On December 4, 2018, Ms. Christine Kang, partner of JunHe, was invited to attend the "Conference on the 2018 Annual Review and Preview of Chinese Commercial Arbitration and Mediation, and the Awards Ceremony of the sixth ‘BAC Cup’ National University Commercial Arbitration Essay Competition " (the “Conference”). The conference was jointly organized by the Beijing Arbitration Commission / Beijing International Arbitration Center (“BAC”) and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (“CCPIT”)/ China Chamber of International Commerce (“CCOIC”) Mediation Center. Based on the 2018 Annual Review and Preview Report (the “Annual Report”), the conference aimed to introduce the latest developments in arbitration and mediation over the past year, and to discuss the opportunities and challenges in the current dispute resolution mechanism.
The conference began with a welcome speech by Mr. Chen Fuyong, Deputy Secretary-General of the BAC, followed by a warm speech by Ms. Wang Fang, Secretary-General of the CCPIT and CCOIC.
At the conference, Ms. Kang spoke highly of the Annual Report’s outstanding contribution to Chinese arbitration and mediation, and the advanced concepts and values in international arbitration advocated therein. In view of the practices and developing trends in Chinese arbitration institutions, Ms. Kang believed that Chinese arbitration has made remarkable achievements in its internationalization and respect for party autonomy. Combined with her experience in serving as an arbitrator in major international arbitration institutions, including the American Arbitration Association-International Centre for Dispute Resolution (“AAA-ICDR”), the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”), and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center (“HKAIC”), Ms. Kang also shared her ideas and suggestions on future developments in Chinese arbitration and arbitration institutions.
Firstly, in respect of the role of the arbitration institutions and their participation in arbitral proceedings, Ms. Kang believed that the participation of foreign arbitration institutions, such as the ICC, AAA-ICDR, HKIAC, is relatively limited (“light touch” approach). However, Chinese arbitration institutions are usually equipped with a team of well-educated and highly experienced case managers, who play a significant role in assisting arbitrators in administering arbitral proceedings; while bearing in mind the inherent characteristics and internationalization trends in international arbitration, Chinese arbitration institutions may need to adopt a more flexible approach in participating in arbitral proceedings depending on arbitrators' arbitration experiences and the specific circumstance of each case into consideration.
Secondly, regarding the procedure management of arbitration case in Chinese domestic arbitration cases, the parties are usually allowed to submit substantive opinions and evidentiary materials after the hearing, and the arbitral tribunal normally has no clear timetable on the proceedings before the hearing, and this may lead to striking evidence at the hearing or the submission of complete evidence postponed after the hearing. To some extent, it may cause uncertainty in the arbitral proceedings and even delay the whole arbitral proceedings. By contrast, international arbitration institutions usually require the arbitral tribunals to hold case management pre-hearing, or to consult the parties to set up procedural timetable before the hearing; accordingly, the arbitral tribunals would have more certainty on the management and control of the arbitral proceedings. This is worthy of reference by Chinese arbitral tribunals and arbitration institutions.
Last but not least, on the combination of arbitration and mediation, Ms. Kang shared her experiences in serving as a sole arbitrator in international arbitration institutions such as the AAA-ICDR, and she specifically introduced that “Med-Arb”, the so-called ‘Oriental Experience’, is gradually being recognized by western arbitration practitioners and applied in international arbitration. After the speech, Ms. Kang also answered audiences’ questions in detail. Ms. Kang’s professional and engaging speech was highly praised by the audience.
Ms. Kang is qualified to practice in People's Republic of China and New York U.S.A., has significant experience in resolving cross-border disputes, and practices at JunHe’s Beijing office. Ms. Kang is a listed arbitrator on the panels of various major international arbitration institutions, and has acted as chief arbitrator, sole arbitrator and party-nominated arbitrator in a variety of arbitration cases with CIETAC, AAA-ICDR, ICC, WIPO and HKIAC. She has advised many Fortune 500 companies on their international arbitration cases with major international arbitration institutions, involving various areas. In recent years, Ms. Kang has extensive experience in anti-bribery investigations and corporate compliance matters. She currently represents Chinese SOEs in their settlement negotiations with Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), including the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and in MDB sanction matters including investigation cooperation and compliance programs. Ms. Kang also advises Chinese companies on their overseas investment projects in the US, Europe, Latin America and Africa, and represents major American and European companies in their various China-related transactions. Her continuously outstanding performance in legal service has won her not only an impeccable reputation among clients, but also wide recognition from the professional media. Recently, Ms. Kang was awarded by Who's Who Legal as the “leading arbitration specialist” for years and by Asia Law & Practice Asialaw Profile 2019 as a “Rising Star lawyer”.