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The Evolution of Commercial Dispute Resolution Clauses

A Forward Look in the International Commercial, Financial and Investment Contracts of China’s Enterprises

18 October 2023 (Wednesday), 5:15 - 6:15 PM Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong. This event is co-hosted by the HKU Faculty of Law LL.M. in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution, the Philip K.H. Wong Centre for Chinese Law and AIIFL-East Asia International Economic Law and Policy Programme, a network partner of HKU Fintech.

As China’s leading role in international trade and finance continues to mature, the settlement of disputes bilaterally and informally, or through formal mediation, while much to be welcomed, may not be sufficient to deal with the number of disputes that inevitably arise in trading and financial relationships. It is at that point that the dispute resolution provisions in the contractual documentation (including governing law) will govern how the dispute is to be decided.

The purpose of the seminar is to identify the themes that will influence the evolution of these clauses. As well as the content of contractual provisions, the seminar will discuss the economic and other factors that may produce divergence from current dispute resolution models. The seminar will consider key factors influencing the selection of specific dispute resolution clauses in these international commercial contracts, considering the context of Chinese enterprises. Draft amendments to China’s Arbitration Law and changes such as legitimising ad hoc arbitration for foreign-related disputes and incorporating the notion of seat may affect CDR clauses. The seminar will discuss themes that will influence the future evolution of China’s commercial dispute resolution clauses – what will they look like in 10 years’ time? Will they diverge from current models in use internationally?

Speakers: Professor William Blair, Queen Mary University of London 3VB Chambers, Wesley Pang, Partner Eversheds Sutherland, and Dr Weixia Gu, Associate Professor Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong.

The event will be opened by Professor Douglas Arner, Kerry Holdings Professor in Law, Faculty of Law, HKU. It will be moderated by Professor Shahla Ali, Director, LLM in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution, Faculty of Law, HKU.


Recent seminars hosted by AIIFL-East Asia International Law and Policy (EAIEL) Programme include: The Future of Financial Centres with Dr. Jochen Biedermann and Metaverse in China with Dr. Oriol Caudevilla.


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