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Arbitration

Since its founding in 2002, BKL’s arbitration team “has gone from newbie, to respected co-counsel working with the big international names, to being one of those big names,” says the Global Arbitration Review, and now “sits at the heart of Seoul’s impressively busy arbitration scene.”

Tenacious and uncompromising in its representation of clients, the team has earned such highly sought-after awards as the Global Arbitration Review’s 2010 “Win of the Year” and the honor of being the first firm in Korea (and just the second in Asia) to make the GAR 30 list of most robust arbitration practices worldwide.

Now with 32 lawyers dedicated exclusively to arbitration, it is the largest team in Asia, with attorneys licensed in several jurisdictions with language abilities spanning English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Urdu, and Spanish, and diverse legal backgrounds ranging from civil litigation to M&A, IP, maritime and construction. And specialized legal issues are no obstacle, with the backing of a full-service business law firm over 500 professionals strong. Drawing on this diversity, the team can optimize staffing based on the needs of each case.

In addition to its traditional bread-and-butter commercial disputes, the team has developed a substantial portfolio of treaty-based arbitration and construction disputes. It also regularly handles ancillary proceedings such as actions to enforce or set aside arbitral awards or pursue emergency relief in Korean court, with the support of BKL’s 100-member domestic litigation team, and advises on cross-border litigation. Several team members also frequently sit as arbitrator.

Co-founders Kevin Kim and John Bang, among other members, regularly receive top listings in industry rankings, speak at conferences, and have taken on leadership roles in the field. Kevin serves as a Vice President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, Governing Board Member and Chair of Audit Committee of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) and Board Member of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), among other positions. John, among other honors, has been identified as a leading figure in GAR’s “45 under 45 in Arbitration.” He currently holds positions as a Director of the Korean Council for International Arbitration and an officer in the IBA Litigation Committee.

Finally, cementing its premier position in the field, the team has authored the first and only comprehensive treatise on arbitration law and practice in Korea in English (Juris Publishing, 2010), with a companion volume in Korean (Pakyongsa, 2011).
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