Hwan Kim is a partner in the Corporate Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office.  He also serves as the co-head of the firm's International Arbitration Team.

Areas of Practice

Hwan represents some of the world’s largest companies in the construction, heavy industry, power generation and petrochemical industries. He represents these clients in a broad array of cross-border disputes with sovereigns, state-owned enterprises and corporations involving some of their most sensitive problems. He often successfully resolves high-profile international disputes, including by use of investor-state arbitration and by obtaining the support of investor’s government on behalf of his clients.

Hwan also advises companies on international transaction, including on cross-border investment issues, global corporate structuring, global supply chain, and managing legal risks associated with international business.

He also serves as the International Liaison for STAT, the firm’s Saudi Arabian affiliate.

A native of Korea, Hwan previously served as the Assistant General Counsel for Samsung Group, where he was in charge of international legal affairs  He also served as General Counsel for Samsung Chemical Group and the Chief Legal Counsel for Samsung’s Olympic Task Force Team.



International Disputes:

  • Represented the European Union in connection with a sovereign immunity lawsuit filed in the U.S. (successfully dismissed).
  • Represented Samsung Engineering Co., Ltd. in an ICSID arbitration against the Sultanate of Oman in connection with a $2 billion petrochemical plant expansion project (successfully settled).
  • Represented Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. in connection with its dispute with Nippon Steel and Bechtel (successfully settled).
  • Represented Samsung C &T in connection with its dispute with Qatar Railways Company.
  • Represented Samsung Engineering Co., Ltd. in a $200 million lawsuit against Alcoa, Inc. arising from a $1 billion construction project in Saudi Arabia (successfully settled).
  • Represented Samsung Engineering Co., Ltd. in connection with a $500 million construction disputes with Saudi Aramco (successfully settled).
  • Represented the Export-Import Bank of Korea in connection with a sovereign immunity defense over $2.6 billion judgment enforcement proceeding in Washington, D.C. (Peterson, et al v. Islamic Republic, et al) (successfully dismissed).
  • Represented Asiana Airlines before the U.S. Department of Transportation in connection with the crash of Flight 214 to San Francisco International Airport.
  • Represented Samsung Group in connection with a certain U.S. Department of Justice investigation (successfully dismissed).
  • Represented Walter Anderson, accused by prosecutors of the largest international tax evasion in America, on investment holdings related to the indictment.

International Transactions

  • Represented one of the Big Four audit firms in connection with restructuring and consolidating its Middle East operations.
  • Represented a global investment fund form its investment fund in the United States.
  • Represented a Korean investment fund in a corporate takeover of one of its portfolio companies and the company’s listing on NASDAQ.
  • Advised the Korean National Pension Service, one of the largest sovereign funds, in connection with establishment of its U.S. operations in New York.
  • Advised Samsung Asset Management Co., Ltd. in connection with capital investments from one the largest Middle Eastern sovereign funds.
  • Represented Samsung SRA Asset Management Co., Ltd. in connection with investment in real estate assets in the U.S.
  • Advised POSCO, one of world’s largest steel producers, in connection with its investments in the United States.
  • Advised U.S. oil shale developer in connection with the financing of a petrochemical refinery by international investors.
  • Represented several international power generation companies, including EDF EN, in connection with procurement of wind equipment from overseas, including turbines, towers, and power generation related equipment.
  • Advised a major international steel producer in connection with its negotiations of the global supply agreement with GM and Chrysler.
  • Represented Samsung Motor Company (before bankruptcy) in connection with overseeing the structure and drafting of its global supply agreements and supply chain.

Special Representations:

  • Represented Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. in connection with its Olympic sponsorship and matters relating to the International Olympic Committee.
  • Represented Korea International Trade Association in connection with the ratification of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement.



Real Estate and Construction, Legal 500, 2016, 2018 and 2019

Mergers and Acquisitions, Legal 500, 2016


Media Mentions


J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1989

B.A., Economics, Yonsei University, 1984


  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia


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