9 November 2017
SIAC-KCAB Seminar on Multiple Proceedings in Multiple Fora - Strategies and Synergies

By Richard Jung Yeun Won, Foreign Attorney, Shin & Kim

The SIAC-KCAB joint seminar, “Multiple Proceedings in Multiple Fora – Strategies and Synergies”, covered everything one would expect and more from a seminar addressing a pertinent and timely topic in the ever-evolving world of international arbitration.

SIAC and KCAB jointly hosted the seminar at Seoul Global Center on 9 November 2017, as part of the week-long Seoul ADR Festival. Over 75 practitioners and in-house counsel attended the event, thanks to the all-star lineup of speakers and panellists who addressed joinder and consolidation provisions as a means to improve efficiency when dealing with multiple parties, contracts, and claims.

Ms Lim Seok Hui (CEO, SIAC and SIMC) welcomed the attendees by stressing the importance of time and cost considerations when developing strategies for cross-border projects and transactions. She also articulated a vision in which Singapore and Seoul would work in synchrony as arbitration hubs in the APAC region, as what the arbitration hubs of Paris and Geneva had done for Europe.

Professor Lucy Reed (Member, SIAC Court of Arbitration; Director, Centre for International Law (Singapore); Professor, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore) delivered the Keynote Address by describing how national laws and arbitration rules were in conflict, and how each jurisdiction had the responsibility to respect the rules of other jurisdictions while fulfilling its own responsibilities and duties to the parties. While she stressed the importance of joinder and consolidation provisions as tools to overcome consent requirements when adding additional parties, she also wondered if, in practice, joinder and consolidation provisions actually improved efficiency of the arbitral proceedings and led to cost savings for the parties.

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Members of the audience

Left to Right: Paul Sandosham, Professor Lucy Reed, Kap-You (Kevin) Kim, Dr Eun Young Park and Beomsu Kim

The first panel session included leading arbitrators and practitioners from across Asia, with each panellist wearing the hat of a different arbitral institution to discuss the different joinder and consolidation rules. Mr Kap-You (Kevin) Kim (Chair, International Arbitration Committee, KCAB; Head, International Arbitration & Litigation Practice Group, Bae, Kim & Lee LLC) was the moderator for the first panel session, which included panellists Mr Beomsu Kim (Managing Partner, KL Partners), Dr Eun Young Park (Member, SIAC Court of Arbitration; Partner, Kim & Chang), Professor Lucy Reed, and Mr Paul Sandosham (Partner, Clifford Chance).

Some notable points included:

• Professor Lucy Reed, representing the ICC in this role-play, noted that with respect to making final decisions regarding consolidation and joinder, the ICC court was the main actor when there was a dispute, and not the tribunal;

• Mr Paul Sandosham, representing SIAC, noted that applications for joinder and consolidation could be made to the SIAC court or the tribunal, essentially providing applicants two separate opportunities to join a party or consolidate claims, thereby making SIAC’s rules an attractive choice;

• Dr Eun Young Park, representing the LCIA, noted that the power to join or consolidate lay with the tribunal, but that the power to approve lay with the LCIA court; and

• Mr Beomsu Kim, representing the KCAB, noted how the simpler and more straightforward KCAB rules, which implemented a joinder provision in 2016, only allowed for parties to the current arbitration to apply for joinder and not third parties such as in other jurisdictions.

The afternoon’s second panel session included younger attorneys from a broad spectrum of international arbitration practices in Asia. Ms Sae Youn Kim (Partner, Yulchon LLC), in moderating the panel, likened the experienced panellists of the first session to “generals” and the panellists of the second session to “soldiers” who executed the generals’ commands. The afternoon’s “soldiers” included Ms Dana Kim (Of Counsel, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP), Mr Sam Kim (Foreign Attorney, Yoon & Yang LLC), Ms Hyunyang Koo (Associate, Lee & Ko), Ms Seungmin Lee (Partner, Shin & Kim), and Mr Matthew Secomb (Partner, White & Case LLP).

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Left to Right: Matthew Secomb, Seungmin Lee,
Hyunyang Koo, Sae Youn Kim, Sam Kim and Dana Kim

Closing Remarks delivered by Kap-You (Kevin) Kim

The panellists of the second session shared their experiences in working with complicated arbitration cases, and the lessons that they had learned along the way. Mr Matthew Secomb described how some parties had used joinder and consolidation as tools for tactical advantages, and labelled parties who wanted to keep things simple as “angels”, and parties who sought to complicate matters as “devils”.

Mr Kap-You (Kevin) Kim brought the afternoon to a close, noting that with the number of multiparty international disputes growing in Korea, the timing of the seminar could not have been more opportune.
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