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Hong-Kong based Arbitration Chambers has launched in London after a raft of City arbitration hires.
The set has launched in Middle Temple, bringing along a number of international arbitrators including former deputy president of the UK Supreme Court Lord Hope of Craighead; former Hong Kong high court judge Neil Kaplan; ICC International Court of Arbitration former president and former chair of Clifford Chance’s international arbitration practice John Beechey.
The set has also attracted a number of arbitrators from the city, including former Linklaters partner Matthieu de Boisseson; former Pinsent Masons Beijing office co-head John Bishop; former Norton Rose Fulbright, McDermott Will & Emery and Weil Gotshal & Manges energy disputes arbitrator Juliet Blanch; and Baker McKenzie former partner Andrew Aglionby, who was also the former head of international arbitration at legacy Olswang.
The members of the set originate from common law and civil law jurisdictions and will practise as arbitrators rather than advocates.
Head of chambers Gavin Denton told The Lawyer that one of the reasons the London set was established was because it offered a way out for conflicted clients.
The majority of the members joined the set before its London launch with the exception of Blanch, Robert Pé – a former partner at Orrick Herrington & Sutfliffe and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and legal adviser to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi – and Niels Schiersing, a Danish arbitrator.
The news may disrupt the flow of arbitration-related work heading to commercial sets, as clients are increasingly attracted to the privacy that is a condition of arbitration.
In June, the government passed a bill that allowed third party funding in arbitration.
The bill, passed by the legislative council and announced on 14 June, will come into effect later this year.
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