arbitration webinar

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About the Webinar

The webinar takes place online via Zoom on 24th January 2022 (Monday) at 4 pm Hong Kong time.

Hong Kong has retained its regional and, in some fields, global pre-eminence as a result of over 150 years of excelling in the traditional professions, whilst at the same time adapting to the unparalleled speed of change faced by their practitioners.

As the first in a series of webinars and other events illustrating this theme, the Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong is delighted to host on 24th January a trio of experts in the field of legal arbitration. The concept of arbitration, the commonest form of non-traditional dispute resolution, is a very old one under English Common Law, and has been used in Hong Kong since the 1960’s. It was, however, not seen as a main-stream professional activity for many decades. Even after the seminal contributions of experts such as Neil Kaplan and Moses Cheng, time, effort and money were often wasted by individuals and corporates on a grand scale by resorting to protracted court processes despite the more efficient alternative. With the support of organizations such as the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, the current Arbitration Ordinance (Cap 609) was brought into effect in 2011, merging the previously different methods of dealing with local and international disputes. Hong Kong was of course not alone in waking up to this opportunity, but its historical links with both the Mainland of China, about to embark on the astonishing Belt and Road Initiative, and the countries of the Commonwealth, have made it a market leader.

Our distinguished speakers will highlight their own experiences in this field, and deal with issues ranging from the challenges posed by travel restrictions to international proceedings to the benefits of new technology to the arbitration process.


Sarah Grimmer: Secretary-General, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre

Sarah Grimmer is Secretary-General of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre responsible for its international dispute resolution services and operations from Hong Kong, Seoul, and Shanghai. She was formerly Senior Legal Counsel at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague where she administered inter-state, investor-state, and commercial arbitrations involving states or state-entities. Prior to joining the PCA, Sarah was a member of the Secretariat at the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris where she administered commercial arbitrations under the ICC Rules. She was also a member of the international arbitration group at Shearman & Sterling LLP in Paris, prior to which she worked in private practice in Auckland.


Kathryn Sanger: Partner, Hong Kong office of Herbert Smith Freehills

Kathryn Sanger is a partner in the Hong Kong office of Herbert Smith Freehills, and co-chair of the sub-committee of the Hong Kong Law Reform Commission on outcome-related fee structures for arbitration. She has over 15 years’ experience of advising clients on arbitration and litigation proceedings in Asia Pacific and has advised clients across a wide range of industries and locations, with particular strengths in financial services, energy and in China-related matters. Her arbitration skills and reputation in China matters are enhanced by her ability to speak and read Mandarin Chinese. Kathryn was a Council Member of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) between 2008 and 2019 and she chaired the HKIAC appointments committee between 2013 and 2018.  She also served on its rules and proceedings committees and, until December 2021, was a member of the HKIAC’s finance and administration committee.

Murphy Mok: Registered Foreign Lawyer in the Hong Kong office of Herbert Smith Freehills

Murphy advises on Chinese and international clients on infrastructure and construction disputes and projects across Asia, Middle East, Europe, Africa, Australia and South America, with a focus on the power, oil and gas and transport sectors. Murphy has extensive experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters, covering international arbitration under various institutional rules (including SIAC, ICC, HKIAC and VIAC), project life advisory and contract drafting and negotiations.


Julia Charlton: Chairman, Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce HK

Julia is the founding and managing partner of Charltons, an award winning Hong Kong corporate finance Hong Kong law firm. Julia is admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong, England and Wales and the BVI. She practises in the field of corporate finance, including M&A, private equity, securities, virtual assets and funds.

Julia is a member of the Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council (CWEIC)’s Global Advisory Council. She is also a member of several Hong Kong boards and committees, most notably The Takeovers and Mergers Panel and the Takeovers Appeals Committee of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission and the Listing Review Committee of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Julia is also a Senior Fellow of the Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute.


Andrew Wells: Secretary General, Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce HK

Mr Andrew Wells is Chairman of China Golden Bridge Group, a family company with interests in public services and real estate consultancy; financial services and M&A; and hospitality and green development.

After working in Palestine, India and Iran, he joined the Administrative Service in Hong Kong in 1978. His roles included Deputy Secretary to the Executive and Legislative Councils, Secretary to the Hong Kong Education Commission, Founding Director of the Hong Kong Open University, and Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry, Finance and Housing.

After retiring from the Government in 2003, Andrew worked as a senior executive in Lai Sun Development, a listed property group. He also served as the Chief Secretary and Acting Governor of three British Overseas Territories from 2008 to 2011. In January 2021, Andrew was appointed Secretary-General of the new Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, whose mission is to strengthen business ties between Hong Kong and Commonwealth enterprises.

Andrew was a long-standing member of the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong and is a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Directors. His roles in the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce include Vice Chairmanship of the Asia Africa Committee, membership of the Europe and Real Estate and Infrastructure Committees and membership of the Belt and Road Initiative and Sustainable Finance Working Groups.