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Construction & Engineering Disputes

“They provided a top-notch service congruent with their reputation.”
– Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019

Overview

The Construction & Engineering Disputes Practice provides systematic and integrated legal services in response to client demands for legal advice on diverse construction-related issues. 

Our Practice strives to provide comprehensive legal advice in litigation, arbitration, administrative actions, and environmental disputes to help our clients make prompt and informed decisions in various construction-related disputes.  We provide a one-stop service because, among other reasons, our specialists possess the requisite expertise that is specific to the construction industry to effectively advise and represent our clients.  Notably, we have more than 30 attorneys, including litigators who previously served as judges or prosecutors as well as attorneys who specialize in the real estate & construction industry.  These attorneys work together with other professionals in the firm, including certified accountants as well as tax specialists to bring their industry-specific knowledge and expertise to bear on all construction-related cases.  

In addition to litigation and arbitration services, we also provide strategic consultation and advice to our clients to prevent and avoid potential disputes.  We are able to meet the needs of our clients because we have an in-depth understanding of their businesses and we provide solutions based on our close cooperation with our clients.

Key Servicesshow

The Construction & Engineering Disputes Practice provides legal advice and representation in litigation and arbitration cases related to diverse construction-related issues as discussed below. 


Legal Counsel and Representation in Civil and Criminal Litigation, Arbitration and Administrative Actions in the Construction Industry

The construction industry is unique in that it raises diverse and complex issues related to capital, technology, and human capital in a highly regulated environment.  We advise our clients in respect of various issues that they often face under various laws that regulate the construction industry such as the Framework Act on the Construction Industry, the Act on Public-Private Partnerships in Infrastructure, the Act on Contracts to which the State is a Party, the Housing Act, and the Building Act.  Furthermore, we represent our clients in construction-related disputes in civil/criminal litigation, domestic and international arbitration proceedings such as arbitration under the rules of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board, International Chamber of Commerce, and London Court of International Arbitration, administrative litigation, and administrative proceedings and appeals such as challenging restrictions on qualification for submission of bids in construction projects.


Domestic and Foreign Construction (Development) Business, Public-Private Partnership Project and Project Financing

Our Practice provides a wide range of legal services related to authorizations and permits for business development and public-private partnership projects.  We continue to provide the highest quality of legal services for all our clients, and with close cooperation with foreign law firms, where appropriate, we advise and guide our domestic clients, who are increasingly becoming more involved in foreign construction (development) businesses and projects, to achieve their objectives. 


Redevelopment Projects, Reconstruction Projects

Our Practice advises and represents our clients in various disputes related to housing redevelopment projects and housing reconstruction projects which often raise challenging issues under the Act on the Maintenance and Improvement of Urban Areas and Dwelling Conditions for Residents, the Housing Act, and the Building Act. 


Construction Safety Issues and Civil Complaints

We advise our clients in respect of civil complaints related to construction safety issues or construction-related incidents as well as preventive measures to guard against such issues and incidents.  We also represent our clients in related civil, criminal, and administrative actions.  


Claims Arising from Additional Construction, Construction Delay, and Construction Interference

We advise and represent our clients in cases involving claims arising from or related to unpaid construction fees, change in orders and scope of work, liquidated damages, defects, construction delay, etc. 


Litigation and Advice regarding Bidding for Government Construction Projects

We advise and represent our clients in disputes related to bid selection, etc. in connection with the government construction bidding process.


Taxation, Accounting, and Labor-Related Tasks

We advise and represent our clients in various matters involving, for example, labor ordinary wage disputes, tax investigations, and compliance issues.


Support in Reviewing and/or Drafting of Various Contracts

We review and draft construction-related contracts as well as advise our clients in respect of the related legal and commercial issues.

Key Experiencesshow

Our clients include construction companies, real estate development companies and other real estate & construction-related businesses. 

 

Recent matters that our Construction & Engineering Disputes Practice have worked on include the following:

 
  • In a case where a construction company was alleged to have violated the Act on the Aggravated Punishment, etc. of Specific Economic Crimes (breach of trust) based on its off-the-books funds, we successfully represented the construction company and obtained an acquittal on grounds that the funds were used for legitimate purposes such as public relations fees in connection with a turn-key project. 
  • In a case where a construction company was alleged to have violated the Act on the Aggravated Punishment, etc. of Specific Economic Crimes (breach of trust) based on its large-scale creation and use of off-the-books funds, we successfully represented the construction company and obtained an acquittal on grounds that the funds were used for legitimate purposes such as entertainment expenses.
  • In a case where a general contractor was investigated by the Financial Supervisory Service for alleged accounting fraud based on its failure to treat uncollected construction fees as bad debt, we successfully argued that such omission was not willful and avoided an investigation by the prosecutor’s office. 
  • In a case where we represented a client who sought to cancel an administrative measure that had prevented it from submitting bids for various construction projects due to its alleged bribery, we successfully obtained the requested cancellation of the administrative measure based on our argument that there was no direct provision of contributions to a public official, and that even assuming that such contributions were made through an intermediary, there was no meeting of the minds to establish bribery under the applicable law. 
  • In a case where we represented a client who sought to cancel an administrative measure that had prevented it from submitting bids for various construction projects due to its alleged collusion, we successfully obtained the requested cancellation of the administrative measure based on our argument that the Public Procurement Service did not have the right to limit bidding in projects where the local government was the client. 
  • We successfully obtained a preliminary injunction order against Incheon City, which owned the land and the building (i.e., Incheon General Terminal) where the Shinsegae Department Store was located, on grounds that certain transaction that Incheon City had contemplated was unfair and unreasonable. 
  • In a case where we represented a private corporation against KORAIL alleging wrongful termination of contract for the privatization of a railway station, we successfully obtained a preliminary injunction order to preserve the contractual relationship between the parties. 
  • In a case where our client was sanctioned under the Framework Act on the Construction Industry, we successfully obtained an order that cancelled the administrative sanction through an administrative proceeding. 
  • In a case where our client was sanctioned for an alleged improper provision of gifts, we successfully obtained an order that cancelled the administrative sanction through an administrative hearing proceeding. 
  • In a case where a financial institution filed a lawsuit for damages alleging that our client had failed to fulfill its duty to complete construction, we successfully defeated the lawsuit based on our argument that the debt linked to the plaintiff’s claim for damages is a credit offering under the Corporate Restructuring Promotion Act. 
  • In a case where members of a local housing union filed a claim for damages against the general contractor, we successfully defeated the lawsuit based on our argument that the general contractor could not be viewed as a common business entity with the union. 
  • In a case where our client was alleged to have engaged in false advertising in respect of the Busan Oryukdo Apartments, we successfully argued that the advertisements regarding the light rail transit were not false or exaggerated and prevailed in that case.
  • In an arbitration case where the owner of an underwater cable installation construction project alleged faulty construction, refused payment of the construction fees, and demanded liquidated damages, we successfully argued that such shortcomings were due to factors outside of our client’s control.  We thus obtained an award for the payment of most of the construction fees due and payable to our client. 
  • We successfully obtained a judgment in favor of Daewoo Construction in respect of its claim for construction fees against fellow consortium member Samsung C&T in connection with the construction of the T-Light Tidal Power Station. 
  • In a case where Daesung Construction initiated a public auction of mortgaged real estate, which had paid off the project financing related debt of the developer Purme Residential Development Corp., we successfully defended against the above developer’s petition for preliminary injunction that sought to bar the public auction. 
  • We successfully represented a dispute between a developer and sub-lessee in relation to a BTL business. 
  • We successfully represented a trust company and a construction company in an action for termination of allotment contracts and damages which holders of unit/allotment had brought. 
  • In connection with the Doonchon redevelopment project, we successfully defended against a petition for preliminary injunction that sought to bar the convening of the general assembly.

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