A situation often arises when a plaintiff is suing a Korean debtor in a foreign court and the non-Korean plaintiff wishes to attach the Korean-based assets of the Korean defendant in Korea. Typically, the plaintiff found no assets of the defendant abroad and fears the disposal of the assets in Korea. Thus, typically, the plaintiff wishes to file to a Korean court a request for a provisional attachment of the assets of the prospective defendant. While, provisional attachments of assets of Korean defendants in lawsuits pending in Korea courts is common – this situation is not common and few courts, or Korean law firms, have handled these type matters.
Thus, the question is, in short, does a Korean court have the power to issue provisional/preliminary attachment of Korean-based assets based on a claim stemming from a pending or future foreign lawsuit against the owner of these Korean-based assets?
Yes. Korean courts may grant a provisional attachment of assets based on a potential judgment in a court outside the Republic of Korea. Korean Courts, also, have not demanded the meeting of the requirements, at this point, for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Korea.
While, few courts have ruled on this matter, some courts including a Family Court a few years back ruled that a provisional attachment may be granted based on the potential for a judgment in a foreign court.
Known for his proactive street-smart advice & non-conflicted advocacy, NY Attorney Sean Hayes works with leading retired Korean judges, prosecutors and experienced Korean attorneys in leading contentious and transactional matters in Asia. First non-Korean lawyer employed by the Korean Court System. SeanHayes@ipglegal.com
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