International updates

Arbitration & ADR

Emergency relief under new HKIAC rules
  • International
  • 24 January 2019

The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) Administered Arbitration Rules 2018 have significantly amended the 2013 rules. In particular, the amendments have considerably reduced the time required to appoint an emergency arbitrator, which will also save parties money. By standardising its procedures and making them more efficient, the HKIAC has made itself an attractive international forum for settling disputes.

Enforcement courts' residual discretion under New York Convention: active and passive remedies
  • International
  • 13 December 2018

The New York Convention and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law differentiate between the one-shot principle and the choice of remedies principle. Under the choice of remedies principle, award debtors may choose both active and passive remedies. Therefore, even if an award debtor does not use or pursue active remedies to challenge a preliminary ruling or set aside an award, it may resist the award's enforcement by passive means.

Lessons to be learned: importance of impartial and independent arbitrators
  • International
  • 06 December 2018

The independence and impartiality of arbitrators are crucial to the legitimacy of international arbitration. Arbitration rules typically afford challenged arbitrators the opportunity to comment on a challenge, but they are silent as to the scope of participation permitted. A challenged arbitrator should cooperate with the decision maker and should in no circumstances appear to descend into the fray or display animosity toward the challenging party.

Ratification of Convention on Transparency in Treaty-Based Investor-State Arbitration continues
  • International
  • 15 November 2018

Gambia recently became the fifth nation to ratify the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-Based Investor-State Arbitration (Mauritius Convention). Eighteen other countries have signed the Mauritius Convention but have not yet ratified it. While no arbitrations subject to the convention have yet been initiated, if the current signatories were to ratify it, at least an additional 39 bilateral and multilateral treaties would become subject to the convention, unless expressly reserved.

Global overview of dispute trends in energy sector
  • International
  • 08 November 2018

It should be anticipated that new types of energy arbitration will emerge in 2018 and beyond, whereas others may decline. As always in the energy sector, an uncertain political landscape combined with cross-border investment in energy projects and fluctuating prices creates the model ecosystem for a whole spectrum of energy disputes to emerge globally, with arbitration remaining a key method of dispute resolution.


Reducing aircraft emissions on global scale
  • International
  • 15 August 2018

Aviation is among the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, which has given rise to environmental concerns over their global impact and effect on air quality, particularly at ground level. In an effort to tackle aviation's increasing contribution to climate change, international organisations – such as the United Nations and the International Civil Aviation Organisation – are taking steps to reduce global aviation emissions and develop measures with worldwide effect.

Liberalising aviation in Africa: overview of single air transport market
  • International
  • 11 April 2018

In January 2018 the single African air transport market (SAATM) was formally launched. Its principal objective stems from the Yamoussoukro Decision, which provided for the full liberalisation of intra-African air transport services in terms of market access. The SAATM is a welcome development; however, to reap the full potential of the initiative, the African Union must do all that is necessary to ensure that the resources, infrastructure and capacity required to grow the aviation sector are available.

Liberalising aviation in Africa: the Yamoussoukro Decision
  • International
  • 14 February 2018

The African Union endorsed the Yamoussoukro Decision in 2000 and it became fully binding in 2002. Its rationale was the need to foster socio-economic development in Africa – policymakers recognised that aviation and a competitive aviation market could be decisive for unlocking Africa's economic potential. However, the agreement has not been fully implemented by its signatories.

IATA – new restrictions for air transport of lithium batteries
  • International
  • 26 July 2017

The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations – the only standard recognised by airlines – contain the globally applicable provisions for shipping dangerous goods by air. A violation of the regulations might lead to criminal proceedings and infringements are a notifiable fact to be reported to the competent authority. In order to assist shippers in understanding the complete requirements, IATA has prepared the Lithium Battery Shipping Guidelines.

Digital currency in aviation financing
  • International
  • 05 July 2017

A key component which promotes growth in the aviation industry is the availability of capital to finance aircraft transactions. Although the existing methods for financing aircraft are acceptable, they have some notable flaws. Conversely, a number of possible benefits exist for airlines that choose to accept digital currency for financing transactions in the sector.

Company & Commercial

Results of ISS 2017-2018 global policy survey
  • International
  • 23 October 2017

International Shareholder Services recently released the results of its 2017-2018 global policy survey. The results reveal mixed views on multi-class capital structures, share buybacks and virtual annual meetings, but strong opinions on board gender diversity. However, although almost 70% of investors viewed as problematic the absence of any women on a board, making board diversity a reality seems to be a tougher proposition.

Competition & Antitrust

Behavioural antitrust in a nutshell
  • International
  • 09 November 2017

According to traditional antitrust theory, individuals (and firms) maximise utility according to stable preferences and rational expectations, while being well informed. This means that antitrust follows microeconomic bases that lead to the assumption that economic players are rational actors with willpower and self-interest. However, the emergence of behavioural economics shows that people do not necessarily behave in the ways that traditional economic principles would predict.


Updated FIDIC contracts 2017 – what has changed?
  • International
  • 14 May 2018

The International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) Contracts Committee recently unveiled the much-anticipated new suite of rainbow contracts, with the publication of amended Red, Yellow and Silver Books. The changes reflect only some of the key amendments introduced by the revised 2017 FIDIC contracts. Nevertheless, the changes are significant and it will undoubtedly take time for contracting parties to become familiar with the revised contracts.

New international information management standard
  • International
  • 24 July 2017

A new draft international standard providing information management guidance when using building information modelling has been issued for public comment. The standard is split into two parts. The first part deals with concepts and principles and applies to the whole lifecycle of a built asset, while the second deals with the delivery phase of assets and enables the client or appointing organisation to establish its requirements for information during the delivery phase of assets.