By Paul Stothard and Alexis Namdar, King & Wood Mallesons

stothard_pThere is intense and constant competition to be a venue of choice for international disputes. To gain an edge, the Dubai International Financial Centre [i](“DIFC”) and the proposed Singaporean International Commercial Court (“SICC”) are exploring whether it is possible to combine the most attractive features of international arbitration and litigation before national courts. Each means of dispute resolution has its own well known set of advantages and disadvantages.[ii]
Continue Reading Best of Both Worlds?

By Richard W. Wigley  King & Wood Mallesons’ IP Litigation Group

wigley_richardThe framework for variants of class action-type litigation in the People’s Republic of China has been in place since the initial promulgation of the Civil Procedure Law of the P.R.C. (“CPL”) in 1991. The amended CPL provides requirements for filing a “joint litigation” for suits where “the object of the action is of the same category and a party consists of numerous persons” and where the parties may choose to elect a representative.[1] Further as to whether standing is afforded the plaintiff and the filing requirements for such litigation, the CPL provides that “[t]he plaintiff must be a citizen, legal person, or an organization having a direct interest with the case … there must be a specific defendant … [and] there must be a specific claim and a specific factual basis and grounds ….”[2] In short, the CPL provides a framework which allows for what is a variation of what is commonly referred to as a “class action lawsuit”.
Continue Reading Class Action-type Litigation in China

By Susan Ning, Hazel Yin and Yunlong Zhang

The year 2012 marks the fifth year of the enactment and implementation of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”).  Over the past year, we have witnessed substantial progress of the merger control regime and antitrust administrative investigations, in particular in the area of cartel investigations.  With the promulgation of judicial interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court, antitrust civil litigations are also picking up.  As the Year of Dragon is coming to an end, we present this article with an overview of how the AML has been implemented in the past year, together with our observations.  

I. Merger Control

The Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”), the authority in charge of merger control review, maintained a similar caseload in 2012 compared to 2011 and has been gradually establishing its international reputation as one of the most important antitrust authorities.  
Continue Reading The Anti-Monopoly Law of China: What We Have Seen in 2012?

By Harry Liu and Qiu yue  King and Wood Mallesons’ Dispute Resolution Group  Shanghai Office

As an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, arbitration has been increasingly widely chosen as the dispute resolution method by parties to the commercial contracts. A signatory to the arbitration clause may bring litigation jointly against the other party to the arbitration clause and non-signatories to such arbitration clause. It remains uncertain in judicial practice whether courts have jurisdiction over such joint tort disputes despite of the arbitration clause. The Supreme People’s Court’s view towards the issue also has shifted back and forth. The retrial ruling lately handed down by the Supreme People’s Court after confirmed by its judicial committee gave a clearer answer to the question, which will definitely have a demonstration effect on the judicial practice in the future.
Continue Reading Retrial Ruling of the Supreme People’s Court Settles the Disputes on the Jurisdiction over Joint Tort Cases: Litigation or Arbitration

By Liu Xiangwen and Xu Xianhong  King & Wood Mallesons’ Dispute Resolution Group

International commercial disputes have an extensive scope, involving matters such as international sale of goods, mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, and construction. The so-called international commercial dispute resolution cases dealt with by Chinese lawyers means those related to China and foreign countries, the main factors of which occurred either in China or in other countries. Due to the main characteristic of cross-border issues, international commercial dispute resolution is distinguished from domestic dispute resolution.

In the past, the parties in international commercial activities paid less attention when choosing options for dispute resolution, which were indicated by the fact that there were often no dispute resolution clauses in their contracts, or even where there were such provisions, they were poorly drafted. This situation has improved substantially according to recent cases we have dealt with.

Continue Reading Options for International Commercial Dispute Resolution

By Meg Utterback and Holly Blackwell King & Wood’s Dispute Resolution Group

The concept of US discovery is very alien to the uninitiated litigant and particularly foreign to Chinese parties, because the Chinese litigation process is far different.  China proceedings are conducted much like other civil code jurisdictions, with the parties proffering only evidence that supports the claims or defenses.  US discovery is intended to uncover both supporting and damaging evidence.  US discovery rules provide litigants liberal access to information possessed by opponents, and even third parties, such as internal company emails, documents, records, and policies.  Disclosure of requested information may be required, even though such disclosure would be prohibited under PRC law.  The Hague Convention provides one avenue of obtaining evidence located in China, but US courts are not always willing to require the use of the Hague Convention procedures where a party has submitted to the jurisdiction of the US court.  Recent US cases demonstrate the challenges of requiring discovery from Chinese parties and the challenges that Chinese parties face in US courts.

Continue Reading Obtaining Discovery in China for Use in US Litigation

By Richard W. Wigley and Xu Jing King & Wood’s Dispute Resolution Group

The means available for effective enforcement of settlement agreements associated with litigation is an issue which is often raised by litigants in the P.R.C.  Specifically, it is often asked, what is a party’s recourse should the other party breach a private settlement agreement, but where the breach occurs after the Appeal in the litigation at issue has been withdrawn? As P.R.C. law is a civil law system based upon the statutory law, there is no equivalent to the case precedent system of common law countries, such as the United States, Australia, and the U.K.  There is relevant statutory law as provided in the Civil Procedure Law of the P.R.C., but there exist certain legal issues which may require additional clarification beyond the statutory law.  With this in mind, as per the Article 1 of the Supreme People’s Court’s Provisions on Case Guidance ("Provisions"), the Supreme People’s Court does on occasion publish what it sees as "indicative" cases, where the decisions reached in the cases are deemed to be used as guidelines in relevant judicial review by the lower courts.[1]

Continue Reading Supreme People’s Court provides a Guideline Case for Court Enforcement of Settlement Agreements