James Kwan is an International Arbitration partner in Hogan Lovells' Hong Kong office. He has extensive experience in arbitrations involving the infrastructure, engineering, energy, life sciences, chemicals and technology sectors. He has represented clients in arbitrations in Asia, the US, Middle East, and Europe under the major institutional and ad hoc rules, such as those of the ICC, HKIAC, SIAC, CIETAC, LCIA, AAA, DIAC, CAS and UNCITRAL.
James was awarded the Lexology Client Choice Award for Construction in 2020. He is recognised in legal directories as "best known for his tremendous skill in energy, infrastructure and construction disputes" (Chambers Global 2011), "'extremely good, quality lawyer', 'high profile', and 'a very fine practitioner' " (Who's Who Legal UAE 2008), and "singled out for his expertise in arbitration", "genuine arbitration specialist … he has a fine reputation." (Asia Pacific Legal 500 2010/2011/2012).
Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020 states that "clients appreciate that James Kwan 'provides solid advice and recommends courses of action that are very effective in dealing with the issues,' adding: 'He impressed us with his intelligent and structured approach to the case, his client focus and his hard work.'
Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020 endorses him as 'very hands-on'…an 'expert in arbitration' with 'great analytical skills'.
According to Who's Who Legal 2018, he is "esteemed for his work in construction arbitration across the world where he provides 'an excellent service' ", and his clients "consider him an expert on the tactical side of arbitration, drawing attention to his mindset of 'very good commercial thinking, insightful and strategic thinking, and analysis of the facts and dispute.' " (Chambers Asia Pacific 2018). Named as one of the Hot 100 Lawyers of 2011 by Asian Legal Business, he was described as "a world leader in arbitration and construction law", "has an intimate knowledge of the different arbitration models throughout the region" and "one of the finest international arbitration lawyers in Asia."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 states: "Clients recommend James Kwan for his 'thorough understanding of commercial disputes and arbitration,' along with his 'strategic thinking, research into key issues and structuring of arguments.' He has a focus on international commercial arbitration, with a track record of involvement in disputes relating to the infrastructure, energy and life sciences sectors."
According to Asia Pacific Legal 500 (2017 edition): "In December 2015, Hogan Lovells hired the 'particularly impressive' James Kwan, who is praised for his 'thorough commercial understanding and strategic thinking'. 'Excellent strategist' James Kwan, is 'extremely diligent and knowledgeable.'
Chambers Global 2016 states: "[James is] hailed by one source as a 'confident and reassuring' provider of 'very precise advice.' Chambers Asia Pacific 2015 states: "[James is] praised by both clients and peers as a commercially aware and highly active practitioner who 'knows his arbitration stuff' and 'fully understands the characteristics and requirements of the companies he represents', 'understands our business and what is important, which enables him to defend and respond effectively', according to clients."
James is the co-editor of Construction Arbitration in Hong Kong: A Practical Guide (Wolters Kluwer, 2015). He is the author of a chapter in The Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance Commentary and Annotations (Sweet & Maxwell, 2011) and Arbitration in China: A Practical Guide (Sweet & Maxwell, 2004).
At the crossroads of litigation and arbitration: restraining foreign litigation proceedings with an anti-suit injunctionVery often, parties to a contract may – whether intentionally or unintentionally – elect to disregard a binding agreement to arbitrate