Firms To Watch: Shipping: local firms

Pusan Pacific Law Office is recognised for its handling of contentious matters such as marine accidents, ship collisions, salvage and insurance claims. It also has a good track record assisting shipowners, P&I clubs, insurers and freight forwarders in shipbuilding, port and logistics issues and vessel finance. Young Hwa Suhr is the lead partner. 

Shipping: local firms in South Korea

Kim & Chang

Recognised among Korea’s leading practices in this space, Kim & Chang has a broad range of capabilities across the full spectrum of shipping and maritime law. The practice acts for an impressive list of high-profile shipbuilders, P&I clubs and insurance companies. ‘Impressively commercialByung-Suk Chung is a leading authority on shipping, shipbuilding, insurance, international trade and related international arbitration., as is the ‘exceptionally skilful partner’, Chul-Won Lee . Joon Hwan Park advises on shipbuilding, offshore construction disputes and dry shipping cases as well as maritime casualties. Senior associates Na-Rae Kim and Sang-Hyup Lee are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Byung-Suk Chung

Other key lawyers:

Chul-Won Lee; Joon Hwan Park; Na-Rae Kim; Sang-Hyup Lee

Testimonials

‘Excellent international reach’

‘The in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience of their practice’s senior members combined with the diverse work force and broad-based access to other specialized expertise of Kim & Chang makes them a leader in the sector.

‘Their shipping team are true market leaders. We are continually impressed by their sector knowledge combined with quick turnarounds on demanding matters.’

‘The sizeable team is led by Byung-Suk Chung, who has worked for shipowners and its insurers for almost 45 years. He inspires confidence and we feel most comfortable working with him, because he is not only excellent in maritime law (highly experienced in shipping and trade disputes), he is also impressively commercial. His advice is always clear, sensible and strategic.’

‘Sang-Hyup Lee is a rising star in maritime section, and he shows great enthusiasm in the performance of providing legal opinion with high quality.’

‘The Kim & Chang team is exceptional in being hard working, talented and knowledgeable about the law in relation to shipping, while focussed on meeting clients’ commercial objectives.’

‘Chul-Won Lee is an exceptionally skilful partner, combining a consistent sense of strategy with a tactical skill in determining how to achieve clients’ outcomes, whether in court, arbitration or both.’

‘Narae Kim has an unsurpassable understanding of the technical details relevant to any claim. She could probably visit and identify each space in a vessel and its contents while walking blindfolded.’

Key clients

North of England P&I

K Line

Samsung Heavy Industries Co.,Ltd

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering

Korean Reinsurance Company

KB Insurance Co., Ltd

Maersk

Korea P&I Club

Korea Shipping Association

Korea Shipowners’ Association

Pan Ocean Co., Ltd.

Korea Line Corporation

West of England P&I Club

HYUNDAI LNG SHIPPING CO., LTD.

Panasia

Work highlights

  • Represented Panasia, the third largest supplier of the Ballast Water Tank System in the world, in judicial review proceedings against the Korean government in connection with the cancellation of an administrative approval regarding the Ballast Water Treatment System.
  • Advising and representing 13 Korean container shipping companies affected by the Korean government’s (the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport) administrative rules and regulations. This case concerns the container handling charges in the Busan Port based on the fixed unit rates introduced by the Korean government, being higher than the market rates.
  • Representing four domestic LNG carriers in respect of a monetary claim involving freight for the FBOG fuel use against shippers. This matter involves unexpected change of regulatory scheme affecting the freight calculation formula in the voyage charter and required creative approach to resolve the issue.

Lee & Ko

Lee & Ko‘s highly-regarded Yun Jeong Seo-led ship finance practice continues to be the go-to firm for new and second-hand ship acquisitions, structured finance and cross border leases. Turning to contentious work, ‘Exceptionally hardworking‘ and a ‘safe pair of hands’, Jin Young Jung is another key figure in maritime law, marine insurance and international commercial disputes as well as energy commodity trading. while Yang Ho Yoon is acting on cases involving chemical cargo contamination and ship arrest based on mortgage enforcement. Gidon Nam is recommended for maritime bankruptcy matters.

Practice head(s):

Jin-Young Jung; Yun-Jeong Seo

Other key lawyers:

Yang-Ho Yoon; Gidon Nam

Testimonials

‘Strong shipping team. Very knowledgeable of Korean insolvency issues’

‘Jin Young Jung – exceptionally hard working, and provides helpful input on difficult issues’

‘They are not bound by legal theories, but try to give practical solutions to their clients’ problems. They fully accept the customer’s problem as their own, and work hard to solve it beyond the scope of customer-provided explanations and materials.’

‘Mr. Jin Young Jeong is great. He works for me as if he were me.’

‘Lee & Ko’s shipping team is very professional and experienced in maritime litigations in South Korea. They provide highly reliable legal service and advice.’

‘Mr. Jin Young Jung is a very experienced maritime lawyer and is really a safe pair of hands in the maritime legal sector. His advice is always helpful, precise and commercially practical. He is a lawyer one can always trust on when carrying out business in South Korea.’

Key clients

HMM Corporation Limited

Japan P & I Club

H-Line Shipping Co., Ltd

Pan Ocean Co., Ltd. (formerly known as STX Pan Ocean)

SK Shipping Co., Ltd.

Busan Port Terminal Co., Ltd

Heung-A Line Co., Ltd.

Heung-A Shipping Co., Ltd

DSEC Co. ,Ltd.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd.

E1 Corporation

Korea Middle Power Corporation

SK Networks Co., Ltd.

Korea Resources Corporation

Meritz Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd.

Hyundai Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd.

Lotte Global Logistics Co., Ltd.

Samsung SDS Co., Ltd.

Pantos Logistics Co., Ltd.

CJ Korex Co., Ltd.

Hyundai Glovis Co., Ltd.

Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd.

China Eastern Airline

Turkish Airlines

FINNAIR

Work highlights

  • Advised a joint venture called Kore Green LNG Ltd. established by H-Line Shipping Co, Pan Ocean Co and SK Shipping Co in relation to global bidding hosted by QatarEnegy in order to secure 100 time charter-parties for long-term carriage of LNG.
  • Represented Heung A Line in a charter-party disputes pending in LMAA arbitration filed by the Dong A Tankers as owners.
  • Advised ING Bank and KDB Infrastructure Asset Management on its finance acquisition costs of three 300,000 DWT Very Large Crude Oil Carrier for H-Line Shipping in the respective ownership of three Liberian SPVs established by H-Line Shipping.

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC‘s wide practice spans P&I club work instructions among other marine insurance matters, vessel finance and bankruptcy, shipbuilding disputes and vessel arrests. Jaiyoung Kim has over 15 years experience in cargo delivery disputes, bill of lading claims and COAs. Yoon Park is routinely instructed by shipowners, shipyards and P&I Clubs, while Young-Joon Cho and Eun Sik Shin take the lead on restructures of financially distressed shipping companies. Joon Sung (Justin) Kim advises on contract of carriage and charterparty disputes and marine insurance issues. Jong Ku Kang retired from practice.

Practice head(s):

Jaiyoung Kim; Yoon Jeong Park

Other key lawyers:

Young Joon Cho

Testimonials

‘I have worked with several Bae Kim Lee Partners on a wide range of litigation/arbitration cases. All have been excellent, managing their multi-lingual teams of lawyers, witnesses, and experts with skill; and liaising with clients throughout. BKL is an international law firm up there with the best.’

‘I have worked a lot recently with Yoon Jeong Park, who is of the highest calibre. Her attention to detail and responsiveness is excellent.’

‘The team has a strong capability in all areas of shipping including transactional matters and shipping finance. They maintain a strong and close relationship with their clients, and are always willing to understand the client’s situation and provide the required assistance.’

‘Young Joon Cho is a finance and banking lawyer who’s been practising shipping finance for about 30 years. He is very experienced and hence is very capable of spotting issues which may become controversial with the lenders / pose difficulties in the completion of the financing project.’

‘Yoon Jeong Park has a very good knowledge and understanding of shipping companies and the shipping market in general. I primarily work with her on shipping transaction and shipping finance matters but I understand that she has very good knowledge and experience in all areas of shipping, including shipping litigation and shipping arbitration. ’

‘Justin Kim has a good understanding on vessel’s structure/machinaries/actual voyages. Further, their current team leader  Yoon Park has deep understanding of Korean shipping sector.  Her wide network and list of contacts is a precious asset.’

Key clients

ITIC Club / ADK Maritime

Korea Shipping

DL E&C

HMM

SM Line

Korea Line

Hyundai Oilbank

Dong-A Tanker

Polaris Shipping

Heung-A Shipping

Work highlights

  • Defending DL E&C (formerly known as Daelim Industrial) against a damage claim suit filed by the owner of a Panamanian vessel regarding a collision with Busan New Port facilities in Korea.
  • Advised Polaris Shipping with regard to a quasi-judicial adjudication procedure, which has been administered for the first time by the competent maritime authority.

Kwon & Co

Spearheaded by the market renowned Tae Il Kwon  , Kwon & Co is ‘well-known as one of the most experienced boutique firms’ in the Korean shipping sector. Working with senior associate Suyeon Jung , Kwon is praised for his ability to ‘respond precisely and offer viable and commercial solutions’ in contentious cases such as cargo claims, rehabilitation proceedings, maritime collisions and groundings. Jung has developed a specialism in matters involving crews, especially regarding work related and non-work related disease concerning Korean Seafarers’ Act.

Practice head(s):

Tae Il Kwon

Other key lawyers:

Suyeon Jung

Testimonials

‘They have been well-known as one of the most experienced boutique firm in Korea. We and our clients have been satisfied with their quick proceeding and good result together with valuable legal analysis. All of us agree that their legal service are on a par with a much larger firms, with the benefit of a small firm billings.’

‘Tae Il Kwon is one of the most competent attorney in maritime law in Korea. He has enough strengths in all legal aspect. He has a full knowledge to any case from a legal and shipping perspective. He also pays attention to commercial awareness between the client and opponent. Ms. S Y Jeong is another great associate, assisting on every case. They deserve much praise and recognition.’

‘Prompt responsiveness with is a forte of the team. Almost every case in maritime is of time essence. Under such situation, they have always showed client-oriented attitude – that’s the reason why we have retained them as our legal representative for so many years. Their unchanged and unflappable running of the case is another strength.’

‘ Tae-Il Kwon is one of a few professionals in Korea with balanced knowledge of law on both Korean and UK. We can have his professional opinion without asking UK lawyer about specific issues. Very honest and trustworthy advice.’

‘Tae-Il Kwon stands out for his thorough and deep knowledge of the law, and his ability to respond precisely and offer viable and commercial solutions to problems, as well as guide through the maze of alternatives that may be open in addressing any one single problem.’

‘Tae-Il Kwon, the head of the firm, has deep knowledge of both of Korean law and English law. In addition to his legal knowledge, he is acquainted with the business, so he can give practical advice. It is always fun to work with him.’

‘Outstanding thoroughness and speed of response times, flexibility , knowledge and ability. Excellent practical advice, and specialist experience. They combine technical skills with a commercial understanding.’

Key clients

EUKOR Car Carriers

Gard P&I Club

Hyundai Marine & Fire

Korea Shipping Association

Korea P&I

London P&I

North of England P&I

PT Limas Tunggal

Reed Smith

Sinokor Merchant Marine

SK Shipping

Hyundai Glovis

Skuld P&I

Britannia P&I

Pan Ocean

Marsh Korea

H Line

Japan P&I

W K Webster

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance

Korean Reinsurance Company

Work highlights

  • Represented Dong Young Shipping, Charterers of M.V. “HENG YU” in a case where the vessel was arrested and the discharge of cargoes were delayed for over 2 months.
  • Represented a Japanese shipowner in a preservation of evidence case where the client was accused of unseaworthiness due to engine failure and the opponent threatened for vessel arrest.
  • Represented major insurance companies in an accident where a vessel collided with port facilities.

Moon & Song

As one of Korea’s top specialised boutiques, Moon & Song advises an impressive client range of P&I clubs, shipbuilders, owners, charterers, insurers, and brokers, advising on both wet and dry cases throughout the sector. Noted areas of expertise include cargo claims, collisions, charter party disputes and ship finance. Kwang-Myeong Moon , Sang Hwa Lee and Hun Song are its key partners.

Practice head(s):

Kwang Myeong Moon; Sang Hwa Lee; Hun Song

Testimonials

‘Over the years, we have been working with Moon & Song’s maritime lawyers on a number of P&I, FDD, and cargo insurance claims, including casualties, collision, FFO claims, cargo claims, vessel arrest and rehabilitation proceedings, and we found that they are the most reputable and reliable shipping firm in Korea. They are known for their expertise and readiness to provide timely support and obtain the best resolution for the client.’

‘Moon & Song is recognized as one of the major maritime law firms in Korea, and despite continuing to expand over the recent years, they continue to find ways to better serve their clients and to earn their trust. They are great communicators, they work hard to maintain client relations and offer fast, reasonably priced and legally sound advice. We would highly recommend the firm without hesitation.’

‘ Kwang Myeong Moon (Managing Partner) has abundant experiences and is one of the most recognized shipping lawyer in the current shipping market. He provides clients with precise and insightful advice, and has excellent ability to resolve complicated situations. His passion towards work over the many years helped him gain respect from the Korean shipping community, and he has been recognized by their international clients as well. ‘

‘Hun Song provides an efficient and clear solutions, and has an excellent skill to negotiate under a tough and complicated matters. As he majored in mechanical engineering, he has excellently resolved cases where technical points are at issue.’

‘Sang Hwa Lee is exceptional in all types of maritime cases and shows the professional capacity for shipping legal disputes by offering extensive and clear legal advice and solutions focused on the clients’ needs.  He is always prepared to defend and protect clients’ interests.’

Key clients

North of England P&I Club

Japan P&I Club

Korea Shipping Association

Korea P&I Club

Britannia P&I Club

UK P&I Club

Steamship Mutual P&I Club

London P&I Club

HYUNDAI GLOVIS CO., LTD

KMTC

HMM

Pan Ocean

Namsung Shipping

A&G Korea

PANDIN Insurance Co., Ltd

Korea University

HS Corporation

KORHI Average Adjusters & Surveyors Ltd.

Woohyun Shipping

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Korean Registry for the disputes arising from the recall of fire extinguish system on vessels for finding fault or negligence in issuance of certification for manufacturing and installation of that system and successfully defended the claim from the manufacturing company (claim amount around USD 1,200,000).
  • Assisted Samsung Shipping in the accident of sinking of MV Samsung No.1 navigating from Jeju Island to Goheung by acting as attorney of Criminal proceedings, Marine Safety tribunal investigation and Civil litigation.
  • Advised KOGAS (the voyage charterer) in the dispute arising from a defect of LNG cargo tank to adopt a new technology of KC-1 (LNG tanker) against the allegation of SK Shipping (shipowner) that KOGAS shall be liable for the loss in the amount of USD $20m as a developer of the KC technology.

Sechang & Co.

Sechang & Co. represents major domestic and international shipping companies and P&I clubs in cargo claims and insurance companies in damage recovery claims. It also has a good track record representing foreign claimants and creditors in shipping rehabilitations and liquidations. Litigator and practice chair Hyun Kim is the ‘doyen and senior statesman of the shipping law community in Korea.’ Foreign attorney Thomas Kim is a ‘market leader for insolvency and rehabilitation work.’

Practice head(s):

Hyun Kim

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Kim

Testimonials

‘Sechang & Co is our go-to shipping law firm in Korea. They are very commercial lawyers and familiar with the relevant legal issues in Korea. They are our go-to law firm for “bet-the-firm” shipping litigation in Korea, bar none’

‘Dr Hyun Kim – doyen and senior statesman of the shipping bar in Korea. Also a very wise and respected arbitrator.’

‘Thomas Kim – very sophisticated and experienced shipping lawyer. He is market leader for insolvency and rehabilitation work involving the shipping industry’

‘We regularly work with Dr. Hyun Kim and Thomas Kim and the Sechang team, who are very responsive and helpful and willing to turn things round quickly when deadlines are tight.’

‘Sechang team provides superior legal services as they are very client focused and responsive, able to identify issues in advance, and is commercially minded  with an effective problem-solving approach. They have a breadth of expertise and skill in corporate commercial matters, maritime and shipping.’

‘Thomas Kim and the international team are forward-thinking and very knowledgeable. They stand out by providing prompt, thoughtful and on-point legal advices, which we found very helpful and of great value.’

Key clients

Pan Ocean Co., Ltd.

Samsung SDS

Kuehne & Nagel

Stena Holdings

Golar Holdings

Work highlights

  • Representing the shipowner in a cargo claim involving alleged rust damage in Vietnam-Korea transits.
  • Advised the shipowner regarding a captain falling overboard off Java, presumably during his watch duties in the ocean-going ship.
  • Advised Samsung SDS in respect of several demurrage/detention cases involving box container boxes carrying  Samsung Electronics’s products exported to the USA.

Yulchon

With a strong background in shipping, banking and finance, Yulchon‘s lawyers are able to assist on vessel finance, leasing and restructuring. For contentious shipping instructions, the practice works alongside its experienced dispute dispute resolution team. Senior foreign counsel Christopher Joon Tae Cho and Geen Kim are they lead banking partners for all financing work.

Practice head(s):

Young Su Shin; Sung Wook Eun

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Joon Tae Cho; Geen Kim

Cho & Lee

Cho & Lee’s shipping practice predominantly services cargo underwriters, hull underwriters, freight forwarders, shipowners and charterers on marine insurance, carriage of goods, maritime salvage, sea pollution and vessel arrest matters. ‘Top rate‘ disputes lawyer Sung Keuk Cho is the key contact.

Practice head(s):

Sung Keuk Cho

Testimonials

‘They are a very well known shipping firm, especially on hull claims and cargo interests. We have worked with them over ten years and their service is efficient and reliable. They are the best shipping firm in Korea.’

‘Sung Keuk Cho is experienced lawyer and has good reputation.’

‘In terms of shipping related advice and charter/cargo disputes, Cho & Lee are unequalled in terms of the number of lawyers and the years of experience they possess. They have a long history of working for all of Korea’s main insurance companies and trading companies and a number of transportation companies too. This makes them our first choice lawyer for all shipping matters on the cargo/charterers side in Korea.’

‘Sung Keuk Choleads the team and he has been a respected shipping lawyer in the market for over 25 years. His knowledge of shipping law is wide ranging and academically he is top rate.’

Key clients

Munich RE

Korean Re

NH Property Insurance

DB Insurance

Lotte Insurance

Hanwha General Insurance

ACE American Insurance

Lotte Insurance

Heungkuk Fire & Marine Insurance

Hyndai Marine & Fire Insurance

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Korea

Meritz Fire Insurance

AIG Korea

MG Insurance

KB Insurance

Korean Non-Life Association

National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives

Okabe & Yamaguchi, Japan

Clyde & Co London, UK

Lexline, France

Anjie Law Firm, China

Clyde & Co Shanghai, China

Nippon Express, Korea

Samsung SDS, Korea

Maxpeed, Korea

Work highlights

  • Representing (together with Clyde & Co) Hanwha General Insurance on Hong Kong proceedings in connection with $200m casualty arising out of the collision between M. V. “SANCHI” and M. V. “CF CRYSTAL”.

DR & AJU LLC

Sang Bong Lee is the lead partner at DR & AJU LLC‘s shipping practice, which specialises in dry and wet shipping disputes, namely marine accidents, loss or damage in international transport, charter party disputes and bankruptcy. 

Practice head(s):

Sang Bong Lee

Key clients

Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Government of the Republic of Korea

Busan Port Authority (BPA)

Employee of Korea Water Resources Corporation

Namhae Chemical

Work highlights

  • Representing Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Government of the Republic of Korea in a case with the largest amount of damages among the maritime cases in South Korea in 2020. A container ship collided with structures, such as cranes, etc., while entering the Busan New Port Terminal.
  • Acting for Busan Port Authority in a dispute over who is the operator of the harbour construction works.
  • Successfully acted for the bereaved family of a victim-sailor who went missing from the sinking of Samsung No. 1.

Jipyong

Jipyong specialises in representing Korean and international shipowners, P&I clubs, shipyards, ship financers, airlines, forwarders, traders and insurers in bill of lading, charter party and COA/CVC disputes. ‘ExceptionalChoon-Won Lee  continues to maintain his distinguished reputation in maritime casualties, collision of vessels, ship fire and oil pollution cases.

Practice head(s):

Choon Won Lee

Testimonials

‘Jipyong’s marine team are respected experts in the Korean shipping market.’ 

‘Choon Won Lee is a very competent lawyer and with a great wealth of experience in Korean shipping market. A great performer in litigation and arbitration proceedings.’

‘Choon Won Lee is exceptional in terms of quality and ability to address complex issues quickly and to the highest standard.’

Key clients

POSCO

Asiana Airlines Inc

HMM Company Limited

K Shipbuilding Co Ltd

Daehan Shipbuilding Co Ltd.

Dongbang Co Ltd.

H-Line Shipping Co Ltd

Steamship Insurance Management Services Limited

Stephenson Harwood LLP (Seoul)

Kennedys

Stephenson Harwood LLP (London)

Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore Pte Ltd

Yoon & Yang LLC

Yoon & Yang LLC is instructed on maritime disputes, rehabilitations and transactions bydomestic and foreign aircraft owners and ship charterers, P&I clubs, maritime insurers and freight forwarders and shippers. Practice head Sang-Pil Lee has abundant experience’ in wet and dry shipping disputes.

Practice head(s):

Sang-Pil Lee

Testimonials

‘Yoon & Yang is able to see the big picture of our company’s situation and provide accurate, creative legal solutions which lead to successful outcomes. The firm has comprehensive expertise in shipping and is highly experienced in handling not only comparatively small cases but complicated cases. I think Yoon & Yang’s overall service is much better than other law firms in Korea.’

‘We mainly worked with Sang-Pil Lee. I highly appreciate his excellent quality of client service. As the lead lawyer in the team, he always sets a good example to other lawyers and leads them in the right direction. Mr. Lee has abundant experience in various shipping matters and is a well-respected expert in this field.’

Key clients

Pan Ocean

H-Line Shipping

Korea P&I

SK Shipping

Heung Kuk Fire & Marine Insurance

STX Corporation

Hferry

Korea Trade Insurance Corporation

Intergis Co. Ltd

Posco Plantec Co. Ltd

INTOPS Co. Ltd

Royce Cruise Co. Ltd

K Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Representing Hferry Corporation in a lawsuit arising out of faulty vessel repairs.
  • Representing Intergis in an insurance claim arising out of shipping cargo collision.
  • Successful representation for Heungkuk Fire & Marine Insurance in a shareholders’ derivative lawsuit at the Supreme Court related to a maritime RG insurance.