CNDR Hosts Panel on Arbitration in the Pacific Rim

New Developments in Pacific Rim Arbitration: Perspectives from Hong Kong, Singapore, and California

On November 7, 2022, California Arbitration and The Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution (CNDR) hosted a panel at UC Law San Francisco featuring speakers Mariel Dimsey (Secretary General, HKIAC), Adriana Uson (Head of Americas, SIAC), Sally Harpole (Independent Arbitrator), and Dan Tan (Principal, Dan Tan Law and International Arbitrator).

Moderated by Professor and CNDR Director Hiro Aragaki, the panel focused on the rise of arbitration throughout the Pacific Rim and the implications of recent developments in law, politics, and business for the future of Pacific Rim arbitration and for California’s attractiveness as a seat. Panelists from HKIAC and SIAC also offered a rare glimpse into their institutions’ case statistics, which included data about the number of cases involving U.S. parties, the number of cases governed by California law, and the rate at which U.S. arbitrators are selected compared with arbitrators of other nationalities.

After some lively Q&A with an audience of professionals, students, and faculty, both in person and virtually, attendees enjoyed a reception in UC Law SF’ new Deb Colloquium Room overlooking San Francisco’s civic center.

The event was co-hosted by California Arbitration and supported by Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center (SVAMC), California Lawyers Association (CLA), Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), American Arbitration Association (AAA-ICDR)JAMS, and Fed-Arb.



Professor Hiro Aragaki

Moderator: Professor Hiro Aragaki, Director of Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, UC Law SF

Hiro Aragaki has written extensively on federal arbitration law and is currently engaged in a number of long-term projects looking at mediation from comparative, development, and empirical perspectives.  He has frequently been called upon to train judges and lawyers in ADR and consult on ADR reform projects around the world, most recently as an Advisor to the Expert Committee on Mediation, Supreme Court of India, and as an advisor to the judiciary of Kazakhstan on arbitration law reforms. Before coming to Hastings, Professor Aragaki was a Professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He also practiced law at global law firms and clerked for the Hon. Fern M. Smith, U.S. District Court (N.D. Cal.). Professor Aragaki is a former member of the California State Bar Standing Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution, a former member of the AALS Section on Dispute Resolution Executive Committee, and a former Board member of the California Dispute Resolution Council. He currently holds leadership positions in the ABA Section on International Law and ABA ROLI, and is a Professorial Research Associate at SOAS School of Law in London. He serves as an arbitrator and mediator at JAMS, and is admitted to practice in California, New York, the District of Columbia, and England & Wales.

Mariel Dimsey, Secretary-General of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre 

Mariel Dimsey is an international commercial and investment arbitration specialist. Prior to joining the HKIAC, Mariel was a Partner at CMS and Co-Head of the global CMS International Arbitration Group. She has over 15 years’ experience acting as adviser and advocate in numerous international arbitrations. She has extensive experience in both common law and civil law disputes, including disputes involving Chinese parties, and has full professional fluency in German. She also sits regularly as arbitrator and has experience as arbitrator under the HKIAC, ICC, KCAB, and DIS Rules, and in ad hoc disputes. She is on the arbitrator panels of several institutions. She is a past co-chair of the HK45 Committee, and a Vice-Chair of WILHK. She is consistently ranked in both the regional and global editions of the leading legal directories.

Adriana Uson, Head of Singapore International Arbitration Center (Americas)

As Head (Americas) of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), Adriana Uson oversees SIAC’s activities in North and South America. She has broad experience as an arbitration practitioner – having served as arbitrator, international arbitration lawyer, and Counsel in the SIAC Secretariat. Adriana first joined SIAC as Counsel, during which time she administered over two hundred cases under the SIAC Rules and UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, with a particular focus on disputes involving States, State-controlled entities, and intergovernmental organisations. She was involved in the drafting of the SIAC Rules 2016, SIAC Investment Arbitration Rules 2017, and the SIAC Practice Notes on third party funding. She was also a key contributor in the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators (SIArb) working group that published the SIArb Guidelines on Party-Representative Ethics. Prior to rejoining SIAC, Adriana was a disputes lawyer at a leading international law firm in Singapore, where she advised and represented clients in international commercial and ICSID arbitrations. Adriana is a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators. She is also an active member of the Young SIAC Committee (YSIAC) and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Singapore) Young Members Group.

Sally Harpole, Independent Arbitrator

Sally Harpole is an international arbitrator, mediator and attorney (qualified to practice in the State of California and the Hong Kong SAR, China).  After practicing in Asia for 36 years, she currently works in San Francisco as an independent arbitrator. Sally is listed on numerous dispute resolution panels, including the arbitrator panels of AAA/ICDR, CIETAC, SHIAC, BIAC, HKIAC, SIAC, KCAB and others. She has served as arbitrator or mediator in over 130 international commercial disputes. Ms. Harpole co-chaired the Arbitration Committee of the International Bar Association and served as a member of the Commission of CIETAC (2011-2013), the Council of HKIAC (1991 – 2012) and the Executive Committee, Board of Directors of the AAA (1991 – 2011). In 1985 & 1986, Sally was twice elected as President, American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China, Beijing.  She was a founding member of Arbitral Women.

Dan Tan, Principal of Dan Tan Law

Dan Tan Law is a boutique law firm based in New York, San Francisco, and Singapore, that has been repeatedly ranked amongst the top 100 of all arbitration practices in the world (Global Arbitration Review 100, 2012 to 2021). Benchmark Litigation recommends the firm for litigation in California, for International Arbitration nationally in the United States, and named it the Euromoney Inaugural “International Arbitration Firm of the Year (US West)”. Dan is an associate member of36 Stone (formerly Stone Chambers), a commercial barristers chambers in London. Chambers USA and Chambers Global (2012 to 2021) and Legal 500 USA (2021) rank Dan as a leading arbitration lawyer. Dan is a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School (teaching international arbitration) and Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School (teaching international arbitration and international investment law). He was previously adjunct faculty at the Singapore Management University School of Law, and Lecturer in Law at Oxford University (teaching contract law). He writes prolifically in his field and has published articles in leading academic journals that have been excerpted in casebooks, cited in prominent textbooks, commentaries and by US Federal courts, and have been called “ground-breaking thinking.”