The Current State of ADR in Korea - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 72, No. 1
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
This article aims to examine the current state of ADR in Korea. The article focuses primarily on arbitration because, in many ways, Korea is one of the best examples of the rapid development of arbitration in jurisdictions that were late to first encounter arbitration.
While arbitration in Korea started out as an alien concept, it quickly became a frequently used tool for Korean businesses as they became more international. In fact, the benefits of arbitration have been so fully recognized by Korean businesses that the Korean government and the Korean legal community have endeavored to develop Korea as one of the most arbitration-friendly jurisdictions worldwide, and a preferred destination for arbitration in the region. The authors believe that, over time, Korea has developed from just a user and venue of arbitration to a provider of internationally competitive arbitration services. A major driver for Korea’s growing ability to provide arbitration services has been the growth of the Korean construction and engineering industry’s activities abroad. Korean companies, including construction companies, have started to realize that suitable representation in international disputes requires that counsel and client should be able to communicate efficiently, and that counsel should be familiar with the client’s business culture and working methods; this is necessary in order for the counsel to provide a full picture of the dispute to a foreign tribunal or court. The construction industry, in particular, relies heavily on ADR for the resolution of disputes, and given the fact-intensive nature of construction disputes, Korean construction companies often need to retain Korean counsel who can understand the Korean language and Korean business practices to carry out thorough fact-finding and to represent them effectively in arbitration. This has led to the development of an international construction arbitration expertise in the Korean legal community, which signifies the next stage of Korea’s development in the field of arbitration.