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Hong Kong – Court Of Final Appeal Refuses Leave To Appeal In The Grand Pacific v. Pacific China Case.

27 January, 2014

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Hong Kong – Dispute Resolution

 

The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (“CFA“) has today refused to interfere with a judgment of the Hong Kong Court of Appeal (“CA“) on the setting aside of arbitral Awards in Hong Kong.

 

The CA’s unanimous judgment of 9 May 2012 in Grand Pacific Holdings Ltd. v. Pacific China Holdings Ltd. (click here for a copy of the judgment) had been positively received in the arbitration community as demonstrating the arbitration-friendly and non-interventionist approach of the Hong Kong courts. The judgment, which was concerned with alleged violations of Article 34(2) of the UNCITRAL Model Law, highlighted the wide case management powers of arbitral Tribunals. Whilst the CA held that the arbitral Tribunal which rendered the Award had not breached Article 34(2), the Court made clear that, in order for an arbitral Award to be set aside on due process grounds, it must be shown that any breaches of Article 34(2) were of a “serious” or even “egregious” nature.

 

In refusing Pacific China leave to appeal, today’s decision by the CFA means that the CA’s judgment now stands as the authoritative statement of the law in relation to the setting aside of arbitral Awards in Hong Kong (and is likely to be influential in other UNCITRAL Model Law jurisdictions as well). It therefore provides welcome confirmation that the Hong Kong courts will be slow to interfere with the procedural decisions of arbitral tribunals, in line with international standards.

 

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Mark Johnson, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills
mark.johnson@hsf.com 
 
Gareth Thomas, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills
gareth.thomas@hsf.com
 
Justin D’Agostino, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills
justin.d’agostino@hsf.com
  
 

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