[Deals & Cases] UK Arbitral Award Enforced in Korea

Chaeum has successfully represented a leading shipping company (the “Company”) for enforcement of the UK arbitral award rendered by London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association in Korea.  


While the Company had entered into a charter agreement by which the Company chartered a jack up barge to charterers, during the course of this charter agreement, the Company claimed demurrage costs from one of the charterers (the “Respondent”). As the parties agreed on arbitration for dispute resolution, which is quite common for the shipping industry, the Company initiated arbitration in accordance with arbitral rules of the London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association in London, UK. The Company has obtained an arbitral award by which the Respondent was ordered to pay demurrage costs as well as all costs and expenses incurred for arbitration and interests.

Shipping contracts are often governed by laws of England with dispute resolution through arbitration in London.

As Korea ratified in 1973 the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, which is more widely known as the ‘New York Convention‘, foreign arbitral awards duly rendered in other signatory nations relating to commercial matters may be enforced by the Korean court.


Chaeum attorneys have successfully pleaded that (i) the arbitration award was rendered in the UK, which is also another signatory nation to the New York Convention; (ii) the matters which were subject to arbitration are commercial; and therefore (iii) the arbitration award shall be recognized and enforced by the court in Korea.


As Korean companies have participated in lots of cross-border transactions as well as arbitration for dispute resolution means, it is only natural that the Korean courts have been called upon for recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, both for and against Korean companies. Generally the Korean courts are friendly to foreign arbitral awards, however, still there are some technical and administrative perspectives in the Korean Arbitration Act which must be satisfied before the Korean courts recognize and grant enforcement. The proceeding may also become a lot more complicated, should there be a challenge raised by the losing party of the arbitration against recognition and enforcement.


When you have arbitral awards to be enforced in Korea, it is critical that the enforcement proceeding is advised by legal representatives with due expertise and experiences. Should you have any questions relating to enforcement of arbitral awards in Korea, please contact us at hjk@chlaw.co.kr.