We had the honour of entertaining six judges, including Judge Lang, Vice President of the Appeal Court and Judge Mao, President of the Court of First Instance, from the Chinese province of Hangzhou, during their recent visit to Edinburgh.
Hangzhou is well known as the home of Alibaba, who in 2014 became a public company in the largest IPO of all time. The visiting judges, some of whom have worked alongside Alibaba’s charismatic owner, Jack Ma, thoroughly enjoyed an introduction to the city and its legal traditions, with Iain Clark, our Head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution, and Simon Fong, of our Residential Conveyancing Team providing them with a guided tour of Edinburgh, including the University and the courts.
The group were excited to hear first-hand about Simon’s experiences studying at Edinburgh University, including the various extra-curricular activities, such as The Mooting Society, as well as the various social events organised by the law schools; and in particular how the international environment allowed him to make lifelong friends from across the world.
The tour continued with a walk along Chambers Street, where the group saw the offices of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the Sheriff Court. When the visitors asked about the statue of David Hume, Simon suggested a comparison to the ‘Confucius of Scotland’, which amused and interested the visiting judges in equal measure.
The group then met up with Iain at Parliament Square, when he provided them with an insight into his expertise, as well as hosting a tour of the Court of Session. The judges were excited to hear about his experiences working as a Solicitor Advocate appearing before the courts and his knowledge of various legal traditions, such as ‘pacing’, in which client and their legal advisers talk in confidence by ‘pacing’ up and down Parliament Hall. Under Iain’s guidance, the group were also able to enter one of the courts and observe a hearing.
The visit concluded with the judges returning to our office at 29 Rutland Square, to meet with our Managing Partner, Glen Gilson; our Business Development Director, Ricky Cowan; Shirley Li-Ting, our Senior Associate in our Corporate and Business Restructuring & Recovery Teams; and some others. The group discussed International Arbitration at length, and Iain Clark effectively hosted an impromptu Q&A session on questions raised by the judges concerning the enforcement of Awards (the Decisions in International Arbitrations) and related matters.
Iain Clark said “It was an honour for us to meet and host the visiting judges to discuss current issues in international arbitration, as well as providing an opportunity for us to explore future business development. We are already in correspondence and discussing a potential return trip to China.”
Iain K Clark is a Solicitor Advocate, ranked as a recommended lawyer in the Legal 500 2016 Guide, who ‘‘specialises in high-value international arbitration, particularly in areas such as construction, renewables, and oil and gas.’’ As Partner and Head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution at Gilson Gray LLP, Glasgow and Edinburgh, he led the team to win the Litigation Firm of the Year at the Law Awards of Scotland 2016. He was also UK Winner of the ILO Client Choice Award 2013 for Arbitration and UK Winner of the ACQ Global Award 2013 for Leading Arbitration Lawyer of the Year. Known for going the extra mile for clients, he is a highly motivated and proactive specialist, with a wealth of practical experience and knowledge. He is also the author of an essential guide to international arbitration, Pleading in Arbitration: A Practitioner’s Guide, just published in its 2nd Edition by Sweet & Maxwell/W Green & Sons.
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