Christopher W. To
c/o Gilt Chambers
8th Floor, Far East Finance Centre,
16, Harcourt Road, Hong Kong
Barrister, Chartered Arbitrator, Accredited Mediator, Chartered Engineer, Chartered Information Technology Professional
What do you regard as the most important differences between arbitration and litigation in court?
In Arbitration, you have party autonomy, the choice of choosing your arbitral tribunal, the process is confidential and the arbitration award is internationally enforceable under the New York Convention on the Reciprocal Enforcement of Arbitral Awards (New York Convention).
What are the most important qualities for a successful arbitrator to have?
Competence in the arbitration process, law and substance of the dispute. Have good project management experience, committed in terms of time and have knowledge of the rules of the various arbitral institutions.
Do you prefer to be a sole arbitrator or a member of a three-arbitrator panel?
I have no preference, it really depends on the case and what the agreement stipulates.
Past Chairman of the CIArb (East Asia Branch); Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Institute of Directors; Advisory Board Member of India International ADR Association; Council Member of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre; Adjunct Professorships of University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong (Programme Director of the Masters in Law in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution), Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Member of the Secretary For Justice Working Group on Mediation-sub-Committee on Mediator Accreditation; Chairman of the Mediator Accreditation Committee of the Hong Kong Mediator Accreditation Association Limited.
- Panel Member (Arbitrator) Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre.
- Panel Member (Arbitrator) China International Economic & Trade Arbitration Commission.
- Panel Member (Arbitrator) Korean Commercial Arbitration Board.
- Panel Member (Arbitrator) Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration, Malaysia.
- Panel Member (Arbitrator) Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration.
- The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers List of Arbitrators and Mediators.
- Panel Member (Arbitrator) Singapore Institute of Arbitrators.
- Panel Member (Arbitrator) Wuhan International Arbitration Court.
- Panel Member (Arbitrator) National Mongolian Arbitration Court.
- Panel Member (Adjudicator) Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration.
- Listed in the Royal Aeronautical Society Arbitrators and Mediators Panel.
- Listed in the Financial Dispute Resolution Centre (Hong Kong) list of Mediators and list of Arbitrators.
- Listed on Juris Panel of Arbitrators.
- Listed on Singapore International Mediation Centre Panel of Mediators.
- Listed as a Certified Mediator with the Singapore International Mediation Institute.
- Listed on the Hong Kong Mediation Accreditation Association Limited
- Panel of Mediators (General).
- Panel Member (Arbitrator) THAC Thailand Arbitration Centre.
- Panel Member (Arbitrator) Beijing Arbitration Commission.
- Panel Member (Arbitrator) of the Shanghai International Economic Trade Arbitration Commission
- Standing Panel Member of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers Public Interest Commitments Dispute Resolution Procedure since 2013 to now
- Member of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers Nominating Committee from 2007 to 2008.
- Listed on the Panel of Mediators of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)/China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) Mediation Center.
- Panel Member (Arbitrator) South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission/Shenzhen Court of international Arbitration.
- Panel Member (Arbitrator) International Centre for Dispute Resolution of the American Arbitration Association.
- Panel Member (Mediator) Japan International Mediation Center in Kyoto.
Arbitration Experience: 200 international cases to date involving both ad hoc and institutional arbitrations (such as the HKIAC, ICC, KLRCA, KCAB, CIETAC and NMAC) as party-appointed arbitrator, as sole arbitrator and Chairman.
Mediation Experience: 500 international and domestic mediation cases to date involving Family, Finance, Construction, Intellectual Properties, Information Technology, Commodities, Property and Land, Company Formation and Structure, Probate, Employment, Aviation, Insolvency, Environmental law, Banking, Personal Injuries, Trade and Mining and Natural Resources.
Corporate Governance Experience: Have managed non-profit, statutory body, learned society and commercial entities with 12 to 1000 employees and with budgets ranging from HK$ 5 million to over HK$ 800 million, as well as boards ranging from 5 to over 30 board members.
Awards: Awarded Director of the Year 2001 by the Hong Kong Institute of Directors; Awarded Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum 2007; Awarded Mediation Lawyer of the Year by the Finance Monthly Global Awards 2014, 2015 and 2016; Awarded Alumni of the Year by Glasgow Caledonian University 2014; Awarded Honorary Doctorate Degree in Engineering by Glasgow Caledonian University 2014; Winner of the International Award for Excellence (Volume 7) of The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses on the article of “Unveiling the Embodied Carbon of Construction Materials through a Product-based Carbon Labeling Scheme” (26 January 2016); Listed on the International Who’s Who of Mediators; Listed on the International Who’s Who of Arbitrators; Outstanding Academic Papers by Students at City University of Hong Kong, 6 March 2006, “The Principles of Natural Justice in Arbitration” http:dspace.cityu.edu.hk/handle/2031/3792.
Chief Editor of the Zero Carbon Building Journal, ISSN 2311-7400.
Editorial Member of Innovation in Construction, ISSN 2312-8305.
Editorial Advisory Board Member of Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 2044-124X.
Editorial Board Member of the Asian Dispute Review.
Developments of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, Mealey’s International Arbitration Report December 2000, ISSN 1089-2397.
Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre, Mealey’s International Arbitration Report, September 2002, ISSN 1089-2397.
Focus on Hong Kong and its International Arbitration Centre, The Institute for Transnational Arbitration, Volume 16, Number 4, autumn 2002.
Arbitration in Hong Kong- A Practical Guide First Edition, Thomson Sweet and Maxwell Asia 2003, ISBN 962-661-220-7.
Arbitration in China- A Practical Guide First Edition, Thomson Sweet and Maxwell Asia 2004, ISBN 962- 661- 246-0.
Confidentiality in Arbitrations, The Lawyers Review, Metro Manila, Philippines, August 2004.
Book Review- The Art of Advocacy in International Arbitration, Juris Publishing 2004, ISBN 978-1-929446-42-1.
ADR in Asia- Solutions for Business Asia Law and Practice 2005, ISBN 962-936-153-1.
International Arbitration in Asia, ICC International Court of Arbitration and Singapore International Arbitration Centre 2005, ISBN 981-05-3838-3.
Arbitration in Asia, Second Edition, Juris Publishing 2008, ISBN 978-1-933833-20-0.
Legal Discourse across Cultures and Systems, Confidentiality in Arbitration, Hong Kong University Press, 2008, ISBN 978-962-209-851-0.
Arbitration in Hong Kong - A Practical Guide Second Edition, Thomson Sweet and Maxwell Asia 2011, ISBN 962-661-220-7.
Arbitration Law Hand Book, Butterworths Hong Kong 2012, ISBN 978-988-8146-38-3.
The Annotated Ordinance of Hong Kong Chapter 609 Arbitration Ordinance, Butterworths Hong Kong 2012, ISBN 978-988-8146-45-1.
Do arbitrators Really Have a High Degree of Discretion in the Management of the Arbitration Proceedings, Korean Arbitration Review, Second Edition, January 2013.
Impact of Civil Justice Reform on Alternative Dispute Resolution: A Hong Kong Perspective, Civil Litigation in China and Europe- Essays on the Role of the Judge and the Parties, Springer, 2014, ISBN 978-94-007-7665-4.
Mediation in Hong Kong: Law & Practice, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business 2014, ISBN 978-988-12216-2-9.
Construction Arbitration in Hong Kong: A Practical Guide Wolters Kluwer Law & Business March 2015, ISBN 978-988-13429-2-8.
Unveiling the Embodied Carbon of Construction Materials through a Product-based Carbon Labeling Scheme, the International Journal of Climate Change: Impact and Responses, Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: August 4, 2015 (co-authored with Professor Thomas S. Ng and Dr. Guiyi Li) http://ijc.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.185/prod.268 assessed on 15 April 2016.
Apology Legislation and its Implications for International Dispute Resolution, International Bar Association October 2015 (co-authored with Robyn Carroll and Marc Unger) http://www.ibanet.org/Article/Detail.aspx?ArticleUid=998e05e0-552b-4160-... assessed on 15 April 2016.
A bright future for Hong Kong’s Construction Industry, Civil Engineering, Institution of Civil Engineers, 16 February 2016, ISSN 0965-089X and E-ISSN 1751-7672, http://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/doi/abs/10.1680/jcien.15.00058 accessed on 15 April 2016.
Hong Kong Arbitration: Law and Practice Wolters Kluwer Law & Business (anticipated completion in December 2018).
Singapore’s new Mediation Act- raising the bar to new heights in the dispute resolution arena, 7 June 2017, CIArb News. http://www.ciarb.org/news/features/features-detail/features.
Adjudication – a Form of ‘Rough Justice’?' (2017) 19 Asian Dispute Review, Volume 19 (2017) Issue 4, pp. 184–189, http://www.kluwerlawonline.com/abstract.php?area=Journals&id=ADR2017035.
Facilitate Versus Evaluative Mediation (2018) 20 Asian Dispute Review, Volume 20 (2018) Issue 2 pp.81-87.