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John Rhie is Quinn Emanuel’s Managing Partner of Asia.  He is also the head of the International Arbitration practice in Asia. John specializes in international arbitration, both commercial and investment treaty, as well as cross-border/international litigation and white collar crime.

In relation to international arbitration, John has acted as counsel and arbitrator in arbitrations under most arbitral institutions such as the HKIAC, ICC, ICSID, KCAB, LCIA, SIAC as well as ad hoc arbitrations around the world.

John is recognized as a leading expert in the field of international arbitration and is ranked by all major legal publications. Legal 500 says that “the ‘highly sought after’ John Rhie is ‘brilliant and lucid’ (2013) and Chambers and Partners says that he is “intelligent, insightful and very business-savvy” (2016).  John is rated as a leading practitioner in Who's Who Legal and in 2018 was designated a Who’s Who Legal Arbitration 2018 “Future Leader – Partners”. In 2011 he was chosen as one of the “Hot 100” figures in the Asian legal industry by Asian Legal Business and was the youngest practitioner to be named in Global Arbitration Review’s “45 under 45” leading arbitration practitioners.

In regards to litigation, John has personally undertaken litigation in the English High Court for various different clients on matters ranging from post M&A disputes to trademark infringement. John has also managed complex and high value litigation matters for Asian clients in jurisdictions ranging from the U.S., Panama, British Virgin Islands and South Korea.As well as practicing law, John also regularly sits as an arbitrator and John is an adjunct professor at Seoul National University and at the Korean Supreme Court’s Judicial Research and Training Institute.

John has been appointed in the recently formed Panel of Arbitrators of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre for Intellectual Property Disputes.  He is a member of a small task force formed by the Hong Kong Government and led by the Minister of Justice to review the Arbitration Ordinance in relation to the applicability of IP rights. John has also recently been appointed as a member of the SIAC Users Council Hong Kong National Committee and in the Panel of Arbitrators of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission.

  • Bombardier Transportation Inc.
  • Daewoo International
  • DreamWorks Animation LLC
  • EFG Bank
  • ETI
  • Hyundai Heavy Industries

International Arbitration

  • Represented an international consortium led by Bombardier Transportation, Inc. and Daelim Construction against a Korean municipal government in an ICC arbitration governed by Korean law with the arbitration seated in Seoul. This was the largest PPP dispute arising out of Korea and the consortium was awarded over $750 million dollars in two arbitration proceedings concluded within 18 months of filing the Request for Arbitration.
  • Represented a major private equity fund in an ICC arbitration governed by English law with the seat of arbitration in London involving a $1 billion post M&A dispute.
  • Represented an international construction company in a SIAC arbitration governed by Korean law with the seat of arbitration in Singapore relating to a multi-million dollar joint venture dispute.
  • Represented a major private equity fund in a SIAC arbitration governed by Singapore law with the seat of arbitration in Singapore in a dispute involving a $1 billon post M&A dispute.
  • Represented a major sports management company in a HKIAC arbitration governed by Hong Kong law and seated in Hong Kong in a dispute arising from representation of multiple sports teams and sponsorship agreements.
  • Represented a Korean solar energy company in a KCAB arbitration governed by Korean law and seated in Seoul regarding a technology license dispute.
  • Represented a leading Asian manufacturing company in a LCIA arbitration governed by English law and seated in London in a dispute arising from an agency agreement.
  • Represented a major Korean shipbuilding company in a LCIA arbitration governed by English law with the seat in London for a breach of eight shipbuilding contracts and relevant guarantees.
  • Represented a Korean company manufacturing drill rig parts in an ICDR arbitration governed by Texas law with the arbitration seat in Texas for breach of multiple contracts and allegations of fraud.
  • Represented a major shipbuilding company in a LMAA arbitration governed by English law with the arbitration seated in London regarding consequential loss issues.
  • Represented UAB Arvi and UAB Sanitex in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Serbia for claim of damages following the termination of a share purchase agreement.
  • Represented an international financial institution in an UNCITRAL arbitration governed by Czech law with the arbitration seat in London relating to a shareholders’ dispute.
  • Represented a major Korean construction company against a North African sovereign government in an ad hoc arbitration claiming unfair treatment and expropriation of several housing construction projects in the North African region.
  • Represented an Eastern European multi-national company in an ad hoc investment treaty arbitration against another Eastern European sovereign state.

International Litigation

  • Coordinated over thirty litigations and an arbitration in Panama for a major Korean heavy industry company.
  • Coordinated a $250 million litigation for a multi-national Korean company in multiple litigations in the Indian courts.
  • Coordinated a multi-jurisdictional litigation for a major Hong Kong company in its dispute with the US Justice Department.
  • Represented an international investment bank in the House of Lords in its dispute with HMRC regarding taxation issues.
  • Represented the Ultimate Fighting Championship in High Court proceedings against a rival promotion company in a trademark infringement and passing off dispute.
  • Represented a leading Korean construction company in High Court proceedings against its sub contractors in a multi-million dollar dispute.
  • Represented a major energy company in multi-jurisdictional proceedings againstnumerous insurance companies for breach of insurance contracts.
  • Represented Formula One Administration Limited in multi-jurisdictional proceedings against a French manufacturer for breach of contract.
  • Represented a FTSE 100 company in High Court proceedings against another FTSE 100 company for breach of warranty - Successfully mediated.
  • Represented a German bio-technology company in High Court proceedings against a UK company for breach of contract - Successfully mediated.
  • School of International Arbitration, London University
    (PDip., 2008)
  • College of Law, London
    (CPE and LPC, 2000)
  • St. Catherine's College, Oxford University
    (B.A., 1998; M.A. (Oxon), 2004)
  • A Solicitor in England and Wales
  • English
  • Korean
  • Kim & Chang:
    • Partner, 2010-2013
  • McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP:
    • Senior Associate, 2005-2010
  • Herbert Smith:
    • Trainee and Associate, 2001-2005
  • Ranked Individual, Band 5 – Arbitration (International)
    - Chambers Global Market Leaders, 2023
  • Ranked Individual, Band 1 – Dispute Resolution (International)
    "an excellent advocate", "He is strategic, culturally astute and very easy to deal with. I cannot recommend John highly enough and the results he gets for his clients speak for themselves."
    - Chambers South Korea, 2022 & 2023
  • Ranked Individual, Band 2 – Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (International)
    "a very smart lawyer who because of his experience in arbitration is an overall excellent advocate and has very good strategy."
    - Chambers China, 2022 & 2023
  • Arbitration: Global Leader
    - Who's Who Legal, 2022
  • Arbitration: Arbitrators and Counsel
    - Who's Who Legal, 2021
  • Arbitration: Future Leader – Partners
    - Who’s Who Legal, 2017-2020
    "John Rhie enjoys “a stellar reputation” in the international arbitration market where he stands out as “one of the leading names” in the field."
  • Ranked Individual – Dispute Resolution (International)
    “He is a strategic mastermind. He has the rare ability to be clear and persuasive in both English and Korean.”
    - Chambers Asia, 2016
  • Leading Individual – International Arbitration (South Korea)
    - Legal 500, 2015
  • Ranked Individual – Dispute Resolution (International)
    “John is an amazing advocate and really reviews the file and was on top of everything. He brought great energy and skills to assist the client in a very difficult case.”
    –  Chambers Asia, 2015
  • Ranked Individual – Arbitration (International)
    “one of the best young arbitration lawyers in Asia… excellent analytical skills and ability to make sense of a large volume of information. ”
    –  Chambers Asia, 2015
  • Leading Commercial Arbitration Expert
    The International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration, Global Arbitration Review 2014
  • Ranked Individual – International Arbitration (Asia-Pacific) & Dispute Resolution (South Korea) "stellar quality, both in advocacy and in written pleadings and submissions"
    Chambers Asia, 2014
  • Leading individual – Dispute Resolution (South Korea)
    "brilliant and lucid"
    – Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2012
  • Leading Practitioner – International Arbitration (South Korea)
    Who's Who Legal, 2012
  • Youngest member of the "45 Under 45" leading figures in international arbitration
    Global Arbitration Review, 2011
  • Chosen as one of the "Hot 100" figures in the Asian legal industry 
    Asian Legal Business, 2011
  • Korean Chapter of World Arbitration Reporter 2nd edition, 2010
  • Article on the "Singapore International Arbitration Centre" in Getting the Deal Through, 2011
  • Committee Member, Singapore International Arbitration Centre Users Council’s Regional/National Committee for Hong Kong
  • Committee Member, Seoul International Dispute Resolution Center
  • Member, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, Task Force on Third Party Funding
  • Member, London Court of International Arbitration
  • Member, International Council for International Arbitration
  • Member, Korean Council for International Arbitration
  • Member of User’s Council, Singapore International Arbitration Centre
  • Adjunct Professor, Seoul National University
  • Adjunct Professor, Korean Supreme Court's Judicial Research and Training Institute
  • Panel of Arbitrators, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
  • Panel of Arbitrators, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre for Intellectual Property Disputes
  • Panel of Arbitrators, Korean Commercial Arbitration Board
  • Panel of Arbitrators, China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission