DTI Asia: More than 20 Years in Providing Localized Expert Arbitration Support Services

Merrill Asia
The globalization of business has definitely resulted in an increase in arbitration activity in Asia over the past few years. For example, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) has seen an increase of 20% from 2012-2013 in the number of cases fully administered by the HKIAC Secretariat, which represents a 97% increase from 2011.[1] The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has also seen a noticeable increase in the number of filings of international disputes since the mid-2000s — from 29 new filings in 2005, rising to 223 in 2013.[2]

None of this is a surprise to Merrill Asia, noted Kate Wyllie, Merrill’s Business Director in Hong Kong. “Merrill Asia has served the Asian arbitration market since we first opened our doors here in 1994,” she said. “We’ve witnessed tremendous growth taking place in Asian business and we’re excited to be part of this thriving region of the world.”

Since 1994, Merrill has worked extensively with Asia’s leading professional arbitration bodies including for example, the HKIAC, SIAC, the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB) and the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association (JCAA). Such organizations appreciate being able to recommend a provider such as Merrill to their clients. “With its responsiveness, attention to detail and customer-oriented service, Merrill has built an excellent reputation in Asia,” said Chiann Bao, Secretary-General of the HKIAC.

Merrill has grown its team considerably in the past two decades. “Our pool of real-time court reporters is the largest in the region, and we provide arbitration support to matters relating to the construction, shipping, energy, manufacturing, high tech, and insurance industries, amongst others,” Wyllie said.

Merrill’s client base includes many of the world’s leading law firms and multinational companies who value the extensive experience and breadth of services that Merrill’s Asia offices can provide, such as locally-based consecutive and simultaneous interpretation services as well as Chinese real-time court reporting.

Key Factors in Choosing Arbitration Support Services

As many legal professionals can attest, there is no better way to facilitate a smooth arbitration than drawing on local court reporting expertise to make it happen. Merrill Asia has, over the years, created a large team of resident reporters who are all native English speakers from the U.K, North America or Australia, yet have lived in Asia for several years. “These reporters work very efficiently because in addition to having unrivalled international experience, they’re already attuned to local accents and naming conventions,” Wyllie said. “They’ve also worked in many different locations throughout Asia. They know the territory and the ‘ins and outs’ of working in the jurisdictions here, which is a tremendous help to our clients.”

Full Back-Office and IT Support

When a firm’s visiting legal teams are thousands of miles from their home base, their usual support resources for document production, transcription and IT services are also many time zones away. Timing is critical and delays can be costly. It’s important to choose an arbitration support provider who has local operational staff to step in and help.

Merrill Asia has established fully equipped support offices in Hong Kong and Singapore that clients can take advantage of to streamline their own production processes. For example, many Merrill clients now upload their document sets to Merrill via the Internet to avoid the costly and cumbersome task of shipping them to Asia. Merrill’s office team produces the documents and delivers them to their client when they arrive. Merrill also provides integrated online document and transcription services so that clients can access and annotate their documents on their laptops.

Beyond Arbitration Support Services

Merrill Asia has worked hard to build decades-long relationships with many of its clients. Wyllie, who has lived in Asia for 19 years, is also proud of the work her team does to welcome newcomers to Asia’s arbitration centers. “Many first-time clients don’t know what to expect when coming to Asia,” she said. “We understand that and we’re here to help. Whether clients have questions about visa requirements, hotel or travel suggestions, or even where to find the best dim sum, we want to help them take advantage of all that Asia has to offer.”

An Active Supporter of the Legal Industry

Most recently, Merrill was proud to be a Bronze Sponsor at IPBA 2015, the annual conference for the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, held in Hong Kong, May 6-9, 2015. Also, on May 13, Merrill acted as the official transcriber at the Hong Kong Summit. We hope you had some time to stop by our booth and say hello! To find out more about our upcoming event schedule, please contact us at 800.735.6005 today.

[1] Chiann Bao, “International Arbitration in Asia on the Rise: Cause and Effect,”

[2] Mark Bezant, James Nicholson, Howard Rosen CPA, CA, CBV, FTI, “Trends in International Arbitration: A New World Order,” February 2015.

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