9th Annual GAR Live Hong Kong
23 October 2019 | 08:30 - 17:10


GAR Live Hong Kong returns for its ninth edition this year, bringing together top practitioners from Hong Kong and across Asia for the full-day event. Including GAR Live favourites like the year in review and the yum cha chat, our panels will be looking at the most significant developments, rulings and new tools in the region. From practical advice for dealing with witnesses, to guidance surrounding crackdowns in financial crime enforcement, this conference will be addressing what issues are at the forefront of the field – and sitting on the desks of practitioners - today. This extends to a projection forwards: what do the next generation in IA care about, and how will this shape the practice for the future?
  • Chair: Sarah Grimmer, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
  • Chair: Juliet Blanch, Arbitration Chambers


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:

  1. Institutional developments in the region: changes in rules, new initiatives, and trends in caseloads
  2. The most significant rulings; and important legislative developments
  3. 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
  4. The new interim measures enforcement arrangement between Hong Kong and Mainland China
  5. 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:

  1. What to do when one side is being "strategic" with witnesses (withdrawing them late, failing to offer an obvious person, etc.)
  2. 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?
  3. Witnesses in politically sensitive cases -- how to secure attendance and protect against intimidation and threats
  4. 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:

  1. How do white-collar crime specialists view the world of international arbitration and what do they worry about as things are currently organised?
  2. 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?
  3. 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:

  1. 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?
  2. The environment: Travel -- the impact on daily life, and on the planet.
  3. 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?
  4. 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


  • Olga Boltenko, Fangda Partners
  • Juliet Blanch, Arbitration Chambers
  • Tony Dymond, Debevoise & Plimpton
  • Steven Finizio, WilmerHale
  • Sarah Grimmer, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
  • Peter Hirst, Clyde & Co
  • Matthew Hodgson, Allen & Overy
  • Amani Khalifa, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Swee Yen Koh, WongPartnership
  • Joe Liu, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
  • Sharon McGahey, Blackrock Expert Services
  • Zia Mody, AZB & Partners
  • Hefin Rees QC, 3 Verulam Buildings
  • Sir Bernard Rix, Twenty Essex
  • Roger Stewart QC, 4 New Square
  • May Tai, Herbert Smith Freehills
  • Sarah Thomas, Morrison & Foerster
  • Kristen Young, White & Case
  • Fang Zhao, Hui Zhong Law Firm

Registration Fees

Super Early Booking Rate
(until 13 September)
Early Booking Rate
(14 September - 11 October)
Standard Booking Rate
(12 October - 23 October)
HKD 3680 HKD 5260 HKD 6310


38/F, Two Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong


Venue partner

Drinks reception host


Conference supporters

HFW is a market leading sector-focused international law firm with more than 600 lawyers working across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

We have a significant global arbitration practice. Our lawyers have been at the forefront of arbitration developments over many years. Our practice is sector focused, and we have a range and depth of arbitration matters that many larger firms would envy, with the total number of arbitrations handled at any one time estimated at 750. We are especially strong in a number of core areas, particularly construction, energy, trade and commodities, shipping, aviation, insurance/reinsurance, banking and financial services – all fields where international arbitration is very important and generates significant work. The arbitrations we handle are often complex and extremely high value too; last year, the quantum of arbitration claims under management was US$11 billion.

We conduct arbitrations under all the most popular arbitration forums and institutional rules, including UNICTRAL, LCIA, ICC, ICSID, ARIAS, CIETAC, ACICA, PCERA, DIFC-LCIA, HKIAC and SIAC. We also conduct hundreds of arbitrations under the specific rules of trade bodies such as GAFTA, FOSFA, LMAA, LME, RSA and LOF. Our partners serve as arbitrators and as expert witnesses in arbitration, and we have advised arbitral bodies and governments on arbitral rules and legislation. More recently, we have further expanded our international arbitration practice into investor-state arbitrations, having represented states and investors alike.

We are consistently listed in the GAR 100 "approved" list as a leading international arbitration practice and frequently act in arbitration-related court proceedings. In fact, The Lawyers' Litigation Tracker 2018 revealed that HFW was the most active litigation firm in terms of arbitration-related litigation (Q1-Q2), commercial litigation (Q1-Q3) and in the English Commercial Court (2016 – 2017, Q3 2018).

For further details, please visit us at http://www.hfw.com/Dispute-Resolution.

Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre

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