BAC Newsletter Issue 34
BAC News
New Laws

“Unlocking the Intricacies of Commercial Dispute Resolution in China” Successfully Held in London
(Author:Sun Wei)

On June 14, 2013, Beijing Arbitration Commission (hereinafter referred to as “BAC”) held “Unlocking the Intricacies of Commercial Dispute Resolution in China” jointly with Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (hereinafter referred to as “IALS”) in London. Taking BAC’s organization of drafting the Annual Review on Commercial Dispute Resolution in China (2013) (hereinafter referred to as “Report”) as the opportunity, this forum brought more than 20 experts from China and UK together, including the experts and scholars from famous universities, senior partners of world renowned law firms and QCs. All the participants warmly and deeply discussed such topics as China’s commercial arbitration, mediation, construction engineering, intellectual property, and financial dispute settlement; what’s more, the presence and wonderful comments of several British judges and politicians made the forum more attractive.

Ms. Melanie Willems from Chadbourne & Parke LLP hosted the opening ceremony of the forum, and Madame WANG Hongsong, Vice-Chairperson of BAC, delivered the opening speech. She introduced the intention of BAC to draft the Report and explained BAC’s vision to facilitate the development of commercial dispute resolution in China by means of promoting the communication between China and foreign countries. Mr. Jules Winterton, Associate Director & Librarian of IALS, and The Hon. Mr. Justice Blair, Judge of the Technology and Construction Tribunal, High Court of Justice, delivered their speeches in succession, expressing their high recognition on the Report and highly appraising BAC’s unremitting endeavors for promoting the international communications regarding the commercial dispute resolution in China. Afterwards, the forum held five sessions successively regarding commercial arbitration, commercial mediation, construction engineering, intellectual property and financial dispute settlement according to the contents of the Report.

Mr. John Marrin,QC of Keating Chambers, hosted the commercial arbitration session. Dr. CHEN Fuyong, Deputy Secretary-general of BAC, introduced the latest legislations and practice progress on the basis of the sub-report Annual Review on Commercial Arbitration and in light of the revision of Civil Procedure Law, and made the easy-to-understand analysis of judicial supervision of commercial arbitration in China based on the judicial supervision of arbitration in China and the statistics of BAC’s cases. Subsequently, Dr. Stuart Dutson, Partner of Eversheds LLP, and The Hon. Mr. Justice Blair, Judge of the Technology and Construction Tribunal, High Court of Justice, made comments and expressed highly recognition on the new progress of relevant legislations on arbitration and the continuous improvement of judicial supervision environment on arbitration in China.

The commercial mediation session was hosted by Ms. Ana Stanic, the founding Partner of E&A Law Limited. Mr. Robert Lambert, Head of International Arbitration Department of Clifford Chance LLP, first sketched the sub-report Annual Review on Commercial Mediation, then summarized and analyzed the latest development of mediation system, mediation organization construction and training and seminars of 2012 in China set in the reform of dispute settlement mechanism in China. As a commenter, Dr. Karl Mackie, Chief Executive of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (“CEDR”), believed that the commercial mediation in China had achieved outstanding and conspicuous achievements in the past year, and he had confidence in its broad development in the future.

Mr. Atkin Burr, Barrister of Atkin Chambers, Editor-in-chief of Construction Law Journal and arbitrator of BAC, hosted the construction engineering dispute settlement session. Ms. TAN Jinghui, the main author of the sub-report Annual Review on Construction Engineering Dispute Resolution, Partner of City Development (Beijing) Law Firm and arbitrator of BAC, first analyzed the development trend, legal environment and lastest legistlative developments of construction engineering industry in China, then she summarized relevant cases, laws and regulations and main forms for the settlement of construction engineering disputes. Mr. David Robertson, Partner of BLP LLP, and The Hon. Mr. Justice Ramsey, Judge of the Technology and Construction Tribunal, High Court of Justice, made comments and expressed their opinions that with the further development of Chinese economy, there would be more complicated and diversified commercial disputes in construction engineering industry, and continuous improvement of relevant legislation and practice in China would favor the dispute settlement in such field.

The intellectual property dispute settlement session was hosted by Mr. Anthony Connerty, Barrister of Lamb Chambers. Arbitrator of BAC, Dr. XIE Guanbin, the founding Partner of Lifang & Partners, and the main author of the sub-report Annual Review on Intellectual Property Dispute Resolution, systematically summarized the amendments to the Copyright Law, the Patent Law, and the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China, and introduced the famous intellectual property cases which had attracted wide attention in 2012. Afterwards, Mr. Tom Carver, Chief Representative of Wragge & Co LLP Guangzhou Office, made comments and expressed the opinion that the amendments to relevant legislations in China had demonstrated further improvement on protecting the intellectual property right, and the intellectual property dispute settlement in China would have more broad and promising future.

The financial dispute settlement session was hosted by Mr. CHEN Sheng, Deputy Director of the Financial Innovation and Regulation Department of China Banking Regulatory Commission and arbitrator of BAC. Ms. XIAO Fang, the main author of the sub-report Annual Review on Financial Dispute Resolution and Associate Professor of the Law School of Central University of Finance and Economics, reviewed the current status of the diversity of financial dispute settlement in China from the perspective of lawsuit, arbitration and mediation, and specially introduced the situation of legislation and supervision on financial consumer protection - the newly emerged dispute settlement field. Mr. Jonathan Pfister, Associate of DAHUI LAWYERS, as the commenter, expressed his confidence in the prospect of alternative dispute settlement mechanism in China and believed that the future development of China’s financial industry would benefit from the diversified dispute settlement pattern.

The closing ceremony was hosted by Mr. Michael Kor, Barrister-at-law of Middle Temple, Solicitor of Supreme Court, England & Wales, Advocate & Solicitor of Supreme Court, Singapore. The Rt. Hon. Jack Straw, MP, Shadow Deputy Prime Minister, former Secretary of State for Justice and Lord High Chancellor, delivered the closing speech. He highly praised the Report for its unique perspective, rich content and higher value in study and practice; what’s more, he praised this forum for providing a valuable chance for authoritative experts from China and UK to jointly interpret the development of commercial dispute resolution in China and to look hopefully to the future of legal environment in China. At the same time, he also expressed his heartfelt respect to BAC and IALS for their efforts in facilitating the commercial dispute resolution in China and deepening the international communication in such field. This forum came to the successful end with the very speech. Afterwards, the organizers held a reception and the participants made friendly and face-to-face communications.

As the world’s largest developing country and second-largest economy, China’s development of rule of law has undoubtedly attracted world attention. And moreover, its commercial dispute resolution directly concerns the development of foreign trade and investment. This forum has attracted so many important political figures and elites in judicial circle in the UK, which has reflected the world’s wide attention on it. It has also demonstrated that BAC, as the leading diversified dispute resolution institution in China, has been gaining in reputation and recognition in the world.