By Hayley Evans, J.D. ’19
I spent this January term interning at the International Arbitration Centre in Hong Kong (HKIAC). The Centre provides crucial dispute resolution services—arbitration, mediation, adjudication, and domain names disputes resolution—to a variety of domestic and international clients. HKIAC provides services for dispute types ranging from corporate and finance to maritime, construction, and international trade. A non-profit organization, HKIAC is the third most preferred and used arbitral institution worldwide and the most favored arbitral institution outside of Europe. Established in 1985 in an effort to provide dispute resolution services in Asia, HKIAC has a track record of handling matters involving parties from a large number of jurisdictions; in 2016, HKIAC saw parties from thirty-nine different jurisdictions. The top nationalities of these parties were (by number of cases): Hong Kong, Mainland China, British Virgin Islands, Singapore, and the United States.
While at HKIAC, I undertook legal research on various topics in the field of international dispute settlement. One of my favorite projects I helped with was conducting research on the quantification of damages in international arbitration for the ICCA/ASIL Task Force on Damages. The Task Force intends to promote consistency and rigor in the quantification of damages in international arbitration, and I assisted with research for an online tool promoting that end. While awards of monetary damages are the most natural forms that remedies tend to take in international commercial and investment arbitration, there are also a variety of equitable remedies that can be used as well. These remedies might include provisions like specific performance and disgorgement of profits. Based on the work that I did at HKIAC for Secretary-General Sarah Grimmer, I actually have the opportunity to continue doing research for the Task Force remotely this semester.
Interning for HKIAC was a wonderful experience. Not only did it provide me with an on-the-ground introduction to the work of an arbitral tribunal, but it also allowed me to work with many talented interns, attorneys, and staff. While there, I learned about interesting procedural issues like consolidation, joinder, and translation of documents, as well as exciting substantive matters like enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and state sovereign immunity. I would definitely recommend an internship at HKIAC to other law students interested in international arbitration.