Department Maritime, Energy & Infrastructure, Corporate, Commercial, Banking & finance, Regulatory Qualified England & Wales, Ireland, Marshall Islands, New York and District of Columbia Education (University) Cornell University Languages English, Korean
Sung-Hwan is a partner in our London office and he currently heads the Korea practice. Sung-Hwan has over 20 years’ experience advising multinational clients in various aspects of banking, asset and project finance matters including ship and offshore finance matters, ship sale and purchase and escrow account transactions, and corporate law matters.
Sung-Hwan regular represents banks, lending institutions, investment funds, private equity and owner companies in a wide variety of finance, leasing and project transactions, in particular transactions with an export credit-backed element, structured finance, refinancing, mergers and acquisitions, workouts and restructuring.
Sung-Hwan is qualified and licensed to practice in England & Wales, Ireland, Marshall Islands, New York and District of Columbia. He also advises on Liberia and Vanuatu laws. He has practised at a leading Korean law firm for many years and at a large international law firm in Singapore.
Sung-Hwan graduated from Cornell University (College of Arts & Sciences, A.B.) and Temple University (Law School, J.D.). He is fluent in both English and Korean.
Professional associations & memberships
- Law Society of England & Wales
- Law Society of Ireland
- The Republic of Marshall Islands Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
- District of Columbia Bar Association (Washington, DC)
My matter highlights
- Acting as lead counsel for Korean banks in connection with the refinancing of 4 vessels beneficially owned by Korean shipping company through Marshall Islands corporations. Assisted on all aspects of English law, Marshall Islands law and Vanuatu laws and prepared all relevant transactional documents and led/co-ordinated with Korean legal counsels. This matter was important as the transaction was completed in a short period of time in spite of working restrictions due to Covid-19 situation.
- Acted as Marshall Islands counsel for French bank in connection with term loan facility provided to finance acquisition cost of FPSO vessel.
- Acted as English, Marshall Islands and Liberian legal counsel with respect to legal advisory work in relation to financing for balance purchase price of jack-up drilling rig.
- Acted as English and Marshall Islands counsel with respect to a syndicated receivables purchase facility granted by Singapore and international banks.
- Advising on Marshall Islands law matters with respect to certain guarantees entered by Korean governmental entity as guarantor for certain Korean shipping companies for which certain facilities had been granted for the acquisition costs of certain scrubber and ballast water treatment systems to be installed on eight (8) Marshall Islands flagged vessels.
- Acted as escrow agent for numerous escrow account services in relation to sale and purchase of vessels and non-vessel transactions.
Prior to joining Ince, Sung-Hwan has advised on the following matters:
- Advising a group of major international banks and Korean governmental banks and financial institutions in respect of a senior secured loan facility of up to US$251,321,400 made available to an entity incorporated in and owned by the Korean governmental financial institution as borrower for the purposes of the borrower on-lending (together with a separate junior loan facility made available by a certain Korean investment funds) to five wholly-owned SPVs by major Korean shipping company for the pre-delivery and post-delivery financing of five VLOC carriers.
- Advising two European banks in Asia in relation to the financing of two newbuild vessels, being built at Chinese shipyard and the contract of affreightment and corollary performance guarantee. The vessels will be ultimately owned by a major Korean shipping company on long term contract of affreightment, for the shipping of iron ore.
- Advising European Bank in Singapore in relation to the part-financing of twenty-four container vessels acquired by twenty-four Liberian SPVs, wholly owned by Singapore incorporated entity representing an entire fleet purchase from a certain European seller. The loan was guaranteed by major Korean shipping company.
- Advising a Korean governmental bank fund/asset company as lenders in relation to the part financing of three vessels acquired by major European shipping company. This was the first financing provided to a foreign (non-Korean) owner under such scheme.
- Advising on Marshall Islands law matters for the US$1.2 billion financing and delivery of the world’s first converted floating liquefied natural gas production vessel, under a sale and leaseback agreement.
- Advising a Korean assert management company in relation to English and Marshall Islands legal aspects of the refinancing of ten vessels beneficially owned by various Korean shipping companies. The series of refinancing adopted the Korean BBCHP financing structure.
- Advising a major Korean shipping company in connection with granting collateral Marshall Islands ship mortgage to cover a third party’s obligation (in relation to certain scrubber financing) under a loan covered by Korean governmental financial institution.
- Advising a European bank in Singapore in relation to a US$25 million corporate loan to a Korean shipping company. The loan guaranteed by parent Korean shipping company, and third preferred mortgages over six Marshall Islands flagged vessels.
- Advising a Korean governmental bank in relation to re-financing of one molten sulphur tanker for a Singapore incorporated company and advised existing financier for release/reassignment and amalgamation of the existing borrower and bareboat charterer.
- Advising a UK incorporated asset management company in relation to various sale and purchase vessel transactions in Singapore, Korea and Japan.
My recent publications
Insights / Asian Ship Finance: Trends, Differentiation and Opportunities
24-09-2021 / Maritime
Asia is well known for lease and ECA finance solutions but there are other niche opportunities besides. Sung-Hwan Choi, Partner, Ince, moderates this discussion around Asian finance sources.