The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has opened an office in Shanghai, becoming the first non-Asian dispute resolution institution to do so.

The office will be in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and will be headed up by Mingchao Fan, who has been named regional director for North Asia.

The ICC has also named Abhinav Bhushan, who joins as regional director for South Asia. Both individuals will assume the duties of Sylvia Tee, the current regional director for all of Asia, who leaves at the end of March.

The Shanghai office will offer arbitration in ICC member disputes, with the ICC saying that there has been a 12% rise in Chinese member arbitrations in 2015. In 2014, the Supreme People’s Court of China twice upheld ICC arbitrations pertaining to cases in Shanghai and Beijing.

The ICC’s court president Alexis Mourre says: “The opening of our second regional office in Asia represents another milestone for court expansion in Asia and will facilitate our ambitions to further leverage the growth in demand for our services not only from arbitration users in China but across the entire region.”

Fan is currently the deputy director of the Supreme People’s Court Judicial Research Institute on the OBOR Initiatives and previously held roles at the Shanghai Arbitration Commission. He is also the deputy head for international affairs at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, as well as a panel arbitrator on the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board in Seoul.

Bhushan has been an ICC staffer since 2012, holding the role of deputy counsel at the International Court of Arbitration.

Fan says: “Establishing a representative office in Shanghai is an important step for the court that will help widen its geographical coverage and be a boost to visibility and relations with potential users not only in China but across the rest of North Asia. I am very excited to be part of this timely development.”