Wednesday, 23 October 2019, Hong Kong

E-mail Tel: +44 203 780 4137


Sarah Grimmer

Secretary-General, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)

Sarah Grimmer is Secretary-General of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. She was formerly Senior Legal Counsel at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) where she acted as registrar in several inter-State arbitrations under the Law of the Sea Convention and served as tribunal secretary in multiple investment treaty arbitrations and contract-based claims.

Juliet Blanch

Arbitration Chambers

Juliet Blanch is a full time arbitrator having previously chaired the international dispute resolution practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. She has over 30 years’ experience in the arbitration of both international commercial and investment treaty disputes with a particular focus on energy and infrastructure, mining, commodities, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, hospitality, maritime and shareholder disputes. Juliet has acted as lead Counsel and/or sat as arbitrator in arbitrations held under HKIAC, ICC, ICSID, LCIA, LMAA, SCC, SIAC, UNCITRAL and other rules and which have been seated in a variety of jurisdictions including London, Hong Kong, Paris, Singapore, Stockholm, Washington DC and Zurich.


8.30: Welcome coffee and registration

9.00: Chairs' opening remarks

Sarah Grimmer, Secretary-General, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)
Juliet Blanch, Arbitration Chambers

9.10: Session one: The year in review: an update on arbitration in Hong Kong and across the globe

In this session our esteemed panel will update the audience on all the must-know developments from the past year, locally and further afield.

The session is expected to cover:

  • Institutional developments in the region: changes in rules, new initiatives, and trends in caseloads
  • The most significant rulings; and important legislative developments
  • New instruments: the Singapore Convention and the Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
  • The new interim measures enforcement arrangement between Hong Kong and Mainland China
  • The relationship between mediation and arbitration in Asia, and the continuing trend for matters now to be taken to court or arbitration rather than settled

10.25: Coffee break

11.00: Session two: Issues with witnesses: making tactical decisions and developing strategy

This session will explore a host of challenges that arise for counsel and arbitrators when it comes to appearances by witnesses, and what courts can do to help.

In particular our panel will examine:

  • What to do when one side is being “strategic” with witnesses (withdrawing them late, failing to offer an obvious person, etc.)
  • Written direct testimony -- is there a limit to its usefulness? Is it time for direct evidence to come back into hearings? If so, should it supplement or replace written direct testimony?
  • Witnesses in politically sensitive cases -- how to secure attendance and protect against intimidation and threats
  • Lawyers who insist on appearing as witnesses

12.15: Networking lunch

13.15: A Yum cha chat with Zia Mody

Zia Mody, Founder and Senior Partner of AZB & Partners, takes her turn in the hot seat.

Sarah Grimmer, Secretary-General, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)

14.00: Session three: International arbitration in the era of tougher financial crime enforcement

In an era when financial institutions are on high alert for all suspicious transactions, and where they take the view that if in doubt, file a SARs report, is international arbitration starting to appear the irresponsible outlier? Do arbitrators and counsel take these issues and the regulations that now surround them seriously enough? Do they know what to do in the event suspicions of money-laundering, proceeds of crime, or corruption arise?

In this panel, members of the IA bar and the international white-collar crime world will discuss the airlock between their two areas and whether enough is being done to ensure that matters can move smoothly between the two.

Topics our panel are expected to discuss include:

  • How do white-collar crime specialists view the world of international arbitration and what do they worry about as things are currently organised?
  • What do IA lawyers worry about when it comes to law enforcement authorities and their interest in the written and oral evidence adduced before and during contents of the cases?
  • Is it time for proper guidance on what to do when these two areas collide?

15.15: Coffee break

15.45: Session four: the IA team of the future -- greener, more diverse, and better at combining cases with family life? 

This session will discuss a series of inter-related concerns that look set to determine the composition of the IA community in the future, and whether some of the concerns now being identified can be ameliorated.

Things the next generation care about, in particular:

  • Mental and physical well-being: work-life balance. Does your jurisdiction have a word for “death by work”? Korea has recently imposed 52-hour working week. Is it possible to run international arbitration without a culture of long hours, or in organisations that span several different approaches to work-life balance?
  • The environment: Travel -- the impact on daily life, and on the planet.
  • Choices beyond the law firm: Big Law versus life as an arbitrator -- more 40 and 50-something partners are wondering if they could make it as an arbitrator, far younger than was traditionally thought possible. But is the time right?
  • Family: Being able to juggle career and family life, particularly in childcaring years; not being an absent parent who consistently prioritises work over their family

17.00: Chairs' closing remarks

Sarah Grimmer, Secretary-General, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)
Juliet Blanch, Arbitration Chambers

17.10 onwards: All delegates are invited to attend a drinks reception kindly hosted by Morrison & Foerster

Further information

For further information or sponsorship opportunities, please call +44 203 780 4137 or email


Hong Kong


  • "Excellent" Xianglin Chen, Han Kun Law Offices

  • "Very informative, practical insights" Gary Gao, Zhong Lun Law Firm

Ticket prices

Private Practitioner
Type Price Until
Super Early £350  13 Sep 2019
Early £500 11 Oct 2019
Standard £600 23 Oct 2019


Type Price