Interim Relief In Support Of Hong Kong-Seated Arbitrations Now Available In Mainland Chinese Courts

8 April 2019
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Key takeaways:
  • On 2 April 2019, the Hong Kong government and the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China signed the Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the "Arrangement"). Under the Arrangement, Mainland Chinese courts may grant interim relief (i) preserving property, (ii) preserving evidence, and (iii) compelling or prohibiting a party to perform certain actions, in support of arbitrations seated in Hong Kong and administered by institutions based in Hong Kong.
  • The Arrangement empowers Mainland Chinese courts to grant interim measures to support Hong Kong arbitrations. Interim relief in support of foreign arbitrations is generally not available in Mainland China. The Arrangement therefore increases the attractiveness of Hong Kong as a seat for China-related international arbitrations.
  • Parties should keep this development in mind when selecting the seat and administering institution as they enter into arbitration agreements, particularly if any dispute is likely to involve China-related elements. Equally, parties already subject to Hong Kong arbitration agreements should consider the potential impact of this development on their Chinese assets in the event that a dispute arises.