Chin Leng Lim


Tel: +44 (0)20 7544 2600

Chin Lim is based in Hong Kong. He has advised and acted for governments, corporations or individuals in complex commercial, foreign investment and treaty matters. Chin has particular experience in negotiating, drafting and interpreting treaties, and in advising on how commercial and investment treaties apply to and affect contractual obligations, investments and business operations. This has included advice on territorial application or where reservations, declarations and treaty succession issues have been involved. He has acted as counsel, arbitrator and expert in international arbitrations conducted under ICC, UNCITRAL, HKIAC, LCIA and SIAC rules. He has been nominated to act as presiding arbitrator, co-arbitrator, and sole arbitrator and accepts all appointments through Chambers.

Types of work have included:

  • Acting as sole arbitrator under
    • UNCITRAL Rules, Australasian and Far Eastern parties (manufacturing and cross-border sale)
    • UNCITRAL Rules, various Far Eastern parties (cross-border finance)
    • UNCITRAL Rules, a multi-party arbitration involving various Far Eastern and Caribbean parties (security over shares, assignment of a secured loan and guarantee)
    • Institutional rules, various Far Eastern parties (international sale of goods)
    • Institutional rules, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern parties (energy, upstream oil and gas, consultancy services)
  • Acting for a global fund in resisting the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment in a Middle Eastern conduit jurisdiction (hundreds of millions USD)
  • Acting for a mining company in a shareholder dispute in a DIFC-LCIA arbitration (tens of millions USD)
  • Assisting in a construction dispute in an ICC arbitration seated in the Middle East (tens of millions USD)
  • Giving expert opinion on public international law and the law of a Model Law jurisdiction in a dispute brought before international arbitration and seated in the Far East (hundreds of millions USD)
  • Giving expert opinion on private international law in a complex commercial and financial dispute in the Far East (tens of millions USD)
  • Advice on a foreign investment dispute with a governmental authority
  • Advice on the arbitration agreement in an international distribution contract
  • Advice on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods
  • Advice on a cross-border investment in the Far East
  • Advice on sovereign sanctions and their application to commercial dealings
  • Advice on a Far Eastern bilateral treaty
  • Advising a national government on issues arising from on-going multilateral commercial and investment treaty negotiations
  • Advising the Hong Kong Commerce Secretary for the Committee on Pacific Economic Co-operation
  • Advising a national government in a maritime boundary/energy resource matter
  • Acting as counsel for a national government, particularly in commercial and investment treaty negotiations
  • Serving as a UN lawyer at the United Nations Compensation Commission in Geneva, dealing with both sovereign and private claims following the first Gulf War

Chin is a Malaysian national. In addition to his practice as a barrister at the Bar of England and Wales he is also called to the Singapore Bar and admitted to the List of Arbitrators of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), the Singapore International Arbitration Centre’s (SIAC’s) Reserve Panel of Arbitrators, and the panels of arbitrators of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), the Asian International Arbitration Centre (KLRCA/AIAC) in Kuala Lumpur, the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (SHIAC), and the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA). He is appointed to the European Commission’s list of arbitration chairpersons for the EU’s disputes under its bilateral free trade agreements and was a member of the AIAC’s Rules Revision Committee in respect of the 2021 Arbitration Rules. Chin combines practice at the Bar with being, since 2017, the Choh-Ming Li Professor of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His publications include the Cambridge Companion to International Arbitration with a Foreword by Lord Neuberger (Cambridge University Press, 2021), and Lim, Ho and Paparinskis, International Investment Law and Arbitration with a new Foreword by Emmanuel Gaillard (Cambridge University Press, 2d. ed., 2021) which has been cited by the highest appellate courts in India, Colombia, and Singapore. He is also a Visiting Professor at King’s College London, an Honorary Senior Fellow of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, and a member of the editorial board of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly. Chin was elected an associé of the Institut de Droit International in 2021, whose membership comprises some of the world’s leading international lawyers, and has lectured at the Hague Academy of International Law. He is currently attending UNCITRAL Working Group III’s deliberations on the reform of investor-State dispute settlement on behalf of an observer entity and was nominated by the ICC Institute in Paris to UNIDROIT’s current Working Group on International Investment Contracts.

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