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  • Ms Lylian Zhao

  • Ms Peng Xu

  • Ms Luo Min

  • Ms Tina Chan

  • Mr Zhou Chi

PRC courts offer interim measures for Hong Kong arbitration

Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese Courts to Provide Mutual Assistance in Interim Measures in Support of Arbitral Proceedings,makes Hong Kong an even more attractive seat for arbitrations involving contracts for business in the PRC or with Mainland Chinese parties.

 On 2 April 2019, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("Hong Kong Government") and the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China ("Supreme People's Court") have signed an Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("Arrangement"). The signing ceremony took place at the Justice Place in Hong Kong. The Arrangement will come into force on a date to be announced by the Hong Kong Government and the Supreme People's Court.

Pursuant to the Arrangement, any party to "arbitral proceedings in Hong Kong" may, before the arbitral award is issued, apply to the relevant Mainland Chinese courts for interim measures in relation to the arbitral proceedings in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations of Mainland China. Such interim measures include preservation of assets, evidence and conduct.

Equally, any party to arbitral proceedings in Mainland China may apply to the Hong Kong courts for interim measures pursuant to Hong Kong law – a remedy that is already available to parties to foreign-seated arbitral proceedings under Section 45 of the Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance. Interim measures available under Hong Kong law include injunctions and other interim measures to (i) maintain or restore the status quo pending determination of the dispute; (ii) take actions that would prevent, or refrain from taking actions that are likely to cause, current or imminent harm or prejudice to the arbitral process; (iii) preserve assets; or (iv) preserve evidence that may be relevant and material to the resolution of the dispute.

For the purposes of the Arrangement, "arbitral proceedings in Hong Kong" means arbitral proceedings which are seated in Hong Kong and administered by any of the following institutions or permanent offices:

  • arbitral institutions established or headquartered in Hong Kong, with their principal place of management located in Hong Kong; or
  • dispute resolution institutions or permanent offices set up in Hong Kong by international intergovernmental organisations of which the People's Republic of China is a member; or
  • dispute resolution institutions or permanent offices set up in Hong Kong by other arbitral institutions which satisfy the relevant criteria set by the Hong Kong Government.

A list of institutions or permanent offices referred to above will be provided by the Hong Kong Government for confirmation by both sides to the Arrangement.

As the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre ("HKIAC") is an arbitral institution established or headquartered in Hong Kong with its principal place of management located in Hong Kong, the Arrangement applies to any arbitral proceedings which are administered by HKIAC and seated in Hong Kong. Any party to such proceedings may request interim measures from the Mainland Chinese Intermediate People's Court in the location of the respondent or relevant assets or evidence.

According to the Arrangement, a party to arbitral proceedings in Hong Kong may apply for interim measures from the Mainland Chinese courts before or after the relevant arbitral institution accepts a Notice of Arbitration.

If a party applies before the institution accepts a Notice of Arbitration and the relevant Mainland Chinese court decides to grant an interim measure, that party must submit to the court documentary proof to confirm that the institution has subsequently accepted the arbitration within 30 days from the date of the court's decision. In the event of a failure to provide such proof, the court shall terminate the interim measure previously granted.

If a party applies after the relevant arbitral institution accepts a Notice of Arbitration, the party must submit its application to the institution which will forward the application to the relevant Mainland Chinese court for determination – a practice that is required by the Arbitration Law and Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China.


Posed by Ms Tina Chan

Jingsh law Firm Shenzhen Office (China)

Tina’s team is a professional team specializing in foreign investment, cross-border merger & acquisition, international trade dispute resolution. The chief lawyer of the team, Ms Tina Chan is a bilingual practitioner both in Chinese and English. She was appraised as a leading outstanding young lawyer in international legal affairs in Guangdong Province of China, with10+ years of rich experiences in the field of commercial law.

How to Contact Ms Tina: 

Hotline: (+86)138 2888 2493

Email: chenliangting@jingsh.com

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