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International Arbitration & Cross-Border Litigation

“It has the best lawyers, the best work practices to suit the clients’ needs and brilliant successes,
by which it has established and maintained its position as a top-tier law firm in Korea.”
– Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019

Overview

Kim & Chang is widely recognized as one of the leading international arbitration firms in the world, with our arbitration practice and attorneys consistently ranked as top tier by Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500. 

Supported by the firm’s global group of attorneys and experts from various industries of more than 1,000 professionals, our International Arbitration & Cross-border Litigation Practice brings an unparalleled level of experience and expertise in representing and advising both Korean and international clients in complicated multijurisdictional disputes, including international arbitrations seated around the world and cross-border litigations as well as litigation in front of the Korean courts.  We have long drawn praise for the depth of our practice and for our role as the trusted adviser to a number of multinational companies.

Expertise & Experience

Kim & Chang’s International Arbitration & Cross-border Litigation Practice brings to each representation an in-depth understanding of the laws, practices, and customs of various jurisdictions from Asia, Europe, North and South America, Middle East and Africa, along with an intimate understanding of the legal systems of the jurisdictions in which our clients’ businesses are based.  Our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in a broad range of fields, such as mergers and acquisitions, international investments, trade and commerce, construction, shipbuilding, business management, intellectual property, product liability, and joint venture disputes.  This broad experience enables Kim & Chang to advise clients on all levels of the dispute resolution process and to achieve successful results for our clients in any legal environment and under various procedural rules.

Diverse Background

Our International Arbitration & Cross-border Litigation Practice is made up of attorneys from several different jurisdictions, and they are licensed to practice in both common law and civil law jurisdictions throughout Europe, North America, and Asia.  Our attorneys also speak multiple languages.  Our diversity allows us to bridge the linguistic, conceptual and cultural barriers between our clients and the laws and customs relevant to each case.

Client Focused Solutions

Our International Arbitration & Cross-border Litigation Practice strives to understand our clients’ objectives and concerns by taking a practical, comprehensive, problem-solving approach to ensure that our clients’ interests are protected and their strategic goals are met.  To this end, we work closely with our clients to identify their commercial goals and to mitigate their potential risks associated with each dispute before any legal proceedings.  Our attorneys are committed to our clients’ success and to meeting and surpassing our clients’ highest expectations for professional service and value.

Key Servicesshow

International Arbitration

As international arbitration has become the preferred method of resolving cross-border disputes, domestic and overseas companies doing business in Korea have rapidly adopted arbitration.  Kim & Chang has been at the vanguard of this expanding practice in Korea.  Our attorneys have extensive experience in handling disputes in ad hoc proceedings and in arbitration under all the major arbitral institutions and rules including:

 
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC);
  • London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA);
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID);
  • American Arbitration Association/ International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA/ICDR);
  • Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA);
  • Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC);
  • Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC);
  • China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC);
  • Japan Commercial Arbitration Association (JCAA);
  • Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution;
  • Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS);
  • Netherlands Arbitration Institute (NAI);
  • Center for Arbitration and Mediation of the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CAM/CCBC);
  • Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC);
  • Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC);
  • Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC);
  • Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB);
  • London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA);
  • Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC);
  • UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules; 
  • Ad hoc Arbitration under the English Arbitration Act, the Indian Arbitration Act and the Singapore Arbitration Act; and 
  • Many local arbitral institutions and rules.
 

Our attorneys also regularly advise and represent clients in litigation in support of and ancillary to arbitration including:

 
  • Pre-dispute counseling;
  • Preliminary injunctive relief and preliminary attachment;
  • Applications to compel arbitration;
  • Applications for court assistance in taking of or preserving evidence;
  • Enforcement proceedings for final arbitral awards in Korea and abroad; and
  • Set-aside actions.

 

Cross-border Litigation

Our International Arbitration & Cross-border Litigation Practice represents overseas clients in virtually every industry in the courts of Korea and before Korean government agencies in diverse areas, such as finance, securities, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, intellectual property, product liability and tort, corporate criminal cases, and government investigations.  In addition, our litigators have significant experience consulting on litigation and government proceedings for Korean and overseas clients in complex legal proceedings involving multiple overseas jurisdictions, such as the US, Canada, China, Taiwan, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Brazil, Libya, and Nigeria.

Key Experiencesshow

We offer custom-tailored services to clients facing international disputes in many different industry sectors, including construction, manufacturing, finance, telecommunications, electronics, medicine, energy, and shipbuilding.

 

Kim & Chang has an unmatched record of successfully handling international disputes, having been involved in numerous high-profile cases involving both overseas and domestic clients.  Some of our latest cases include:

 
M&A
  • Represented a buyer in an ICC arbitration seated in Hong Kong and governed by Korean law in a dispute arising under a share purchase agreement to acquire a Korean toy manufacturing business for breach of representations and warranties.

  • Represented a private equity investor in an ICC arbitration seated in Seoul and governed by Korean law, involving disputes arising from the acquisition by the client of a Korean fast food franchise business.  

  • Represented one of Korea's leading conglomerates along with two overseas consortium members against a Korean government affiliated agency in a dispute concerning the sale and control of a Korean financial services company.  

  • Represented a Korean automobile manufacturer acquired by a major US automotive company in an ICC arbitration governed by Korean law in Paris, involving dispute over an indemnification claim for pre-acquisition recall-related damages.

  • Represented a US private equity fund in an ICC arbitration in London against the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation arising out of the acquisition of Korea First Bank.  

  • Defended a US private equity fund in an ICC arbitration seated in Singapore governed by Korean law against a USD 600 million-plus claim by another US private equity fund arising out of the acquisition of shares in a Korean credit card company.

  • Represented a Singaporean corporation in an ICC arbitration governed by Singaporean law in Tokyo in a USD 40 million claim for breach of a stock purchase agreement.

  • Represented a French automobile manufacturer in an ICC arbitration in Seoul against Korean creditor banks on an indemnification claim for damages from a share transfer agreement.

  • Represented a Korean company in an ad hoc arbitration under the UNCITRAL rules which related to certain indemnity claims arising from the acquisition of a controlling interest in a Thai company.

  • Represented a Korean conglomerate in a multijurisdictional M&A dispute that involved two arbitrations – an ad hoc arbitration seated in Mumbai under the Indian Arbitration Act and an ICC arbitration seated in Zurich and related court proceedings in India.

  • Represented a French multinational company in AAA/ICDR arbitration proceedings in New York governed by New York law against three respondents in a dispute arising out of the purchase of Korean and Vietnamese auto-parts companies by our client,

  • Represented a Korean conglomerate producing cosmetics and household products in an ICC arbitration governed by Japanese law, seated in Singapore, involving disputes in connection with a share purchase agreement for the purchase of a Japanese cosmetics company by our client.

 

Joint Venture Agreement & Shareholders’ Claim
  • Represented a US corporation specializing in the manufacture of highly engineered automotive gaskets and seals in an ICC arbitration against its Korean joint venture partner and supplier regarding the parties’ joint venture agreement to operate a manufacturing company in Vietnam. 

  • Represented a major Korean company in an ICC arbitration governed by Korean law with the seat of arbitration in New York regarding a joint venture dispute in excess of USD 200 million.

  • Represented a major private equity fund in an ICC arbitration governed by Bermuda law in Tokyo against a Korean government affiliated commercial entity.

  • Represented a Korean petrochemical company in a joint venture dispute under ICC rules regarding a long term supply agreement between Korean and US petrochemical companies.

  • Represented an Austria-based company in an arbitration of a joint venture termination with a Korean company before the Zurich Chamber of Commerce with Korean and German laws as the governing laws.

  • Represented a Dutch client and its British parent company against their Korean joint venture partner in an ICC arbitration in Switzerland for a dispute valued at over USD 40 million, concerning the scope of operations of their joint venture company.

  • Represented a US fund in a SIAC arbitration governed by Singapore law in Singapore in a dispute in excess of USD 950 million involving the exercise of a call option over its controlling shares in a Korean life insurance company.

  • Represented a German-based automobile parts manufacturer in a SIAC arbitration governed by German law with the arbitration seat in Singapore in a dispute concerning wrongful termination in a joint venture dispute.

  • Represented a major European auto-parts manufacturer against a Korean auto-parts manufacturer in an ICC arbitration relating to their joint venture company.

  • Represented a Korean media conglomerate against a multinational holding company in an ICC arbitration governed by Korean law seated in Hong Kong relating to their shareholding in one of Korea’s largest movie megaplex operators.  

  • Represented two German manufacturing companies in a JCAA arbitration governed by Korean law and seated in Tokyo, brought by the Chairman of a Korean conglomerate in the automotive parts sector in relation to wrongful termination of a shareholders agreement and exercise of a call option.

  • Represented a Korean government affiliated company in a CIETAC arbitration regarding shareholder’s obligations under a joint venture agreement.  

 

Construction, Power Plant, Energy& Engineering Project 
  • Represented a Korean shipyard in an LMAA proceeding against a Greek shipping company in a dispute under a shipbuilding contract governed by English law for the building of an offshore construction vessel.

  • Defended an approximately USD 100 million claim by a Middle Eastern shipping company against a Korean shipbuilding company in an LMAA ad hoc arbitration governed by English law.

  • Represented a Korean subsidiary of an International logistics company in an ICC arbitration regarding a dispute arising out of delay and cost claims in a warehouse construction project in Korea.

  • Represented a European supplier in an ICC arbitration seeking payment for catalyst products supplied to EPC contractor for Abu Dhabi petroleum refinery project.

  • Represented an international consortium led by one of the largest international rail and aviation companies against a Korean municipal government in an ICC arbitration in Seoul in a dispute on the construction of a railway system with a total value in excess of USD 1 billion.

  • Represented a Luxembourg company in an ICC arbitration against a major Korean construction company in Korea in a dispute on the construction of a new port in Busan.

  • Represented a major Korean construction company in an ICC arbitration seated in Toronto and governed by Ontario law against multinational consortium in a dispute arising out of a power plant construction project in Madagascar.

  • Represented a Korean-based engineering and construction company in an ICC arbitration in London governed by English law against a Middle Eastern company in a dispute arising out of a contract for the construction of power and desalination plants.

  • Represented a Korean energy company and its Gibraltar subsidiary in an ICC arbitration arising from a joint development agreement relating to oil exploration projects in Kazakhstan.

  • Represented a German multinational company in a KCAB arbitration against a Korean engineering and construction conglomerate.  The arbitration was seated in Seoul and governed by Korean law including the UN Convention on the Contracts for International Sales of Goods (CISG).  The dispute related to the delivery of a generator and other services for a major power plant.

  • Co-represented a major Korean construction company against a Saudi Arabian company in an LCIA arbitration regarding a plant construction project in Saudi Arabia.

  • Co-represented a Korean shipyard in LMAA ad hoc arbitration proceedings governed by English law against a Norwegian offshore oil rig operator and buyer of a semi-submersible drilling unit. 

  • Co-represented a Korean shipyard in LMAA ad hoc arbitration proceedings against an international oil rig operator and buyer of a semi-submersible drilling unit with a total value of over USD 1.35 billion.

  • Represented a Cambodian entity against another Cambodian entity in an ICC arbitration seated in Singapore relating to the Camkocity Development Project in Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

 

Technology License Agreement 
  • Represented a Korean subsidiary of an international software company against a Korean IT company in an ICC arbitration seated in Seoul relating to license abuse.

  • Represented a global telecommunications company in an ICC arbitration in California against a Korean electronics and telecommunications research institute in a technology license dispute relating to the payment of royalties.

  • Represented a gaming company as co-counsel in a JCAA arbitration proceeding governed by Japanese law against a Korean online entertainment company in a dispute arising from a software sublicense agreement.

  • Represented a Korean online gaming company in an ICC arbitration in Singapore governed by Singapore law in a dispute with its Chinese licensee and distributor.

  • Represented a Korean company in an arbitration proceeding applying Dutch law under the rules of the Netherlands Arbitration Institute at The Hague in a technology license dispute between a Korean and Dutch company.

  • Represented a Japanese company against a claim by a Korean major electronics manufacturer for breach under a patent purchase agreement in an ICC arbitration governed by Japanese law in Seoul.

  • Represented a German-based automobile parts manufacturer in a SIAC arbitration governed by German law in Singapore in a joint venture dispute concerning wrongful termination.

  • Represented a Korean life sciences company in an ICC arbitration, governed by Canadian law and seated in Hawaii, arising from wrongful termination of a pharmaceutical license agreement by a Canadian pharmaceutical company (the licensor).

  • Represented a Korean automobile company against an Indonesian car manufacturer and licensee in a KCAB arbitration and its parallel litigation in India.  The arbitration was seated in Seoul and governed by Korean law involving a dispute regarding an automobile parts supply contract between the two parties.

  • Defended a Korean engineering company against a European company in an ICC arbitration, including under the Emergency Arbitrator proceedings, in a dispute regarding engineering and intellectual property issues.

  • Represented a Chinese mobile game publishing company in a KCAB arbitration seated in Seoul in a dispute against a Korean game developer in which the Chinese company sought damages arising from the Korean company’s multiple breaches under the parties’ game publishing agreement.

 

Purchase & Distribution Agreement
  • Represented a Korean company in LCIA arbitration in London governed by English law against a Swiss company in a dispute centered on questions of agency under English and Korean law and involving issues of fraud and conflicts of laws.

  • Represented a major Korean shipbuilding company in an ad hoc arbitration in Hong Kong in a dispute relating to claims for damages and indemnification.

  • Represented a Korean shipbuilding and trading company against its supplier and sub-buyer in parallel ad hoc arbitration proceedings in Hong Kong and Singapore respectively.

  • Represented a subsidiary of a major Korean conglomerate against its former US distributor in an AAA arbitration conducted in Seoul with Korean law under the ICDR rules in a dispute arising from a breach of the distributorship agreement.

  • Represented a major Korean engine manufacturer against a major European supplier in an ICC arbitration in London governed by English law.  The dispute involved an agreement relating to the supply and purchase of crankshafts used in the production of diesel engines for large marine vessels.

  • Represented a major US pharmaceuticals company in an ICC arbitration in which its former distributer raised allegations of wrongful termination and negligent manufacturing.

  • Represented a Korean company in an ICC arbitration in Singapore in a dispute concerning a contract for the manufacture and installation of steel processing equipment by a US company.

  • Represented a major Korean heavy industry corporation in an ICC arbitration governed by Swiss law in Zurich against a German company in a dispute relating to the termination of a supply agreement.

  • Represented a European defense corporation against a Korean government agency in two separate KCAB arbitration proceedings governed by Korean law in Seoul.

  • Represented a Korean multinational trading company in a SIAC arbitration against a Chilean buyer under a supply agreement governed by Singapore law. 

  • Represented a Chinese subsidiary of a multinational corporation against a major Korean shipbuilder in a KCAB arbitration governed by Korean law and seated in Seoul related to the delivery of dampers for a number of ship drive trains for container vessels.

  • Advised an overseas shipping company in ICC and SIAC arbitrations, as well as in Emergency Arbitrator proceedings under SIAC rules, in a dispute relating to the termination of a shipbuilding contract.

  • Represented a U.S. subsidiary of a Korean multinational company in a dispute involving collection of outstanding receivables under a credit agreement; also defended the client against a counter-damages claim related to an exclusive distribution arrangement for the Brazilian market.

  • Represented a Korean water heater manufacturing and export company against its distributor in North America in a KCAB arbitration governed by Korean law and seated in Seoul.  The dispute related to the issue of allocating costs for a recall of the products.

  • Defended a construction material supplier in an ICC emergency arbitration proceeding brought by a distributor in a dispute involving the status of a long term distribution agreement.

 

Treaty Investment
  • Represented a Korean construction company against a sovereign government relating to claims for damages and indemnification for wrongful termination of several housing construction projects in the North African region.

  • Represented a Korean automobile parts manufacturer against a sovereign government in a dispute claiming damages and indemnification for the withdrawal of approval for investment in the Southwest Asia region.

  • Represented a Korean construction company relating to the recovery of contemplated investment in the Algerian petrochemicals industry.

  • Advised a Korean energy company undergoing a procedure of achieving an approval from a sovereign government for Korean company’s investment to an energy power plant project in India.

  • Advised a European company on investment arbitration issues under Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between Korea and EU.

  • Advised a Korean energy company against a sovereign government in a dispute related to an oil and gas development project.

  • Advised a Korean financial company in a dispute arising out of breach of Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.

  • Lead counsel to the Korean government in the second ICSID arbitration case filed against Korea in relation to claims concerning tax treatment under the double taxation treaty between Korea and the Netherlands.

 

Sport
  • Represented two of Korea’s leading badminton athletes, Lee Yong Dae and Kim Ki Jung, in a Court of Arbitration in Sport arbitration against the Badminton World Federation, appealing the one year suspension on the two athletes for alleged doping regulation violations.

 

Others
  • Represented a Korean subsidiary of a French supplier of industrial gases in an ICC arbitration governed by Korean law and seated in Seoul.  The case related to the termination of a long term supply agreement for industrial gases.

 

Cross-border Litigations & Enforcement Proceedings
  • Represented a major Korean construction company in a dispute against a French government-affiliated company before the Administrative Court of Marseille relating to an expert investigation for damages and indemnification for defects on the supplied products.

  • Represented a leading Korean shipbuilding and offshore company against a Canadian company before Ontario Superior Court of Justice in a dispute arising out of a business venture relating to the marketing of wind turbines in Canada.

  • Represented a leading Korean shipbuilding and offshore company against an US based company before the United States Federal District Court in Texas in a breach of contract dispute.

  • Represented a Germany-based automobile parts manufacturer against an action to set aside an arbitral award brought by its Korean joint venture partner in the Singapore High Court.

  • Represented a Korean automobile manufacturer acquired by a major US automotive company in set-aside proceedings before the Paris Court of Appeal concerning an award rendered in an ICC arbitration.

  • Represented a major Korean conglomerate against its former US distributor in US court proceedings for the enforcement of an arbitral award and related attachment of assets and rehabilitation proceedings.

  • Represented a Korean shipbuilding and trading company against its Chinese supplier in enforcement proceedings in China concerning an arbitral award in an ad hoc arbitration under the HKIAC rules conducted in Hong Kong.

  • Represented a Korean chemical company against a German chemical company in set-aside proceedings in Korea and in enforcement proceedings in Germany concerning an award rendered in a KCAB arbitration.

  • Represented a Korean consumer electronics company in set-aside proceedings in Korea concerning an award rendered in an ICC arbitration against an UAE electronics company.

  • Represented a major US private equity fund against a Korean government affiliated commercial entity in enforcement proceedings in Korea concerning an award rendered in an ICC arbitration.

  • Represented a consortium led by a Korean company against the Taiwanese government in court proceedings and arbitration in Taiwan related to a supply contract.

  • Represented one of Korea’s biggest automobile manufacturers against a major Indonesian manufacturing company in court proceedings in Indonesia relating to a KCAB arbitral award regarding indemnification for damages dispute.

  • Represented a Korean company against a European company in enforcement proceedings in Korea related to an arbitral award rendered in a Netherlands Arbitration Institute (NAI) arbitration proceedings.

  • Parallel litigation in India relating to an ad hoc arbitration proceeding governed by Indian law in relation to a post M&A dispute.

  • Represented a Korean company against Indian companies in enforcement proceedings in India related to GAFTA arbitral awards rendered in London.

  • Defended a Korean shipbuilding company against an application by the opposing party to appeal an arbitral award to the High Court of Justice of England.

  • Successfully set aside an arbitral award on jurisdictional grounds at the Korean Supreme Court.

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