In July 2015, HKIAC launched a consumer evaluation system that allows users to rate their satisfaction with HKIAC’s services and arbitrator performance. This confidential feedback facilitates HKIAC ability to deliver dispute resolution services to meet the evolving needs of the international business community. IAA’s Pimvipa Kunanusorn and Jiayan Wang report.
“Parties increasingly look to arbitral institutions to provide some assurance that their arbitral tribunals function fairly and effectively. Through the HKIAC’s innovative initiative seeking detailed feedback from parties, this institution is creating tools to ensure that it can meet that challenge.” – Catherine Rogers, Founder and CEO of Arbitrator Intelligence
Consumers of arbitration services are increasingly sophisticated, demanding and cost-conscious. In recent years, great scrutiny has been placed on arbitration procedure and the behaviour of arbitrators and counsel, so as to identify and eliminating wasteful practices. As revealed in a 2010 Queen Mary International Arbitration Survey, corporations are inclined towards greater transparency regarding arbitrator performance and availability. Results of the survey indicate that 75% of the respondents would have wanted to assess the performance of arbitrators and that 76% of them would like to report their evaluations to the relevant arbitral institution.
As part of its commitment to maintain the highest standards in dispute resolution services, a leading arbitral institution has developed a confidential consumer evaluation system, allowing consumers to rate their satisfaction with the services rendered. Utilising this innovative feedback system, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) now allows its users (disputants and arbitrators) to evaluate the conduct of their arbitral proceedings and the performance of the tribunal.
The evaluation system includes eight forms designed for parties, arbitrators or emergency arbitrators in various types of proceedings, which take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. A party to an HKIAC-administered arbitration or an ad hoc arbitration conducted at HKIAC can also rate its satisfaction with the qualifications of the arbitral tribunal or emergency arbitrator. These include the general level of preparation, familiarity with the applicable laws and rules, the ability to facilitate a fair, neutral and effective process, case management, communication and decision-making skills. In addition, an arbitrator or emergency arbitrator will be able to give feedback on the performance of fellow arbitrators when relevant.
The completed feedback will be submitted to HKIAC in the strictest confidence, although HKIAC will retain the right to publish statistics based on the information compiled. In such circumstances, all identifying factors such as names and case details will be withheld, to allow users to provide honest feedback while ensuring that the independent decision making of an arbitrator or emergency arbitrator is not affected.
In order to protect the reputation and indeed the legitimacy of international arbitration, it is important for key actors to constantly innovate in a legal and commercial landscape that is ever-evolving. The HKIAC’s innovative feedback system is a simple testament to its dedication to being a leading arbitration centre both in the region and globally.
This article may be cited as follows: Pimvipa Kunanusorn and Jiayan Wang “Satisfaction Evaluation System; An Innovation by the HKIAC”, International Arbitration Asia (3 August 2015) <http://www.internationalarbitrationasia.com/?p=1587>.
 Joerg Risse, Ten Drastic Proposals for Saving Time and Costs in Arbitral Proceedings (2013) Journal of the London Court of International Arbitration Vol. 29 No. 3 < http://www.globalarbitrationreview.com/cdn/files/gar/articles/Arbitration_International_article.pdf>.