject of an arbitration agreement shall…refer the parties to arbitration unless

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