The Swiss-Korean boutique continued its rapid expansion with some big name hires
|People in Who’s Who Legal||6|
|People in Future Leaders||4|
|Pending cases as counsel||21|
|Value of pending counsel work||US$62.3 billion|
|Treaty cases as counsel||1|
|Third-party funded cases||1|
|Current arbitrator appointments||36 (18 as chair or sole)|
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator||7|
Peter & Kim was launched in 2020 by two prominent international arbitration lawyers, Wolfgang Peter of Switzerland and Kap-You (Kevin) Kim of South Korea. The new boutique is exclusively dedicated to arbitration and arbitration-related litigation.
Peter is a leading counsel and arbitrator who co-founded the Swiss firm now known as Python in the 1980s. He worked there for 34 years before breaking away with a team in 2015 to launch his own GAR 100 boutique, Peter & Partners.
With a background in M&A law, Peter was counsel in a seminal ICC case in the 1990s concerning the break-up of Arthur Andersen. These days he is much in demand as an arbitrator – he recently chaired a panel that ordered Bulgaria to pay €600 million to a Russian state entity in a politically sensitive dispute over a nuclear power plant.
Kim joins after more than two decades at GAR 100 firm Bae Kim & Lee. He co-founded the Korean firm’s international arbitration practice and is widely regarded as a pioneer of the field in Korea. He is a vice president of the ICC Court and the first chair of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board’s international arbitration committee. He is also the president of the ICC Korea arbitration committee and served as the secretary general of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration from 2010 to 2014.
Peter brought his entire team over from Peter & Partners, including partners Christoph Brunner, Daniel Greineder (an English-qualified barrister) and Konstantin Christie; and of counsel Julia Xoudis. All are based in Geneva save for Brunner, who is in Berne.
In 2021, two other big names arrived. John Bang, who co-founded and led the international arbitration practice at Bae Kim & Lee, followed his former colleague Kim to the new firm. Meanwhile, former ICC International Court of Arbitration president Pierre Tercier joined as senior counsel in Geneva.
The firm has a Sydney office headed by partner Jim Morrison, another former Bae Kim & Lee practitioner who had been an independent practitioner for the past few years. It also has a Singapore office led by Charis Tan, a former Eversheds practitioner who brings experience in investor-state disputes and public international law.
The firm has offices in Geneva, Bern, Seoul, Sydney and Singapore.
Peter has been acting for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in a highly sensitive multibillion-dollar dispute with the Israeli government over an abandoned oil pipeline joint venture that has spawned at least three arbitrations and various French and Swiss court actions over more than two decades.
As part of that dispute, Peter and his team helped NIOC secure a US$1.1 billion award in 2015 against an Israeli state-owned entity in compensation for oil shipments pre-dating the Iranian revolution of 1979. They have since helped NIOC fend off a challenge to the award in the Swiss courts.
While at Python, Peter and his team helped Turkish client Doğuş defend an UNCITRAL award against a Ukrainian state railway company, obtaining a landmark ruling from the Swiss Supreme Court on the res judicata effect of foreign court decisions.
They have also acted for major European energy conglomerate in several gas-price reviews worth more than €1 billion.
While at Bae Kim & Lee, Kim’s case work included defending the Korean government against a US$5 billion ICSID claim brought by US private equity firm Loan Star Funds, and acting for Hyundai Heavy Industries in a US$2.3 billion ICC dispute.
Among his last cases before leaving Bae Kim & Lee, Kim helped Hyundai Heavy Industries settle an US$8.4 billion ICC claim it brought by Qatar Petroleum over repairs to an offshore gas project.
Peter & Kim picked up a new instruction representing a Singaporean businessman in an ICSID claim against China over the alleged expropriation of various real estate investments during a two-year spell he spent under house arrest.
The firm is representing Korean construction company POSCO E&C in a US$2 billion ICC dispute with two US real estate companies over a US$35 billion project to build a sustainable city near Seoul.
Peter & Kim is joint lead counsel to a methane gas exploration company in a joint venture dispute with major Asian state-owned enterprises. The case is governed by Chinese law and worth US$1.8 billion.
There were a couple of setbacks in ICC cases in which Peter & Kim was co-counselling with Bae Kim & Lee. Korean client Asiana Airlines was ordered to pay US$30 million in a dispute with a Swiss-controlled catering venture; and a Korean biotech client was hit with a US$40 million award over the mislabelling of a gene therapy treatment.
Peter represented NIOC in a Swiss court challenge to an interim award favouring the UAE’s Crescent Petroleum in an US$18.6 billion arbitration over a terminated gas supply deal. The court ruled the challenge was premature.
There were more arrivals in the Seoul office. California-qualified David Ahn and Yunsoo Shin, both former Bae Kim & Lee lawyers, arrived as counsel. SeungMin Lee, a former K-Pop artist, joined from Shin & Kim as partner.
Peter & Kim also strengthened in Sydney with the hire of counsel Tom Moxham.
One client that Peter & Kim represented in an M&A dispute says he “most appreciated their commercial approach in to helping us secure our business goals,” leading to a “fast and successful outcome.” Morrison and Tan were “simply outstanding.”
Another client who took advice from Peter, Greineder and Christie in Switzerland says their “experience and insight into natural gas price reviews helped a lot.”
A user involved in a real estate dispute says that all Peter & Kim practitioners are “thorough and meticulous” and thinks the firm’s Seoul office is the best dispute resolution practice in Korea. Co-founder Kim is “the best in the business” and has “put together an all-star team.”
“Kim has always been the leading light in Korea's arbitration practice,” says another client that has used the firm in various contentious matters. They would also recommend partner Mino Han in Seoul “very highly and without reservation.”
Peter & Kim is a specialist international arbitration and cross-border litigation firm with offices in Switzerland, South Korea, Singapore, and Australia. The firm was launched in January 2020 under the joint leadership of two of the world’s most prominent international disputes lawyers: Dr. Wolfgang Peter and Kap-You (Kevin) Kim.
Peter & Kim represents clients through all stages of disputes – from initial advice on navigating the dispute resolution process through to pre-arbitration negotiations, drafting written submissions, conducting oral advocacy at hearings, acting in post-award challenges and asset recovery. The firm also acts in setting-aside and enforcement proceedings in multiple jurisdictions, especially before the Swiss Federal Tribunal (Supreme Court) and at all levels of the Korean court system and is also engaged by clients to manage litigation in foreign jurisdictions, particularly in the US.
Relying on the depth and diversity of its lawyers and the close cooperation between its offices, with its 40 lawyers being qualified in over 9 jurisdictions (England & Wales, Switzerland, US (New York, New Jersey, California), Germany, France, Korea, India, Singapore and Australia) and fluent in over 14 languages, Peter & Kim can assemble bespoke teams combining different legal qualifications, linguistic abilities and industry knowledge to meet the specific needs of its clients across continents and time zones.
- Automotive and heavy industry
- Banking and financial services
- Commodities transactions
- Distribution and agency agreements
- Energy and pricing disputes
- International construction and engineering projects
- Investor-state disputes
- Joint venture agreements
- Long-term supply contracts
- M&A contracts
- Pharmaceuticals and life sciences
- Software and online games
Geneva, Switzerland Avenue de Champel 8C PO Box 71
1211 Geneva 12
Bern, Switzerland Schweizerhof-Passage 7 PO Box
Seoul, South Korea #3805 Trade Tower
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Level 7, 167 Macquarie Street Sydney
New South Wales 2000