Amendments to the Arbitration Ordinance, gazetted today, are the latest stage in the process to allow lawyers to charge based on success in an arbitration. The amendments, long-awaited by clients, passed Hong Kong’s legislative review quickly and without substantive amendment, demonstrating the strong support in the territory for these long-awaited changes.
Hong Kong has enacted the sections of Part 10B Arbitration Ordinance that set out the framework for outcome-related fees in arbitration and establish an advisory body to draft appropriate regulations.
The operative sections of Part 10B, which will allow lawyers and clients to enter into success fee agreements, are expected to take effect later in 2022, together with subsidiary legislation that will regulate the new fee regime. Once these are in force, clients and lawyers in and outside Hong Kong will benefit from one of the broadest success fee regimes in the world for arbitration and related proceedings.
The Bill also amends s.64 Legal Practitioners Ordinance (Cap. 159) to allow solicitors to charge outcome-related fees for arbitration work. Hong Kong’s Law Society and Bar Association are expected to amend their professional conduct rules to align with the new fee regime.