These Rules are published by the Law Society of Hong Kong and can be applied to mediations conducted by the Law Society's Panel of Mediators.


Mediation under these Rules is a confidential, non-adversarial and co-cooperative decision-making process in which a qualified and impartial third party, “the mediator”, helps parties resolve their disputes. The mediator has no advisory or determinative role in regard to the content of the dispute or the outcome of its resolution. The parties to a dispute, with the facilitation of the mediator, identify the disputed issues, develop options, consider alternatives and endeavour to reach a voluntary settlement based upon sufficient information and legal advice for each party.

Application of Rules

These Rules apply to the mediation of present or future disputes where the parties seek amicable settlement of such disputes and where, either by stipulation in their contract or by agreement, they have agreed that these Rules shall apply. The parties may agree to vary these Rules at any time.

Initiation of the Mediation Process

If a dispute arises, a party may request the initiation of mediation by delivering a written request for mediation to the other party or parties. Such request for mediation shall contain a brief self-explanatory statement of the nature of the dispute, the quantum in dispute (if any), the rules to be adopted, the proposed venue and its estimated costs, the proposed date and time of the mediation meetings and nominating a mediator or mediators thought suitable.

Response to Request for Mediation



  1. A party or parties who receive a request for mediation shall notify any other party within 14 days after receipt of the request whether any mediator nominated is acceptable. Failure by any party to reply within 14 days shall be treated as a refusal to mediate.
  2. Where the parties put forward differing proposals in the request and response, the parties should attempt to reach agreement on the proposals on which they differ as soon as practicable. Any agreement consequent upon such discussion should be reduced into writing in a minute signed by the parties or their solicitors.

Appointment of the Mediator

Where the parties agree on a mediator and the proposed mediator is willing to serve, the mediation shall then proceed in accordance with these Rules. If the parties fail to agree within the time stipulated in Rule 4 they will notify the Law Society who shall appoint a single accredited mediator who is prepared to serve and is not disqualified under Rule 6.

Disqualification of Mediator

No person shall act as mediator in any dispute in which that person has any financial or personal interest in the result of the mediation except by written consent of the parties. Before accepting an appointment, the proposed mediator shall disclose to the parties (and to the Law Society if the Law Society has made the appointment under Rule 5) any prior dealings with either of the parties or any circumstances likely to create a presumption of bias or prevent a prompt resolution of the dispute. Upon receipt of the information the Law Society shall immediately communicate the information to the parties for their comments. If any party takes objection to the proposed mediator within seven (7) days he shall not be appointed. In such case the Law Society shall nominate another suitable accredited mediator.

The Mediation Process

The mediator shall commence the mediation as soon as possible after his appointment and shall use his best endeavours to conclude the mediation within 42 days of his appointment. His appointment shall not extend beyond a period of three months without the consent of all parties.

Role of the Mediator

The mediator may conduct the mediation in such manner as he considers appropriate, taking into account the circumstances of the case, the wishes of the parties and the need for a speedy settlement of the dispute.

Role of the Parties

The mediator may communicate with the parties together or with any party separately, including private meetings, and each party shall co-operate with the mediator. A party may request a private meeting with the mediator at any time. The parties shall give full assistance to enable the mediation to proceed and be concluded within the time stipulated.


Subject to the consent of both parties, the parties may be represented or assisted by persons of their choice. Such persons must sign a separate confidentiality agreement and agree to abide by these Rules. Each party shall notify in advance the names and the role of such persons to the mediator and the other party. Each party shall have full authority to settle or be accompanied by a person with such authority.

Termination of the Mediation

The mediation process shall come to end:-
  1. Upon the signing of a settlement agreement by the parties.
  2. Upon the written advice of the mediator after consultation with the parties that in his opinion further attempts at mediation are no longer justified.
  3. Upon written notification by any party at any time to the mediator and the other parties that the mediation is terminated.



  1. Mediation is a private and confidential process. Every document, communication or information disclosed by any party for the purpose of or related to the mediation process shall be disclosed on a privileged and without prejudice basis and no privilege or confidentiality shall be waived by such disclosure. Confidentiality also extends to the settlement agreement except where its disclosure is necessary for implementation or enforcement. The parties shall not rely on or introduce as evidence in any subsequent judicial or arbitral proceedings:-
    1. any oral or written exchanges within the mediation made in connection with any mediation conducted under these Rules between a party and the mediator or between any party;
    2. any views expressed or suggestions made within the mediation either by the mediator or a party in respect of a possible settlement of the dispute;
    3. any admission made by a party in connection with any mediation conducted under these Rules;
    4. the fact that a party had or had not indicated a willingness to accept any suggestion or proposal for settlement by the mediator or by any party; and
    5. any documents brought into existence for the purpose of the mediation including any notes or records made in connection with any mediation conducted under these rules by the mediator or a party.
    provided that when any party enforces a settlement agreement any party may call evidence of the settlement agreement including evidence from the Mediator and any other person engaged in the mediation.

  1. Nothing that transpires during the course of the mediation is intended to or shall in any way affect the rights or prejudice the position of the parties to the dispute in any subsequent arbitration, adjudication or litigation, and without derogating from the generality of the foregoing and merely by way of examples:-
    1. the fact that information of whatsoever nature was available to the mediator, does not mean that privilege or confidentiality is waived for any subsequent litigation, arbitration or adjudication; and
    2. the fact that the accuracy of information or the validity or meaning of documents was not challenged during the mediation does not preclude challenge in subsequent litigation, arbitration or adjudication.


  1. Unless otherwise agreed, each party shall bear its own costs regardless of the outcome of the mediation or of any subsequent arbitral or judicial proceedings. Subject to any agreement to the contrary, all other costs and expenses shall be borne equally by the parties and the parties shall be jointly and severally liable to pay to the mediator such costs, including:-
    1. the mediator's fees and expenses;
    2. expenses for any witness or expert advice or opinion requested by the mediator with the consent of the parties; and
    3. any administrative costs in support of the mediation including the Law Society's costs.

  1. The mediator may at any time during the mediation require the parties to make deposits to cover any anticipated fees and expenses and suspend the process until such deposit is made.

  1. Any surplus funds deposited shall be returned to the parties at the conclusion of the mediation.

Exclusion of Liability

The parties jointly and severally release, discharge and indemnify the mediator and the Law Society in respect of all liability whatsoever, whether involving negligence or not, from any act or omission in connection with or arising out of or relating in any way to any mediation conducted under these Rules, save for the consequences of fraud or dishonesty.