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Maritime “Kim & Chang has a large pool of competitive lawyers covering various areas and
is able to provide comprehensive reliable legal advice concerning unconventional transactions.”
– Asialaw Profiles 2022/23


The Maritime Practice of Kim & Chang is comprised of professionals, including Korean and foreign lawyers, with expertise in a complete spectrum of cross-border/multijurisdictional maritime law matters, including ocean policy, fisheries, port and marine leisure.

Building on the experience gained through various major shipping cases, our Practice covers regulation of the shipping industry, ocean, fisheries, port terminal and authorities, aviation and other transportation law-related issues, marine insurance and reinsurance, shipbuilding and off-shore facilities, and ship sale & purchase contract disputes as well as international commodities and trade disputes. 

The in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience of our Practice’s senior members combined with the diverse work force and broad-based access to other specialized expertise of Kim & Chang makes us a leader in providing clients with tailored service custom fit for the needs of the client and the case.

Key Servicesshow

Members of our Practice have been in the forefront of the development of maritime law in Korea, not only through their practice but also through active involvement in international organizations, maritime committees, port terminals and authorities and industry groups as well as by publishing articles and teaching in this field.  Drawing on such experience and resources, we are able to find innovative but practical solutions to the ever-changing needs of the industry.


Marine Casualties

The Maritime Practice have handled a number of major marine and environmental incidents and casualties (from collisions and their aftermath – oil pollution, clean-up, wreck removal, and marine pollution effect investigations – to sinkings, fires on board, and strandings) that have occurred in Korean waters or involving Korean vessels.  Our Practice is a recognized leader in Korea for around-the-clock response and crisis management necessary for such large-scale casualties.  The Practice’s seasoned “wet” lawyers are supported by an ex-seafarer, shipping paralegals, and the firm’s Corporate Investigations & White Collar Defense Practice, comprised of former prosecutors and experts, to deal with all aspects of a major marine casualty, including investigations by the authorities as well as litigation arising out of the marine incidents.  We also handle loss of life and personal injury cases resulting from marine and environmental disasters. 


Dry Cases

Our Practice advises clients on a complete range of dry cases, including charter party and vessel sale/purchase disputes, other contracts of carriage, and bills of lading.  We handle domestic and international court and arbitration proceedings including provisional remedies, and advise clients on an overall strategy including forum shopping and settlement negotiations.  We are known for providing commercial-minded and effective advice, helping clients formulate the most efficient and workable strategy for a case. 


Shipbuilding/Offshore Construction Disputes

The Maritime Practice has substantial experience in handling shipbuilding/off-shore facilities’ construction contract disputes including delay claims, defect claims, and claims arising out of refund guarantees.  We have represented major global oil and energy companies in their disputes arising under multimillion dollar offshore facility installation and construction projects.  We also have access to the firm’s experts in the Energy Practice to provide practical and technical expertise to support the litigation or arbitration arising from these disputes.


Regulatory Issues in the Shipping Industry

The regulation of the shipping and fishing industries is very technical and connected to various interested parties.  For example, when new regulations regarding the marine environment and the fisheries are implemented, it will impact not only the shipping industry but also the shipbuilding industry, the fishing industry, usage of ports, and inspection of vessels among others.  The Maritime Practice possesses professionals who have experiences and expertise on the regulation of the shipping industry and have advised shipping companies, their representative group, the Korea Shipowners’ Association as well as the regulatory authorities, including respective port authorities and KOEM (Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation).

Key Experienceshow

The Maritime Practice represents domestic and foreign ship-owners, their technical and commercial managers and their P&I (Protection & Indemnity) Clubs, hull and machinery insurers/re-insurers, and shipbuilders.  We have also advised leading oil and energy companies, multinational trading houses as well as some of the major air carriers. 


Our Practice successfully handles high profile cases involving both Korean and overseas clients.  Some of our latest cases include: 


Collision/Oil Pollution

Our Practice handled the largest oil spill to have occurred in Korean waters in 2007, following a collision between a foreign vessel and a tug and barge.  We advised on all aspects of the case, including initial crisis management, investigations and actions by the authorities, representation in criminal proceedings, and advisement on limitation proceedings in Korea and China.  We are now dealing with the litigation on damage compensation under the CLC and Fund Convention.



We have represented owners/P&I Club in a number of major collisions and sinkings of Korean vessels in or outside of Korean waters.  For example, we handled a collision case that took place in the southern coast of Korea in late 2011.  We represented the owners, the P&I clubs and the hull and machinery insurers in investigations, salvage related legal works, the Marine Safety Tribunal representation, criminal case defense for the seafarers, civil case representation, and advisement on hull insurance claims and pollution matters. 


Rehabilitation/Insolvency of Korean Shipping Companies

We represented and advised a majority of creditors (mainly ship-owners and financing banks) in the filing of their claims against a number of Korean shipping companies (including Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd., STX Pan Ocean and Korea Line Corporation) who have filed for corporate rehabilitation and/or bankruptcy.  Kim & Chang maintains a special task force to deal with various complex issues and challenges faced by creditors of these companies, including withdrawal, termination, re-negotiation of charterparties, damages, set-off and pursuing claims outside of rehabilitation, as well as receiving/listing of shares under debt-equity swap in the case of publicly listed companies.  Our Practice has also advised clients in both petitioning for and defending claims in insolvency related proceedings, including cross-border recognition proceedings.


Shipbuilding Contract Disputes

We advise, among others, on a number of shipbuilding contracts where main disputes are over the extension of time claim, additional price claim arising from change order, the delivery and acceptance of a vessel, and the impact of termination and refund guarantee claims where the builder is subject to insolvency proceedings.  We have also represented the original insurer acting as a refund guarantor under a refund guarantee in its recourse action in arbitration proceedings against the international reinsurance company.


Marine Environment and Safety

We have experiences in advising on various legal issues after the enforcement of the IMO (International Maritime Organization) 2020 regulations (using low Sulphur fuel oils in vessels) and other marine environment issues in compliance with the international maritime safety treaties and regulations.  


Offshore Wind Power and Energy

Recently offshore wind has been evolving and given prominence for further development as a critical way of generating renewable electricity.  We advise global industry leaders on geographical issues regarding the development of offshore wind systems and public law matters concerning compliance with government policies and local regulations. 


Port Terminal Hinterland Development and Operation

Our expertise extends to advising on disputes over the development of port hinterland and various restrictions, regulations and administrative matters arising out of such development.  We have experiences in representing local port authorities in their lawsuits regarding fees due and payable for occupancy of public waters and terminals under terminal operation agreements against terminal operators.


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