Hong Kong—guide to the Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance
Produced in partnership with Amanda Lees and Tiffany Lee of Simmons & Simmons (Hong Kong & Singapore)
Hong Kong—guide to the Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Amanda Lees and Tiffany Lee of Simmons & Simmons (Hong Kong & Singapore) provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Hong Kong—guide to the Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance
  • Scope of the Arbitration Ordinance
  • Structure of the AO
  • General principles underlying the AO
  • Separability
  • Jurisdiction
  • Choice of seat
  • Confidentiality

Scope of the Arbitration Ordinance

The Arbitration Ordinance, Chapter 609 (AO) applies to an arbitration under an arbitration agreement which provides that the seat of arbitration is Hong Kong, regardless of whether the agreement is entered into in Hong Kong. The AO applies to both domestic and international arbitrations.

In the event that the seat of arbitration is outside Hong Kong, only certain sections of the AO apply, including:

  1. the stay of court proceedings where the matter is the subject of an arbitration agreement (AO, s 20)

  2. interim measures by court in support of arbitration in and outside Hong Kong (AO, ss 21, 45, 60)

  3. enforcement of emergency relief granted by emergency arbitrators (AO, ss 22A, 22B)

  4. enforcement of orders and directions of the arbitral tribunal (AO, s 61)

  5. recognition and enforcement of awards (AO, ss 82–98)

The provisions of the AO (subject to certain exceptions) also apply to statutory arbitrations under other ordinances, as long as the AO is consistent with that other ordinance (AO, s 5).

Structure of the AO

The old Arbitration Ordinance, Chapter 341 had separate distinct regimes for domestic and international arbitrations. International arbitrations were governed by the Model Law, while domestic arbitrations were governed by provisions in the ordinance which were partly based on the Arbitration Act 1996 (England and Wales).

The AO, which commenced