South Korea’s first arbitration boutique
|Pending cases as counsel||6|
|Value of pending counsel work||US$8 billion|
|Current arbitrator appointments||1 (of which 0 are as sole or chair)|
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator||1|
KL Partners launched in 2015 after three partners in the arbitration practice at full-service firm Shin & Kim – Beomsu Kim, John Kim and Eun Nyung Lee – decided they’d be better off on their own.
Nearly three years on, the new firm is impressively busy. KL Partners is representing private equity firm Lone Star in a US$4.7 billion ICSID claim against South Korea (Shin & Kim continues to co-counsel on that matter). Lone Star has gone on to retain the boutique in a Singapore-seated ICC case against a Korean financial group.
As co-counsel with Quinn Emanuel, KL Partners won their first award in a Hong Kong-seated ICC arbitration for one of Korea’s largest private equity firms – a post-M&A dispute over the sale and purchase of ING Life Korea. On the back of that, they’ve now been instructed by another private equity firm facing a similar case.
Other work includes an UNCITRAL arbitration relating to a major Seoul real estate project, which the firm recently brought to settlement, and a Seoul-seated KCAB arbitration over a Korean restaurant chain in Vietnam.
Partners Ki Seong Park and Ji Ho Ahn joined the firm in 2016 and 2017 respectively from Shin & Kim. They’ve advised some well-known international names including H&M, Starbucks and Chevron.