Top 10 Influential Arbitrators for Mainland China-seated Arbitrations in 2023

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Arbitration law remains one of the most intriguing and dynamic practices in the Chinese legal landscape, given its direct impact on companies doing business in Asia’s largest economy. The popularity of arbitration is steadily increasing, with many firms opting for this method of dispute resolution over traditional litigation. In this piece, we highlight some of the most in-demand arbitrators in Mainland China – legal professionals who have demonstrated exceptional acumen in handling complex, high-stake arbitrations. These professionals were chosen based on their performance, professional accomplishments and reputations in the industry.

The arbitrators we feature are known not only for their mastery of arbitration laws and principles, but for their vast experience in diverse industries and their specialization in forms of dispute that are particularly relevant to China’s corporate and commercial landscape. They exhibit top-notch efficiency and impartiality, consistently providing sound judgments and contributing positively to the arbitration process.

Whether tapped for their experience in financial matters, their expertise in construction-related cases or their adeptness at handling cross-border elements, these arbitrators enjoy a solid reputation in the industry for good reason. What follows is a closer look at the most in-demand arbitrators in Mainland China, their primary affiliations and their specializations. Keep in mind that we have included only arbitrators based out of Mainland China, and the list is not exhaustive.

Xiuming Tao

Xiuming Tao is a highly respected partner at JunZeJun Law Offices and is supremely experienced in finance and structured finance matters. Tao has proven himself competent in a variety of disputes, particularly those related to asset management, bond repurchase, securities lending and private equity investment and derivatives. His name is warmly endorsed by institutions such as CIETAC, BAC, SHIAC and SCIA.

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Jingzhou Tao

Hailing from Arbitration Chambers Hong Kong, Jingzhou Tao is one of the most recognized figures in international arbitration cases. Tao spent many years in private practice before becoming an independent arbitrator, and his extensive knowledge and experience have seen him preferred as an arbitrator by arbitration panels such as HKIAC, SIAC, CIETAC, BAC, the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association and the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board International.

Song Lu

As a professor in the Department of International Law at China Foreign Affairs University, Lu Song mixes academic research with practical expertise. He has over three decades of arbitration experience and is lauded for his effective combination of theory and practicality. He is on the panel of CIETAC, BAC, SHIAC and SCIA, and also serves as an expert member in the China International Commercial Court.

Guangbin Liu

Guangbin Liu wears many hats – in addition to leading Beijing’s Guangdong Guanghe Law Firm, Liu maintains an active corporate and commercial practice. He is regularly appointed as a presiding arbitrator by various arbitration centres and committees, particularly CIETAC. His impartiality is highly commended, further enhancing his reputation as an effective arbitrator in disputes relating to trade mark and trade secrets.

Li Shen

Li Shen from Grandall Law Firm brings a compelling combination of judiciary, business, and private practice knowledge to his arbitration proceedings. He often acts as an arbitrator with SHIAC, Shanghai Arbitration Commission, SCIA and CIETAC, specializing in finance and investment disputes, with a focus on shareholding and bond issues.

Fang Li

Formerly a partner at Tian Yuan Law Firm, Fang Li has a broad area of expertise, which includes international investment, M&A, tax, and financial securities. His prowess has seen him called upon as an arbitrator in numerous domestic arbitration tribunals, particularly CIETAC and SCIA.

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Hang Zhao

At Commerce & Finance Law Offices (Tongshang), Hang Zhao largely deals with construction-related arbitration and often serves as the sole or presiding arbitrator in cases. Zhao is also adept at handling cross-border elements and regularly performs as an arbitrator at CIETAC, BAC, SHIAC and SCIA. He is fluent in German, allowing him to undertake appointments by the Chinese European Arbitration Centre.

Kaixiang Liu

Kaixiang Liu is a well-respected professor at Peking University Law School, renowned for his in-depth knowledge and expertise in various legal practice areas. Liu is active in his role as an arbitrator with CIETAC and Singapore International Arbitration Centre, contributing significantly to the arbitration scene in China.

Jing Gu

Gleaning from his experience at W&H Law Firm, Jing Gu specializes in dealing with contentious issues related to construction, real estate, financing and equity investment. As one of the leading figures at SHIAC and Shanghai Arbitration Commission, Gu is often appointed as the presiding arbitrator in domestic proceedings involving investors and investees.

Helena Chen

Helena Chen from Chen & Chang, Attorneys-at-Law is well recognized in her role as the sole arbitrator, chair or co-arbitrator in cases conducted by CIETAC, BAC, SHIAC, SCIA and ICC. Helena is a construction and infrastructure specialist who wins plaudits by sources for her case management skills and depth of experience. She is also active as an emergency arbitrator in international arbitration proceedings.


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