Litigation in Korea

Litigation in Korea

If a Korean company breaches its contractual obligations and the damage is caused, When a Korean acquaintance returns to Korea without repaying the borrowed money, etc. a lawsuit may be considered in a Korean court.

Whether a lawsuit in a Korean court is useful as a method of dispute resolution can be determined by examining the following.

Whether the property to be enforced is in Korea?

Korea does not penalize general default unless it is fraudulent. If you don't know what property can be enforced, you won't get paid even if you win the case.

Our office is investigating whether the other party has enforceable property, so if you need assistance, please ask us for a quote.

Is the statute of limitations expired?

The basic statute of limitations for commercial transactions is 5 years. However, the statute of limitations for claims related to subcontracting, design, and construction is 3 years. A 10-year statute of limitations applies to financial debts between individuals.

The statute of limitations ceases when the creditor seizes the debtor's property or when the debtor acknowledges the existence of the debt.

We have seen many cases where the statute of limitations expired after delays in foreign clients' difficulties in finding a suitable lawyer in Korea.

Our office provides a preliminary review on whether the statute of limitations has been completed prior to a full-scale lawsuit, so if you need it, please request a quote. 

Comparison with Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods

In Korea, there are alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and arbitration, and depending on the contract terms, such alternative dispute resolution methods may be possible along with litigation.

Many Korean lawyers prefer court proceedings over alternative dispute resolution methods because it usually takes only six months to a year for a Korean court to render a first-instance judgment, and because it is a transparent and predictable process.

In addition to traditional alternative dispute resolution methods, our office also has simple alternative resolution know-how tailored to your case.

Trial costs in Korea

Korean trial costs include costs paid to the court and attorneys' fees.

Court payments include government revenue stamps and postal service charges.

The government income stamp is about $500 for every $100,000 cattle, and the postage fee is about $100-200.

The attorney's fee varies depending on the value of the lawsuit and the difficulty of the lawsuit.

There are two methods for calculating the fee: a time charge method and a flat-rate (fixed rate) method. 

Korean lawyers' remuneration in the flat-rate method is divided into retainer fee paid at the beginning of the lawsuit and contingency fee paid after winning the case.

The losing party is obligated to reimburse the other party for the costs of the lawsuit.

The amount of litigation costs to be reimbursed is determined through a separate litigation cost determination trial.

Usually, if you win all of them, you may be ordered to reimburse the government revenue stamps spent, the full amount of postage, and the amount of attorneys' fees set by the Supreme Court in its rules.

Litigation period

It takes about 3 months from the filing of the complaint to the first hearing date, about 1 month until the next trial(The trial is held on average three times), about 2 months if you need to inquire about data from an external institution, about 1 month if you need to examine a witness, and about 3 weeks from the last trial to the verdict Required. 

According to the 2020 court statistics, it takes an average of about 6 months for the judgment of the first instance to be rendered, and about 1 year and 8 months in total if it goes through the Supreme Court.

The above statistics are the duration of cases among Koreans, and cases involving foreigners usually take several months longer.

Recognition of foreign judgments

In order to enforce compulsory execution in Korea based on a judgment received by a foreign court, a judgment for approval of the foreign trial must be obtained from a Korean court.

Article 217 of the Korean Civil Procedure Act stipulates that a foreign judgment may be approved if all of the following requirements are met.

- Jurisdiction shall be recognized in the foreign court in accordance with the laws or treaties of the Republic of Korea;
- The unsuccessful defendant has been served with the complaint and notice of trial date with adequate time to defend (except for conveyance by public announcement) or has responded to the lawsuit;
- In consideration of the contents and procedures of foreign judgments, the approval of foreign judgments shall not violate the good customs or social order of the Republic of Korea;
- There is no substantial difference in the requirements for approval of foreign judgments in the Republic of Korea and foreign countries, or the two countries have assured each other to approve the judgments;

Our office conducts trials for the approval of foreign judgments. If you need assistance, please request a quote.

Find a lawyer in Korea

Korean lawyers work in the form of large law firms, small and medium-sized law firms, and private offices.

If you are a large corporation and the value of the dispute is more than US$10 million, consider hiring a large Korean law firm. Large law firms in Korea include Kim & Chang, Lee & Ko, BAE, KIM & LEE LLC, Yulchon, and Shinkim, etc.

If your litigation value is less than US$10 million, or if your litigation costs are not sufficient to hire a large law firm, our office is a good alternative.

Our representative attorney served as a member of the International Committee of the Korean Bar Association, and was selected as the Young Attorney Award of the Korean Bar Association and the Outstanding Lawyer of the Korean Bar Association. He has experience in successfully handling many cases reported in the Korean media.

In addition, the head of the Seoul** District Court has commissioned his family cases, and many lawyers have commissioned cases of family and acquaintances to our office.
Our office provides legal services comparable to that of large law firms at lower fees than large law firms. We are an office with a very high winning rate by focusing on legal review and case execution.

Specific referral process

If you are planning to hire a large law firm, you can visit some of the large law firms' websites and provide their contact information with an overview of the case and request a fee estimate.

Likewise, if you email us an overview of your case, we will give you a fee estimate.

You may first ask us to only investigate whether the statute of limitations has expired and whether the other party has property. In this case, if you ask us for the necessary services with an overview of the case, we will give you a quote.

Representative Attorney Pyoungho Kim

- 2011 Passed the Judicial examination 
- 2011 1st Bar Exam Reviewer (Ministry of Justice)
- 2011 54th judicial examination reviewer (Ministry of Justice)
- 2013 Seoul Central District Court Civil Conciliation Committee
- 2013 Deputy Prosecutor at Jeonju District Prosecutors' Office
- 2013 Professional Institutional Training in the Office of the National Assembly Member
- 2013 KOTRA Washington Trade Center Study on U.S. Government Procurement Laws
- 2015 Member of International Committee of Korean Bar Association
- 2015 Member of Autonomous Committee for Countermeasures against School Violence at Seoi Elementary School, Seoul
- 2017 Director, Korea Paragliding Association
- 2017 Member of the Seoul District Bar Association Judging Committee
- 2017 Seoul Family Court Adult Guardian  
- 2020 Seoul Entrepreneurs Association Regulation Reviewer
- 2020 Member of the protection of school rights at Seoul Seoi Elementary School
- 2021 Korean Bar Association Young Lawyers Award
- 2021 Excellent lawyer selected by the Korean Bar Association

Education: Graduated from Yonsei University, Department of Physics 
language: Korean, English

Press release


For accurate communication, we prefer email as the first contact method.

If you send us an email with an overview of the case and what kind of service you want, we will review it and reply to you. 

Parties to the litigation we conducted

Certifications and Awards

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