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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

Alternative Dispute Resolution


Structurally, the processes of dispute resolution are either (1) consensual like negotiation, consultation and mediation, or (2) adjudicative like arbitration, World Trade Organization (WTO)-style preferred solution and litigation. On the other hand, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is referred to processes resolving disputes without a court trial. Thus ADR includes a wide range of dispute settlement processes.

I was called to the Hong Kong Bar in 1985 and litigated. I also did some trademark-related hearings from the late 1990s until I ceased active service as Hong Kong, China's first professional Director of Intellectual Property in 2014. Since 2016, I have been doing some arbitration cum mediation work in Shenzhen, China, applying mainland Chinese law and institutional rules and procedures.

On negotiation and consultation, I was Hong Kong, China's chief negotiator for the intellectual property chapters in Hong Kong, China's first bilateral free trade agreement with New Zealand 2010, and Hong Kong, China's first regional free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Area 2012. Deploying my effective persuasion skills, I settled differences and prevented their entrenchment. Agreements advancing mutual interests were reached in the end.

As a WTO Dispute Settlement Panelist, I was a Panel Member in settling two international disputes: United States v European Communities - Protection of Trademarks and Geographical Indications for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs (WT/DS 174) 2005, and Australia v European Communities - Protection of Trademarks and Geographical Indications for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs (WT/DS 290) 2005. In addition to settling the substantive disputes, I suggested and pioneered the unwritten preliminary hearing practice and procedure. And I also played a pivotal role in settling differences within the Panel itself!

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