Seohyung acts as an advocate and adviser in a broad range of commercial litigation and arbitration disputes focused on civil fraud, energy, professional negligence and construction. She appears led and unled in the High Court and the County Courts, as well as a number of international tribunals.

She has particular experience in international arbitration having worked at both Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s international arbitration team in Paris and Fietta LLP in London before coming to the bar.  She is familiar with many of the institutional rules, including ICC, ICSID, LCIA and UNCITRAL, and is frequently instructed as junior counsel in high-profile, high-value disputes, involving English law, foreign law and international law.

Prior to joining Chambers, Seohyung was a judicial assistant to Lord Justice David Richards in the Court of Appeal where she assisted in the preparation of a number of high-profile appeals.

Seohyung studied Maths and Literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Outstanding Achievement Award), a Masters in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford (Distinction, highest mark of the year for dissertation), and an LLM at Harvard Law School.

For examples of her recent and ongoing work, please see the individual practice areas below.

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Areas of Expertise

International Arbitration

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Seohyung has significant international arbitration experience from working in Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s international arbitration team in Paris and Fietta LLP in London.

Her recent and/or ongoing experience includes:

  • Acting as junior counsel in a shareholder dispute for a hotelier following the breakup of a £1billion hotel business;
  • Acting (as junior in a team led by Justin Fenwick QC) in a £500m ICC arbitration in a corruption and force majeure claim;
  • Acting (as junior in a team led by Roger Stewart QC) in a £70m LCIA arbitration claim concerning fraudulent misrepresentations and contractual breaches;
  • Advising on service of arbitration claim forms and applications for enforcement on a state and questions concerning the State Immunity Act 1978;

Her experience before coming to the bar includes:

  • Assisting in a £100m+ ICC arbitration concerning a long-term supply contract in the nuclear energy industry;
  • Assisting in a US$100m+ UNCITRAL investment arbitration in relation to nationality issues raised at the jurisdictional stage of proceedings;
  • Assisting in an LCIA arbitration;
  • Advising on arbitrator challenges under ICSID;
  • Assisting in an ICSID arbitration concerning the expropriation of an oil field;
  • Assisting in an ICSID arbitration against a European State relating to investments in the photovoltaic sector.

Commercial and Civil Fraud

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Seohyung has significant experience of acting in a broad range of commercial disputes, a number of which involve allegations of fraud, including conspiracy, deceit, knowing receipt, dishonest assistance and the payment and receipt of bribery/secret commissions. Seohyung has experience of various interim or pre-action applications in the commercial and civil fraud context, including injunctions and pre-action disclosure applications.

Recent cases include:

  • Acting in a claim brought against directors in Guernsey for breach of fiduciary duties in managing a close-ended investment fund with alleged losses of c£50m;
  • Acting for the claimant in a LCIA arbitration arising out of a failed public-sector healthcare IT implementation, which was the largest ever IT public procurement project in the UK and has been the subject of Parliamentary scrutiny. Claims were brought for fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract;
  • Acting in an ICC arbitration arising out of the tolling agreement of a gas liquefaction plant and a long-term gas supply agreement. The claim involved serious allegations of fraud and corruption as well as allegations of paying/receiving bribery and secret commissions against a senior minister of a North African government and its counterparty;
  • Defending a shareholder against allegations of conspiracy and receipt of bribery and secret commissions;
  • Acting in a claim against a well-known businessman who was defrauding a number of companies he was a shareholder of and other shareholders by teeming and lading between those companies with loans;
  • Defeating a pre-action disclosure application where wide-ranging allegations of conflict of interest by a fiduciary, dishonesty and professional negligence had been made against a financial director/accountant. The Judge noted “I largely fall on Ms Kim’s clear and cogent submissions”;
  • Drafting in a multi-million pound economic torts claim, concerning fraud, bribery and dishonest assistance in breach of trust and fiduciary duties;
  • Advising in a pension liberation fraud claim involving tax charges and relating to the Pensions Act 1995 and Financial Services and Markets Act 2000;
  • Acting for a bank to enforce its security over an unregistered multi-million pound estate in priority to alleged beneficial owners;
  • Acting in a claim brought by a former footballer against the chairman of a footballer concerning the sale of a Club, in an application to restrain the presentation of a winding up petition and the fortification of an undertaking given in an injunction;
  • Acting in a strike-out application in a claim against a company in liquidation, raising issues of limitation, the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 and CPR 19.2 and 19.4;
  • Advising on the interpretation and construction of contracts.

Insurance

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Seohyung has experience of a range of insurance coverage disputes, which tie in with her expertise in general commercial matters as well as professional negligence and construction disputes.

  • Advising on coverage issues under an All Risks insurance following oil spill;
  • Advising on coverage issues under public liability policies, professional indemnity insurance, employer’s all risks policies, property insurance contracts;
  • Advising Insurers on the professional negligence of off-panel solicitors and wasted costs application;
  • Acting on behalf of Insurers in a claim against a bank for mis-selling an interest hedging product;
  • Advising in an insurance coverage claim involving non-disclosure and misrepresentation, policy interpretation and collateral lies.

Professional Negligence

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Seohyung is regularly instructed in professional liability claims. In particular she has acted for or against solicitors, accountants, auditors, financial advisers, including pension advisers, insurance brokers and IT professionals. Recent and ongoing examples of her work include:

  • Successfully striking out a claim against a surveyor for alleged breaches of professional duty;
  • Acting for the insurers of legal expenses coverage where the solicitor failed to advise the recipient/insured properly;
  • Acting for or against solicitors in a variety of factual scenarios, including loss of chance, loss litigation, conveyancing;
  • Acting for professional indemnity insurers on behalf of a party wall surveyor;
  • Acting for financial advisors following mortgage advice;
  • Acting for the insurers on behalf of solicitors accused of negligence following the sale of a property in which the seller made fraudulent misrepresentations
  • Advising and drafting particulars in a professional negligence claim against a firm of conveyancing solicitors for failing to advise the buyer that the seller did not have title to the property, involving BPE v Hughes-Holland issues;
  • Advising in a pension fraud claim against negligent financial advisers, pension trustees and administrator;
  • Advising and drafting defence in a claim against an insurance broker;
  • Advising a firm of structural engineers accused of procuring a settlement agreement under duress.

Construction and IT Disputes

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Seohyung is experienced in acting and advising in construction and IT disputes with complex contractual arrangements and factual matrices. Her background in maths and science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology gives her particular advantage.

  • Acting for the claimant in a LCIA arbitration arising out of a failed public-sector healthcare IT implementation which concerned the design and implementation of a bespoke patient care software. Claims were brought for fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract, and required forensic examination of software design and implementation.
  • Advising a cladding contractor on its contractual and regulatory liabilities including its responsibility to re-clad high-rise buildings;
  • Advising on the liability of a piling contractor for supply of defective concrete;
  • Acting for the employer against the contractors for negligent design and construction of sheet piling;
  • Acting for the employer against structural engineers for negligent structural design of steel frames, concrete reinforcement, piles and site foundations;
  • Acting on behalf of cavity wall insulation installers accused of negligence;
  • Acting for the owner of a negligently constructed new-build home under NHBC guarantee.

Public International Law, International Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law

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Seohyung’s recent experience in this area includes:

  • Advising on interim measures under the European Court of Human Rights
  • Advising a Nobel Prize winning journalist in East Asia on her claims in international human rights law and international investment law as well as under foreign law;
  • Advising on service of arbitration claim forms and applications for enforcement on a state and questions concerning the State Immunity Act 1978;

Seohyung’s pre-pupillage experience includes:

  • Assisting in a dispute between two South American states before the International Court of Justice, concerning an alleged obligation to negotiate access to the Pacific Ocean;
  • Assisting in an Inter-State case before the European Court of Human Rights regarding the violation of the right to fair trial;
  • Contributing to an amicus curiae brief to the International Criminal Court on mass claims processing techniques in the case against a Congolese politician for war crimes;
  • Preparing training materials on the Law of the Sea and Maritime Delimitation for a state’s ministry of foreign affairs;
  • Advising an NGO on bringing a European Convention on Human Rights claim against a state for crowded hospital conditions;
  • Assisting in designing a training programme for Brazilian judiciary on conventionality control under the Inter-American Court of Human Rights;
  • Contributing to a Pakistani NGO’s shadow report on police accountability to the Committee Against Torture.

Sports Law

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  • Drafting points of claim in a Football Association arbitration between a club and a prominent manager;
  • Advising the British Para Table Tennis on its selection policy for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Qualifications & Memberships

BS, MIT; MSc, Oxford; LLM, Harvard.

Languages

Korean (fluent), French (reading), Spanish (reading).

Related Podcasts

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