A notice of arbitration that is not properly served can be set aside or refused enforcement, which diminishes parties’ confidence in the arbitration process. Unfortunately, parties often underestimate the importance of proper service of a notice because they are unaware of the complications in
Hong Kong: Three addresses
In Sun Tian Gang v Hong Kong & China Gas (Jilin), decided by Judge Mimmie Chan of the Hong Kong Court of First Instance on 21 September 2016, the parties entered into a share sale agreement (SSA) governed by Hong Kong law, which provided for disputes to be referred to arbitration. Disputes arose, so the claimant commenced arbitration in 2005 and obtained an award in 2007. During this whole time, the respondent was deprived of contact with the outside world because he was under arrest by mainland authorities and thus unaware of the arbitration. After the respondent was released, he found out about the arbitration in May 2015 and applied to set aside the award because the notice, which was served on three addresses, was not properly served on him.
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Andrew Chin is an associate in the dispute resolution practice at Baker McKenzie in Hong Kong