Georgetown University, J.D., 1988; University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1984.
Los Angeles Office
Simon S. Hong is a founding member of the firm and practices in the areas of domestic and international commercial transactions, corporate law, and finance, with a particular emphasis on cross-border disputes. Mr. Hong also represents global shipbuilding clients in international arbitration and dispute resolution. He also oversees and manages complex commercial litigation involving major international conglomerates and financial institutions. Mr. Hong is registered as a “Foreign Law Consultant” in Korea and heads the firm’s “Foreign Legal Consultant Office” in Seoul.
As part of the firm’s International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Practice, Mr. Hong represents and advises global shipbuilding clients in connection with multiple pending matters before major arbitral tribunals around the world. Mr. Hong also advises shipbuilding clients with respect to pre-arbitration matters, settlement discussions, and contractual negotiations related to various international commercial shipbuilding contracts.
Mr. Hong’s practice also includes representing foreign companies doing business in the United States, providing advice and counsel on corporate and financial transactions, cross-border transactions and litigation, regulatory compliance, and complex commercial litigation. Mr. Hong’s expertise and background have uniquely positioned him to serve as outside general counsel for U.S. subsidiaries of several multinational conglomerates, and he also represents a Korean semi-government agency in the export credit and bond insurance business.
Mr. Hong frequently speaks at seminars and workshops both in the U.S. and Korea on U.S Banking law and cross-border transactions. In recognition of his expertise, Mr. Hong has been appointed as legal advisor to the Korea Trade Promotion Corporation’s FTA Help Desk (KOTRA), a non-profit, governmental agency promoting international trade and investment. He also serves as the Overseas Trade Advisor to the Governor of Gyeongsangnam-do Province of the Republic of Korea, advising the Governor on international trade matters with an emphasis in the heavy machinery, shipbuilding, chemical, and aerospace manufacturing industries.
Mr. Hong’s recent representative matters include:
International Arbitration matters
Represents shipbuilder in a contractual dispute with a buyer regarding a contract to construct a large deepwater drillship with a purchase price of over $600 million.
Represents shipbuilder in dispute with a shipbroker regarding alleged commission payments due from a terminated shipbuilding project.
Represents shipbuilder in a contractual dispute with various related buyers concerning issues related to the provision of refund and performance guarantees in connection with contracts to construct three commercial tanker vessels with purchase prices of over $32 million each.
Represents shipbuilder in contractual disputes with various related buyers regarding contracts to construct large commercial vessels priced in excess of $30 million each.
Represents shipbuilder in a contractual dispute with buyers regarding a contract to construct two commercial tanker vessels with purchase a purchase price of over $31 million each.
Commercial and Financial Institutional matters
Represented and advised (1) a major Korean bank in its sale of non-performing loans to U.S. lenders, for over $300 million; (2) Korean investment bank in its sale of non-performing loans (US$ 195 million) to U.S. private equity fund; and (3) U.S. investment entity in its successful bid to purchase non-performing loans (US$ 324 million) from a Korean financial institution.
Represented a New York state chartered bank in the acquisition of the entire loan portfolio of another California financial institution.
Represented a national supermarket chain borrower in the structuring and negotiating a $55 million syndicated credit facility. Oversaw the negotiation of the loan package with lead lender and also advised client with issues related to multiple collateral owned by multiple subsidiaries spread over more than 10 states.
Counseled an international steel manufacturer regarding the proposed acquisition of a coated steel manufacturing facility located in California, from a manufacturer with operations in California and Washington. The firm’s attorneys performed extensive due diligence regarding the proposed acquisition of the facility.
Represented a Korean banking client in the sale of its 100% stake in a California state chartered bank. Obtained regulatory approvals related to the sale from relevant bank regulatory authorities, including but not limited to the Federal Reserve Board, the California Department of Financial Institutions, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the New York State Banking Department.
Defended a major Korean bank against a cease and desist order issued by United States banking regulators. Also defended the bank and its U.S. branch against claims by banking regulators for civil money penalties.
Commercial Litigation matters
Represented a Korean bank and National Agricultural Cooperative Association as creditors in a large, complex bankruptcy matter in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, defending in disallowance adversary proceedings their claims against the bankruptcy estate collectively totaling over $194 million. In 2010, negotiated a favorable settlement agreement for the firm’s clients that entitled them to ultimately collectively recover over 50 percent of the available assets of the estate, more than any other creditor.
Attained successful dismissal, with prejudice, on behalf of an international bank involving complex tort claims alleging complicated scheme to defraud plaintiff and various other illegal financial transactions. Aggressive defense lead to a conclusive determination that plaintiff’s claims to multi-million dollars in unspecified damages had no merit.
Secured voluntary dismissal of a $2 billion federal lawsuit alleging conspiracy between bank client and Government of Korea to destroy a large construction company.
Obtained judgment in excess of $27 million following a jury trial relating to unpaid bills of exchange.
Mr. Hong is admitted to practice in California, and is registered as a Foreign Law Consultant in Korea.