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Neil Kaplan

International Arbitrator

Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS is a British subject who has been engaged for over 40 years in dispute resolution as a barrister in England, a government lawyer in Hong Kong, a practising Queen’s Counsel in Hong Kong, and a Judge of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong in charge of the Construction and Arbitration List.

Since 1995, Neil has practised solely as an international arbitrator.


Address Arbitration Chambers Hong Kong
Chinachem Hollywood Centre,
Suite 803,
1 Hollywood Road, Central
Hong Kong
Arbitral Clerk arbitration@neil-kaplan.com


Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS

Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS has been a full-time practising arbitrator since 1995. During this period he has been involved in several hundred arbitrations as co-arbitrator, sole arbitrator or chairman. These arbitrations have included a wide range of commercial, infrastructural and investment treaty disputes under the rules of the ICC, HKIAC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, SIAC, SCC, ICSID and CIETAC. Mr. Kaplan has also presided over ad hoc arbitrations as well as bilateral investment treaty cases administered by the PCA.

Called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1965, Neil has practised as a barrister, Principal Crown Counsel at the Hong Kong Attorney General’s Chambers and served as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong in charge of the Construction and Arbitration List.

In June 2001 Neil was awarded a CBE for services to international arbitration. In 2007 he was awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR.

As a result of his contribution to the development and growth of arbitration in Hong Kong, Neil is often described as “the father of Hong Kong arbitration”. (See C. Bao and F. Lautenschlager (eds.), Arbitrators’ Insights – Essays in Honour of Neil Kaplan, Sweet & Maxwell 2012, at p. 17, and V. Chong, “The Father of Hong Kong Arbitration”, The Hong Kong Lawyer, December 2012, at pp. 15-24.)

From 1991 until 2004, he was Chairman of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, and in 1999-2000 he was President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  Since 1995, he has been a Council Member and now Governing Board Member of the International Council of Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) and in 2012 he became a Member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. He is a Chartered Arbitrator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators and the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators.  Additionally, he is a panellist of several other arbitral institutions including CIETAC.

Neil has published a number of books, articles and chapters in books.  See a list of his main publications here.

In addition to conducting arbitrations in England and Hong Kong, Mr. Kaplan has also conducted arbitrations in:

The Netherlands

The Phillipines

South Africa


Career & Key Positions Held

1965 Called to the Bar of England and Wales
1965-1980 Practised at the London Bar from Chambers at 1 Garden Court, Temple
1979 Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
1980-1982 Deputy Principal Crown Counsel, Attorney General’s Chambers, Hong Kong, with special responsibility for civil litigation
1982 Queen’s Counsel for Hong Kong
1982-1983 Principal Crown Counsel (Deputy Law Officer on Civil Side – Acting Solicitor-General and Crown Solicitor on occasions)
1983 Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in the State of Victoria, Australia
1984 Returned to private practice at the Hong Kong Bar. Founder and Head of Des Voeux Chambers
1984- Justice of the Peace for Hong Kong
1984-1987 Chairman of the Hong Kong Branch, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
1985- Council Member of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
1986 Admitted to the New York Bar
1988-1989 Chairman of the Hong Kong Branch, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
1990-1994 High Court Judge for Hong Kong (Judge in Charge of Construction and Arbitration List, Member of Judicial Studies Board, Chairman of the Committee to examine court annexed mediation and related topics)
1991 Bencher of the Inner Temple
1991-2004 Chairman of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
1992-1998 Overseas Vice-President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
1995-2000 Chairman of the Disputes Review Board for Hong Kong’s new airport at Chek Lap Kok
1995-1997 Visiting Professor, Faculty of Law, City University of Hong Kong
1995- Council Member and now Governing Board Member of the Council of the International Council of Commercial Arbitration (ICCA)
1997-2006 Chairman of the Release under Supervision Board of Hong Kong
1999-2006 Chairman of the WTO Review Panel for Hong Kong
1999 Chartered Arbitrator
1999-2000 President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
2000- Deputy Chairman of the Hong Kong Telecommunications Appeal Tribunal
2004- Honorary Professor, City University Hong Kong
2007-2013 Chair of Telecommunications (Competition Provisions) Appeal Board of Hong Kong
2009-Feb 2012 International Arbitration Adviser to Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Hong Kong
2012-Apr 2013 International Arbitration Adviser to King & Wood Mallesons, Hong Kong
2012- HK Member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration
May 2013- Self-employed International Arbitrator



1964 Bachelor of Laws degree
1961-1964 King’s College, University of London (Law)
1956-1961 St Paul’s School, London



2001 Awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for services to international arbitration
2007 Awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR


Publications & Lectures


1985 Co-authored chapter on Hong Kong Arbitration for Year Book of International Commercial Arbitration
1986- Author of numerous articles on arbitration and speaker at various conferences and seminars worldwide. Publications include articles in Journal of International Arbitration, Arbitration, American Review of International Arbitration
1991 Kaplan, Spruce & Cheng’s Hong Kong Arbitration – Cases and Materials, Butterworths
1993 ICCA report on Hong Kong’s New Arbitration Law
1994 Kaplan, Spruce & Moser’s Arbitration in Hong Kong and China, Butterworths
2002 Alvarez, Kaplan and Rivkin’s Model Law Decisions – Cases Applying the UNCITRAL Model Law, Kluwer
2004 General Editor of Arbitration in Hong Kong: A Practical Guide, Thomson – Sweet & Maxwell
2011 Co-authored ICCA’s Guide to the Interpretation of the 1958 New York Convention: A Handbook for Judges, Permanent Court of Arbitration
2013 Co-authored the Hong Kong Report in ICCA’s International Handbook on Commercial Arbitration, Kluwer
2016 Winter of Discontent – Pinsent Masons Lecture given on 24 November 2016
2016 Decision on Costs – A Mind field for Arbitrators and Uncertainty for Participants – Harbour Lecture given on 19 October 2016
2017 I Rest My Case: Neil Kaplan – A Memoir


From 1990 to 1994, Neil Kaplan was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong.

During this period, he was the Judge in charge of the Construction and Arbitration List and issued over fifty judgments in arbitration-related cases.


Tiong Huat Rubber Factory (SDN) BHD v Wah Chang International (China) Co Ltd and Another – 28 November 1990


Yee Sang Metal and Building Supplies Co Ltd v Shanghai Jin Jiang Shipping Corporation Ltd – 30 January 1991
Unistress Buildings Construction Ltd v Humphrey’s Estate (Forrestdale) Ltd – 30 May 1991
Yieldworth Engineers v Arnhold & Co Ltd – 11 September 1991
Vianini Lavori SPA v Attorney General – 13 December 1991
Fung Sang Trading Ltd v Kai Sun Sea Products & Food Co Ltd – 29 October 1991


Ho Kwok Hung ta Kim Kwok Co. v Hung Dat Trading Co. and Others – 24 February 1992
Icos Vibro Ltd v SFK Construction Management Ltd and Another – 26 February 1992
China State Construction Engineering Corporate Guangdong Branch v Madiford Ltd – 2 March 1992
Shenzhen Nan Da Industrial and Trade United Co Ltd v FM International Ltd – 2 March 1992
Vianini Lavori SPA v The Hong Kong Housing Authority – 6 March 1992
Ming Kee Shipping Service Co Ltd v Autogain Ltd and Another – 30 April 1992
J.J. Agro Industries (P) Ltd (A Firm) v Texuna International Ltd – 27 May 1992
Zhejiang Province Garment Import and Export Co v Siemssen & Co (Hong Kong) Trading Ltd – 2 June 1992
Katran Shipping Co Ltd v Kenven Transportation Ltd – 29 June 1992
Schindler Lifts (Hong Kong) Ltd. V Shui On Construction Co Ltd – 2 July 1992
Pacific International Lines (PTE) Ltd and Another v Tsinlien Metals and Minerals Co Ltd – 6 July 1992
Wenden Engineering Service Co Ltd v Wing Hong Contractors Ltd – 30 July 1992
Cheung Wing Kong v Ma Chan Shing – 11 August 1992
Dickson Construction Co Ltd v Schindler Lifts (HK) Ltd and Another – 5 November 1992
Qinhuangdao Tongda Entreprise Development Co & Another v Million Basic Co Ltd – 17 December 1992
Philips Hong Kong Ltd v Hyundai Electronics Industries Co Ltd – 22 December 1992


Paklito Investment Ltd v Klockner East Asia Ltd – 4 January 1993
William Co v Chu Kong Agency Co Ltd and Another – 17 February 1993
Euro-America Insurance Ltd v Lite Best Co. Ltd – 11 February 1993
The Jardine Engineering Corporation Ltd and Others v Shimizu Corporation – 10 March 1993
China National Electronics Import & Export Shenzhen Co. v Choi Chuk Ming – 9 March 1993
T.S. Wong & Co Ltd v Compagnie Europeenne D’Assurances Industrielles SA – 21 May 1993
Lucky Goldstar International (HK) Limited v Ng Moo Kee Engineering Limited – 5 May 1993
Ananda Non-Ferrous Metals Ltd v China Resources Metals and Minerals Co Ltd – 22 June 1993
China Xinxing Corporation v Mid-Point Development Ltd – 4 August 1993
Anhui Provincial Chemicals Import & Export Corporation v Hua Qing (Hong Kong) Development Ltd – 19 October 1993
Safond Shipping SDN BHD v East Asia Sawmill Corp – 6 October 1993


Zhan Jiang E & T Dev Area Service Head Co. v An Hau Company Limited – 21 January 1994
Tianjin Medicine & Health Products Import & Export Corporation v J A Moeller (Hong Kong) Limited – 27 January 1994
Oonc Lines Limited v Sino American Trade Advancement Co Ltd – 2 February 1994
Jones Lang Wootton Limited v The Sun Plastic Supplies Limited – 28 March 1994
Joong and Shipping Co Ltd v Choi Chong Sick & Chu Gin Ho – 31 March 1994
H. Smal Limited v Goldroyce Garment Limited – 13 May 1994
Kenneth Ng Kin v The Hong Kong Football Association Ltd – 3 June 1994
Mayers v Dlugash – 10 June 1994
China Resources Metals and Minerals Co Ltd v Ananda Non-Ferrous Metals Ltd – 7 July 1994
China Nanhai Oil Joint Service Corporation Shenzhen Branch v Gee Tai Holdings Co Ltd – 13 July 1994
Big Island Construction (Hong Kong) Limited v Abdoolally Ebrahim & Co. (Hong Kong) Limited – 28 July 1994
Ryoden Engineering Co Ltd and Another v Paul Y. Construction Co Ltd – 31 July 1994
Vibroflotation A.G. v Express Builders Co Ltd – 15 August 1994
Astel-Peiniger Joint Venture v Argos Energineering & Heavy Industries Co Ltd – 18 August 1994
Nanjing Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Import & Export Corporation v Luckmate Commodities Trading Ltd – 16 September 1994
Gay Constructions Pty Ltd and Another v Caledonian Techmore (Building) Limited and Another – 17 November 1994
Y.F. Enterprises Limited v Wise Global Development Limited – 22 November 1994
Cannonway Consultants Limited v Kenworth Engineering Limited – 25 November 1994
York Airconditioning & Refrigeration Inc v Lam Kwai Hung – 16 December 1994

Kaplan Lecture


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Neil Kaplan
Arbitration Chambers Hong Kong
Chinachem Hollywood Centre,
Suite 803,
1 Hollywood Road, Central
Hong Kong