北京仲裁委员会

金融市场的法律风险防范:争议解决机构视角

发布时间: 2019-5-13   供稿人:张皓亮

随着金融市场的不断发展,交易行为的不断增多以及监管政策的不断加强,金融交易相关的法律风险难以避免。根据 2017 中国上市公司法律风险指数报告,金融业的法律风险指数已位列行业第一,争议解决机构也同样面临着更多的挑战。以北京仲裁委员会 / 北京国际仲裁中心(北仲)为例,近年来,北仲受理的金融案件不断增多,连续五年金融案件整体受案争议标的额超过全部受理案件标的额的 50%,疑难、复杂和新型的案件亦不断涌现,可见金融交易相关的法律风险在不断释放。笔者认为,在目前的形势之下,争议解决机构可以成为市场规则的“守护者”,降低各主体在金融市场中、在争议解决程序里的不确定性,妥善解决法律风险事件并对未来加以防范。就防范风险而言,争议解决本身不在于降低金融主体的商业风险,也不在于降低个案的法律风险和监管的风险,而在于让当事人之间的约定能得以正确的执行,让法律发挥预期的效力,保障良好的营商环境。具体来说,以下几个方面应有所着力:

第一,助力于金融市场的良性发展。首先,争议解决机构要保持在解释法律和解读当事人约定时的专业性。专业的争议解决应让当事人不因裁判者的专业认知偏差而利益受损,真正起到定纷止争的作用。其次,争议解决机构要保持对市场政策的敏感性和同向性。在规范意义上,争议解决机构并非行业政策的直接执行者,但是在事实层面,争议解决机构应当识别政策导向,了解市场的认知和判断,

第二,助力于金融行业惯例的形成。行业惯例是重要的法律渊源,也是市场主体行为时参考的重要标准。但行业惯例需要经过反复的实践才能为法律所确认,裁判实践恰是通过个案的重复申明和验证来促成行业惯例实现的途径之一。比如,尽管我国现行法律体制下对于“对赌协议”本身并无任何明确规定,但不同争议解决机构在过去数年间经过大量的裁判实践,已逐渐促成了行业的共识,并实质上影响了交易安排和行业惯例的发展和完善才能作出真正符合市场预期的裁判。

第三,助力于创新。没有创新的市场,就不可能发展,因此争议解决机构要给创新以空间。但创新通常是中性的,只是创新的结果可能有好有坏。笔者认为,给予空间并不等于直接明确地支持所有创新。于裁判者而言,应该是避免过早的一刀切式地对创新进行认定。争议解决过程对某一创新应保持余地,甚至保持分歧的存在,待此种创新成熟后,或者待争议解决的手段成熟后,再进行更为恰当地规范和裁判。例如,明股实债作为一种创新的投资方式,其本身的模式和有关的法律观点均尚未成熟,争议解决机构目前就不宜一刀切来进行裁判,应注重个案分析,否则反而不利于其法律地位的明晰。

第四,助力于树立诚信意识。诚信是商业之本。未建立在诚信上的约定、法律适用不但不会有助于当事人遵守,反而降低约定以及法律的效力。争议解决应当以诚信作为基本原则,在有不同的选择的时候,应该选择偏向于诚信的一方的结果;有多个法律价值冲突时,应该作出有助于弘扬诚信的判断。有所为的争议解决机构,应始终秉持诚信为本的原则。比如,在当事人提出合同缔约时存在意思表示不自由的情况时,争议解决机构应把审查的重点放到交易和缔约背景的查明等方面,以作出更为公正的判断,促使当事人坚守合同,诚信履约。案分析,否则反而不利于其法律地位的明晰。总之,争议解决是最后一道屏障,金融市场中存在的所有风险都可能会积累,并在争议解决的过程中得以释放。市场风险、操作风险、监管风险应由行业内部加以重视。确保当事人自由缔约、信守承诺、遵守法律、诚信经营等,则是争议解决之于法律风险防范的应有之义。

作者:北京仲裁委员会/北京国际仲裁中心业务拓展处(国际案件处)处长张皓亮。北仲仲裁秘书刘念琼、杨雨菲对文章亦有贡献

Dispute resolution focus on legal risk prevention in financial markets

With the rapid development of the financial market, various legal risks have been embed ded in the increasing number of transac tions and changing regulations. Accord ing to the Legal Risk Index Report about Listed Companies in China (2017), the financial industry ranked first among all industries in terms of the legal risk.As a result, dispute resolution institutions are also facing challenges. Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Centre (BAC), for example, has experienced growth in financial cases in recent years. In each of the past five years, financial cases contributed to more than 50% of the disputed amount of all cases.

In addition, frequent disputes over new transaction structures, complex factual matters and difficult legal rela tionships are unveiling the legal risks embedded in the development of the financial market.

The authors believe that dispute resolution institutions could act on and safeguard the rules by reducing the uncertainty in transactions and in the process of dispute resolution, and thus resolve disputes and prevent future risk.

The function of risk prevention in the process of dispute resolution neither substitutes business risks control of financial institutions, nor substitutes regulatory precautions, nor prevents individual disputes. It is the implementation of each agreement properly and

proportionally that makes laws and rules effective, and fosters a good business environment. Specifically, this should include the following elements.

Promote healthy development of the financial market. First, dispute resolution institutions are able to maintain a consistent and accurate application of laws and interpretation of transactions. A process of dispute resolution should preclude bias in expertise and thus balance interests, which helps in solving problems rather than just closing a case. Second, it should be sensitive and consistent to industry regulations and rules. In terms of thissensitivity and consistency, dispute resolution institutions do not have a direct responsibility to regulate markets or transactions. However,in terms of executing regulation defacto, the outcome of dispute resolution should be in line with the regulative orientation by identifying such orientation and understanding the financial market and transactional expectations.

Promote the norms of financial industry. Industry norms are not only the source of law, but also an important guideline for transactional behaviour; they need to be applied repeatedly in dispute resolution practice, and be confirmed by laws. Adjudicative dispute resolution practice is one of the ways to establish industry norms through repeated verification and declaration in individual cases.

For example, although there is no clear stipulation on the VAM (value ad justment mechanism) clause under the current legal system of China, dispute resolution practice in the past few years has seen judgments and awards repeatedly facilitating the consensus of the VAM practice, and has substan tially influenced and refined industry norms of the correlating transactions and arrangements.

Guide the innovation. Dispute resolution practice may leave room for financial innovation, which allows the development of the financial market. In the authors’ view, innovation can be neutral, but its results can be healthy or unhealthy. Leaving room for financial innovation is by no means endorsing any kind of innovative matters explicitly in dispute resolution. There is no one-size fits-all approach to deciding on so-called innovative matters in their infant stage。

Dispute resolution practitioners should be self-restrained in making these decisions, and even allow disagreements. When the results of an innovation become clear, or the approaches of the dispute resolution have been exhausted, the decision on these matters becomes appropriate. For example, as an innovative way of investment, so-called debt investment in the name of equity investment (disguised debt) is neither clear in its format nor in its legal results. It is not good to make the same conclusion in deciding similar disputes in the current situation. The examination of individual cases will help clarify the pros and cons of the legal results of such an innovation.

Safeguard interests in good faith.Vibrant business activities rely upon interests in good faith. The application of transactional agreements or laws that have already deviated from the course of good faith encourages resistance or even rebellion, and thus diminishes the effectiveness of agreements, and laws in general.

The principle of good faith lives in the process of dispute resolution. Where a decision faces different choices, the choice that lets the party prevail in good faith should be picked. Where the different values of law are conflicted, the decision that safeguards the interests in good faith should be made.

A responsible dispute resolution institution should ensure its practice adheres to the principle of good faith. For instance, if a party claims an unfair negotiation of a contract, the emphasis of hearings must be placed on the back ground and the negotiating process of the transaction, so as to help the tribunal apprehend the fairness in individual cases, make a decision to carry out the principle of good faith, and secure the right performance of a contract.

Dispute resolution practitioners are watchdogs of the healthy develop ment of the financial market. Risks in the market may be challenging in the process of dispute resolution. Market, transaction and regulatory risks should be taken into account by the industry.

Ensuring that the parties concerned enter into contracts with a free and solid will of performing the contracts according to laws and the principle of good faith is what the process of dispute resolution can contribute to legal risk prevention in the financial market.

Zhang Haoliang is a division chief of BeijingArbitration Commission/Beijing InternationalArbitration Centre (BAC/BIAC). BAC/BIAC’scase managers Liu Nianqiong and Yang Yufeialso contributed to the article.

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