Denys Hickey has been appointed to the VIAC Panel of Arbitrators, it has been announced.
After Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2007, a Law on Commercial Arbitration (LCA), based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, took effect on 1 January 2011. The LCA provides the option to agree on the law and language of arbitration proceedings, and the number of disputes handled by the most popular arbitration institution, VIAC, has risen steadily. VIAC has handled 862 cases, with 124 cases in 2014 alone, of which approximately 70% involved sales contracts and a non-Vietnamese party*.
Denys Hickey says: “It is an honour to have been included as one of the few foreign lawyers in the list of VIAC Panel Arbitrators, and I hope that I can help VIAC to continue to grow”.
As a leading local lawyer has stated:
‘’But two major operational pitfalls remain, which are preventing the development of local arbitration business. Firstly, most arbitration centres in Vietnam do not have enough available qualified arbitrators on their lists, especially in specialised areas such as energy or construction. Only a few VIAC arbitrators have a common law background (while a large number of inter-national transactions are governed by either English or Singapore law), and some of them do not use English. Very few local arbitrators are familiar with specialised dispute areas such as International Federation of Consulting Engineers Contracts or energy-related disputes, and some of them are said to be vulnerable to political influence due to their past or present position within, or related to, the government.’’*
Denys adds “My appointment adds expertise in relation to energy and oil and gas construction, and will I hope assist the further development of arbitration in Vietnam”.
*acknowledgments to Tony Nguyen and Alex Ho of EP Legal for the statistics and passages quoted from an article ‘’Arbitration prospects and pitfalls in Vietnam: Is it just the beginning?’’ dated 23/07/2015 and published on the VIAC website.