Benjamin Hughes FCIArb FHKIArb FSIArb is an independent arbitrator and associate professor at Seoul National University Law School. He is an arbitrator and door tenant of Fountain Court Chambers in London and of The Arbitration Chambers in Singapore. Prior to launching his career as an independent arbitrator, Benjamin practiced international arbitration with Shearman & Sterling (in the US and Singapore), and was the founding co-chair of the international dispute resolution practice group at Shin & Kim, one of Korea's oldest and largest full service law firms.
Ben left law firm practice in March 2013 to focus on his practice as an independent arbitrator. Since then, he been appointed as the sole, presiding or co-arbitrator in over 70 arbitrations under the rules of the AAA/ICDR, ACICA, CIETAC, DIS, HKIAC, ICC, JCAA, KCAB, KLRCA, SCC, SIAC, UNCITRAL (both administered and ad-hoc) and VIAC, as well as purely ad-hoc arbitrations. He has also acted as emergency arbitrator and as sole arbitrator in expedited and fast track proceedings, and is on the panel of arbitrators of numerous arbitral institutions. Chambers and Partners recognized Ben as a "Most in Demand Arbitrator" in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Ben's experience as arbitrator spans a broad range of international commercial disputes, including joint venture and shareholder disputes, construction and infrastructure projects, energy and resources, shipbuilding, intellectual property and licensing, automobile and heavy machinery manufacturing, agency and distributorship agreements, shipping, sale of goods and general contractual disputes. He has heard cases governed by the laws of Australia, Austria, China, England and Wales, Fiji, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, the United States and Vietnam, as well as lex mercatoria.
Ben is a member of the International Arbitration Committee of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board, the Executive Committee of the Seoul International Dispute Resolution Center, and a Director of the Korean Council for International Arbitration. He was the founding chair of the Korea Chapter of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. In 2011, Mayor Won-Soon Park made Ben an honorary citizen of Seoul in recognition of his contributions to the legal community.
Ben was educated in both the civil law and the common law traditions, having studied first at Seoul National University College of Law (MA Course, all coursework in Korean), and then at NYU School of Law (JD). While at NYU, he spent one semester at the University of Palermo Law School in Buenos Aires, Argentina (all coursework in Spanish). He also studied Chinese (Mandarin) and East Asian history at Harvard University (MA).