PRC court enforces HKIAC arbitration award in favour of Australian gold mining company

On 21 July 2017, the Beijing No. 4 Intermediate People’s Court enforced a Hong Kong award in favour of Stonewall Resources Limited (Stonewall), an Australian listed gold mining company.  The HKIAC award is related to breach by Shandong Qixing Iron Tower Co., Ltd. (Qixing) of a share sale agreement governed by Australian law whereby Qixing had undertaken to purchase South African mining assets from Stonewall.  Notably, the disputed award was enforced in Beijing less than a year after being issued by the Hong Kong tribunal; and Stonewall is reported to have benefitted from third party funding, as a result of which its costs were reimbursed in return for 45% of the award.

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Hong Kong Court upholds refusal to stay execution of enforcement order

Overview

The Hong Kong Court of First Instance (CFI) has denied leave to appeal its May 2017 decision in Israel Sorin (IZZY) Shohat v Balram Chainrai [2017] HKEC 1118. In that decision (see our previous post), Chow J refused to stay execution of the CFI’s order to enforce an arbitral award pending the outcome of the Award Debtor (Mr Shohat)’s claim against Mr Chainrai (Award Creditor) in the Hong Kong High Court (High Court Action).

On 21 July 2017, the Award Debtor applied for leave to appeal Chow J’s decision (Leave Application), and for an interim stay of execution of the enforcement order pending the outcome of its application for leave to appeal (Stay Application).  The court also considered an application by the Award Creditor for payment out of monies that the Award Debtor had paid into court in partial satisfaction of the award (Payment Out Application).

The Court dismissed the Leave and Stay Applications. It granted the Payment Out Application, subject to a 14-day delay to allow for any further application for leave to appeal and interim stay pending appeal.

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Hong Kong allows third party funding for arbitration and mediation

Hong Kong's Legislative Council today passed a law allowing third parties to fund arbitrations seated in the territory, as well as work done in Hong Kong for arbitrations seated elsewhere, and for mediations. This development has been long anticipated, and will be widely welcomed by Hong Kong's thriving arbitration community, which views it as essential to Hong Kong maintaining its status as one of the world's most popular arbitral seats.

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Hong Kong passes amendments to Arbitration Ordinance

On 10 July, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong passed the Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 2013 (click here for our earlier post on the Bill).

The Arbitration (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 introduces a number of changes to the 2011 Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 609), aimed at ensuring Hong Kong remains at the forefront of modern arbitral practice.

The amendments to the Arbitration Ordinance include:

  • New provisions allowing Hong Kong courts to enforce relief granted by an emergency arbitrator, whether made in or outside Hong Kong.
  • Implementation of the Arrangement Concerning Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards between the Hong Kong SAR and the Macao SAR, signed in January 2013.
  • Amendments to the provisions for taxation of arbitration costs by the Hong Kong courts.
  • Inclusion of five new New York Convention signatories in the relevant Schedule

The amendments took effect on 19 July 2013, with the exception of the Hong Kong/Macao mutual enforcement arrangements, which will come into force at a later date, to be notified in the Hong Kong Government Gazette.

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