Shipping: local firms in South Korea

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang's market-leading reputation in shipping is underpinned by its extensive coverage of a full range of shipping disputes, where it acts for domestic and foreign shipowners, P&I clubs and insurance companies. Byung-Suk Chung leads the team, which is experienced in contentious matters involving shipbuilding contracts, accidents at sea, charter party disputes, insolvency proceedings and insurance issues. Chung's standing in the industry is reflected by the fact that he serves as the president of the Seoul Maritime Arbitration Association, among other notable roles. Chul-Won Lee and Sungjean Seo are advising a client on LMAA arbitration proceedings arising from a dispute over shipbuilding contracts for the engineering and construction of four semi-submersible drilling rigs. Clients also benefit from the expertise of Jin Hong LeeJae-Bok Lee and Joon Hwan Park.

Practice head(s):

Byung-Suk Chung


Kim & Chang provided detailed and accurate advice on casualty, damages to cargo, charter party disputes and marine insurance related work. It also has resources and expertise from other practice groups. It is capable of the full range of shipping-related work and provide the client with timely, in-depth advice. It has experience and knowledge of the industry. and practitioners consider the commercial realities. There is no doubt that Kim & Chang is a leading maritime law firm in Korea

Key clients

Zodiac Maritime

BP Shipping

Japan P&I

North of England P&I

Skuld P&I

Stephenson Harwood

K Line

Holman Fenwick & Willan, London

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd

Kennedys Law

Yoshida & Partners

Samsung C&T Corporation

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering

Work highlights

  • The firm is acting as co-counsel to a heavy industries company in an ICC arbitration governed by the laws of the State of Qatar against a Qatari gas company. The dispute arises from an EPC dontract for the engineering, procurement, and construction of offshore platforms and pipeline facilities for a project conducted in the state of Qatar.
  • The firm is advising the P&I insurers and owners of the car-carrier Sincerity Ace, which caught fire during its voyage to its discharging port in the US from Japan. As a result of the fire, most of cars on board the vessel (as well as the vessel itself) were damaged.
  • The firm is advising Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd on its merger with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co., Ltd.
  • The firm is acting for Hyundai LNG Shipping Co., Ltd in a complex tr-partite dispute relating to the KOGAS consecutive voyage charter.
  • The firm is advising the cargo underwriters on claims for recovery of losses and damages against STX O&S and the classification societies. The dispute is centred on hull damage sustained by one of the famous Valemax vessels (which was built by a Korean shipbuilder), which suffered hull damage on its maiden voyage while loading cargo in Brazil.

Lee & Ko

At Lee & KoJin Young Jung heads up a specialist team which focuses on shipping disputes. Contentious work spans areas such as marine casualty, ship arrests, marine cargo claims, shipping insolvency and marine insurance claims. In 2018, Jin Young Jung and Lee Sang-hyeop defended Meritz Fire & Marine Insurance Co  against a lawsuit brought by Korea Development Bank (as pledgee of the insurance claim) in relation to the sinking of vehicle-passenger ferry MV Sewol. Yang Ho Yoon is also recommended for maritime disputes. Yun Jeong Suh, who leads the shipping finance practice, acts for a mix of domestic and international financial institutions, and shipping companies. Elsewhere, the firm has a strong track record advising on shipping regulation,  and ship sales and purchases, among other matters.

Practice head(s):

Jin Young Jung (head of shipping disputes); Yun Jeong Suh (head of shipping finance)

Other key lawyers:

Yang Ho Yoon; Lee Sang-hyeop


They are very good on the law and also extremely commercial in their advice and practice. They are also very responsive when required

Jin Young Jung is very astute and experienced

Key clients

Hyundai Merchant Marine Co, Ltd

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

SM Korea Line Corporation

E1 Corporation

Sammok Shipping Co., Ltd

Bookuk Shipping Co., Ltd

Taeyoung Shipping Co., Ltd

Lotte Global Logistics Co., Ltd. (formerly known as Hyundai Logistics)

Samsung SDS Co., Ltd

Pantos Logistics Co., Ltd

CJ Korex Co., Ltd

Orient Shipyard Co., Ltd

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd

Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd

China Eastern Airlines

Turkish Airlines


Meritz Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd

HanJoong Ship Machinery Co., Ltd

Korean RE SK Networks Co., Ltd

Hyundai Glovis Co., Ltd

Work highlights

  • The firm acted for Capital Maritime & Trading Corporation in civil litigation where it was seeking the cancellation of a ship arrest order in relation to MV Miltiadis Junior.
  • The firm acted for Korea Development Bank as the Korean junior lender on the provision of circa $28.5m to H-Line Shipping to finance the acquisition of two LNG dual-fuel bulk carriers.
  • The firm acted for Busan Bank and Suhyup Bank as the Korean junior lenders on the provision of finance to Polaris Shipping to finance the acquisition of five very large ore carriers.
  • The firm acted for Korea Ship Finance Co., Ltd as the Korean junior lender on the refinancing of two very large crude-oil carriers for Sinokor Petrochemical.
  • The firm advised Jinhain Intelligent Manufacturing Co., Ltd (a Chinese shipyard) on the enforcement of arrest orders against two vessels, MV Gulf Jamulda and MV Gulf Fanatir, as security to enforce LMAA arbitration awards against Gulf Navigation Holding.

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC

In addition to acting for Korean clients, Bae, Kim & Lee LLC generates work from entities in Singapore and across Europe. Jointly led by Jong Ku Kang and Jai Young Kim, the team excels in shipbuilding disputes, collision cases, cargo damage claims, vessel arrests and charter party disputes. The group also advises clients on non-contentious shipping matters, such as corporate restructurings, finance transactions and business management issues. Entities that instruct the firm include Korean shipping companies, Korean shipyards, P&I clubs and commercial banks.  Kang is acting as Korean counsel to Boyang in LMAA arbitration proceedings against the owners of MV Uruguay Reefer; the dispute arose from the client losing circa $4m worth of cargo when the vessel sank during its voyage to the Falkland Islands. Yoon Jeong Park is a name to note in the group. Tae Jeong Kim joined Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Practice head(s):

Jong Ku Kang; Jai Young Kim

Other key lawyers:

Yoon Jeong Park

Key clients


Standard P&I

Steamship Mutual P&I

Korea P&I

Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd

Polaris Shipping Co., Ltd

Boyang Ltd

Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd

Ksure (Korea Trade Insurance Corporation)

Doosan Engine

Korea Western Power Co., Ltd

Daebo International Shipping

Korea Development Bank

Work highlights

  • The firm acted for Boyang Ltd on the acquisition of two reefer vessels.
  • The firm is acting for Dae A Express Shipping in relation to a claim arising from its sale of a second hand fast ferry to Bridgemans Trinidad Limited Partnership (the “purchaser”). The purchaser brought a claim against the client alleging that the fast ferry was delivered with a defective engine, the condition of which the Seller fraudulently misrepresented to be in good order. The Purchaser claims for the loss of repairing the defective engine together with loss of hire.
  • The firm is acting for Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in its rehabilitation proceedings, and also in the related sale of the company.

Choi & Kim

Choi & Kim is highly active in contentious maritime matters; its work in this space includes contractual disputes over damage to/loss of cargo, vessel collisions, oil pollution cases and maritime liens of vessels/cargo. The firm also advises on insurance claims. J H Choi and C J Kim each have over 30 years of experience of maritime and insurance disputes. S W Park and J H Shin are also recommended.

Other key lawyers:

J H Choi; C J Kim; S W Park; J H Shin

Moon & Song

Since it was established in 2006, Moon & Song has become a first port of call for maritime law and shipping advice among many of its clients. On the contentious side, a team including name partner Kwang Myeong MoonSang Hwa Lee and Hun Song handles a varied portfolio of work, such as charter party disputes, cargo claims and bill of lading claims, as well as a wide ambit of marine casualty matters (including those involving oil pollution incidents, ship collisions and fire). Moon and Lee are acting for Hyundai Glovis and North of England as the time charterers in a claim brought by the owners of car carrier MV Auto Banner, which was destroyed by a fire, along with used cars that had been loaded onto the vessel. Non-contentious work includes the drafting negotiating of shipbuilding contracts and ship finance transactions. The firm's strong credentials see it act for Korean shipping companies, international shipowners and P&I clubs.

Practice head(s):

Kwang Myeong Moon; Hun Song; Sang Hwa Lee


They are super-cooperative with clients and extremely good at understanding what clients really need to solve a matter. Their clear, prompt and high quality advice based on deep understanding of the industry definitely helps clients to manage their situation in a better way. Their team is indisputably one of the strongest in the market

Kwang Myeong Moon is always responsive, clear and constructive. His commercial-minded attitude and practical guidance is extremely helpful. Hun Song provides appropriate, client-focused and clear advice. He is good at managing complicated situations

Kwang Myeong Moon, who is very sincere, has deep knowledge of the maritime industry and the relevant international laws

Key clients

North of England P&I Club

Japan P&I Club

Korea Shipping Association

Reed Smith LLP


A&G Korea, Representative of Arthur J. Gallagher (UK) Ltd

SK Shipping

HS Corporation

KORHI Average Adjusters & Surveyors Ltd

Korea University

PANDIN Insurance Co., Ltd

The Britannia Steamship Insurance Association Limited

Hyundai Merchant Marine

Hill Dickinson LLP


Campbell Johnston Clark

The Korea Shipowners’ Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association

London P&I Club

UK Club

Pan Ocean

Work highlights

  • The firm is advising SC Grand Shipping on criminal, civil and administrative proceedings connected with a collision between the 6000 ton vessel Sea Grand and the Busan Gwangan Bridge, as well as two yachts.
  • The firm acted for Miltiadis Junior Carriers Corporation in relation to the arrest of the Vessel Miltiadis Junior.
  • The firm is defending Highlink Shipping against a damages action, which has arisen from cargo being contaminated whilst being transported by sea.

Sechang & Co.

Sechang & Co. has a strong reputation in the shipping industry, as is evidenced by its work for foreign claimants/creditors in claims against Korean shipping companies and shipbuilders that have gone under Chapter 11 rehabilitations and Chapter 7 liquidations; practice head Thomas KimHyun KimKwang-Hoo Lee and YeonJu Lee are acting for all the major global container lessors in claims and disputes arising from the insolvency of Hanjin Shipping. The team's broader experience of contentious matters covers other areas of shipping litigation and arbitration, such as charter party disputes and ship arrests. Non-contentious work includes ship finance transactions, leasing and ship registration, and advice on shipbuilding and repair contracts.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Kim

Other key lawyers:

Hyun Kim; Kwang-Hoo Lee; YeonJu Lee


The practice has an excellent reputation and provides a high level of service

The team undoubtedly has all the legal skills and knowledge that you would expect, but it is also refreshing to find a legal practice that takes a proactive approach to its clients’ needs

The team at Sechang is very responsive and provides clear legal advice on the relevant issues, together with a practical and commercial approach. It always delivers within the time frame promised. We have always had an excellent all- round service

Thomas Kim provides clear and comprehensive advice. Hyun Kim is an effective ambassador for the firm

Key clients






Blue Sky



United Parcel Services

Nordisk Steamship

German Shipowners’ Defence

North of England


Hanjin Shipbuilding

Hyundai Glovis

Dong Fang

Ensco Rowan

Elandra Holdings

Ministry of Maritime Affairs

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure & Transport

Work highlights

  • The firm is acting as Korean legal counsel to Ensco Rowan in a dispute against Samsung Heavy Industries over a drillship charter contract.
  • The firm is acting as Korean legal counsel to Teekay (as vessel buyer) in its breach of contract claim against Korean shipyard STX.
  • The firm is handling a large number of cargo damage recovery claims against Korean and foreign carriers on behalf of Korean and foreign insurance companies. Among foreign underwriters, Sechang represents Aioi Nissei Dowa Insurance Company Limited, AIU Insurance and Mitsui Sumitomo among others; and currently represents all the major local underwriters such Hyundai Fire and Marine Insurance, Lotte Insurance, KB Insurance, as well as Korea Shipping Association.
  • The firm is representing the Ministry of Maritime Affairs in compensation claims brought by victims of the much-publicised MV “Sewol” ferry sinking tragedy.
  • The firm is acting for the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in an ICC arbitration case filed by the Incheon Bridge Corporation over the possible construction of a third bridge to Incheon airport.


Yulchon undertakes a mix of contentious and transactional (particularly ship finance and restructuring) mandates for clients. In 2018, Christopher Joon Tae Cho and senior foreign counsel Seung Keun Park advised Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure) on the restructuring of Seadrill Limited, which included its Chapter 11 filing with the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. Another highlight saw Cho, Park and others act for Hana Financial Investment/Hyundai Asset Management on its subscription to $82m bonds issued by MPC Container Ships (MPC), the proceeds of which were used by MPC to acquire container ships. Geen Kim is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Hee Woong Yoon (managing partner); Sung Wook Eun (head of corporate and finance); Kyu Sik Kim

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Joon Tae Choi; Geen Kim; Sung Keun Park

Key clients

KTB Investment & Securities

Korea Development Bank


K-Sure (Korea Trade Insurance Corporation)

Hi Asset Management

Multi Asset Management

Standard Chartered Bank

The Export-Import Bank of Korea

Sinokor Merchant Marine

Hyundai Merchant Marine

Work highlights

  • The firm acted for Hi Asset Management as the arranger (with Acuon Capital Co. Ltd) on the provision of circa $13.8m finance to Sinokor Petrochemical for the purpose of acquiring two vessels.
  • The firm acted for Multi Asset Management on its financing of an LNG tanker vessel for Sinokor Maritime.
  • The firm advised the Korea Development Bank on its $14m financing of Korea Line Corporation’s acquisition of a second-hand bulk carrier.
  • The firm acted for the Korea Development Bank on its $136.4m financing of Sinokor Petrochemical’s acquisition of two very large crude oil carriers.
  • The firm acted for the Korea Development Bank (“KDB”) and KDB Asia Limited on their $20m financing Nova Marine Carriers’ acquisition of two vessels.


Jipyong serves as a hub for domestic and international clients on a wide ambit of shipping and maritime matters. Its team is led by seasoned practitioner Choon-Won Lee, who is highly active in litigation and arbitration proceedings involving disputes over chartering, shipbuilding, the carriage of cargo, vessel collisions, ship fires and oil incidents. Ship finance transactions are another pillar of his practice. Lee works closely with senior associate Dahee Kim; the pair are acting for SK Shipping Co. Ltd and the defendants in an investigation by the Prosecutor's Office into a serious accident that occurred during repair works to the vessel G Commander.

Practice head(s):

Choon-Won Lee

Other key lawyers:

Dahee Kim

Key clients

SK Shipping Co., Ltd

STX Corporation

Vitol Group

MOL Chemical Tankers

AON Singapore Pte Ltd

AON Korea Inc

Asiana Airlines

American Airlines

Air Busan

Work highlights

  • The firm is acting for SK Shipping Co., Ltd. as the claimant in a lawsuit in Korea over the defective construction of two vessels, M/V SK Serenity & SK Spica.
  • The firm is acting for STX Corporation and Vitol Group in their claims against Dong-A Tanker Corporation, which is the subject of rehabilitation proceedings.
  • The firm advised MOL Chemical Tankers (a foreign investor in Korea) on a joint venture agreement with several other companies in relation to the Ulsan Oil Tank Terminal Project.

Kwon & Co

Led by name partner Tae Il Kwon, specialist maritime law firm Kwon & Co acts for a broad base of clients, including P& I clubs, global and domestic shipping companies, general insurers and hull and machinery (H&M) underwriters. The firm distinguishes itself in the full range of cargo claims, collision cases, crew-related matters, charter party disputes and rehabilitation/bankruptcy proceedings involving Korean shipping companies. Another name to note is associate Suyeon Jung, who is highly regarded for vessel arrest cases. Also notable is that, working with Kwon, she has assisted a number of creditors with matters arising from the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping.

Practice head(s):

Tae Il Kwon

Other key lawyers:

Suyeon Jung


Cost effective and very responsive

Tae Il Kwon always provides extremely clear and prompt advice

Tae Il Kwon is knowledgeable, quick and to the point, and has a very service-minded and amiable attitude

Tae Il Kwon is very diligent and aggressive in protecting the client’s interest

Tae Il Kwon is a very passionate lawyer who works very hard to meet the clients’ requirements without delay. He works proactively and does not just wait for instructions

Key clients

Campbell Johnston Clark

CS Marine

EUKOR Car Carriers

Gard P&I Club

Hyundai Marine & Fire

Hyundai Merchant Marine

Korea Shipping Association

London P&I

North of England P&I Club

PT Limas Tunggal

Reed Smith

Sinokor Merchant Marine

SK Shipping

Skuld P&I Club

Sovrocomflot Group

Standard P&I Club

Steamship Mutual

The Swedish Club

T.S. Line

Yang Ming Marine

Work highlights

  • The firm is representing Sompo Japan Sigorta in a claim against Daewoo Logistics, which has arisen from cargo being damaged during overseas transport by Daewoo Logistics. The firm assisted with the arrest of the vessel of Daewoo Logistics to secure the claim amount, as well as the filing of the lawsuit.
  • The firm advised CS Marine on its objection to a vessel being arrested by KTS Shipping in a time charter dispute.
  • The firm is acting for EUKOR Car Carriers (a time charterer) in a case against Hyundai Motors (as the shipper), which has arisen from a fire occurring on board M.V. “Platinum Ray” (time-chartered vessel), where circa 2,100 cars were loaded at Ulsan, Korea.
  • The firm is assisting Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance with a vessel collision case against Hanjin Shipping.
  • The firm is representing PT Limas Tuggal in a $17m damages action against Korean Power Plants, which took delivery of cargo without presenting an original bill of lading to the carrier, the result of which saw the client lose security for payment of the cargo.

Suh & co

The key contact at Suh & co is name partner Dong-Hee Suh, who has 34 years of maritime law experience. Suh is handling criminal and civil litigation for Britannia P&I Club and the owners of MV Panamax Blessing, which collided with MV Harmony Rise off the coast of Ulsan, Korea. Other work included assisting more than 20 clients from various countries with filing rehabilitation and bankruptcy claims against Hanjin Shipping

Practice head(s):

Dong-Hee Suh

Key clients

Britannia P&I Club

Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd

Maersk Korea


Pax Ocean

Fairbridge Resource

Work highlights

  • The firm defended a member of Britannia P&I Club with settling a $600,000 cargo claim.
  • The firm assisted Daewoong with filing a $500,000 insurance claim against Ace American Insurance, which had issued air cargo insurance for the client for air carriage of pharmaceutical goods from Germany to Korea. The goods were damaged during carriage.
  • The firm is assisting Maersk Korea with a $170,000 claim against a Korean freight forwarder, which had failed to pay a container detention charge because it had requested a change of destination port.
  • The firm assisted Portugese shipping company Portline with filing a criminal complaint at the Prosecutor’s Office over losses sustained as a result of online fraud.
  • The firm is advising Pax Ocean on acquiring Floating Dock from Orient Shipyard Co., Ltd, which is under a rehabilitation procedure.

Yoon & Yang LLC

Yoon & Yang LLC's practice offers excellent coverage of shipping and maritime sector disputes and transactions. Department head Hae Duk Jung has over 30 years of experience of maritime litigation. In a recent highlight, Sang-Pil Lee and others represented shipping company Yongma Logis as the claimant at the Seoul High Court in litigation concerning the reimbursement of shipping costs. Other clients of the firm include domestic and overseas-based aircraft owners and ship charterers, P&I clubs, maritime insurance companies and maritime/aviation freight forwarders.

Practice head(s):

Hae Duk Jung

Other key lawyers:

Sang-Pil Lee


Sang-Pil Lee is a standout partner. He has extensive knowledge and experience of shipping, maritime and international trade. His industry knowledge is complemented by his warm approach and great mind

Key clients

Pan Ocean

STX Corporation

Korea P&I

APL Korea

SK Shipping

Heung Kuk Fire & Marine Insurance

Weidong Ferry

Korea Ocean Environment Management

Korea Trade Insurance Corporation

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. Ltd.

Cho & Lee

Cho & Lee provides support on a broad cross-section of contentious and non-contentious shipping matters to clients such as shipowners, domestic and foreign underwriters, and charter parties. Team head Sung Keuk ChoThomas LeeDong Hyun Kim and Hanna Park are advising cargo underwriter Hanwha General Insurance Co Ltd on issues connected with the sinking of Iranian-owned tanker MT Sanchi. In another matter, the team is acting for subrogated hull underwriter DB Insurance Co Ltd in a multimillion-dollar claim arising from a fire that occurred on car carrier MV Auto Banner at the port of Incheon. Other areas of expertise include vessel arrests, maritime salvage and sea pollution.

Practice head(s):

Sung Keuk Cho

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Lee; Dong Hyun Kim; Hanna Park

Key clients

Munich RE

Korean RE

NH Property Insurance

DB Insurance

Lotte Insurance

Meritz Fire & Marine Insurance

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance

AIG Insurance

ACE American Insurance

Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance

Hanwha General Insurance

Heungkuk Fire & Marine Insurance