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Phone: (415) 318-6523

236 West Portal Avenue #129

San Francisco, CA 94127

Sally Harpole


Independent Arbitrator & Mediator

Current Employer:

Independent Arbitrator & Mediator

Areas of Expertise:

✔ Arts (Fine, Performing) ✔ Aviation
✔ Biotech ✔ Commercial/Business
✔ Contract Disputes ✔ Entertainment
✔ Franchise ✔ Industrial
✔ Intellectual Property ✔ International
✔ Joint Ventures ✔ Legal Malpractice
✔ Licensing ✔ Media & Communications
✔ Mergers & Acquisitions ✔ Pharmaceuticals
✔ Shareholder Disputes ✔ Technology
✔ Telecommunications ✔ Torts
✔ Trademarks ✔ Trade Secrets and Confidentiality Disputes


40 years of experience, as a lawyer based in Beijing and Hong Kong, now as an arbitrator and mediator in San Francisco. Has served as arbitrator in over 130 complex international commercial arbitration cases conducted under the UNCITRAL Rules as well as the rules of the following institutions: CIETAC, ICC, ICDR, HKIAC, KCAB, KLRCA, SCC, SHIAC and SIAC.

Work History:

Resided in Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei for 36 years. Chaired the China practices of multinational law firms in Beijing and Hong Kong from 1980 to 2001; in 2001 established own solicitor office in Hong Kong. Has served as arbitrator for international commercial disputes in Asia since 1990. As a lawyer, has extensive experience in Asia-based commercial, trade and investment transactions, intellectual property licensing, trade secrets, manufacturing, film and entertainment, hotel management and investment, corporation and shareholder matters and dispute resolution. Has served on the governing council of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), the Commission of CIETAC and the Executive Committee of the AAA Board of Directors. Co-chair, Arbitration Committee, International Bar Association (IBA) in 2008 and 2009. Founding member of the CIETAC International Board of Advisers.


Specializes in Asia-related complex commercial cases.


  • Harvard Law School Program for Instruction of Lawyers – Mediation Certificate
  • Straus Institute Advanced Mediation Training Certificate


State of California qualification to practice law (1978)
Hong Kong SAR, China qualification to practice law (2001) - currently non-practicing


President, American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China (elected by the Chamber members) for two terms in 1985 and 1986.
As an Arbitrator, recognized in the following lists:

  • Asia Pacific Legal 500,
  • Global Arbitration Review (GAR)
  • Top Arbitrators in Asia,
  • Top Women in Arbitration & Top 100 Arbitrators Worldwide.
CIETAC Honor Arbitrator (first non-Chinese arbitrator awarded with this distinction, in 2018) As a lawyer, recognized in Chamber’s Leading Lawyers – Asia Business & Arbitration categories.


  • Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC)
  • China Arbitration Association (CAA)
  • China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC)
  • CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, New York, New York
  • Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)
  • ICDR – American Arbitration Association (AAA), New York, New York
  • Japan Commercial Arbitration Association (JCAA)
  • Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB)
  • Kuala Lumpur Regional Center for Arbitration (KLRCA)
  • Shanghai Arbitration Commission
  • Shanghai International Arbitration Center (SHIAC)
  • Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)


Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - Chartered Arbitrator
International Bar Association (former Committee Co-chair, Arbitration Committee)


University of California, Berkeley A.B. (Phi Beta Kappa)
University of Washington School of Law, J.D.
University of East Asia, Macau, Chinese Law Certificate


General Editor and Special Editor of the CCH China Business Law Guide (1993 to 2002). Currently the reporter on arbitration in Mainland China and Hong Kong for the loose-leaf series, "International Commercial Arbitration in the 21st Century" (Lexis-Nexis). Also served on the Board of Editors of World Arbitration and Mediation Review. Has published numerous articles and book chapters on the subjects of direct investment, dispute resolution and other law topics relating to Hong Kong and Mainland China, which appeared in the ICC arbitration journal, the China Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Dispute Resolution International, The Asian Leading Arbitrators’ Guide to International Arbitration and China Business Disputes. Most recent publications: Contemporary Asia Arbitration Journal - "LANGUAGE IN INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION: A PRACTICAL APPROACH FOR INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION" and a review in the journal, Dispute Resolution International of "UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts" .


Fluent in Chinese, Spanish and English.
Adjunct Professor, UC Hastings College of the Law Website:

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