SJ addresses lawyers at webinar

May 12, 2022

Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng today spoke to lawyers on Hong Kong’s opportunities as an international and legal dispute resolution centre under the National 14th Five-Year Plan at a webinar.


At the event attended by about 200 in-house counsel and lawyers in private practice, Ms Cheng pointed out that the 14th Five-Year Plan and the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area confirms the national policy to support Hong Kong to establish itself as the centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region.


In this regard, measures rolled out by the Department of Justice, including the mutual recognition of and assistance to bankruptcy proceedings, matrimonial and family arrangements, and the soon-to-be enforced reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, provide a broad coverage of mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters between Hong Kong and the Mainland, facilitating the city’s integration into the country’s overall development.


In the area of arbitration, she highlighted that following the signing of the interim measures arrangement with the Mainland, parties to arbitral proceedings seated in Hong Kong and administered by the six eligible arbitral institutions can now apply directly to the Mainland courts for interim measures. Besides, with the Outcome Related Fee Structures for Arbitration which will soon be in place, she is confident that the increasing client demand for pricing and fee flexibility will be met, hence reinforcing Hong Kong’s status as a leading arbitration centre.


She also noted that the Regulations of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, as well as the Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court on Providing Judicial Guarantee for the Building of Pilot Free Trade Zones demonstrate the feasibility for wholly owned Hong Kong enterprises to adopt Hong Kong law and choose for arbitration to be seated in Hong Kong. The department is now seeking a further liberalisation initiative for these enterprises with relevant Mainland authorities and striving to better implement such measures.


On the support for online dispute resolution and lawtech, Ms Cheng announced that the eBRAM International Online Dispute Resolution Centre has been listed as one of the providers for the APEC Collaborative Framework for Online Dispute Resolution of Cross-Border Business-to-Business Disputes. Furthermore, the Hong Kong Legal Cloud has been launched to enable the provision of safe, secure and affordable data storage services for the local legal and dispute resolution sectors.


In closing, Ms Cheng encouraged the legal practitioners to take part in the Second GBA Legal Professional Examination to seize the opportunities brought about by national policies, and advised them to capitalise on their strengths and complement national development.

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