Firm / Organisation

Choi & Kim

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Managing Partners: J. H. Choi, C. J. Kim
Number of partners: 4
Number of lawyers: 9
Languages: English, Korean

Firm Overview:
Founded in 1997, Choi & Kim is the first law firm in Korea specialised in the areas of maritime and insurance law and instantly became one of the leading firms in Korea in shipping and marine insurance. Since its establishment, the firm has been the choice of major P&I clubs and shipping companies around the world. Its true value lies in its commitment to the need of the clients which is well displayed through excellence in civil litigation and arbitration. It now attracts clients with international trade disputes and cross-border insolvency issues. Most of its clients are based overseas and the firm is capable of providing legal advisory service both in English and Korean at the pace of demand, which are considered as something only a few of the largest law firms, with resources, in Korea can do. The founding partners, J H Choi and C J Kim, still have active roles in the firms’ practice, maintaining the integrity and spirit of the firm.

Practice Areas:
Shipping
Insurance
International Trade
Cross-Border Insolvency
Litigation
Arbitration

Main Areas of Practice:

Shipping/Maritime:
■ Represents the owners of MV Great and the Standard P&I Club of MV Great in an incident in which a collision between MV Great and MV MSC Leanne caused structural damage in excess of USD10 million to a port facility, namely, a gantry crane
■ Represents the owners of MT Sanchi and the Steamship Mutual P&I Club in a claim brought by the Korean Coast Guard against the owners of MT Sanchi for the costs of preventive measures amounting to USD 2 million for the oil spill following the widely reported collision between MT Sanchi and MV CF Crystal in the East China Sea
■ Represents Gard in an incident where during loading of gaseous cargo, the anchor chain of MT Crimson Gas got entangled with that of another vessel leaving the SK Gas Dock of the Ulsan Port, as a result of which the loading arms of SK Global Chemical were damaged
■ Represents the North of England P&I Association Limited in relation to claims for damages involving cargoes of heavy and military vehicles while being carried on board the car carrier Glovis Corona and the aggregated claim amount is expected to be in the region of tens of US million dollars
■ Represents Woojin Development Co., Ltd. in disputes arising from several contractual chains of coal supplies where a party in the middle of the contractual chain failed to pay the Indonesian supplier and the latter claimed for damages in tort against the end buyer, i.e., a Korean power plant, on the allegation that it was the rightful holder of relevant B/Ls and the end buyer used the coal wrongfully delivered and the aggregate claim amount is about USD 12 million
■ Represents the Britannia P&I Club and Korea Maritime Transport Company in a fire accident on board MV Kamala
■ Represents the North of England P&I Association Limited and Eastern Amber Shipping Limited in relation to a collision between MV Eastern Amber and MV Daeheung No. 7, as a result of which both vessels sank and a wreck removal order was issued to the owners of MV Eastern Amber
■ Represented Japan P&I Club and Eastern Shipping Co., Ltd. in an explosion incident that occurred at the ballast tank of MV Hanyang Ace during the loading operation of mixed acid at Ulsan, Korea
■ Represented Eukor Car Carriers Inc. and Wihelmsen Korea in respect to fire incidents which occurred on board MV Asian Empire, causing damage to Hyundai Moto Company allegedly in the amount of approximately USD 86.53 million
Key Clients: North of England P&I, Steamship Mutual, Britannia, UK Club, Standard Club, London P&I, West of England, Gard, Skuld, Swedish P&I, Japan P&I, China P&I, Korea P&I, Korea Shipping Association, Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance, KB Insurance, Hyundai Merchant Marine, and many other shipping companies

Oil Pollution:
■ Acts for the 1992 IOPC Fund in the Hebei Spirit oil spill case. It is the worst oil spill ever in Korea. More than 120,000 claims in the total alleged amount of about KRW4 trillion have been filed in the limitation proceedings commenced by the shipowner of the Hebei Spirit
■ Represented Alfa Insurance, Moscow in an incident where a Russian vessel was suspected of oil spill at the sea near Busan Port
Key Client: 1992 IOPC Fund

Insurance:
■ Acts for ACE American Fire and Marine Insurance Company who is the retrocessionaire of the D&O insurers of the affiliates of Hanwha Corporation and their directors in relation to a derivative action filed against the directors of Hanwha Investment & Securities Co., Ltd.
■ Acts for insurers in multi-jurisdiction actions against Houlder Insurance Services Limited and Houlder Insurance Brokers Far East Limited in relation to an insurance fraud claim
■ Acts for Zurich Insurance Company Ltd in relation to claims arising from the professional liability insurance
■ Represents the insured for an insurance claim against the hull underwriters in respect of the damage to the hull and machinery of the insured, which was rejected by the hull underwriters, due to the alleged failure by the insured to conduct condition survey as required under the condition survey warranty clause in the insurance policy
Key Clients: Scor Re, Aspen Re, ACE American Fire and Marine Insurance Company, Catlin Re, Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance Co. Ltd., Zurich Insurance Company Ltd., DAC Beachcroft LLP

Cross-Border Insolvency:
■ Represents members of major P&I clubs and internationally renowned shipping companies in the rehabilitation proceedings claims against Samsun Logix Corporation, Korea Line Corporation, Pan Ocean Co., Ltd., Daebo International Shipping Co., Ltd. and Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd
■ Provided legal opinions for submissions at the UK Court and London arbitration in relation to the Korean insolvency law and practice
Key Clients: UK Club, North of England P&I, Gard, Skuld, Swedish P&I, Navios Shipping, Eagle Shipping, Dry Bulk Shipping and many others