Hong Kong ranks third most preferred seat for cross-border disputes

This is a place higher compared to the previous global survey in 2018.

Hong Kong has maintained its position in the top-five picks for arbitration, placing third in the latest global survey of the sector, up one place from the fourth it earned in 2018.

The city received a score of 50% in the International Arbitration Survey in 2021, higher than 28% in 2018 and 22% in 2015, when it also ranked as third.

“Hong Kong's strength in dispute resolution is premised on its infrastructure, business opportunities and pool of talents,” Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng said in a statement.

“Our Judiciary is independent and impartial while our common law system provides a degree of certainty and predictability for investors and the international business community.”

Hong Kong followed London, which for the first time, was joined by Singapore which after both states garnered a score of 54%. In 2018, Singapore came in third with 39% and fourth in 2015 with 19%.

Also among the top were Paris (35%), Geneva (13%), New York (12%), Beijing (12%), Shanghai (8%), Stockholm (6%) and Dubai (5%).

The survey, released by the Queen Mary University of London, noted the significant gains in Hong Kong and Singapore, which reflected the growing popularity of Asian arbitral hubs.

“While the ‘global powerhouse’ seats continue to be popular, there are many regional seats which are growing in reputation and popularity,” the arbitration survey reported.

Hong Kong, along with Singapore and Paris, were all among the top-five most preferred seats in all regions.

Hong Kong (71%) and Singapore (74%) both surpassed London by 20% in Asia-Pacific.

Moreover, the survey found the key factors that make arbitral seats more attractive are the greater support for arbitration by local courts and the judiciary, increased neutrality and impartiality of the local and legal system and better track record in enforcing agreements to arbitrate amongst others.

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