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International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Congress 2024

The 2024 ICCA (International Council for Commercial Arbitration) Congress, themed "International Arbitration: A Human Endeavour", was held from May 5-8, 2024 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This marked the first-ever ICCA Congress held in Hong Kong. The event achieved a record-breaking attendance, surpassing any previous ICCA Congress. Over 1,400 legal and dispute professionals from more than 70 jurisdictions attended the event.

The congress marked a significant milestone as the largest professional conference in its field since the onset of the pandemic. Over the course of four days, the event offered an action-packed agenda, featuring 15 panel discussions and more than 50 side events. Notably, one of the side events was co-hosted by the Department of Justice in Shenzhen, providing a crucial platform for the exchange of developments and insights in the realm of international arbitration.

During his welcome remarks, Paul Lam, the Secretary for Justice, underscored the pivotal role of Hong Kong's "one country, two systems" principle. He accentuated Hong Kong's distinctive position as the sole common law jurisdiction within China.

Hosting this highly regarded event, known as the "Olympics of international commercial arbitration," further solidified Hong Kong's role as a leading destination for international arbitration. Below are some quotes from the organisers and speakers about the event and Hong Kong's advantages as the host city.

Hong Kong has a thriving arbitration community that is deeply engaged in international dispute resolution. The city is home to a highly successful arbitration centre that attracts a significant volume of cases, the majority of which are Asia-focused and many involving China. This makes Hong Kong an ideal location to resolve such matters. The city's court system is also very supportive of arbitration, further contributing to its appeal as a global hub for international dispute resolution.
Neil Kaplan
Co-Chair of ICCA 2024
Member of ICCA's governing and advisory board
International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA)
The involvement of mainland China in the 2024 ICCA Congress hosted in Hong Kong reached unprecedented levels, with a remarkable turnout of over 240 delegates representing Chinese institutions and legal associations. As a facilitator of Chinese investment abroad, we extend our heartfelt appreciation for the exceptional support and sponsorship received from mainland China. Apart from its unique blend of Chinese and Western cultures, Hong Kong serves as a pivotal platform for fostering exchange between Chinese and international practitioners, enabling them to share their insights and ideas on arbitration and legal services. This heightened level of engagement from the mainland signifies a significant shift towards creating opportunities for meaningful dialogue and collaboration.
Dr Ling Yang
Deputy Secretary-General / Head of China Relations
Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)
Hong Kong has long been regarded as a premier global centre for international dispute resolution. The city boasts a deep pool of bilingual professionals, fluent in both English and Chinese, which is a significant advantage when handling complex cross-border cases. Hong Kong's courts are also highly supportive of arbitration, providing a robust institutional framework for dispute resolution. Furthermore, the government, through the Department of Justice, offers strong backing for Hong Kong's position as a leading international arbitration hub.
Joanne Lau
Secretary-General
Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)
As a highly developed global financial centre, Hong Kong was an appropriate and important choice to host the ICCA Congress, as international arbitration should be accessible to parties from around the world. Hong Kong's success as a leading international arbitration hub demonstrates its ability to effectively serve the needs of a diverse array of global stakeholders in the field of dispute resolution.
Aisha Abdallah
Partner, Head of Litigation and Disputes
Anjarwalla & Khanna (Kenya)
Hong Kong is uniquely positioned, in my professional opinion, to serve as an exceptional venue for international dispute resolution. The city boasts a deep well of jurisprudence and intellectual rigor, combined with remarkable cultural diversity and an unparalleled commitment to excellence across all domains. These factors make Hong Kong a natural draw for parties seeking to resolve international disputes. As one of the oldest and most established centres for dispute resolution among Asian and regional jurisdictions, Hong Kong has a long and storied history in this field.
Sheila Ahuja
Partner, International Arbitration
Allen & Overy (Singapore)

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