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Since its founding in 2002 by HLS alumnus Kap-You (Kevin) Kim (LL.M., 1992) and his colleague, John P. Bang, Bae Kim & Lee's international arbitration team, the first dedicated international arbitration practice group in Korea, has rapidly earned the respect and recognition of its international and domestic peers through its forceful and uncompromising representation of clients in international arbitration cases worldwide. In the short space of eight years, the team’s roster has grown to 15 lawyers dedicated solely to arbitration, making it the largest team of dedicated international arbitration lawyers in Asia.
Led by Kevin Kim, a pioneer in this field in Korea and one of the leading figures in arbitration throughout the Asian region, the team is a selective balance of attorneys licensed in Korea, the United States and Australia, each of whom speaks 2 or 3 languages – including English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Swedish, French and Portuguese. In addition to co-founder John P. Bang, other notable members of the team include James Morrison, who handled cases from East Asia as Counsel in the ICC Secretariat in Paris from 2006 to 2009, and Kevin’s fellow Harvard alumnus Matthew Christensen (A.M., 2005, J.D., 2002) a Korea specialist who joined the team in 2007 from rival firm Shin & Kim.
Under Kevin’s leadership, the team has earned an impressive success rate representing Korean and foreign clients in international arbitration cases before all major international arbitration institutions. For example, the team recently obtained a total victory for a group of shareholders led by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the world’s largest shipbuilding company, in ICC arbitration held in Paris, against controlling shareholders affiliated with IPIC, the Abu Dhabi investment vehicle. The value of this arbitration, which involved a dispute among shareholders for control of Hyundai Oilbank (HDO), a Korean oil refining and marketing company, exceeded USD 3 billion. In the award, the arbitrators enforced a punitive call option under the joint venture agreement, ordering the IPIC group to sell its 70% stake in HDO to the HHI side at a 25% discount over fair market value. The award is unprecedented in Korea, and perhaps globally, in enforcing this type of co-investor remedy on such a scale.
Kevin is listed as a top practitioner in the field in peer-reviewed publications and is a frequent speaker and panel member at international arbitration conferences worldwide. Kevin was elected as Council Member of ICCA (International Council for Commercial Arbitration) in 2009. He was the first Council Member from Korea and the youngest member of the ICCA Council. ICCA is the worldwide non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting and developing arbitration, conciliation and other forms of international dispute resolution and there are only 37 Coucil Members all around the world. In May 2010 at Rio, Kevin was elected as Secretary-General of ICCA. He has the distinct honor of serving as Court Member / Board Member of the world top three international arbitration institutions; the ICC International Court of Arbitration (ICC ICA), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and Board Member of the American Arbitration Association (AAA). Kevin is the first Court Member from Korea for the LCIA and the first Board Member from Korea for AAA. He is also a listed ICSID arbitrator, Senior Advisor to the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board, Vice Chair of the IBA Arbitration Committee.
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