Publish time: 2020-5-20
In 2019, the Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Center (the "BAC/BIAC") witnessed rapid growth in caseload and a remarkable surge in the disputed amount. Under the premise of ensuring the quality of case handling, the BAC/BIAC made satisfactory progress, with research, training and marketing projects arranged appropriately, and all its works implemented smoothly. Besides, in order to enhance its management and services, improve its credibility and ensure that arbitrators handle cases fairly and impartially, in 2019, the BAC/BIAC made great efforts to strengthen its institutional development through a series of systems and measures and made its supervision of cases and arbitrators, management of institutions and arbitration services more standardized. Based on its specific work in 2019, the BAC/BIAC hereby makes its annual summary as follows:
I. Case Handling
(I) Overview (including BAC Mediation Center)
1. Arbitration Cases Accepted
Classification by Disputed Amount for Cases Accepted
2. Arbitration Cases Concluded
5,868 arbitrations were concluded in 2019, up by 1,743 cases with a growth rate of 42.25%. The increase in cases concluded and the increase in cases accepted are basically flat.
The total disputed amount of Cases Concluded in 2019 reached RMB 95.908 billion, up by RMB 45.928 billion with a growth rate of 91.89%.
（3）Types of Conclusion
Types of Conclusion
3. International Commercial Arbitrations, Arbitrations Applying Special Procedures and Arbitrations Involving at Least One Party from Outside Beijing
（1）International Commercial Arbitrations
In 2019, the BAC/BIAC accepted 163 international commercial arbitrations (including those applying summary procedure), accounting for 2.42% of its total accepted cases, up by 75 cases with a growth rate of 85.23%. The total disputed amount in such cases was RMB 6.952 billion, accounting for 7.87% of the disputed amount of its total accepted cases, up by RMB 2.271 billion with a growth rate of 48.52%. The average disputed amount of international commercial arbitrations was RMB 42.6503 million. Among these arbitrations, the maximum disputed amount was RMB 1.462 billion. There were 12 arbitrations with a disputed amount exceeding RMB 100 million and a total disputed amount of RMB 5.474 billion, accounting for 78.74% of the total disputed amount of all international commercial arbitrations. The parties were from 23 countries and regions including the United States, Germany, Kyrghyzstan, Hong Kong (China) and Taiwan (China). Both parties of 18 cases were from outside Mainland China.
（2） Arbitrations Applying Special Procedure
In 2019, English was used as the arbitration language in 3 cases, including 1 international commercial arbitration and 2 domestic arbitrations; 1 case applying other arbitration rules (the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules); 2 cases involving Kyrgyzstan and Hong Kong (China) respectively, applied interim measures which were taken by the emergency arbitrator and arbitration tribunal respectively (this was the first time that the BAC/BIAC took interim measures applicable to areas other than Hong Kong); 5 cases applying foreign laws, international conventions or mixed applicable laws, including 1 case applying the Laws of Hong Kong, 1 case applying the Laws of New York State, 1 case applying Kyrghyzstan Law, 1 case applying both Chinese Law and Kyrghyzstan Law, and 1 case applying the United Nations Convention on Contracts of International Sales of Goods, which enriched the BAC/BIAC's practice of mixing applicable laws and conventions.
In terms of procedures, 1 case adopted the document disclosure procedure and Redfern Schedule; some cases adopted Procedural Order No. 1; and some cases adopted online hearing for witnesses and arbitrators.
（3）Arbitrations Involving At Least One Party from Outside Beijing
Parties involved in such arbitrations were from the following provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government (sorted by the number of cases in which they were involved): Guangdong (554 cases), Shanghai (534 cases), Jiangsu (486 cases), Tianjin (441 cases), Shandong (416 cases), Hebei (367 cases), Zhejiang (334 cases), Henan (197 cases), Sichuan (181 cases) and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (167 cases).
4. Independent Mediation Cases handled by the BAC Mediation Center
In 2019, the BAC Mediation Center dealt with 27 cases with a total disputed amount of RMB 40.78 million. Two foreign-related cases were accepted. Twenty-six mediation cases were concluded, among which 15 were successfully mediated with a 55.56% success rate.
(II) Arbitration Efficiency
1.Duration of Arbitrations
Cases Concluded in 2019 (by duration)
2. Hearings on Non-working Days
The surging caseload in 2019 resulted in an increase of hearings held on non-working days. The details are as follows:
(III) Case Quality
1. Discussion of Cases via Expert Consultation Meetings
In 2019, 7 cases resorted to expert consultation, up by 1 case compared to the previous year, and 1 case resorted to expert consultation twice.
2. Revocation of Awards, Refusal to Enforce and Re-Arbitration
In 2019, no award of the BAC/BIAC was revoked by the court, 4 awards were refused to enforce by courts outside Beijing and 2 cases were ordered to be re-arbitrated by the court.
(IV) Management of Arbitrators
In 2019, 370 arbitrators were engaged in case handling, accounting for 65.37% of all BAC/BIAC arbitrators (566) and reaching 9,983 person-times in total. Among the arbitrators engaged in case handling, 12 were from overseas (up by 2 compared to the previous year, with a growth rate of 20%), accounting for 3.2% of arbitrators engaged in case handling, totalling 93 person-times and accounting for 0.93% of all person-times of arbitrators engaged in case handling; 108 were female, accounting for 29.19% of arbitrators engaged in case handling, totalling 3,451 person-times and accounting for 34.57% of all person-times of arbitrators engaged in case handling.
Arbitrators appointed by Chairpersons and presiders or sole arbitrators nominated by parties
Among the above nominations, 24 presiding and sole arbitrators were nominated by both parties either directly or through a list of arbitrator candidates, down by 5 persons compared to the previous year and accounting for 6.72% of the total number of presiding and sole arbitrators (357). In 2019, the parties selected 321 co-arbitrators, up by 23 persons and accounting for 89.92% of the total number of co-arbitrators (357), among which 1,531 person-times were selected by claimants, up by 470 person-times over the previous year, and 848 person-times were selected by respondents, up by 222 person-times. These figures reveal that the nominations of parties or their counsels have been substantially promoted.
In 2019, 47 applications for arbitrators' withdrawals were made by parties, among which 41 were rejected because the alleged reasons for the challenge were not found. In 6 cases, the arbitrators of the BAC/BIAC withdrew on their own initiative. No decision about arbitrator's withdrawal was made by the Chairpersons of the BAC/BIAC throughout the year.
II. Decision-making and Supervision of the Committe
(I) Formulated Rules of Procedures of Chairpersons' Meeting (Trial)
On April 3rd, 2019, in a written Chairpersons' meeting, the BAC/BIAC Rules of Procedures of Chairpersons' Meeting (Trial) (the Rules of Procedures) was deliberated and passed. It defines the routine meeting and special meeting systems of the Chairpersons' meeting, audit scope and requirements of on-site meetings and written meetings, times for the preparation and submission of materials on topics, and responsibilities and working procedures of the Executive Vice Chairperson.
(II) Revised performance appraisal methods for executing agencies
According to the decisions of the 8th Chairpersons' meeting on January 24th, 2019, the Compensation, Benefit and Performance Appraisal Committee revised the Measures on Performance Appraisal of Heads of Executive Agencies (Trial), which was deliberated and passed by the committee on November 15th, 2016, and approved by a written Chairpersons' meeting on November 26th.
(III) Revised Measures on the Charging of Arbitration Fee
At the 8th Chairpersons' meeting of the 7th committee on January 24th, 2019 and the 3rd plenary meeting of the 7th committee on January 26th, a proposal to amend the measures on the charging of Arbitration Fee was deliberated and passed, and the office was authorized to calculate the specific standards before submission. As requested by the committee, the office prepared new measures on charging, which were deliberated and passed at the 10th Chairpersons' meeting of the 7th committee on June 29th and the plenary meeting of the committee on July 4th, and implemented on September 1st. The implementation of the new measures on charging has aroused widespread interest and praise in the industry.
(IV) Introduction of BAC/BIAC International Investment Arbitration Rules
At the 8th Chairpersons' meeting of the 7th committee on January 24thth, 2019 and the 3rd plenary meeting of the 7th committee on January 26thth, the project of the BAC/BIAC International Investment Arbitration Rules was approved. The BAC/BIAC International Investment Arbitration Rules prepared by the office was deliberated and passed at the 10th Chairpersons' meeting of the 7th committee on June 29th and the plenary meeting of the committee on July 4th, and implemented on October 1st.
(V) Formed the Strategy and Development Committee ( the Development Committee) and carried out the work
At the 3rd plenary meeting of the 7th committee, the trial implementation of the Regulations on the Work of the Strategy and Development Committee was agreed, and it was stated that the Development Committee shall timely adjust the Regulations. Following the above requirements, the office completed the establishment of the Development Committee and successfully held two plenary meetings of the Development Committee.
(VI) Improved the Rules and Regulations Necessary for Case Handling
At the 3rd plenary meeting of the 7th committee, the Comprehensive Evaluation of the Annual Performance Appraisal of Executing Agencies of the BAC's Compensation, Benefit and Performance Appraisal Committee ( the Comprehensive Evaluation) was passed, which stated that the leading group of the BAC/BIAC office should strengthen its management. To this end, the office formulated the financial system, information system, administrative system, personnel system and reporting system of abnormalities in the arbitration procedures, introduced the Specifications for Reviewing Awards, Guidelines for the Adjudication of Private Lending Cases and Guidelines for Property Preservation, revised the Risk Statement which is issued when a case is registered into Statement of Undertaking and began to revise the Employee Manual and Case Handling Manual.
(VII) Courses including International Commercial Arbitration Theory and Practice
With the strong support of Development Committee member Philipp Yang and Vice Chairwoman of BAC’s Committee Wang Hongsong, practical courses including International Commercial Arbitration Theory and Practice and British Contract Law were further promoted in 2019; they are based on the works of Mr. Yang Liangyi in arbitration and produced by the BAC/BIAC and top universities in China. The courses have enjoyed popularity among the teachers, students and practitioners of the University of International Business and Economics, and have achieved good teaching results. In 2018, the BAC/BIAC launched four courses at the University of International Business and Economics, and in 2019 at the China University of Political Science and Law and Beijing Normal University, and gradually improved the curriculum management system in practice. According to the course selection scale, 183 students selected the courses, but 330 students and practitioners attended and audited the courses.
(VIII) Scholarships for central and western regions
In April and May 2019, the BAC/BIAC office formally signed donation agreements with Yunnan University and Lanzhou University respectively. So far, the BAC/BIAC has signed donation agreements with the first ten universities and donated a total of RMB 1 million.
In the spring semester of 2019, Guizhou University, Southwest University of Political Science and Law, Zhengzhou University, Hunan University and Zhongnan University of Economics and Law awarded their first batches of scholarships.
In the fall semester of 2019, Wuhan University and Northwest University of Politics and Law organized their first scholarship selections. The School of Civil and Commercial Law of Northwest University of Politics and Law supplemented the funds, organized a case analysis contest for undergraduates and an essay competition for postgraduates, and determined the final winners of the scholarship after comprehensive consideration of the students' academic performance. Sichuan University has completed its second scholarship selection, and Zhongnan University of Economics and Law has preliminarily completed its second selection, which has been submitted to its council.
III. Business Development
(I) Regular Business Development
In 2019, the BAC/BIAC hosted 62 conferences related to arbitration (based on the recorded statistics, 4,281 persons attended such events, including the registration of 750 in-house counsels and 3,018 lawyers), hosted three signing ceremonies and sponsored or supported 12 conferences. The conference topics covered arbitration, mediation and the nine key areas developed by the BAC/BIAC. Besides, exclusive breakthroughs were made in such conference topics as investment arbitration and sports arbitration.
In 2019, BAC/BIAC staff attended 66 conferences and 64 people delivered speeches; received visitors 44 times (20 were for foreign visitors), totalling over 490 visitors; conducted 22 training sessions with a total of 2,250 trainees; and responded to letters from the government concerning the BD work totalling over 120,000 words.
In 2019, 2,968 customers were added to the BAC/BIAC's original customer list of more than 9,000 (including lawyers, in-house counsels, organizations or chambers of commerce, arbitration institutions, embassy staff and media staff from China, the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Thailand, Australia, the UK, etc.). Based on the BAC's Monthly BD Report, the BAC/BIAC selected important information concerning itself and the industry, sent 12 monthly releases (including 35 pieces of bilingual news on the BAC, 82 pieces of news on the BAC/BIAC and the industry, and 56 articles on the BAC/BIAC and the industry) to the customers, and pushed special pictures to promote the implementation of key BD projects and industrial cooperation projects, which has effectively improved the coverage and dissemination of the BAC's information and enhanced the attention level of existing users regarding the BAC's development.
In 2019, the BAC/BIAC published 214 articles including ten professional research articles on the WeChat official account (up by 20 articles compared with the previous year), gaining 394,513 pageviews (up by 251,053 pageviews with a growth rate of 175%), 22,731 forwards (up by 13,231 forwards with a growth rate of 139%), 7,584 new followers and 21,287 followers in total; and released 176 pieces of news and notices on the official website (down by 27 pieces) with 989,997 pageviews (up by 288,922 pageviews with a growth rate of 41.21%).
(II) Major Business Development
1. Release of Investment Arbitration Rules
In September 2019, the BAC/BIAC formally released its Investment Arbitration Rules, which were implemented on October 1st, 2019. The BAC/BIAC's Investment Arbitration Rules form the fourth set of special investment arbitration rules in the world and the first to introduce the appeals mechanism. The BAC/BIAC has made many innovations in the system design of its Investment Arbitration Rules. In the context of the reform of the investment arbitration mechanism initiated by UNCITRAL and ICSID, the BAC's Investment Arbitration Rules provide the international community with a Chinese solution. To expand the influence of the BAC's Investment Arbitration Rules, the BAC/BIAC jointly held a seminar on the reform of the investment arbitration mechanism with the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) in May 2019. The current and two former ICCA chairmen were invited to the seminar, which further expanded the influence of the BAC's Investment Arbitration Rules in the international community.
2. Release of Annual Review
The 2019 Annual Review was released in North America and the Asia-Pacific region. For the release of the Annual Review in North America (Toronto, New York and San Francisco), the BAC/BIAC overcame such difficulties as the drastic changes in the Sino-American economic relationship, and cooperated with Arbitration Place, the American Arbitration Association and JAMS on holding three high-quality release activities. During these activities, the BAC/BIAC signed a memorandum of understanding with Arbitration Place, conducted two follow-up activities with JAMS in Beijing and Singapore, and invited ICCA to be the supporting organization. The BAC/BIAC also invited guest speakers including Nigel Blackaby, an authority in international arbitration, Ian Binnie, former Deputy Minister of Justice of Canada and former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Thomas Stipanowich, Professor of Law at Pepperdine University and Associate Dean of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. The press conference in North America also received the attention and support of the Consulate General of China in Toronto and Consulate General of China in San Francisco. The BAC/BIAC's delegation made a special trip to hold an informal discussion with the Consulate General of China in New York. In October 2019, the BAC/BIAC held its first press conferences in Asian countries (Singapore and Malaysia). The press conference in Singapore was supported by the Ministry of Law of Singapore and the Embassy of China in Singapore. The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Law of Singapore and charge d'affaires ad interim of the Embassy of China in Singapore attended the conference and witnessed the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding between the BAC/BIAC and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and Singapore Mediation Centre. As many as 86 people attended the press conference in Kuala Lumpur, with the attendance rate up to 93.48%, the highest among all previous conferences. Most attendees were legal representatives from Chinese enterprises in Kuala Lumpur, which expanded the influence of the BAC/BIAC in Kuala Lumpur. The day before the conference, the BAC/BIAC visited a subsidiary of China State Construction Engineering in Malaysia and trained its local staff on such topics as overseas project dispute resolution and risk prevention. This was the first time the BAC/BIAC had visited and trained an overseas company.
3. Held the 8th Greater China Arbitration Forum
On November 28th, 2019, the BAC/BIAC successfully held the 8th Greater China Arbitration Forum. Luo Dongchuan, Vice President of the Supreme People's Court, Liu Zhenyu, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Justice, and Han Geng, Deputy Secretary-General of the People's Government of Beijing Municipality, were invited to attend the Forum and give speeches. More than 500 people and more than 50 arbitration institutions participated at the Forum, and more than 290,000 people watched the live broadcast, which makes the Forum a distinguished gathering of the arbitration industry. This Forum is an essential embodiment of the BAC/BIAC's active fulfilment of its social responsibility, as well as its promotion of the industrial consensus and joint development. This was the first time the BAC/BIAC had held an activity of this scale and invited the leaders of the Supreme People's Court, Ministry of Justice and People's Government of Beijing Municipality to attend, which helped the BAC/BIAC to accumulate valuable experience in communication with government departments, foreign affairs declaration and security declaration for its organization of similar activities in the future.
IV. Internal Construction
(I) Talent Team
In order to meet the needs of business development, improve the organizational structure, enhance the construction of the talent team and complement the post-appointment, the office appointed an deputy director of the Comprehensive Division and a senior proofreading secretary through internal competition in 2019. Furthermore, in order to encourage the all-round development of talents in multiple fields, improve the turnover rate of employees and promote the cross-post flow of talents, the office selected two case handling secretaries to become development secretaries in 2019.
(II) Construction of Internal Systems
To maintain its up-to-date management capability and promote the institutionalization and standardization of its internal management, in 2019, the BAC/BIAC office revised several existing systems that were no longer suitable for current management, formulated new systems in response to the new situations and new problems in internal management, and introduced a new financial system and personnel system successively in order to make the internal system more scientific.
(III) Construction of Office Facilities
With the increase in business scale and number of office staff, the BAC/BIAC office rented office space on the 17th and 14th floors of the China Merchants Tower. The renovation and decoration of the 17th floor have been completed, and the renovation and decoration of the 14th floor is underway and expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.
Besides, in order to provide parties with better services, the BAC/BIAC has decided to renovate and re-decorate the rest area for parties on the 15th floor, which currently has a relatively outdated decoration. The relevant design has been completed and the decoration is planned to commence in 2020.
V. Experience and Deficiencies in 2019
(I) Main Experience
1.Strengthened institutional development and promoted standardized management. In 2019, the BAC/BIAC strengthened the system construction by formulating the financial system, information system, administrative system, personnel system and reporting system of abnormalities in arbitration procedures. Moreover, the BAC/BIAC focused on the causes and treatment measures of 73 long-pending cases and adjusted the list of accreditation institutions according to their service level and quality. The above steps have effectively accelerated the institutionalization of the BAC/BIAC's work and the standardization of its management.
2.Enhanced supervision and coordination and built the implementation mechanism. While strengthening system construction, the BAC/BIAC emphasized the construction of an execution mechanism which integrated supervision and coordination. In 2019, the Administration Division and Case Filing Office adopted the weekly meeting mechanism and monthly meeting mechanism respectively and ensured the real-time follow-up of work and implementation of the work systems by reporting work completed and to be completed at the meeting. In order to keep abreast of new measures on the appointment of arbitrators, the BAC/BIAC upgraded the module for the appointment of arbitrators in the case handling system, thereby ensuring that the appointment process conforms with the regulations through systematic control, and realizing mutual supervision over the appointment of arbitrators. Besides, the BAC/BIAC office interviewed arbitrators nearly ten times according to feedback from case handling secretaries or parties, thus effectively supervising arbitrators.
3. Optimized and expanded the layout and adjusted the business structure. In 2019, in addition to visiting central and foreign enterprises, the BAC/BIAC moderately strengthened the expansion of economically promising provinces outside Beijing, promoted courses in international commercial arbitration at several famous universities outside Beijing, spared no effort to optimize and expand the layout, and actively adjusted the business structure to prevent a sharp decline in business volume due to market changes.
4. Encouraged talent competition and placed emphasis on team construction. In order to fully respect the interests of the staff and encourage the all-round development of talents in multiple fields, in 2019, a deputy director of the administration division and an additional senior proofreading secretary were selected through internal competition, some case-handling staff transferred to BD department, thus optimizing personnel allocation and the construction of the talent team.
(II) Problems and Deficiencies
We gave serious consideration to the problems and deficiencies in our work in 2019: I. After the reform of the BAC's charging mechanism, the initiative and level of expertise of certain arbitrators in case handling is not fully adapted to the current charging mechanism, so the reform of the charging mechanism should be regarded as an opportunity to bring into fuller play the dominant role of arbitrators in arbitration and improve the level of expertise of arbitrators; II. In 2019, the cases accepted by the BAC/BIAC became more complex, requiring a higher level of expertise of the BAC/BIAC and its staff in new fields and under new circumstances. Therefore, learning and research shall be emphasized so as to enhance further the level of expertise of the BAC/BIAC and its staff; III. The surging caseloads and a relative shortage of staff resulted in a decrease in case handling efficiency. Therefore, the BAC's systems shall be perfected to further optimize the construction of human resources and solve the prominent contradiction between the surge of caseloads and the shortage of staff.
VI. Main Ideas in 2020
(I) Guidelines and Main Objectives in 2020
1. Guidelines in 2020
In 2020, the BAC/BIAC will make intensive efforts in fundamental construction according to the Five-year Strategic Plan. I. We will concentrate on team building, further improve the quality and efficiency of case hearing, optimize the experience of parties and enhance the BAC/BIAC's credibility; II. In addition to further formulating and improving the management system, we will continue the institutionalization and standardization of systems, focus on implementation and ensure that the system takes root.
2. Main Objectives in 2020
（1）Enhancing the credibility and services of the BAC/BIAC. In 2020, the BAC/BIAC will clarify the responsibility of arbitrators to promote the arbitration procedures, strengthen the research of staff in their areas of expertise, enhance the standardization of the secretarial work, stabilize and improve the quality of case hearing, intensify and standardize the management of the arbitration procedures, reduce the average time from case registration to the formation of a tribunal, elevate the efficiency of the internal audit of awards, further reduce complaints by parties, provide better services for parties and raise the level of the BAC's social credibility.
（2）Improving foresight and initiative. In 2020, the BAC/BIAC will thoroughly study market development, comprehensively estimate business development trends, make thoughtful planning and a scientific layout, gradually transform from gaining market share to actively creating the market, and continuously enhance the foresight and initiative of its work.
(II) Main Measures for Promoting the Work of 2020
1.Implementing the committee's decisions and strengthening the evaluation of the office work. Decision-making by the committee and implementation by the office are the main characteristics and significant advantages of the BAC/BIAC's corporate governance structure. In 2020, the BAC/BIAC will give full play to the decision-making role of the committee, strengthen the evaluation of the office and promote the effective implementation of the committee's decisions through the appraisal system.
2.Perfecting supervision over the case management system. In 2020, the BAC/BIAC will implement new measures on the appointment and management of arbitrators, and guidance for arbitrator withdrawal and information disclosure, and improve internal supervision. In the meantime, the BAC/BIAC will further enhance its transparency and consciously accept external supervision.
3.Developing existing channels and expanding related fields. In 2020, the BAC/BIAC will continue to visit key enterprises to understand their needs for dispute resolution and their concerns about choosing the BAC; promote the courses in commercial arbitration and the British Contract Law produced by the BAC/BIAC in more universities outside Beijing; release the BD capability of arbitrators and conduct BD work with their influence, and appropriately expand new areas with more significant potential for arbitration business while creating new business growth points.
4. Improving and implementing internal systems. In 2020, the BAC/BIAC will formally try out the personnel system, financial system and administrative system that were revised in 2019, and improve system construction by identifying and solving problems in the trial implementation. Besides, the BAC/BIAC will study and improve the implementation mechanism to promote the implementation of the new systems.
5. Optimizing the construction of the information system. In 2020, the BAC/BIAC will launch the human resources management system, administrative management system and archives management system, and construct websites with sub-office system portals. Meanwhile, the BAC/BIAC will upgrade the teleconference system and deploy the work order system, remote court hearing system and interactive voice response system in order to optimize and upgrade the information system.
Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Center
March 31st, 2020