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Can Hong Kong build on its role of regional peacemaker?

At the close of December 2010, the Mediation Information Office of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre revealed that mediation cases in Hong Kong had shown good results, with a 90% settlement rate. The majority of cases involved Hong Kong parties, but a number of cases also originated from outside the territory.

Despite two years having passed since the collapse of Lehman Brothers and some markets beginning to take on a more positive outlook, 2010 saw a noticeable increase in the number of commercial disputes in Hong Kong. This is likely to have caught the eye of legal practitioners and regulators, but it has also expedited the development of mediation in Hong Kong.

With mainland Chinese parties involved in an increasing number of international disputes, plus cross-border business transactions between Taiwan, Hong Kong and the mainland continuing to grow, Hong Kong is well placed to fill the role of a neutral venue in dealing with commercial disputes.