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Friday 19 October


 

On 16 September the LMAA President Ian Gaunt and Past President Clive Aston took part  in a mock arbitration in Qingdao, China, organised by the All China Lawyers Association, Maritime Section.

Local law firms Wincon,  Wang Jing & Co and Allbright, and Hong Kong based Reed Smith Richard Butler, were actively involved in the organisation and presentation of the mock arbitration. Barristers Andrew Stevens of 4 Pump Court Chambers and Noel Casey of 7 King’s Bench Walk Chambers took part as counsel. 

The purpose of the mock arbitration was to give Chinese lawyers and parties first hand experience of a London arbitration hearing, including cross examination of witnesses and to emphasise that Chinese parties will find a level playing field when arbitrating in London. It is estimated that some 80% of foreign-related maritime arbitration proceedings in which Chinese parties are involved are seated in London and it is important to the LMAA to showcase the expertise available in London and the effectiveness and fairness of proceedings in London, particularly in cases where a hearing is required (20% of London maritime arbitration cases proceed to an award, the majority being determined on documents only). 

Commenting on the event Ian Gaunt said:

“We are privileged to have this opportunity to demonstrate to Chinese parties who might not have had experience of a London arbitration hearing, how the hearing is conducted and to de-mystify in particular the process of cross examination which many witnesses can find daunting. We were able too to emphasise  points of preparation which Chinese parties in London arbitration should take into account if they are to present their cases effectively and not be placed at a disadvantage through unfamiliarity or misunderstanding of the process of documentary evidence gathering and cross examination."

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