Mariel Dimsey是CMS律师事务所香港办公室合伙人，以及CMS国际仲裁业务组的联合负责人。近日，她被推选担任香港国际仲裁中心（港仲）秘书长一职。在与ALB的采访中，她分享了对于这一角色的期待，以及重塑人们对于香港仲裁看法的计划。 作者：黄婉君
‘HONG KONG HAS A GREAT POSITION, NOT ONLY WITH RESPECT TO CHINA BUT ALSO TO APAC’
Mariel Dimsey, most recently a partner and co-head of the international arbitration group at CMS,was recently named as the new secretary general of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. In this interview with ALB, she talks about what she brings to the role, as well as her plans to change the perception of arbitration in Hong Kong.
ALB: Can you tell us a bit about your career so far, and how your experiences will shape your approach to the role?
MARIEL DIMSEY: Primarily, I’m coming into this from a private-practice perspective. I was a user of HKIAC arbitration until very recently. I’ve seen how the rules operate in practice, and I think that’s a very important aspect that I bring, because you’ve got the context to the rules. Also, my perspective as an arbitrator, having worked with many people at the Secretariat in that role and seeing the rules in operation from a slightly different perspective, as well as being counsel in private practice, I think these will help me use that experience and expertise to shape my role.
ALB: How do you plan to leverage your international commercial and investment arbitration expertise to take HKIAC forward?
DIMSEY：My experience itself has spanned several jurisdictions, including Australia, Switzerland, and Germany. The network that I have gained through years of private practice in those jurisdictions can be very beneficial for this role. My old contacts can ask me questions about HKIAC; we can have an in-depth, frank, discussion about what’s going on here. I hope, with that, to attract new users to HKIAC arbitration, which – particularly in the European jurisdictions – could be better utilised and used in more contracts.
ALB: In what way do you expect to build on the work of your predecessor, Sarah Grimmer, and what are some of the new ideas or initiatives you will look to spearhead?
DIMSEY：Sarah has set a very solid foundation over the last six years for me to build on. When I came into the Secretariat, I found that everything was so well-organised and modern, which is not the case for most arbitral institutions in terms of tech. My first aim in terms of keeping our users happy is to ensure that that continues. I would also like to reaffirm the messaging about Hong Kong. In the last few years, for obvious reasons both here and in the rest of the world, everyone kind of had to take a moment. It is very important that Hong Kong is not perceived as the jurisdiction where everyone is dialling in from rather than being there in person.
Next year, we are going to revise our rules. We will be setting up a similar structure to the 2018 rules revision, where we will have a committee that will supervise that and seek input from the community. Moreover, the user base of HKIAC has evolved in the last few years and will continue to evolve. It’s important to listen and make sure that we’re up to date with who our users are, and that we’re addressing their needs.
ALB: What can HKIAC do to highlight Hong Kong’s strengths and attractiveness as an international arbitration hub?
DIMSEY：Hong Kong is a fabulous place to do arbitration. The seat itself has an incredible number of advantages. Not only is it arbitration-friendly, but we also have an advanced statutory law that supports arbitration based on the UNCITRAL model or international best practice. We have the Hong Kong– Mainland China Interim Measures Arrangement, which offers true onshore support in the PRC for arbitrations seated in Hong Kong and administered by approved arbitration institutions, including HKIAC. We have true expertise in China-related disputes that I think even other regional institutions probably do not have. And we have a very robust, pro-arbitration judiciary. Apart from that, Hong Kong has a great position, not only with respect to China but also to APAC. That can be capitalised on now that everyone’s kind of getting back to normal.