Hong Kong—organisation of the arbitral tribunal
Produced in partnership with Shaun Wu of Kobre & Kim (Hong Kong)

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Shaun Wu of Kobre & Kim (Hong Kong) provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Hong Kong—organisation of the arbitral tribunal
  • Presiding arbitrator and co-arbitrators
  • Assistance from arbitral institutions
  • Appointment of the tribunal secretary
  • Role of the administrative secretary
  • Organisational arrangements
  • Timetable and dates
  • Preliminary meetings
  • Hearing arrangements

Hong Kong—organisation of the arbitral tribunal

Although the organisation of the tribunal should not directly affect the merits of the dispute, it invariably affects how the arbitration is conducted, and consequently how the dispute is decided. This Practice Note considers issues surrounding the organisation of the tribunal under Hong Kong law and the Arbitration Ordinance, Chapter 609 (Cap 609) (AO), including the presiding arbitrator and co-arbitrators, arbitral institutions, tribunal secretaries and various organisational arrangements.

Presiding arbitrator and co-arbitrators

If the arbitration is heard by a sole arbitrator, generally they may conduct the arbitration in the manner they consider appropriate.

However, if there is more than one arbitrator, the tribunal will invariably be organised with a presiding arbitrator, also referred to as the chairman of the tribunal. Depending on the parties’ agreement or the arbitral rules adopted, the presiding arbitrator may be agreed by the parties or the co-arbitrators, or appointed by an arbitral institution or appointing authority.

The presiding arbitrator (vis-à-vis the co-arbitrators) establishes and administers the arbitration process, takes charge of the conduct of any meetings and hearings, oversees deliberations within the tribunal, and in some instances, casts the decisive vote. In fact, AO, s 65 expressly provides that questions of procedure may be decided by a presiding arbitrator.

Assistance from arbitral institutions

Where the arbitration is administered by an arbitral institution, the tribunal may often expect administrative assistance from

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