Hong Kong—enforcement—common law actions on the award
Produced in partnership with Linda OT Chan of Liberty Chambers

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Linda OT Chan of Liberty Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Hong Kong—enforcement—common law actions on the award
  • Nature of the cause of action
  • The essential ingredients
  • ‘New’ cause of action
  • Comparison with statutory enforcement process

Hong Kong—enforcement—common law actions on the award

STOP PRESS: This Practice Note is being reviewed in light of the decision in Xiamen Xinjingdi Group Co Ltd v Eton Properties Limited and Others [2020] HKCFA 32.

A successful party in an arbitration may enforce the award in Hong Kong either:

  1. under statute, by a summary process provided in the Arbitration Ordinance (Cap 609), or

  2. under common law, by commencing an action based on an implied promise to perform an award (commonly called an ‘action on the award’) (Xiamen Xinjingdi Group Co Ltd v Eton Properties Ltd [2016] 2 HKLRD 1106)

This Practice Note considers actions on the arbitration award under Hong Kong law. For guidance on enforcement under statute in Hong Kong, see Practice Notes: Hong Kong—enforcement—New York Convention arbitration awards—procedure, Hong Kong—enforcement—New York Convention arbitration awards—grounds of refusal, Hong Kong—enforcement—non-New York Convention and non-Mainland China arbitration awards and Hong Kong—enforcement—Mainland China arbitration awards.

Note: judgments of the Hong Kong courts referred to in this Practice Note are not reported by LexisNexis® UK.

Nature of the cause of action

This is an independent cause of action, separate and distinct from the breach of the underlying ‘substantive’ or ‘matrix’ contract which led to the arbitration, even though the award ‘arises from’ that substantive or matrix contract.

The essential ingredients

The essential ingredients of this new cause of actions are:

  1. a valid submission of a

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