The 2015 HK Summit - Bridging Cultures, Connecting Futures
The HK Summit, held from 12 - 14 May 2015 jointly by HKIAC and ICCA, was a resounding success. The legal and arbitral community generously sponsored this Summit, which connected around 350 leading arbitration practitioners, members of the judiciary, scholars, and officials from all over the world in a stimulating series of events, involving ICCA, the Judicial Forum and Young ICCA.
On Tuesday, the HKIAC hosted the ICCA Governing Board and Interest Group meetings in the afternoon. The afternoon also saw the Judicial Forum, providing a venue for discussion for around 30 judges from the higher courts of around 12 jurisdictions as diverse, but not limited to, Australia, the PRC, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. In the evening, the official opening reception at the Grand Hyatt closed the first day.
On Wednesday, the HK Summit Conference focused on two key topics: Bridging Cultures and Connecting Futures. After welcome remarks by Ms Teresa Cheng SC, Chairman of the HKIAC, and Professor Albert Jan van den Berg, a keynote speech was delivered by Ms Yibing Mao, Marriott International, raising the question about the right balance to strike between the possible benefits of publication of arbitral awards and the parties’ preference for confidentiality. The first topic was then introduced by a lively debate on the potentially harmful effects of the New York Convention on developing countries. Speakers included Dr Ali Khan, Supreme Court of Pakistan and Ms Lucy Reed, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and chair Ms Zia Mody, AZB & Partners. The debate was then followed by a session on the emergence of regionalism and South-South Trade, delineating current patterns and future potential of trade in this economic group. A more statistical economic analysis was given by Mr Ross O'Brien, The Economist Corporate Network; some of the other speakers included Ms Olufunke Adekoya, Aelex and Justice Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, International Court of Justice.
At the end of the session, Ms Kate Brown de Vejar, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, spoke on connecting the present with the future, thereby tying the morning discussion on the first topic to the second topic.
In the afternoon, the second topic was discussed through two breakout sessions. Young ICCA arranged a stimulating soapbox debate analysing three facets under the issue of transparency in international commercial arbitration. The other breakout session focused on the question of anti-corruption and anti-bribery legislative measures and their effects on international arbitration. Amongst the contributors to this session were Mr Christopher Stephens, Asian Development Bank, Ms Ellen Gracie Northfleet, Independent Arbitrator, and Ms Kate Yin, Fangda Partners.
The final session of the day saw Mr Jeremy Sharpe, US Department of State, Professor Hi-Taek Shin, Seoul National University School of Law, Mr Nassib G. Ziadé, Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution and Mr VV Veeder QC, Essex Court Chambers, turning the discussion to investment arbitration and some of the future challenges in this area. The conference was then concluded by Professor van den Berg, who summarised and connected the various themes that emerged throughout the day.
In the evening, guests were invited to the closing reception of the HK Summit conference. The event, the ICCA (HK) Cup Dinner, took place at Happy Valley Racecourse and saw Ms Cheng SC and Professor van den Berg also presenting a cup to the winner of the ICCA-named horserace.
The events on Thursday encompassed a workshop and seminars that focused on different jurisdictions.
In the early morning session, Judges Luo Donchuan and Shen Hongyu from the Supreme People’s Court of the PRC, the Fourth Civil Court, and Judge Jiang Shan, Shanghai High People’s Court, the Second Civil Court, offered an informative overview of the enforcement process of foreign arbitral awards in the PRC, looking both at the present situation and the future.
The morning also saw the HKIAC hosting the Young ICCA Training Workshop on the issue of expert witnesses.
The day was concluded by a lunch seminar that introduced dispute resolution in South America and some of its recurring questions. Panellists were drawn from the major jurisdictions in Latin America, and included Ms Adriana Braghetta, L.O Baptista –SVMFA, Mr Alfredo Bullard, Bullard, Falla & Ezcurra Abogados, Mr Eduardo Zuleta, Gomez – Pinzon Zuleta Abogados.
written by Riccardo Savona (HKIAC Intern 2015)
Reports by the HK Summit Rapporteurs:
- Session 1: This House believes that the New York Convention does more harm than good to Developing Economies (Sheila Ahuja, Allen & Overy )
- Session 2: New Regionalism and South-South Trade (Alejandro Garcia, Winston & Strawn)
- Session 3: Do Anti-Corruption Investigations and Anti-Bribery Legislation Influence or Affect International Arbitration? (Catherine S.M. Duggan, Oxford University)
- Session 4: Looking into the Future: Challenges to Investment Across Borders (Joan A. De Venecia, Home Development Mutual Fund)