Beijing Arbitration Commission

2019 New York Summit on Commercial Dispute Resolution in China Successfully Held

Publish time: 2019-7-15

On 26 June 2019, the “2019 New York Summit on Commercial Dispute Resolution in China” (the “New York Summit”) jointly hosted by the Beijing Arbitration Commission / Beijing International Arbitration Center (the “BAC”), the International Centre for Dispute Resolution of American Arbitration Association (the “AAA-ICDR”) and the New York International Arbitration Center (the “NYIAC”) was successfully held in New York, USA.

Opening Address by Dr. Chen Fuyong

Opening Address by Mr. Luis Martinez, Esq.

Opening Address by Ms. Rekha Rangachari, Esq.

In his opening address, Dr. Chen Fuyong, Deputy Secretary General of the BAC, said that ever since 2013, the BAC has held the summit on commercial dispute resolution in major international arbitration hubs including London, Paris, The Hague, and Vienna. This is the first time the BAC holds such event in the United States, and the second stop of the 2019 North American summit series. As a leading arbitration institution in China, the BAC has the responsibility to facilitate mutual understanding between Chinese arbitration professionals and their international counterparts, and will make every effort to safeguard the rules of commercial activities and protect the interests of practitioners and parties all over the world. It is one of the BAC’s missions to present China's arbitration practice through such events. Meanwhile, Dr. Chen Fuyong expressed heartfelt thanks to the co-hosts and those who have provided assistance and support to the New York Summit, and wished the summit a complete success.

In his opening address, Mr. Luis Martinez, Esq., Vice-President of the AAA-ICDR, and Ms. Rekha Rangachari, Esq., Executive Director of the NYIAC, fully affirmed the significance of the launch of the Annual Report by the BAC, mentioning that, China has a huge demand for international arbitration. This, on the one hand, is due to the steady growth of Chinese overseas investment, and on the other hand, benefits from the increasingly close economic cooperation between China and the world. The publication of the Annual Report provides a favorable platform for arbitration industry peers to strengthen exchanges, so that foreign practitioners can learn more about commercial arbitration in China, and get more familiar with the Chinese legal environment.

Subsequently, the panel discussions of New York Summit convened. The first session themed "International Construction Mega-projects – PRC Focus" was moderated by Mr. Luis Martinez, Esq. Dr. Zhou Xianfeng, Partner of JunHe LLP, acted as the reporter and Mr. Damien Nyer, Partner of White & Case's International Arbitration Group, and Ms. Shelly Ewald, Senior Partner of Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald, the commentators. Dr. Zhou shared with the audience the PRC construction projects practice in international arbitration based on detailed statistics. Meanwhile, he noted that the two major measures of deregulation and service optimization in China's construction industry in 2018, namely, the material reduction of the scope of construction projects subject to mandatory bidding and the cancellation of record filing system for construction contracts, would, to a large extent, reduce the excessive intervention of administrative regulation in construction transactions, and subsequently avoid a series of contract validity issues and relevant legal disputes arising from the violation of mandatory provisions on bidding from the source. Mr. Damien Nyer and Ms. Shelly Ewald also made insightful comments based on their own experience.

Dr. Zhou Xianfeng

Mr. Damien Nyer

Ms. Shelly Ewald

Session on International Construction Mega-projects – PRC Focus

The second session was themed "Energy & Investment in International Arbitration - Energy Upgrade and Reforming Investment in PRC and Related Issues". The session was moderated by Mr. Patrick Zheng, Partner of Llinks Law Offices. Mr. Cui Qiang, Partner of Commerce & Finance Law Offices and Mr. Bao Zhi, Partner of Baker McKenzie FenXun, acted as the co-reporters. Mr. Cui Qiang focused on the latest development of the Chinese energy industry, and thereby revealed to the audience the keywords of the Chinese energy industry in 2018 such as low-carbon, clean and efficient energy. Mr. Bao Zhi made comparisons between domestic investment and foreign investment, commercial disputes and disputes between investors and host states, as well as the differences between litigation and arbitration, and elaborated on the spotlights of private investment disputes. Mr. James Hosking, Co-Founder of Chaffetz Lindsey, and Ms. Melida Hodgson, Partner of Jenner & Block, provided targeted comments and had exchanges with the co-reporters.

Mr. Patrick Zheng

Mr. Cui Qiang

Mr. Bao Zhi

Session on Energy & Investment in International Arbitration - Energy Upgrade and Reforming Investment in PRC and Related Issues

The next session on arbitration and mediation was themed “Future trends in International Arbitration – Technology – Processes/Seats – Mediation – Diversity – Focus Asia”. Ms. Rekha Rangachari, Eqs. acted as the moderator, Dr. Wang Xuehua, Partner of Beijing Huanzhong & Partners, and Mr. Fei Ning, Partner of Hui Zhong Law Firm, the co-reporters, and Mr. Martin Gusy, Partner of K&L Gates LLP, and Mr. Cui Qiang, Partner of Commerce & Finance Law Offices, the commentators. Firstly, Dr. Wang Xuehua introduced the progress of Chinese arbitration from perspectives of laws and regulations, system construction, practical exploration and theoretical research in the year of 2018. Apart from that, he highlighted the latest development of Chinese arbitration in 2018 through analyses of typical cases and overview of hotspots. At last, he looked forward to the innovative legal summary and outlook of Chinese arbitration that are in line with international advanced ideas and reflect characteristics of both China and the times. Mr. Fei Ning's speech focused on China's practice and innovation in commercial mediation and introduced China's exploration and efforts in diversified dispute resolution mechanisms for international commercial disputes. He pointed out that the unique value of mediation lays the foundation for its practical status in diversified dispute resolution. It can be operated independently to settle disputes, and also is compatible with other dispute resolution means, and thus becomes the highlight of diversified dispute resolution. The approach of combination of arbitration and mediation plays an important role in diversified dispute resolution practice in China, and the flexible and appropriate application of mediation to resolve complex disputes contributes to successful resolution of commercial disputes. Mr. Martin Gusy referred to the first emergency arbitration in mainland China handled by the BAC and analyzed it from a comparative law perspective. Mr. Cui Qiang made impressive comments on the development of Chinese arbitration from the perspectives of arbitration development trends, and the influences of Chinese arbitration environment and the guiding cases of the PRC Supreme People's Court.

Dr. Wang Xuehua

Mr. Fei Ning

Mr. Martin Gusy

Mr. Cui Qiang

Thereafter, Mr. John Fellas, Partner of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, moderated the fourth session of the New York Summit themed “IP & Entertainment International Arbitration”. The co-reporters Mr. Hu Ke, Partner of Jingtian & Gongcheng, and Dr. James Tian, Legal Counsel of AllBright Law Offices Beijing Office, introduced the relevant legal issues and China's judicial practice to the audience. Mr. Hu also introduced the new development of the preliminary injunction system in IP disputes, noting that China had intensive legislations on intellectual property in 2018 and that the amendment to PRC Patent Law was in the spotlight. Apart from that, the PRC Supreme People's Court established an Intellectual Property Court, and substantive innovations were seen in the intellectual property judicial system. Dr. Tian provided an overview of China's film and TV industry in 2018, and analyzed the hot spots within the industry with vivid cases. Mr. John Fellas, the moderator, and Mr. B. Ted Howes, Partner of Mayer Brown’s New York Office, and Ms. Judith Prowda, Independent Arbitrator of Stropheus Art Law, the commentators, exchanged views on issues of interest with Mr. Ke and Dr. Tian, respectively.

Mr. Hu Ke

Dr. James Tian

Panel discussions on IP & Entertainment International Arbitration

The session on financial dispute resolution was the last session of this New York Summit. Entitled " Restructuring in the Financial Market of PRC: Addressing the New Economic Environment", the reporter Dr. Tao Xiuming, Partner of JunZeJun Law Offices, presented an introduction of the characteristics of and challenges for the Chinese financial arbitration. Dr. Tao stressed in his outlook for the future that arbitration institutions should pay sufficient attention to the improvement of the certainty of outcomes of financial and investment disputes. Accurate understanding of transaction basis and respect for the real intention of the parties by arbitration practitioners will help provide predictable adjudication services to the market, and thereby will enhance the credibility of the arbitration institutions. The moderator Mr. Richard Gray, Independent Arbitrator of Gray Arbitration LLC, and the commentators Mr. Zhu Yongrui, Senior Partner of Beijing Dentons Law Offices LLP, and Ms. Yang Xueyu, Partner of Hui Zhong Law Firm, made knowledgable remarks on recent hot spots of the financial industry. The panel discussions then came to an end in a warm atmosphere.

Dr. Tao Xiuming

Mr. Zhu Yongrui

Ms. Yang Xueyu

Q&A session

The New York Summit

The closing address was delivered by Mr. Nigel Blackaby, Partner of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP. He mentioned that dispute resolution has accompanied the development of human society since ancient times. In ancient China, the Minister of Justice Gao Yao asked a goat-shaped magical animal with a single horn called Xiezhi to indicate the guilty party. In medieval England, the disputing parties referred to the speed of eating of chickens they selected to decide who wins. Both approaches shared the similar original idea of arbitration, where the disputing parties choose to settle their dispute in a mutually agreed way. This idea has been inherited by the basic model of modern commercial arbitration - parties to the dispute select professionals to determine the cases, and are bound by the results of arbitration. Mr. Nigel Blackaby then fully acknowledged the rapid development of Chinese arbitration in recent years and the remarkable achievements of the BAC on the road to internationalization. He said that the increasingly friendly arbitration environment has provided a strong guarantee for the enforcement of foreign-related arbitration awards. He believed that with the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese arbitration institutions will be trusted and selected by more and more international parties in the future. At last, he congratulated the event on its complete success.

Closing Address by Mr. Nigel Blackaby

Exchange after the Summit

Group photo to celebrate the success of the New York Summit

The New York Summit was sponsored by Commerce & Finance Law Offices, Llinks Law Offices, Hui Zhong Law Firm and Beijing Dentons Law Offices LLP. The efforts of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (the “ICCA”), the International Dispute Resolution Institute (the “IDRA”), the CIArb New York Branch, the New York University Law School and the LexPR have helped facilitate the preparatory work for the New York Summit as supporting organizations.

As media partners, Wolters Kluwer and Global Arbitration Review were also engaged in the New York Summit.

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All disputes arising from or in connection with this contract shall be submitted to Beijing Arbitration Commission / Beijing International Arbitration Center for arbitration in accordance with its rules of arbitration. The arbitral award is final and binding upon both parties.
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