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Sungwoo (Sean) Lim

Sungwoo (Sean) Lim

Lee & KoHanjin Building63 Namdaemun-ro, Jung-guSeoulKorea04532

National Leader

Korea - Arbitration

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Sean (Sungwoo) Lim is “an excellent advocate” who is applauded for his “strategic and clear approach” as well as his “thoughtful understanding of an argument’s strengths and weaknesses”.


Sean (Sungwoo) Lim is the co-head of the international arbitration practice group at Lee & Ko.

Sean served as an inaugural member of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) Court of Arbitration amid the 16 most prestigious arbitration practitioners around the world. He also served as secretary general of the Asia Pacific Regional Arbitration Group (APRAG). Recently, he was selected as a member of the international advisory board of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC).

Domestically, Sean has acted as the chairman of the foreign relations committee at the Seoul International Dispute Resolution Center (IDRC), part of the IRDC’s worldwide network. He also served as vice president of the Korean Arbitrators Association (KAA). He is currently senior vice president of the Korean Council for International Arbitration (KOCIA); director of ICC Korea; president of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB) sports arbitration committee; and member of the KCAB international arbitration committee.

In addition to his many years of experience conducting arbitration cases seated in various jurisdictions, including Hong Kong, London, Singapore and New York, Sean has led many high-profile cases that have set major precedents in Korea. He is currently working on two investment treaty arbitration cases brought against the Republic of Korea.

With decades of experience in leading complex multinational disputes, he has been consistently recognised as a leading practitioner in the area of international arbitration by various legal publications including The Legal 500, Chambers & Partners and Asialaw. He is the only leading Korean practitioner who has participated in all three major active projects related to arbitration practice in Korea: the Law Reform Commission for Amendments to the Korean Arbitration Act; the Law Reform Commission for Amendments to the Korean Arbitration Rules; and the Law Enactment Commission for Enactment of the Commercial Arbitration Promotion Act.

Based on his decades of work in this field, Sean received an award in 2017 from the Ministry of Justice for his long-standing contribution to the development of commercial arbitration in South Korea. He was also selected as a “Dispute Resolution Star” for international arbitration by Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific in 2019 and was recognised as “International Arbitration Practitioner of the Year” by Legal Times in 2018.

Sean holds degrees from Seoul National University College of Law (LLB) and Cornell Law School (LLM). He is licensed to practise in Korea and New York. He recently published International Arbitration, still the only Korean treatise solely dedicated to international arbitration. His book has received wide acclaim from academics and practitioners alike both nationally and abroad.

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