Enforcement of Foreign Awards in Hong Kong: Recent Cases - WAMR 1992 Vol. 3, No. 8
Originially from: World Arbitration and Mediation Review (WAMR)
ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN AWARDS
IN HONG KONG: RECENT CASES
By Justice Neil Kaplan, Judge of the High Court of Hong Kong and Chairman of
the Hong Kong International Arbitration Committee.
The last three years have seen a veritable explosion in the number of foreign
awards coming to Hong Kong for enforcement. The major reason for this
explosion is the fact that in 1987 China became a party to the New York
Convention and, as there is so much business done between Hong Kong and
China, there have been a number of awards from China coming to Hong Kong for
In 1989, there were only six such awards. The figure had increased to nine in
1990 and to 18 in 1991. The figures thus far for 1992 indicate an increase from
last year’s total.
Awards also come to Hong Kong for enforcement from other jurisdictions, in
particular the United Kingdom.
Some of the cases have been disputed, and the purpose of this article is to give
some indication of the sort of points raised and the prevailing attitude of the
(It is interesting to note that China has enforced a London maritime arbitration
award under the New York Convention and, while China has not yet enforced any
award coming from Hong Kong, there is no evidence whatsoever that any court in
China has refused enforcement of a Hong Kong award. The relationship between
HKIAC and CIETAC remains as cordial as ever, with frequent communications
taking place between them.)
CIETAC Arbitration Clauses Disputed
In Shenzhen Nan Da Industrial & Trade United Company Ltd. v. FM
International Ltd. (1991 No. MP1248, judgement delivered March 2, 1991), the
court dealt first with a preliminary point that had been raised in a number of cases.
The award in the case had been made by CIETAC, while the arbitration clause
had named the Foreign Economic Trade Arbitration Commission of the China
Council for the Promotion of International Trade (FETAC) as the body to govern
the arbitral proceedings.
Although the defense did not pursue this point, the court thought it necessary to
address it so that it would not be raised in any future cases. The argument had
previously been made that because the parties had a different name, the