Hong Kong—powers of the court to order interim measures in support of arbitration and how to apply to the court
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—powers of the court to order interim measures in support of arbitration and how to apply to the court
  • Power of the court to stay court proceedings in favour of arbitration
  • Powers of the court to grant interim measures
  • Types of interim measures
  • How to apply
  • Interim measures arrangement—Hong Kong and Mainland China
  • Emergency relief ordered by an emergency arbitrator

Hong Kong—powers of the court to order interim measures in support of arbitration and how to apply to the court

The Hong Kong court has the power under the Arbitration Ordinance, Chapter 609 (AO) to grant a range of interim measures in support of arbitration proceedings. These are primarily designed to ensure the arbitral process is respected, the award is not frustrated, regulate the conduct of the parties and preserve assets or evidence. It is important to note the corresponding powers of the arbitral tribunal to grant interim measures under AO, s 35.

Note: Hong Kong judgments below are not reported by LexisNexis® UK.

Power of the court to stay court proceedings in favour of arbitration

The court has the power to stay its proceedings and refer the parties to arbitration if a party so requests and the action is brought in a manner which is the subject of an arbitration agreement, unless the arbitration agreement is invalid, inoperative, or incapable of being performed (AO, s 20). In deciding whether to grant the stay, the court may apply the four-staged test prescribed in Tommy CP Sze v Li & Fung (Trading) [2003] 1 HKC 418 (as approved in Polytec Overseas Ltd v Grand Dragon International Holdings [2017] HKCFI 604), namely:

  1. is there an arbitration agreement between the parties. Note: the court need only be satisfied on a prima

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