Leading Individuals

Shipping: foreign firms in South Korea

Stephenson Harwood

Maintaining its position as one of the top firms servicing Korean global corporates, international banks, insurers, shipping, shipbuilding and trading companies, Stephenson Harwoodfirmly stand out in the market.’ ‘Very impressive’ Michael Kim overseas the Seoul office and is a recognised authority on maritime law, ship finance, shipbuilding and litigation and arbitration matters. Stuart Burrell routinely represents Korean shipbuilding yards and construction companies in complex disputes. The office benefits from the support of Gregg Johnston in Singapore and Andrew Rigden Green in Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Michael Kim; Andrew Rigden Green

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Burrell; Gregg Johnston;


‘Stephenson Harwood are the best experts in the Korean shipbuilding industry. Their main strengths are their professionalism and their second-to-none expertise in the shipping sector. Their services are super value for money, and all lawyers are knowledgeable and come up with solution-driven and pragmatic advice for our commercial requirement. They firmly stand out in the market.’

‘Michael Kim is the individual I always speak to. He is known for digesting and analysing most substantial and complex issues and comes with clear and succinct objectives with sensible strategy.’

‘We are very satisfied with the quality of work given by Stephenson’s Harwood’s Seoul team. They have strong Korean language skills and a good understanding of the shipping sector, throughout Korea and Asia. The team provide good value advice and are always professional, approachable and responsive to all our requests.’ 

‘Michael Kim and Stuart Burrell both have a firm grasp on the Korean market and offer practical and commercially-sensitive solutions.’

‘Stephenson Harwood has extensive experiences and expertise in the shipping industry, and they also know the Korean market well. Among the foreign law firms that have opened their offices in Korea, Stephenson Harwood LLP Foreign Legal Office is known to be one of the most successful.’

‘Michael Kim thoroughly knows the shipping industry as well as the Korean market, and based on his experiences and expertise, he understands the clients’ need well and provides the effective and practical solutions.’

‘Their experience and know-how in respect of local culture or customs make them unique.  Michael Kim is very impressive person and is knowledgeable in financing, shipping/maritime and construction.’

Key clients

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering

Korea Line Corporation

Hanwha General Insurance Co Ltd

The Import-Export Bank of Korea

KB Insurance Co., Ltd

Chevron International Pte Ltd

The Standard Club

Hanjin Heavy Industries

Hyundai Merchant Marine

Pan Ocean Co., Ltd

Sungdong Shipbuilding

Daehan Shipbuilding Co., Ltd

Sinokor Merchant Marine Co.,Ltd

Japan P&I Club

SPP Shipbuilding Co., Ltd

Eukor Car Carriers. Inc

Macon Charter B.V.

SK Shipping Co., Ltd.

H-Line Shipping Co.,Ltd.

DB Insurance Co., Ltd

Feen Marine Scrubbers Inc.


Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance Co., Ltd

KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH

Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.

SC Engineering Co., Ltd.

Seil Textile Co., Ltd.

You Chang Trading Corp






LG Chem Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of Société Générale in relation to the financing of a LNG Bunkering Vessel.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP primarily represents leading Korean shipbuilders and P&I clubs in dry and wet shipping litigation and international arbitration. Benefitting from a large multidisciplinary team, it is also able to advice on off and onshore shipping construction work, with added specialisms in trade and commodities. Alex Andrews heads the Korean desk from the London office.

Practice head(s):

Alex Andrews


‘We highly value the accuracy and practicality of the team’s advice, responsiveness and consistency.’

‘Alex Andrews is knowledgeable and experienced in the Korean shipping industry.’

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

Watson Farley & Williams LLP‘s shipping team has built a strong reputation in ship financing, projects, dispute resolution across Asia. It is particularly active on high profile Korea restructuring involving some of Korea’s best known shipping companies. Madeline Leong in Singapore is the lead partner for maritime financing and leasing transactions. Andrew Nimmo, also in Singapore, working on offshore oil and gas projects and related maritime and floating asset mandates, and Jonathan Silver in Hong Kong complete the group.

Practice head(s):

Madeline Leong

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Silver; Andrew Nimmo

Key clients

Bank of America, N.A.

Standard Chartered Bank

Woori Bank

Sinokor Maritime Co. Ltd

Citi Bank

Banco Santander, S.A.


Work highlights

  • Advised Citibank and HSBC respectively on two separate ECA-backed JOLCOs (Japanese Operating Lease with Call Options) arranged for Seaspan Corporation (“Seaspan”). These pioneering transactions were developed simultaneously and are firsts of their kind, combining two tried and tested ship financing structures, ECA-backed loans and sale-leaseback arrangements under JOLCOs, and represent the first time the ECAs involved have supported JOLCO structures in shipping.

Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore

Based in Singapore, Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore assists shipowners, charterers, offshore energy groups, insurers, ports and terminals, shipbuilders, salvors and banks and brokers on various dry and wet shipping matters. Ik Wei Chong leads the China and Korea shipping, insurance and dispute resolution practice. Fellow co-head Leon Alexander advises on trade and commodities

Practice head(s):

Leon Alexander; Ik Wei Chong


‘Very knowledgeable and well-rounded team. Quick response and fair pricing. Clyde & Co has an extensive network of offices and associated offices around the world and in particular Asia which makes it easy to obtain quick and accurate advise especially when a shipping dispute arises which requires fast and 24/7 action.’

‘Chong Ik Wei is known for his experience in Asia especially the China markets. He is extremely quick and attentive.’