PRC adopts commercial exception to state immunity

The PRC has passed a new law which will apply the “restrictive” approach to foreign state immunity with effect from 1 January 2024.  As a result, foreign states will not be granted immunity from suit or execution in the PRC in respect of certain commercial activities and assets.  The PRC government has indicated that the … Read more

Clearing up the cloud? Perhaps partly, as the Court of Final Appeal affirms the approach to dismissing bankruptcy proceedings in favour of the parties’ agreed forum

If a debt arises from a contract that contains an exclusive jurisdiction clause (EJC) in favour of a foreign court, how will the Hong Kong court deal with a bankruptcy petition based on that debt? A highly anticipated judgment from Hong Kong’s highest court suggests that the bankruptcy petition will likely be dismissed, and that … Read more

Hong Kong arbitration success fee regime fully in force

Lawyers can now offer success-based fee arrangements for work in Hong Kong on arbitrations and related proceedings. On 16 December 2022, Hong Kong enacted the outstanding sections of Part 10B Arbitration Ordinance, together with sub-legislation to regulate the new agreements. As a result, Hong Kong now boasts one of the world’s broadest legal success fee … Read more

SMU Asian Arbitration Lecture 2022

Please join us at the Herbert Smith Freehills-SMU Asian Arbitration Lecture on Wednesday, 23 November 2022, 5:00 PM. This year’s lecture will be presented by Prof. Dr. Diane Desierto on the subject of “Human Rights, Environmental and Climate Change Law in the Substance and Procedure of International Arbitration“. Inter-State, investor-state and commercial arbitration in recent years has increasingly … Read more

Hong Kong Court of Appeal rules on landmark case regarding escalation clauses

Herbert Smith Freehills has secured an important judgment from the Hong Kong Court of Appeal, C v D [2022] HKCA 729, regarding escalation clauses – contractual provisions which require negotiation or mediation before either party can begin formal proceedings. These clauses are intended to promote the efficient resolution of disputes, but often lead to costly … Read more

SINGAPORE HIGH COURT HOLDS THAT ARBITRATION CLAUSE MISNAMING AN ARBITRAL INSTITUTION IS VALID

The Singapore High Court has interpreted a potentially defective arbitration clause, which selected the “China International Arbitration Center” (a non-existent institution), as an agreement to CIETAC arbitration and therefore upheld an award issued by a CIETAC Tribunal. The Court held that, provided the parties objectively intended to refer to the same arbitral institution (rather than … Read more

Hong Kong gazettes success fee Bill

Hong Kong has officially published a Bill that would allow lawyers to agree outcome-based fees for arbitration work in the territory. If, as expected, the Bill passes into law later this year, it will allow lawyers in and outside Hong Kong to agree fees based on their clients’ success in the arbitration. This is a sea-change for … Read more

SINGAPORE TO ALLOW CONDITIONAL FEE ARRANGEMENTS

On 1 November 2021, a bill to permit Conditional Fee Arrangements (CFA) had its first reading in the Singapore Parliament. If the bill is passed, it will permit law firms and lawyers in Singapore to enter into CFAs with their clients in respect of certain types of disputes (whether relating to proceedings in Singapore or … Read more

Singapore extends third-party funding framework to SICC proceedings and domestic arbitrations

From 28 June 2021, Singapore will permit third-party funding of proceedings in the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC), domestic arbitration proceedings and related mediation proceedings. Before this, Singapore permitted third-party funding for international arbitration proceedings and related court and mediation proceedings only (as reported in our blog post of January 2017). In making these changes, … Read more