(Dated 11 February 2020)
The Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators
Administered Arbitration Rules
These rules apply where there is an agreement by parties that their disputes shall be resolved by arbitration under the Administered Arbitration Rules (“Rules”) of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators (“Institute”). By adopting these Rules, the parties have agreed that such Rules shall be administered by the Institute.
By adopting these Rules, the parties are deemed to have agreed to an arbitral tribunal of 3 arbitrators, unless they otherwise agree in writing to a tribunal consisting of a sole arbitrator.
The parties are deemed to have agreed to arbitrate in Hong Kong, applying the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules”) currently applicable at the time of the Notice of Arbitration. Where the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules conflict with the Rules, the latter shall prevail.
The parties are deemed to have agreed, for the fair and expeditious resolution of disputes without unnecessary expenses, that the tribunal so constituted may use such procedures and issue such procedural directions as are appropriate to the particular case, unless the parties agree otherwise in writing.
The parties are also deemed to have agreed, that in relation to evidence generally and expert evidence, the tribunal shall be guided, but not bound, by the International Bar Association Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Commercial Arbitration (2010) (“IBA Rules”) or such later version applicable at the time of the Notice is submitted.
By adopting these Rules, the parties have also chosen to adopt the Arbitration Ordinance of Hong Kong, Chapter 609 (“Ordinance”) as the procedural law governing the arbitration.
Notice of Arbitration
When the Notice of Arbitration (“Notice”) (with the attached document(s) to evidence the arbitration agreement), is submitted by the Claimant to the Secretariat of the Institute pursuant to these Rules, it shall contain the following information:
- A demand that the dispute be referred to arbitration under the Rules of the Institute;
- A description of the general nature of the contract, the claim(s) and the relief(s) sought;
- A recitation of the arbitration clause of the contract or the text of the separate arbitration agreement;
- The name, address, telephone number, fax number and email address of the Claimant, and its legal representative, if available;
- The name, address, telephone number, fax number and email address of the Respondent and its legal representative, if available;
- The name of the Claimant’s nominated or proposed arbitrator, if available, or where applicable, its agreement or proposal for a sole arbitrator to constitute the arbitral tribunal; and
- The proof of service of the Notice to the Respondent.
The Notice shall be submitted to the Secretariat at the following address, facsimile number and/or email address, and the registration fee for the arbitration shall be submitted to the following address (until further notice):
Room 308, West Wing, Justice Place, Central, Hong Kong
The Notice shall be in English or Chinese, or in English and Chinese. At the request of the Respondent, the Secretariat may request the Claimant to translate the Notice into English, if in Chinese, or into Chinese, if in English.
Response to the Notice
Within 28 days of the receipt of the Notice, the Respondent shall submit to the Secretariat its Response to the Notice (“Response”), which shall contain the following information:
- A description of the general nature of the defence to the claim(s) and relief(s) sought by the Claimant, and the Respondent’s counterclaim or set-off(s), if any;
- The name, address, telephone number, fax number and email address of the Respondent, and its legal representative, if available;
- The name of the arbitrator nominated by the Respondent, if available, or its agreement or proposal for the appointment of a sole arbitrator, where applicable.
The Response shall be in English or Chinese, or in English and Chinese. At the request of the Claimant, the Secretariat may request the Respondent to translate the Response into English, if in Chinese, or into Chinese, if in English.
Appointment of Arbitrators
In a tribunal of 3 arbitrators, each party shall nominate one arbitrator with the third presiding arbitrator to be jointly nominated by the two party-nominated arbitrators.
If a party fails to nominate its arbitrator within 28 days of the receipt of a request to do so from the other party (whether the request is made in the Notice or by a subsequent request), the appointment shall be made by the Institute as the default appointing authority.
If the party-nominated arbitrators fail to agree within 28 days of their nomination as to the nomination of the third presiding arbitrator, the appointment shall be made by the Institute as the default appointing authority.
Where applicable, if the parties fail to nominate a sole arbitrator within 28 days of the Notice, the appointment shall be made by the Institute as the default appointing authority.
Any arbitrator(s) appointed under the Rules shall meet the qualification requirements stipulated in the arbitration clause of the contract, or otherwise required by agreement of the parties.
The default appointment of arbitrator(s) by the Institute shall be made from its Panel of Arbitrators. The Institute may exercise its discretion to appoint arbitrator(s) based on the information provided by the parties and the candidates, but is not bound to accept the recommendations of any of the parties.
In making default appointments of arbitrator(s), the Institute may take any relevant factor(s) into account as it deems appropriate, including:
- The nature of the disputes;
- The nationalities of the parties;
- The suggestions of the parties; and
- The ability and capacity of the candidate(s) to expeditiously resolve the disputes by arbitration.
In making of default appointment(s), the Institute may use such procedures as it deems appropriate, including its list procedure.
All arbitrator(s), whether party-nominated or default appointed by the Institute, shall be required to submit to the Institute, signed declaration(s) confirming their availability, independence and impartiality, together with copies of their curricula vitae and their terms of appointment as arbitrator(s).
After the completion of the above procedure, including the said declaration, the Institute shall notify its appointment of arbitrator(s) in writing to the parties, the party nominated arbitrator(s), and the default appointed arbitrator(s), where applicable.
The functions of the Institute as the administering and default appointing authority shall be carried out by the Institute’s Court of Arbitration (“Court”). The Court is constituted by members in such numbers as the Institute deems appropriate, and shall be chaired by the President of the Institute.
Any challenge to the appointed arbitrators pursuant to section 25 of the Ordinance (UNCITRAL Model Law Article 12) shall be pursued promptly pursuant to section 26 of the Ordinance (UNCITRAL Model Law Article 13), and the parties are deemed to have agreed that the Court is empowered by the parties in the first instance to determine the challenge.
Unless the parties agree otherwise, the members of the Court shall be debarred from being appointed as the third presiding arbitrator or the sole arbitrator, as the case may be. But they shall not be barred from being nominated by the parties as party-nominated arbitrators.
Arbitrators’ Fees and Terms of Appointment
In the case of party-nominated arbitrators, the fees and the terms of appointment shall be agreed between the nominating party and the nominated arbitrator.
In the case of the third (presiding) arbitrator or a sole arbitrator nominated by agreement of the parties, the fees and the terms of appointment shall also be agreed between them.
In the case of default appointed arbitrator(s), and where the parties fail to agree on the fees and terms of appointment, the Institute may determine them as it deems appropriate.
Deposit(s) for the fees of the tribunal and for its actual expenses shall be held by the Institute. The deposit(s) shall be paid in equal share by the parties. They shall be held in a separate bank account designated by the Institute.
The Institute’s Fees
The Institute may charge fees including the fees for the following services:
- the fees for default appointment of arbitrator(s) as per the Schedule of Fees attached hereto, or as revised from time to time;
- the fee(s) for the handling of the deposits, the costs of the hearing venue, and ancillary services; and
- the fee(s) for secretarial and other services provided at the requests of the parties.
Subject to any lien, originals of the awards signed by the tribunal shall be affixed with the seal of the Institute, and be released to parties and members of the tribunal upon payment by the parties of the outstanding fees due and payable to the tribunal and to the Institute.
Exclusion of Liability
Neither the Council of the Institute, nor the members of the Court, nor any staff or persons designated by the Institute to perform the functions of the Institute under the Rules shall be liable for any act or omission in connection with the administration of any arbitration, save where they were done deliberately and dishonestly.