Benjamin Hughes is an independent arbitrator and associate professor of law 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, Ben practiced international arbitration at 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 has practiced as an independent arbitrator and mediator since March 2013. He has served as the sole, chair or co-arbitrator in arbitrations under rules of the AAA/ICDR, ACICA, CIETAC, DIS, HKIAC, ICC, JCAA, KCAB, KLRCA, LMAA, SCC, SIAC, UNCITRAL (administered and ad-hoc) and VIAC, as well as purely ad-hoc arbitrations. He has also acted as sole arbitrator in both emergency and expedited proceedings.
Chambers & Partners (2016) has recognized Ben as one of the "Most in Demand Arbitrators" in the Asia-Pacific Region:
is a Seoul-based independent arbitrator who acts regularly on an impressively varied range of cases. Sources describe him as a "very practical, thoughtful and incisive" practitioner who "thinks things through carefully and is very clear on what he thinks the answer is and the way to go forward." Having turned to sitting full-time as an arbitrator in 2013, after over a decade in private practice, it is predicted that "it won't be long before he is highly sought after."
Ben is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators, the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators and the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration. He taught extensively in the field of international arbitration prior to joining the faculty of SNU Law School, including as visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law and as adjunct professor at Korea University Law School.
Ben serves as a member of the International Arbitration Committee of the KCAB, the Executive Committee of the Seoul International Dispute Resolution Center, the Board of Directors of the Korean Council for International Arbitration, and the Editorial Board of the Korean Arbitration Review. He was the founding chair of the Korea Chapter of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. In 2011, Ben was made an honorary citizen of Seoul by Mayor Park Won-Soon in recognition of his contributions to the legal community.
Educated in both the civil law and the common law traditions, Ben studied law 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 La Universidad de Palermo Facultad de Derecho in Buenos Aires, Argentina (all coursework in Spanish). He also studied Chinese (Mandarin) and East Asian history at Harvard University (MA).