Striving for Hong Kong to enhance its arbitration hub
Edward Yang Liu, new Hill Dickinson counsel in Hong Kong, assumes there is potential to be more attractive
Hong Kong has the potential to become an even more attractive international hub for arbitration in the Far East if it develops a more global strategy and embraces foreign investment, according to Edward Yang Liu, Hill Dickinson counsel in Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong has its own unique advantages and favourable conditions and can provide convenient, neutral and diversified legal and dispute resolution services for international businesses. In particular, it benefits from being the only Chinese jurisdiction which practices common law and adopts a common law system familiar to the international business sector. Hong Kong also possesses a strong professional legal community (including some 1,500 registered foreign lawyers from different jurisdictions) whose members have extensive experience in resolving commercial disputes in international commerce, intellectual property and shipping” stated Liu - speaking at the International Maritime Law Conference held in Shanghai – who urged Hong Kong to utilise its uniqueness and make full use of the Belt and Road initiative in order to expand is arbitration sector.
“Arbitration has long been welcomed by commercial industries for its distinct advantages of finality, simplicity, flexibility and confidentiality. Hong Kong is a popular seat for arbitration due to it being a common law jurisdiction and its incorporation of clauses and ideas in both of the UNCITRAL Model Law and the English Arbitration Act 1996 to ensure international recognition and reinforcement of its global status as an international legal hub”.
Acknowledging the fact that its popularity seems to have dwindled a little in recent years, he added that: “Hong Kong should address any technical and commercial problems under its existing arbitration regime and utilise opportunities under the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area Plan in order to expand its arbitration sector” concluded Liu, who has just been appointed from the leading commercial law firm as counsel and registered foreign lawyer.
A qualified solicitor in England and Wales and a lawyer in P.R China, Liu joins the team as counsel from Reed Smith Richards Butler where he spent 8 years in total in its shipping litigation team. In December 2017 he was listed by Lloyd’s List as one of the ‘Top 5 in the Next Generation in Shipping’ and recommended as a ‘Leading heavyweight lawyer of the future’, symbolizing a new generation of Asian lawyers. His practice covers all areas of maritime and commercial law, including charter party and shipbuilding contract disputes, MOA matters, cargo claims, general average, marine insurance and sale of goods disputes. Liu handles in a wide variety of cases of different types and sizes under LMAA Terms and HKIAC administered arbitration rules.
Hill Dickinson’s international shipping practice operates out of offices in Liverpool, London, Monaco, Piraeus, Singapore and Hong Kong.