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, 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.
The Shipping Practice have handled all the major marine and environmental incidents and casualties (from collisions and their aftermath - oil pollution, clean-up, wreck removal and conducting 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 is supported by an ex-seafarer and shipping paralegals, a White Collar Criminal 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.
Our Practice advises clients on a complete range of dry cases, including charter party and sale and 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 overall strategy including forum shopping and settlement negotiations. The Practice is known for providing commercial-minded and effective advice, to help clients formulate the most efficient and workable strategy for a case.
Shipbuilding/Offshore Construction Disputes
The Shipping Practice has substantial experience in handling shipbuilding/off-shore facilities' construction contract disputes, defect claims and claims arising out of refund guarantees. We have represented world oil and energy majors in their disputes arising under multimillion dollar offshore/floating installation and construction projects. The Practice also has 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 industry is very technical and connected to various interested parties. For example, when a new regulation regarding the marine environment is 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 Shipping Practice possesses professionals who have experiences and expertise on the regulation of the shipping industry and have advised shipping companies as well as the regulatory authorities.
The Shipping 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 oil and energy majors, multinational trading houses as well as some of the major air carriers.
The Shipping Practice of Kim & Chang successfully handles high profile cases involving both Korean and overseas clients. Some of our latest cases include:
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.
94 Professionals Ranked as Leading Lawyers – Who’s Who Legal: Korea 20192019.07.31
“Asia-Pacific Firm of the Year” for the Second Consecutive Time – Asialaw Regional Awards 20192019.05.30
Highest Recognition in All 15 Categories Surveyed - The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 20192019.01.16
“Korea’s Best Law Firm” for Nine Consecutive Years - Hankyung Business 2018 Korea’s Best Law Firm2018.12.18
Top Rankings in 18 Areas and 60 Individual Recognitions - Chambers Asia-Pacific 20192018.11.30
Again the Only Korean Law Firm Given Highest Ranking in All 24 Categories Ranked - Asialaw Profiles 20192018.09.26