25 August 2023
The sixth Legal Services Forum (“Forum”) took place on 24 August 2023 in Chengdu, China. The Forum was jointly organised by the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, with the aim of promoting Hong Kong's legal and dispute resolution services and strengthen Hong Kong's position as one of Asia's leading centres for international legal and dispute resolution services as part of the National 14th Five-Year Plan. More than 1,000 local lawyers and industry representatives attended the Forum on the day.
The Secretary for Justice, Mr Paul Lam, SC, together with over 100 legal professionals from the Hong Kong Bar Association, the Law Society of Hong Kong, and enterprise representatives participated in the Forum, including six members from Des Voeux Chambers as representatives from the Bar Association.
Ms Winnie Tam SC, SBS, JP attended the second plenary session entitled “Cross-border Commercial Dispute Resolution Services” and gave a presentation on the topic of "A Comparative Analysis of Traditional Court Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution: How to Choose the Right Dispute Resolution Method?"
In her speech, Ms. Tam SC compared litigation with other dispute resolution methods in terms of sources of jurisdiction, applicable law, applicable procedures, flexibility, privacy, and extraterritorial enforceability. She pointed out that arbitration can be used to resolve disputes other than criminal liability, family disputes, inheritance, bankruptcy, and commercial sanctions (arbitrability depends on national laws). It was concluded that both traditional court litigation and arbitration have their own distinctive characteristics.
In the afternoon, José-Antonio Maurellet, SC, Sabrina Ho and Cherry Xu joined the other members of the Hong Kong Bar Association and hosted a mock arbitration to demonstrate how arbitration can be utilized effectively to resolve disputes. Tiffany Chan and Howard Wong from DVC also joined the delegation.
Since 2010, the DoJ has held the Hong Kong Legal Services Forum in different Mainland cities. The Forum, resumed for the first time after the pandemic, has been held in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Qingdao and Nanjing to promote Hong Kong's international legal and dispute resolution services to enterprises and other service users on the Mainland.
(Part of the photos credit to Hong Kong Department of Justice and Hong Kong Trade Development Council.)