Keynote speakers

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The Honourable Justice David Hammerschlag (Sydney, Australia)

Case Managing Building Litigation During COVID 19: Will We Go Back To The Way We Were?

Kindly sponsored by Dentons Kensington Swan

Justice Hammerschlag was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He did his articles of clerkship with a leading commercial firm where he was later admitted to partnership. While completing his two years full time compulsory military service in the South African Defence Force he was a military law advisor in which capacity he appeared in numerous courts martial. David was called to the South African Bar in 1982. He emigrated with his wife and two young children to Australia in 1986. David worked for the law firm now known as Herbert Smith Freehills and was admitted to the partnership in 1988. He was called to the New South Wales Bar in 1991 and took silk in 2000. He was a founder member and later Chairman of 11 St James Hall Chambers. David appeared in major commercial disputes and white collar criminal prosecutions, and in the HIH Royal Commission and the Orange Grove ICAC Inquiry. His Honour was appointed to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2007 and sat initially in the General List of the Equity Division. He was appointed Corporations List Judge in 2008 and head of the Commercial List and the Technology and Construction List in 2009. He is also the Commercial Arbitration List Judge. He has occasionally sat on the Court of Appeal and the Court of Criminal Appeal. He is the author of Hammerschlag’s Commercial Court Handbook LexisNexis Butterworths 2019.

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Sarah Grimmer, Secretary General, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (Hong Kong)

Kindly sponsored by Berkeley Research Group (BRG)

Sarah Grimmer is Secretary-General of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. She was formerly Senior Legal Counsel at the PCA where she served as tribunal secretary in multiple investor-State arbitrations and was appointed registrar in several inter-State arbitrations. Prior to joining the PCA, Sarah served for three years as Assistant Counsel at the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris. She was also a member of the international arbitration group at Shearman & Sterling LLP in Paris, prior to which she worked in private practice in Auckland. In 2015, Sarah was appointed to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Disciplinary Board. She is a member of the ICCA-ASIL Task Force on Damages (2016), ICCA Publications Committee (2015), the IBA Investment Arbitration Subcommittee (2014), New Zealand ICC Arbitration Committee (2014), and the IBA Arb40 Steering Committee (2013). She has an LLM from Cambridge University and an LLB/BA (Criminology) from Victoria University of Wellington. She is admitted to practice law in New Zealand.

Chinese outbound investment in the Pacific region and international dispute resolution

This keynote speech will explore Chinese outbound investment across the Pacific including New Zealand with a focus on infrastructure and construction. It will focus on issues in international dispute resolution that arise as a result of such investment. Drawing on the experience of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre which specialises in disputes between Mainland Chinese and non-Chinese parties, the discussion will address contractual and treaty-based dispute resolution options; the significance of the choice of seat of arbitration, particularly in obtaining interim relief from the Mainland Chinese courts; and enforcement in cases involving Chinese counter-parties, including Chinese State-Owned Enterprises.

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Justice Susan Thomas (New Zealand)

Kindly sponsored by Badcock Law

Justice Susan Thomas is currently the Chief High Court Judge.

Justice Thomas was appointed to the High Court in 2014, sitting for three years in Auckland before relocating to Wellington where she is now based. As chair of the Judicial Reference Group she worked with the Ministry of Justice, planning for and overseeing technological innovation within the courts. She has also taken a leadership role in work underway within the justice system to improve access to justice and to improve the courts’ processes in the area of criminal justice.

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Sean Brady (Australia)

Implicit Assumptions

Kindly sponsored by Simpson Grierson

Sean is a forensic engineer and the managing director of Brady Heywood. He works with business, government and the legal sector to understand and resolve complex issues that typically require a whole of system approach.

Sean has acted as an expert witness in numerous proceedings involving a wide range of constructed facilities. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer, a Fellow of Engineers Australia, a director of the Society of Construction Law Australia and a member of the Singapore International Mediation Centre’s Panel of Experts.

In 2020 he completed the Brady Review, an investigation into the causes of fatalities in the mining industry in Queensland, Australia. This review analysed 20 years of incident and fatality information, was data driven, and culminated in 11 recommendations for both industry and the regulator on how to lower the fatality and incident rate.

He also speaks, podcasts, and writes on the subjects of failure, human behaviour, data analytics and engineering disasters.