3 Oct 2019
Hong Kong and Mainland Step up Arbitration Co-operation
Under the Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which took effect on 1 October 2019, parties to arbitral proceedings which are seated in Hong Kong and administered by designated arbitral institutions would be able to seek assistance from the relevant people's courts in mainland China.
Under existing Hong Kong legislation, parties to arbitral proceedings in any place may apply to the courts of Hong Kong for interim measures. Under the Arrangement, parties to arbitral proceedings in Hong Kong, before the arbitral award is made, can make an application for interim measures to the mainland courts, including property preservation, evidence preservation and conduct preservation. It aims at preventing one of the parties to arbitral proceedings from deliberately destroying the evidence or transferring the property and also ensuring that the arbitral proceedings can be carried out effectively. Such an entitlement is not enjoyed by any of the world’s other leading arbitration centres. According to a Hong Kong government statement, the Arrangement is expected to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s international arbitration services.