Hong Kong—arbitration venue and other practical matters
Produced in partnership with John Zadkovich of Vinson & Elkins (Hong Kong)

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with John Zadkovich of Vinson & Elkins (Hong Kong) provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Hong Kong—arbitration venue and other practical matters
  • Seat and venue
  • Confidentiality
  • Language
  • Evidence
  • Expert witnesses appointed by the arbitral tribunal
  • Court assistance in taking evidence
  • General powers of the tribunal
  • Hearings

Hong Kong—arbitration venue and other practical matters

The Arbitration Ordinance, Chapter 609 (AO) contains numerous provisions regarding the conduct of proceedings, including as to the place of arbitration. Those provisions enable users to conceptualise the practicalities of the process and what they may need to plan for.

Seat and venue

The parties are free to agree on the place of arbitration (which is commonly referred to and/or understood to mean the ‘seat’ and/or ‘legal place’ of the arbitration). Failing such agreement, the place of arbitration shall be determined by the arbitral tribunal having regard to the circumstances of the case, including the convenience of the parties.

The seat or place of arbitration is particularly important because:

  1. it will determine which provisions in the AO apply

  2. any award is deemed to be made at the place of arbitration, and

  3. the High Court in Hong Kong will have jurisdiction to set aside an award where the place of arbitration is Hong Kong

Notwithstanding AO, s 48(1), the arbitral tribunal may, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, meet at any place it considers appropriate for consultation among its members, for hearing witnesses, experts or the parties, or for inspection of goods, other property or documents. The ‘place’ in this context may be the same as the seat, but it may also be another location which is convenient in the circumstances, ie a

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