New hearing centre planned in Tokyo
The Japanese government announced it will open a hearing centre in Tokyo to handle international commercial disputes and sports cases. It’s expected the centre will be operational by 2020, in time to hear cases from the 2020 Olympic games.
Maxwell Chambers (Singapore)
The Ministry of Law has announced it is trebling the size of Maxwell Chambers by taking over an adjacent building at 28 Maxwell Road. The new extension adds 120,000 square feet to Maxwell Chambers’ footprint, or 50 offices. The various institutions, law firms, barristers’ chambers and other providers that use Maxwell Chambers as their base are expected to move into the new building, allowing the existing building to be turned over 100 per cent to hearing space.
HKIAC (Hong Kong)
The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre learned it would be allowed to remain in its popular (and highly regarded) Exchange Square hearing centre. There had been concerns the secretariat and hearing facilities would be required to move to the Hong Kong government’s planned legal hub in a less convenient part of town. Secretary for Justice of the Hong Kong Rimsky Yuen SC announced the reprieve during the ceremonial opening of the legal year (namechecking this guide in the process). The HKIAC in turn announced that it would provide free hearing space to cases where one side is a developing state.
Hong Kong’s legal hub will occupy an Edwardian heritage building that used to house the Hong Kong Court of Appeal.
IDRC (Fleet Street, London)
The IDRC announced it had taken an extra floor in its current building on Fleet Street. The floor gives it two more hearing suites of eight rooms, able to hold up to 50 and 30 people respectively. The ICDR now has 60 rooms and can facilitate 16 arbitrations a day.
The centre also announced a £10,000 prize for the best essay on any aspect of the law and practice of arbitration in England and Wales by a postgrad student. The prize, which is named in honour of the late Lord Mustill, will be awarded every two years.
New hearing space opened in Eastern Russia
The IMA Arbitration Centre of Moscow has opened an office, with hearing rooms, in Vladivostok.
Vladivostok is one of Russia's most southeasterly points, closer to North Korea, China and Japan than to Moscow or St Petersburg. Once famous for housing Russia’s pacific fleet, of late the city has enjoyed an economic resurgence; it’s even been described as Russia’s San Francisco. The new IMA Arbitration Centre’s office offers hearing rooms with video conferencing technology, and dedicated case admin team. The IMA Arbitration Centre is one of the first Russian arbitration centres to obtain a licence to operate under Russia’s new arbitration law.
NORTH AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN
New York International Arbitration Centre (NYIAC)
NYIAC appointed Rekha Rangachari from the AAA’s New York office as its executive director. Rangachari took over in early October 2017 from Alexandra Dosman, who helped to establish the centre. Dosman will continue as the centre’s senior adviser, while starting to accept arbitrator appointments.
NYIAC also hosted a conversation between Richard Kreindler and Meg Kinnear in which Kinnear outlined her plans for ICSID reform.
The BVI International Arbitration Centre
The BVI’s new arbitration centre and hearing facility in Tortola was one of the few structures largely unharmed by hurricanes Irma and Maria. As such it became for a while the seat of government, and the HQ for other relief efforts.
Arbitration Place (Toronto)
Arbitration Place, which opened in Toronto five years ago to provide superior hearing facilities and rooms for arbitratorsa, has opened in Ottawa.
The new branch is led by a former associate chief justice of the city, Douglas Cunningham QC. Meanwhile, Canadian news papers reported that Arbitration Place was benefitting from an uptick in work traceable to President Trump’s various attempted travel bans.
Reporting by Laura Roddy