South Korea


Dispute resolution
Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang is a dominant force in dispute resolution in South Korea, with more than 200 experienced lawyers in the practice group alone. As the largest domestic firm in the country, it houses many of the market’s top litigation and arbitration specialists, and peers acknowledge the firm’s strength and deep bench across all practice areas and industry sectors. The group’s resources allow teams to be agile and diverse, mirroring the dispute resolution needs of its clients. It is well suited to large-scale litigation in multiple jurisdictions, with its lawyers experienced at handling high-stakes cases and an enviable track record of achieving favourable outcomes for clients. The firm’s litigation practice covers a broad range of areas, including general commercial litigation, intellectual property disputes, antitrust and competition litigation, product liability claims, labour and employment disputes, and white-collar criminal defence. The firm is also a go-to for international clients needing representation in cross-border disputes and international arbitration proceedings.

The firm ranks in the top tier across all benchmark tables as it regularly features in the most complex and landmark cases. The firm’s in-house forensic and legal technical team provides its litigators with a significant advantage as case management becomes more complex, with fact-finding involving high volumes of electronic data.

The firm assisted Schindler Holding in successfully obtaining the largest award in the history of derivative lawsuits in Korea against the chairwoman of Hyundai Group. The same client instructed the international arbitration team for its investor-treaty arbitration against the Republic of Korea. This case represents an important investment treaty arbitration concerning alleged regulatory failings of government authorities in Korea, including a financial supervisory regulator and a competition regulator. The ramifications of this investment treaty arbitration will be significant for defining the reviewable scope of such regulators’ authority in the context of investment treaties.

Client feedback

“The team overall analysed the potential risks and proposed the solutions we needed to resolve the matter.” – Commercial and transactions

“They provided accurate advice on lots of legal issues in a timely manner. And they led the legal cases to great results.” – Commercial and transactions

“Excellent at co-ordinating and managing counsel, experts, witnesses and the clients located in many different jurisdictions and time zones.” – Commercial arbitration

“The firm is great at using its extensive network to connect the company with government authorities.” – Government and regulatory

“They are great at everything. They are timely with their work and their legal writing, particularly given language barriers, is superb.” – Intellectual property

“They excel at everything. They are good for all legal services.” – Intellectual property

“Although the result was not as we expected, I believe Kim & Chang did their best and showed their professional manner, their ability and their efforts.” – International arbitration

“It is the Tyson Fury of international arbitration, being respected as the leading heavyweight arbitral practice.” – International arbitration

“They helped us with our arbitration strategy and preparation of legal advice regarding derived legal matters with relevant teams.” – International arbitration

“From form preparation to closing, K&C provide A-to-Z consultation on forms and feedback.” – Labour and employment

“They promptly provide the service and accurately spotted issues and represented our company in the right way, even though the issue with labour unions is quite complicated.” – Labour and employment

Great.” – Tax

“Technical excellence, practical approach and effective communication.” – Trade and customs

Hyewon Chang

“Deep understanding of the industry and clients, and great feedback.”

Sungun Jung

“He is good at listening to the issues and ending up with remarkable advice.”

HyeSung Kim

“She managed the overall procedure of arbitration. She communicated with us promptly and managed a very complicated issue well.”

Raymis Kim

“Extremely good communicator who ensures work product is delivered in a timely fashion and is of good quality.”

Sae Youn Kim

“She is an expert in arbitration as well as a wide spectrum of corporate legal matters.”

Byung Hoon Kwak

“He is one of the most famous attorneys in a litigation area of South Korea. He is very good at understanding the company’s position in the rapidly changing business environment and has a great ability to handle complex legal cases. We are satisfied with his work all the time.”

Jae Ha Kwon

“I would recommend Jae Ha Kwon of Kim & Chang’s international arbitration practice. Jae Ha is an English-qualified foreign attorney, and, over the past decade, she has built an impressive list of clients, representing both Korean and international clients across arbitrations and court proceedings. In 2022, Jae Ha became the first lawyer in Korea to be admitted as a Solicitor Advocate and, with her enhanced advocacy skills, I think she has taken more active roles in representing clients at arbitration hearings, including through examinations of witnesses and presentation of oral arguments.”

Chul-Won Lee

“An excellent communicator and lawyer.”

“A goal-oriented dispute resolution lawyer.”

Woojin Lee

“Fantastic communications and technical excellence.”

TY Nam

“Excellent professionalism.”

Hyunjae Park

“He has special knowledge of HR issues, and we rely on his thoughtful comments when we struggle with these. He suggests reasonable service fees and builds an appropriate team considering the issue.”

Ji-Hyo Ryu

“Based on robust intelligence and ample insight into the industry, Ji-Hyo accurately understands what the customer wants. He provides effective and constructive feedback, demonstrating a keen understanding of client needs. Additionally, he has made significant contributions to project success by promptly delivering precise data, even in response to urgent client requests.”

Lee & Ko

Lee & Ko excels across all areas of dispute resolution. Its team of talented and experienced litigators is led by 25 partners and 70 lawyers who together cover more than 40 different specialties. The disputes team frequently collaborates with an extensive roster of practice area specialists, from construction to insolvency, and employs the expertise of industry specialists such as economic analysts, international trade experts, accountants, tax specialists, patent attorneys and regulatory analysts. The group comprises more than 80 former Supreme Court Justices and assistant Attorney Generals, among others. A key strength of the firm’s dispute resolution practice is its ability to handle cross-border disputes. Its litigators have experience in managing disputes that involve multiple jurisdictions and are skilled in navigating the complexities of international litigation and arbitration. They are also experienced in working with foreign counsel and managing local counsel in other jurisdictions. The firm is a known market leader for handling serious accidents punishment act matters and a specialist NFT team was recently formed to tackle clients’ increasing blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and NFT issues. To provide on-the-ground support for its expanding roster of technology, media and telecommunications clients, a regional office was opened early last year in Pangyo, the Silicon Valley of South Korea.

A marquee matter for the disputes team saw its lawyers represent multiple domestic currency exchanges, including Dunamu, Coinone and Korbit, against a lawsuit filed by Wemix seeking a provisional injunction for the suspension of its delisting. The court’s ruling is the first case in which the autonomous supervision and sanctions by the Digital Asset eXchange Alliance on cryptocurrencies are acknowledged as legally valid, and is expected to serve as the most important precedent to secure soundness of the virtual currency market in the future.

Client feedback

“They are good at explaining the company’s position to the prosecutor.” – Banking and financial services

“During the lawsuit, a quick judgement of the situation led to an advantageous argument. They have a good understanding of the case in charge.” – Class actions

“Excellent written and oral advocacy.” – Commercial arbitration

“Excellent advocates.” – Commercial arbitration

“Accurate understanding of company issues. Strategic planning of responses throughout the process. Good at predicting how each situation will develop.” – Competition/antitrust

“Excellent communications and knowledge of local market and players.” – Competition/antitrust

“Lee & Ko's overall response to the investigation was excellent. The firm-s lawyers were well prepared and organised, and they provided us with clear and concise advice. In particular, Lee & Ko's on-the-ground response capabilities were outstanding. The firm’s lawyers were able to quickly and effectively respond to multiple search and seizure raids by law enforcement.” – Construction

“Lee & Ko was well prepared to tackle the matter in an expeditious manner with good arguments to make the court fully understand the case in our favour.” – Construction

“They really dig into the technical details when involved in construction matters. They have some excellent in-house senior counsel, who will present their client’s cases in arbitration directly to the tribunal.” – Construction

“They know how to deal with cultural sensitivities that the client might have while being mindful that, for international disputes, the opposing parties will not “play by the same rules”. It is Lee & Ko's ability to tactfully explain to clients why they need to take a certain course of action to protect their interest that I find invaluable when working alongside them.” – International arbitration

“Lee & Ko understands the exact concerns the company has and provides prompt and practical advice” – International arbitration

“Lee & Ko satisfied the needs of its client, who had no experience in arbitration, by giving guidance on the arbitral proceedings and necessary legal advice in a kind and timely manner.” – International arbitration

“The team kept us well informed and was able to liaise with the relevant government bodies to find a solution” – Labour and employment

“High ability to quickly identify issues and propose solutions based on experience and know-how accumulated over a long period of time.” – Product liability and recall

“Quick and accurate case understanding. The team created and implemented the right litigation strategy.” – Real estate

“Lee & Ko worked efficiently such that sufficient data and legal opinions would be submitted to the court in a timely matter. In doing so, they employed an efficient division and management of work.” – White-collar crime

“Lee & Ko defended us well so that we would not be in trouble” – White-collar crime

“About 10 lawsuits are under way against the crime of the subsidiary's representative, and all lawsuits have been won so far.” – White-collar crime

Joohye Hong

“She is very good at judging the situation and is full of will and passion.”

Sunyoung Kim

“Sunyoung Kim has greatly assisted us by proactively leading the overall communications with the client and the foreign co-counsel and within her team throughout the whole process and giving guidance to us on all relevant matters. As these cases continued for a long period, effective communication with the client and the foreign co-counsel and within the Lee & Ko team was the most important aspect. Especially, Sunyoung Kim was able to provide guidance and assurance to the client in a professional and comfortable manner by summarising and explaining to the client all main issues clearly and concisely. She also provided us with detailed analysis of imminent issues and timely and appropriate legal advice and solutions. In addition, she provided us with necessary information and advice on the relevant litigations. I could see that she was extremely hard-working and client-oriented. She worked all day and night for us, and this demonstrates her unparalleled conscientiousness and strong work ethic.”

Seon Tae Kim

“He is very intelligent, highly experienced in construction and very well prepared to deal with the complex aspects of large disputes.”

So Young Kim

“Great communication and understanding. Good at finding resolutions.”

William Kim

“He is a reliable lawyer who provides clear instructions that are understandable internationally. He also kept us updated on the progress of various matters.”

Miji Lee

“She understands the company’s situation and provides the answers we need or want to hear. The quick response has been very helpful to the company’s process.”

Jae Heon Park

“He understands the essence of the case very quickly and accurately. He can develop a litigation strategy that is in the best interests of the client and executes that strategy in an appropriate manner.”

Frank Shyn

“Clear and timely communications. Transparent in work and process.”

Ki Jung Sung

“Precise legal analysis. Excellence in legal writing. Expertise in on-the-ground response to search and seizure raids.”

Robert Wachter

“An excellent advocate and tenacious cross-examiner.”

“Excellent advocate and cross-examiner.”

“He is prompt and responsive; he understands the concerns we have and provides creative ways to resolve issues; he has excellent advocacy skills.”

Kyeong-seop Yoon

“Proactively identifies customer needs and proposes proper solutions.”

“Analyses problems meticulously and calmly, views issues from the customer’s perspective, and devises necessary solutions in a timely manner.”

“Kyeong-seop Yoon has demonstrated exceptional skills as a defence attorney in criminal trial procedures and possesses excellent legal writing abilities.”

“He has demonstrated excellence in responding to investigations and possesses exceptional legal writing skills.”

“Everything was great. Especially, it made me feel a sense of trust.”

“Mr Yoon always does his best for the client and the most positive thing is that he solves the problem with professional knowledge.”

Rosetta Legal

Boutique arbitration law firm RosettaLegal was established seven years ago by Young Seok Lee. Lee is a former head of Yulchon’s international dispute resolution group. The firm is niche and composed of two partners who handle significant arbitration matters for top-end clients seeking an alternative to the Big Six. It handles domestic and international arbitration cases in an array of industry sectors, including international trade, distributorship, insurance, telecommunications, technical licence, construction, engineering, infrastructure and shipbuilding. Since its inception, the Rosetta team has handled multiple international arbitration cases worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Founding partner Young Seok Lee is the firm’s key contact. He is a member of the ICC Korea international arbitration committee and has served as the chair of the Korean Council for International Arbitration, the secretary-general of Seoul International Dispute Resolution Center and the chair for the Korea International Trade Law Association. Lee is also active as an arbitrator for various arbitration institutions. Arbitration expert and partner Jeong Min Lee is another key contact. She is a member of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution Translation Committee and a member of the International Committee of the Korean Bar Association.

In a recent highlight, the team represented Korean civil engineering company Supportec, in an SIAC arbitration case on joint-venture issues in China. The team was instructed by Pusan New Port, Chubb Insurance Australia and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance in a series of proceedings within and outside of Korea on a case relating to an allision by a vessel.

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim offers its clients an established dispute resolution offering that focuses on six core specialised litigation practice groups: administrative, tax and fair trade law; construction, real estate and project finance; capital markets and financial disputes; corporate labour and bankruptcy; intellectual property and product liability; and criminal. The team has a strong reputation for public law, construction and real estate, financial, general corporate and intellectual property disputes. The firm’s international litigation practice group has grown rapidly in the past year, as domestic clients increasingly face entanglements abroad.

A recent claim to fame was the firm’s starring role and victory for SK Broadband in the dispute over network usage fees between Netflix and SK Telecom. It was a high-profile lawsuit that garnered worldwide interest, which the Shin & Kim lawyers helped its team win in the trial of first instance. In another headline-grabbing matter, the commercial disputes team acted for Asiana Airlines and Kumho E&C as the plaintiffs in a dispute over a contract deposit following the failed acquisition of Asiana Airlines.

The firm’s stable of clients includes Amosense, Cho Kun Dang Pharmaceutical Corporation, CJ, Gilead Sciences, Helixmith, Industrial Bank of Korea, Pine Tree Partners, Regus Group, Samsung, Seoul Broadcasting System, STX Heavy Industries and Vidente Corporation.

Yoon & Yang

The disputes team at Yoon & Yang offers expertise across a variety of practice areas, with its core litigation practice focused on complex corporate, construction, finance, employment and securities matters. The team’s sector expertise includes manufacturing, construction, finance and technology. It has strong and well-regarded competition, employment, white-collar crime and product liability teams. The corporate litigation team comprises 70 former judges, 20 former prosecutors, two former Supreme Court Justices and one former Prosecutor General. The international arbitration team is growing in prominence with an increased caseload and a seasoned addition to the team, partner Joseph Lee who joined from Pinsent Masons. Apart from its litigation and arbitration services, Yoon & Yang also offers mediation and negotiation services to help clients resolve disputes. Its mediators are trained and certified by the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board and have experience across a wide range of disputes.

One notable win for the firm was its successful defence for LAM Fund II & III against set aside proceedings on an HKIAC arbitral award in relation to an overseas trade finance fund restructuring dispute. Another victory saw the commercial team acting for Japanese company Sanwa in a shareholder’s dispute. The case had individuals who pretended to be representative directors of United Corporation, the largest shareholder of the client, file injunctions to convene a general meeting of shareholders for the purpose of dismissing the current management of Sanwa and appointing a third party as the new management so they could claim full management rights and illegally take possession of the client’s assets.

Key corporate clients of the firm include Audi Volkswagen Korea, British America Tobacco Korea, GE Healthcare, Keystone Food and MAN Truck Bus Korea. Core construction clients include Daehan Real Estate Investment Trust, GS Engineering & Construction, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Korea Teal Estate Investment & Trust and Posco Engineering & Construction. Intellectual property clients include some of the world’s best-known brands, such as Amazon, BMW, Intel, L’Oréal, Merck, Microsoft, Nike and SK Hynix.

Client feedback

“100% win in first trial lawsuit in more than four years.” – Commercial and transactions

“They understand the client’s needs and provide the right service at the right time.” – Competition/antitrust

“They helped us win 100% of our claim.” – Intellectual property

Sejung Lee

“Positive, proactive and enterprising in handling work on time.”

“Has communication and rapid responses that meets customer’s needs.”


Leading Korean law firm Yulchon has a roster of more than 450 professionals in its dispute resolution team alone, including more than 150 trial lawyers led by nearly 30 partners. These experienced litigators have a lengthy track record of success in representing clients in high-stakes litigation matters. In addition to legal practitioners, the group has other professionals such as accountants and industry experts to provide support to its litigators. The disputes offering covers the full spectrum of practice areas, with the market acknowledging its strengths in tax, finance, competition, construction, product liability, labour, intellectual property and white-collar crime. The firm is recognised as a pioneer in class action disputes and for its Supreme Court wins, overturning lower court decisions at a high rate. The firm has extensive experience in handling complex international disputes, and its lawyers are well versed in the rules and procedures of various international arbitration institutions.

Post-Covid, the firm launched a handful of new initiatives mirroring client demands. These include a new team dedicated to overseas litigation, a private wealth management centre, a tax crimes investigation response centre and a financial regulatory and investigation team. The latter two offerings dovetail nicely with the firm’s Centre for Responding to Regulations and Investigation on Financial Assets. The overseas litigation team is notably strong in US-based disputes, with its lawyers offering more than 35 years of combined BigLaw and US Department of Justice litigation experience. The private wealth management centre has more than 20 experts in litigation and tax.

The group has expanded its scope of expertise to encompass new areas such as mobility, blockchain, education, healthcare, hospitality, sports and entertainment, personal data protection, and environment and energy. The firm has segmented intergroup practice teams to offer tailored specialisation for its clients, with members of both the transaction side and disputes side in each team. For example, the firm offers finance, healthcare, mobility, insurance and sports and entertainment teams, among others.

The firm also has special regional practices, with experts from diverse practice groups equipped with the appropriate language and cultural background to suit clients’ needs. Yulchon has offices in China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Russia and Vietnam, and it is part of the TechLaw Group, Ius Laboris, and Taxand networks and alliances.

A recent accomplishment for the Yulchon commercial disputes team was its complete victory for client Mirae Asset in one of the largest litigations in the hospitality industry against China’s Anbang Insurance in the Delaware Chancery Court as well as in the Delaware Supreme Court.

Client feedback

“The team provides customised advice on various matters. It has good co-operation between various areas within legal, especially between transactions and related disputes.” – Banking and financial services

“The lawyers put their ability and energy into our case from the very beginning. It even seems that they thought more about our case than we did. I was very impressed with their witness examination and how they prepared it.” – Banking and financial services

“Yulchon’s Cecil Chung is a pre-eminent antitrust lawyer in South Korea. Cecil and the Yulchon have significant expertise navigating the merger review process in Korea, providing business-oriented advice, and delivering great results.” – Competition/antitrust

“All lawyers are friendly, and the quality of their work is high. Even though the cost is cheaper than Kim & Chang, I think the quality of work is same or better.” – Construction

“Regarding the complex and sophisticated matters, Yulchon showed a meticulous approach but was bold at the same time. Even though the case involved several issues, the direction of the lawsuit they presented was creative, but it made sense, and it served as an opportunity to lead in a good direction. When Yulchon gives advice, they present every small detail and possible way it could develop in order us to make the right decision.” – Intellectual property

“Based on their long-standing experience in dealing with similar cases, they could propose reasonable solutions.” – Labour and employment

“It was known that despite article 628 of civil law of Korea, the courts tended not to recognise claims to reduce commercial rental fees. However, Yulchon persuaded courts that Covid-19 was an extremely exceptional disaster and nobody could have foreseen such a pandemic. Thanks to such efforts, the courts now are recognising the reduction of rental fees.” – Real estate

“I appreciate their work expertise, knowledge, customer response, and pre-emptive attitude.” – Tax

Yong Whan Choi

“As a legal expert, he always collects opinions from not only the Korean branch but also the headquarters to represent the needs of the company to the domestic government and to maximise the company's profits.”

Cecil Chung

“He provides an in-depth knowledge and expertise in M&A matters with antitrust issues and helps us navigate the thorny merger review process in Korea.”

Hee Woo Jo

“Hee Woo Jo from the Yulchon Intellectual Property Team is the one I would like to recommend to other clients. Mr Jo is capable of complex and sophisticated matters, handling them with profound professionalism. He is a true hard worker and a perfectionist at the same time. When we are not sure of what to do with the case, he gives us every possible solution or method, which allows us to step up to another level. We were surprised to see that he found out hundreds of similar precedent cases. That, by the way, led us to win the case. Mr Jo’s attitude toward the case and the clients is admirable. He quickly recognises what the client wants and needs. Thanks to this, we can proceed with the fast-paced case comfortably. I am familiar with lawyers in big firms giving late responses or rough answers. However, Mr Jo is the one who sacrificed his personal time for the client’s case. Moreover, Mr Jo has rare expertise in this field. The industry has changed and diversified so rapidly that it is very difficult to grasp all the details. Other lawyers only understand it by researching a lot of information, but he is already very familiar with this industry and knows all the latest technologies, laws, precedents and trends. That is why we could follow his lead and move in the correct direction accordingly – because we could trust that he knew everything and was managing it, even if we didn't know everything. Mr Jo explains things well. We do not know every single subject in the industry, even though we are working in this field. He can present matters in a way everyone can understand. Also, he is a well-known industry expert, who was invited to the popular YouTube channel to explain the general trademark matters. Moreover, he is frequently invited to seminars and academic societies to give presentations.”

Sy Nae Kim

“Good communication skills, knows the law and the industry, and is confident and reliable.”

Il Bong Moon

“He could grasp the facts and legal issues in a very short period of time. Based on that understanding, he organised the team with proper experts and co-ordinated our needs and the team’s ability. More specifically, he led us to dig into the relevant facts that we never even considered. Accordingly, we could find more facts that are advantageous to us, and it was crucial in winning the case. Also, he was great at witness examinations. He was able to draw favourable statement from a hostile witness by elaborately orchestrating the whole examination.”

“He has an advantage in communicating with clients due to his experience as a judge and long litigation history. He is good at litigation management.”

Jung Han Oh

“Attorney Oh Jung Han has extensive knowledge across a variety of litigation cases and, in particular, has excellent expertise in the construction and real estate fields as he manages several construction companies as clients.”

Jae Woo Park

“He is able to react quickly and provide a sensible approach when needed.”

Jeong Keun Yun

“Provides friendly customer responses.”