Israel Sorin Shohat, the Third Defendant in proceedings commenced by Mr Balram Chainrai, sought to challenge the jurisdiction of Hong Kong courts to hear a matter related to an Israeli arbitral award issued in 2013. The court held that, while the deadline for challenging jurisdiction had not passed, Shohat had ultimately taken steps which indicated that he had submitted to the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong courts and therefore waived his right to challenge.

Balram Chainrai v Kushnir Family (Holdings) Ltd [2019] HKCFI 234

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On 9 January 2019, Hong Kong’s Department of Justice and the Ministry of Justice of Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to “strengthen collaboration on international arbitration and mediation“. The MoC, a copy of which is available here, provides a general administrative framework for cooperation between Japan and Hong Kong in relation to international arbitration and mediation.

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Trends in choice of governing law & jurisdiction in cross-border transactions in Asia: Singapore Academy of Law publishes study

On 10 January 2016, the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) published the results of its study on preferences for the choice of governing law and jurisdiction made by those involved in cross-border transactions "in Singapore and the region" (the Study).  The Study, which was commissioned by the SAL's International Promotion of Singapore Law Committee, reflects the views of around 500 commercial law practitioners and in-house counsel who have involvement in cross-border transactions. The Study results can be accessed here

The Study responses suggest the growth in (i) the internationalisation of transactions in the region, (ii) the importance of Singapore law and (iii) Singapore as a preferred choice of forum for the resolution of disputes.  The most noteworthy points are highlighted below.

However, the value in the Study in signalling the comparative strength of Singapore's position as an international centre of dispute resolution will be determined by the demographics of the Study population, and, in particular, how many of the respondents are based outside Singapore and in which jurisdictions. 

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Recent Developments in India-related international arbitration

Herbert Smith Freehills has issued the latest edition of its Indian international arbitration e-bulletin. This issue considers a number of interesting decisions of the Indian courts, in particular a Delhi High Court judgment which clarifies issues of currency conversion and interest claims when enforcing foreign awards in India, as well as a Bombay High Court ruling that non-signatories to an arbitration agreement were nonetheless bound by it.

We also highlight a decision of the English High Court relating to the enforcement of an LCIA London arbitral award against an Indian party, followed by a round-up of recent Indian arbitration-related news.