Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution: local firms

Young Seok Lee is the lead litigator and arbitrator at RosettaLegal which specialises in claims relating to international trade, insurance, telecoms, construction and shipbuilding.

Firms in the Spotlight Dispute resolution: local firms

Barun Law

Barun Law logo

A leader in Korea’s disputes space, Barun Law’s litigation and arbitration practice is second-to-none, with many of the firm’s litigation partners former judges or prosecutors. Based on the firm’s competitiveness in litigation-related service, its corporate lawyers have achieved enormous growth as well, allowing the firm to provide the best-quality legal services in all practice areas.

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Dispute resolution: local firms in South Korea

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang houses a deep bench of experts including former judges, those with in-house experience and subject matter specialists in securities litigation, white-collar crime and regulatory investigations, commercial litigation, insurance matters and competition law. Former judges Chang Hoon Baek and Hye Kwang Lee both have an extensive track record in M&A litigation, criminal defense work, insolvency and restructuring, trade secret and banking disputes. Jin Yeong Chung a notable name in the firm for cross-border disputes, aAlso noted are head of banking litigation, Sun Seong Park  and arbitration specialist Chul-Won Lee who is experienced in shipping, product liability and insurance and is also qualified as an English solicitor.

Practice head(s):

Jin Yeong Chung

Other key lawyers:

Chang Hoon Baek; Sun Seong Park; Chul-Won Lee

Testimonials

‘Kim & Chang offers excellent legal advice with a high performing team, providing perfect English language capabilities. Able to assemble a flexible, hard-working and well coordinated team.’

‘Jin-Yeong Chung is the responsible partner, perfectly leading the team in complex multi-jurisdictional litigation cases.’

Key clients

Volkswagen AG

Goldman Sachs

Morgan Stanley

JP Morgan

The Boeing Company

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Korean Air

Hyundai Motor Company

Hankook & Company including Hankook Tire & Technology

Work highlights

  • Represented a global bank in its successful appeal before the Seoul High Court seeking annulment of a corrective order imposed by the KFTC for allegedly engaging in bid-rigging regarding cross-currency swap contracts.
  • Represented Samsung Asset Management in a large-scale collective action for damages brought by approximately 2,000 investors, and also a case of first impression in Korea raising the issue of the proper scope of an asset management company’s discretion in managing a passive fund.

Lee & Ko

Lee & Ko‘s dispute resolution practice has expertise across all major sectors, covering disputes in sectors as diverse as public law, M&A litigation, construction disputes and product liability. Former president judge of the Seoul Court, Seong Won Chang spearheads the team, which includes Pyoung Keun Song and Jae Heon Park, notable practitioners in banking, commercial, competition and TMT disputes. Head of administrative litigation, Seon Tae Kim, is highlighted as ‘outstandingly good at researching, developing and delivering arguments’. Associate Yeon Woo Lee represents foreign multinational companies in high-profile litigations against Korean counterparties.

Practice head(s):

Won Seok Ko; Pyoung Keun Song

Other key lawyers:

Seon Tae Kim; Jae Heon Park; Yeon Woo Lee

Testimonials

‘Lee & Ko has the best expertise in relation to the Disability Discrimination Act. In particular, we can confidently recommend the team. They are well known for having broad experience in major cases relating disability discrimination relief litigation and having the highest expertise in the field.’

‘The litigation team in Lee & Ko is composed of passionate and experienced professional lawyers, always striving to get the best results from the client’s point of view.’

‘Seon Tae Kim is outstandingly good at researching, developing, and delivering various legal arguments to the courts.’

‘The team has a lot of experience in international arbitration and cross-border disputes. Lee & Ko successfully represented us in a difficult case which involved several cross-border elements. Good value for money.

‘Pyoung Keun Song has extensive and unparalleled knowledge and expertise in the dispute resolution field.’

Key clients

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co., Ltd.

Lotte Shopping Co., Ltd.

LG Electronics Inc.

LG Chem Ltd.

Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd.

Kookmin Bank

Work highlights

  • Represented a CEO and controlling shareholder of Kyobo Life Insurance Co., Ltd. in a US$ 1.8bn dispute with other private equity shareholders.
  • Represented Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd in ground-breaking win in a construction contract dispute against the Reconstruction Association.
  • Acted for the Ministry of Education in a win against seventeen universities in a case concerning the suspension of the release of university evaluations.

Shin & Kim

With ‘a success rate rarely found in Korea’ Shin & Kim‘s full-service disputes practice serves an impressive roster of Korean chaebols, individuals and foreign companies, and continues to rapidly expand its bench strength following the recruitment of a number of former judges, in-house lawyers and foreign attorneys. Jae-Yun Yun is a leading figure in contentious construction and property litigation. Specialising in corporate, shareholder and management disputes, Sookmi Lee has all the qualities that make a fantastic lawyer.Jong-Han Oh is highlighted for his capabilities in banking, securities and commercial disputes while Ghyo Sun Park is recommended for product liability claims.

Practice head(s):

Jae Yun Yun

Other key lawyers:

Sookmi Lee; Jong Han Oh; Ghyo-Sun Park

Testimonials

‘Shin & Kim’s litigation team is among the best with a success rate rarely found in Korea. The team is exceptional in its ability to construct a logical and legally grounding argument to win the case, even if there is a slim chance.’

‘Unlike other law firms, Shin & Kim can ensure that clients work with the best conclusions they can provide, within the amount they want and within the budget they can spend.’

‘Sook Mi Lee has all the qualities that make a fantastic lawyer – high degree of experience, very good success rate, good communication, enthusiasm and understanding of the client’s briefs. She knows how to detect the opponent’s loopholes and persuade the judge to act in her clients’ favour.’

‘Partner JY Yun has vast experience and knowledge in contractual arguments and disputes settlement.’

Key clients

Samsung Group

SK Group

Asiana Airlines

Posco Group

KT&G Corporation

Hyundai Elevator Group

Lotte Group

Woori Bank

Hyundai Engineering & Construction

Work highlights

  • Represented SK Broadband in the litigation related to Netflix Services Korea Ltd.’s network usage fee in Korea.
  • Represented Chong Kun Dang in the seeking cancellation of Ministry of Food and Drug Safety’s suspension of manufacture against CKDP.
  • Represented KT&G in successfully dismissing all product liability and tort liability claims brought by the National Health Insurance Service against KT&G and three other foreign tobacco companies, which claimed that it suffered damages of more than KRW 10 trillion over the last ten years due to smoking related health issues.

Yulchon

Housing a ‘strong mix of former judges and attorneys with a wealth of litigation experience’ Yulchon is noted for its handling of financial regulatory and corporate litigation, contentious tax, competition and employment cases and its newly assembled team of international litigation specialists. Among its leading partners are ‘outstanding‘ commercial litigator and arbitration counsel Yong Pyo Yeom, and blockchain and product liability specialist Ik Hyun Kim. Yeon Hak Kim, who was ‘an excellent judge and is now an excellent litigator‘ is a popular choice for corporate governance, preliminary injunctions, trade secrets and employment disputes. Sy Nae Kim is recommended for shipping and representation of Korean companies in overseas litigation. Practice head Il Bong Moonhas more legal knowledge and experience in financial litigation, than anyone else in the Korean market.’

Practice head(s):

Il Bong Moon; Dong Ryul Choi; Yong Pyo Yeom

Other key lawyers:

Ik Hyun Kim; Yeon Hak Kim

Testimonials

‘Il Bong Moon is known for his wealth of knowledge and experience in financial affairs, above all, in litigation in this field. He has more than 30 years of experience and know-how as a judge and lawyer, so he is good at providing solutions that are right for the case, and in some ways he can “play” with litigation and opposing parties. ‘

‘The team has a strong mix of former judges, attorneys with a wealth of litigation experience, and high level associates. Also, the team collaborates very well with other groups within the firm. The team is cost-effective and very committed to serving customers.’

‘Yong Pyo Yeom’s commitment to clients is unmatched. He has a company-wide and firmwide perspective, understanding exactly what needs to be done and putting together right resources to attain the goal.’

‘Kim Yeon Hak is a partner that always listens to customers’ requests and explanations. He is very sensitive to customer requests, but maintains an objective attitude to the case to an appropriate degree and is very good at predicting the success of the case.’

‘The Yulchon team that we work with has a wealth of financial, legal knowledge, knowledge on financial products and financial transactions, and knowledge regarding procedure that is required to carry out the financial litigation cases. Many partners with ten to thirty years of experience make up the team.’

‘Moon Il Bong has more legal knowledge and experience in financial litigation, than anyone else in the Korean market.’

‘Ik Hyun Kim is kind and passionate. In addition to providing customer-friendly and punctual services, he is constantly researching and writing thesis related to blockchain.’

‘Yulchon’s success rate is very high compared to other law firms. They are very excellent in their work and leave nothing to be desired. I am quite satisfied with the expertise of Yulchon in the litigation area and their advice is always top-quality. Their performance is excellent in comparison to their fees.’

‘Yongpyo Yeom. In short, he is the best lawyer in Korean litigation market I have ever met. He has been handling various litigation and advisory matters for clients from various industries for more than ten years. He has a good understanding of the relevant industry, and he is very sensitive to the client’s concerns, needs and intentions. He provides creative and innovative solutions to end disputes as early as possible in a way that suits the client best.’

‘Yeom Yong Pyo has been outstanding in providing not only excellent legal advice but also being readily accessible and understanding the practical complexities surrounding the legal issues. Mr Yeom’s advice is always pragmatic and offers practically feasible solutions. His fees are reasonable and sensible, too.’

‘Yeon Hak Kim was an excellent judge and is now an excellent litigator. He has good oral advocacy skills. He is somewhat quiet, but knows how to stay calm under all circumstances and knows how to become a winner. He is full of creative ideas and can be very flexible, as he knows the court inside out, based on his long experience as a judge.’

Key clients

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Mirae Asset Daewoo Co., Ltd.

Coupang Corp.

Hyundai Motor Company

KB Kookmin Bank

KT

Shinhan Bank

Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd.

NH INVESTMENT & SECURITIES CO.,LTD.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd.

Hana Bank

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Mirae Asset and its affiliates in a landmark US$ 5.8 billion scrapped hotel deal dispute against Anbang Insurance Group, in the Delaware Court of Chancery as well as in the Delaware Supreme Court.
  • Acted for Shinhan Investment Corp. in successfully claiming damages regarding investment in leveraged crude oil futures ETN.
  • Representing the Korea Exchange in a Civil Action Brought by the Shareholders (Plaintiffs) of Gamma Nu Inc. Seeking Damages Against the KRX for KRX’s Decision to Delist Gamma Nu.

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC

Praised for the ‘wide-ranging expertise of its lawyers and their faultless collaboration between departments’, Bae, Kim & Lee LLC has an established reputation in criminal, tax and commercial litigation, and maintains an active outbound practice assisting Korean parties involved in disputes elsewhere. Distinguished former judge Wu Cheol Song ‘s practice centres around civil trial and appellate work, administrative and technology-related litigation. Tony Dongwook Kang is an esteemed commercial and financial services litigator. Elsewhere, associate Eun Young Row is skilled in embezzlement, breach of trust, bribery and tax evasion cases.

Practice head(s):

Byoung Ha Jeon

Other key lawyers:

Wu Cheol Song; Tony  DongWook Kang

Eun Young Row

Testimonials

‘I think the strength of Bae, Kim & Lee’s team is the wide-ranging expertise of its lawyers and their faultless collaboration between departments. They know how to assemble a great team together to reach the best outcome. Very reasonable billings. ‘

‘The most impressive partner of BKL is Junghwan Rhie. As a judge in court for 23 years, he had experience in various fields such as civil, labour, administration, criminal, and fair-trade. I wholly trust his judgements and his expertise always comes with a well written, logical and strategic argument.’

‘Eun-young Row is an impressive counsel. She has expertise in corporate-related criminal and civil lawsuits, and is also interested in new areas such as compliance and personal information. Outstanding communication skills.’

‘Eun young Row is a really realistic but not pessimistic lawyer. She always analyses facts from  scratch and re-organize the facts into legally interpreted ones. She frankly discuses s with me and my team the progress and strong and risky points of the case rather than hiding the weak point.’

‘The team carefully analyses the facts and strives to come up with the most appropriate solution.’

Key clients

Winia Co., Ltd.

MAN Truck & Bus Korea

KT Corp.

Samsung SDS Co., Ltd.

Greenland Jeju Healthcare Town Co.

Deloitte Anjin

Mirae Asset Daewoo Co., Ltd.

Lotte Duty Free

Shinhan Investment Corp.

NH Investment & Securities

Work highlights

  • Representing Deloitte Anjin and their accountants on the lawsuit filed by shareholders of DSME seeking damages for an alleged massive accounting fraud.
  • Represented China’s Greenland Holdings Group in a lawsuit against a local government and civil organizations.
  • Acting for MAN Truck & Bus Korea in its mass class action case, following claims that drivers experienced difficulties in normal driving due to the inherent problems of the vehicles including engine defects.

Yoon & Yang LLC

Comprising a sizable number of former members of the judiciary and top industry specialists, Yoon & Yang LLC continues to expand its dispute resolution bench strength with the strategic hires of Seung-Ku Hong to bolster its contentious construction offering, and joined by insurance litigator, Chongsu Seo and experienced IP prosecutor, Changkwon Kim. Seung Ryong Yoo is an esteemed advocate in corporate, civil, criminal and commercial proceedings, as well as family litigation. Criminal defence lawyer Young Min Seo and banking litigator Sue Yeon Woo are also of note.

Practice head(s):

Seung Ryong Yoo; Hee Sik Yoon; Keon Joo Cho; Youbum Kim; Kyung In Jung

Other key lawyers:

Seung-Ku Hong; Chongsu Seo; Changkwon Kim; Young Min Seo; Kyoung Ho Hong; Sue Yeon Woo

Testimonials

‘Yoon & Yang offers an impressive range of services. Their skilful lawyers have a wide network of overseas connections and all have outstanding capabilities. Legal opinions are given very fast, very responsive and efficient communication, and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Yoon & Yang is among the top law firms in Korea. We are very happy with the performance of the team and the firms’ overall expertise in a diverse range of disciplines.’

‘The most impressive part of working with Kyoung Ho Hong is that he is incredibly skilled at understanding the nexus of the issue, offering practical and commercial solutions and clearly communicating the plan of action, to lead to a successful result.’

Key clients

SK Innovation

Kolon Life Science

Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL)

Korea Land & Housing Corporation

Hanjin KAL

Samsung C&T

Samsung Electronic Services

Woori Bank

Shinhan Bank

NH Bank

GS Engineering & Construction

Work highlights

  • Represented Kolon Life Science, an affiliate of Korean conglomerate, Kolon Group, in administrative proceedings, defending class action lawsuits, defending criminal investigations and financial authorities’ examination, against a competitor in the life sciences market.
  • Successfully represented Sohn Tae-seung, CEO of Woori Bank in the administrative lawsuits seeking a revocation of Financial Supervisory Service (FSS)’s disciplinary imposition.
  • Successfully defended British American Tobacco Korea Ltd and two of its executives in criminal litigations in charges of tax evasion.

Barun Law

Barun Law‘s team is made up of former district judges and prosecutors. Among them, managing partner Cheoll Park specialises in civil, criminal and family law cases, while Yong Kyun Kim and Ho Chul Suk often represent major Korean heavy industrial and construction companies. For criminal investigations, Hyun Woong Kim  is an experienced defence lawyer.

Practice head(s):

Cheoll Park; Yong Kyun Kim; Ho Chul Suk; Hyun Woong Kim

Key clients

Venice CC members

Shinwha Intertek Corp

Export-Import Bank of Korea

Missyou, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented the former outside directors and the audit members of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd to release from liability pursuant to Article 162.1 of the Capital Markets Act.
  • Acting for the Bank of China and the Transportation Bank in a damages claim brought by Mirae Asset Daewoo, the underwriter, in response to its delisting on the Korean Exchange due to an accounting scandal.
  • Defending eBest Investment & Securities Co., Ltd, indicted for alleged violation of the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Crimes and the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act for failing to explain the Chinese foreign exchange report process (SAFE system) to Korean securities companies in the process of the Chinese energy company CERCG issuing ABCP worth KRW 160 billion.

DR & AJU LLC

Managing partner Tae Kyung Kim leads the department at DR & AJU LLC, a firm specialising in civil litigation, international arbitration and mediation. Hyo Jong Choi is the key partner for insolvency-related disputes, working alongside Wang Min Lee , working predominantly on corporate restructuring and rehabilitation mandates. Seon Hee Oh  handles a broad range of commercial litigation.

Practice head(s):

Tae Kyung Kim

Other key lawyers:

Hyo Jong Choi; Wang Min Lee; Seon Hee Oh

Testimonials

‘Great collaboration, reasonable charges and highly professional lawyers’

Key clients

Korea Line Corporation

Republic of Korea (Korea National Railway)

Samsung SDS Co., Ltd.

Kodeco Energy Co., Ltd.

Korea Railroad

Jipyong

Offering a deep bench of expertise across multiple disciplines, with notable strengths in commercial, finance, competition and construction disputes, Jipyong‘s three partner practice, comprises Sung-Taek Lim , Seong-Jin Bae and Won Jeong . The firm continues to be a popular choice for Korean companies and overseas clients litigating in Korea. Lim and Jeong are the primary figures for contentious construction, real estate and private equity funds instructions, while Bae takes the lead on finance and insolvency litigation.

Practice head(s):

Sung Taek Lim; Seong Jin Bae; Won Jeong

Key clients

Activist shareholders such as NaviStock, etc.

Sajo Inustries Co., Ltd.

Korea Communications Commission

Hanwha Life Insurance Co., Ltd.,

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Sajo Industries Co., Ltd. in all claims raised by its minority shareholders for provisional dispositions to inspect accounting books and records.
  • Successfully represented Korea Communications Commission in a constitutional complaint in connection with Article 4 (2) of the Broadcasting Act, etc., which led to the Constitutional Court’s unanimous ruling to uphold the constitutionality.
  • Counsel for the Insurers, Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance, KB Insurance involved in multiple litigation claims against medical institutions for the return of insurance pay-outs made for uninsured elective medical treatments charged to patients’ medical insurance policies as insured medical treatments.