Jurisdiction - Hong Kong
Hong Kong – Responding To An HKIAC Arbitration.

29 September, 2014 


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


The HKIAC Administered Arbitration Rules were revised with effect from 1 November 2013. This Practice Note, written by David Hall-Jones, partner at Winston & Strawn, outlines the procedure for responding to an HKIAC arbitration under the revised rules.


Under the HKIAC Administered Arbitration Rules (HKIAC Rules), arbitration is commenced when the claimant submits a Notice of Arbitration (the Notice) to the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC). The claimant is also responsible for service of the Notice on all parties (HKIAC Rules, arts 4.1 and 4.3(i)). 

Answer To The Notice Of Arbitration

Within 30 days of receipt of the Notice, the respondent must submit an Answer to the Notice of Arbitration (the Answer) to the HKIAC in either English or Chinese, as agreed by the parties (HKIAC Rules, arts 5.1, 5.2 and 2.1).

While there are no provisions as to the form of the Answer, it is usually a letter. It must contain (HKIAC Rules, art 5.1):


  • contact information of the respondent and the respondent’s counsel (name, address, telephone number, fax number and email address), if different from those stated in the Notice
  • any plea that the arbitral tribunal constituted under the HKIAC Rules lacks jurisdiction
  • the respondent’s comments on the claimant’s description of the general nature of the claim in the Notice 
  • the respondent’s answer to the relief or remedy sought by the claimant
  • the respondent’s proposal as to the number of arbitrators (if not previously agreed)
  • the parties’ joint designation of a sole arbitrator under HKIAC Rules, art 7 or the respondent’s designation of an arbitrator under HKIAC Rules, art 8
  • the respondent’s confirmation that copies of the Answer and any exhibits have been or are being served simultaneously on all other parties by one or more means to be identified in such confirmation

The Answer may include a Statement of Defence where a Statement of Claim is included in the Notice. Any counterclaim or set-off defence should also be included (to the extent possible) (HKIAC Rules, arts 5.3 and 5.4). The following should be set out:


  • reference to the contract or other legal instrument(s) in relation to which the dispute arose
  • a description of the general nature of the counterclaim or set-off defence and an indication of any amount involved 
  • the relief or remedy sought

If no counterclaim or set-off is raised, or if the amount of the counterclaim or set-off is not indicated, the HKIAC will rely on the information provided by the claimant as to the general nature of the claim and the amount involved for its determination of:


  • the HKIAC’s administrative fees (HKIAC Rules, art 33.1(f) and Sch 1)
  • the tribunal’s fees (where HKIAC Rules, art 10.1(b) and Sch 3 apply)
  • whether the provisions of HKIAC Rules, art 41 (Expedited Procedure) may be applicable (HKIAC Rules, art 5.5)

Submitting The Answer To The HKIAC 

The Answer may be submitted to the HKIAC by hand, registered post, courier, fax or email (HKIAC Rules, arts 2.1 and 4.1). The relevant contact information is:

Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
38/F, 2 Exchange Square
8 Connaught Place
HKSAR, China
Fax: +852 2524 2171
Email: [email protected]


Under previous editions of the HKIAC Rules, the parties were required to submit their Notice or Answer to the HKIAC Secretariat, who then passed the documents to the other party. Under the 2013 HKIAC Rules, service is no longer effected by the HKIAC Secretariat; the parties are responsible for service of their Notice or Answer (HKIAC Rules, arts 4.3(i) and 5.1(g)).Once the registration fee has been paid and the tribunal has been confirmed, the HKIAC will transmit the file to the tribunal (HKIAC Rules, art 5.6).

Representation In The Arbitration

The parties may be represented or assisted by anyone they choose providing such representation is not contrary to the fair and efficient conduct of the arbitration (HKIAC Rules, art 13.6). Contact information of such persons should be communicated in writing (usually within the Notice or Answer) to the other party and the HKIAC. Further, the tribunal or HKIAC may require proof of authority of any party representatives.


This article was supplied by Lexis Practical Guidance.


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