Key Motors Ltd. v. Hyundai Motor Company

White & Case LLP successfully represented Hyundai Motor Company in an international commercial dispute with Key Motors Ltd., a distributor of Hyundai vehicles in Jamaica.

Key Motors filed a lawsuit in Florida state court claiming, among other things, that Hyundai breached a purported oral agreement commencing in 1999 that allegedly gave Key Motors exclusive rights to distribute Hyundai commercial vehicles in Jamaica.

The White & Case team–led by Miami-based partners Jaime A. Bianchi (Picture) and James N. Robinson and counsel Sheldon Philp, and Korea-based partner James K. Lee–successfully removed the action to Florida federal court under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and its implementing US legislation. They then moved immediately to compel Key Motors to arbitrate the dispute in Seoul, Korea, based on an arbitration provision in a written distributorship agreement that Key Motors and Hyundai entered into in January 2013.

On November 1, 2016, the federal court granted Hyundai’s motion to compel arbitration and stayed all proceedings pending finalization of the arbitral proceedings in Korea. The federal court also denied Key Motors’ requests to remand the case back to state court, and for attorneys’ fees, as well as other relief.

Involved fees earner: James Lee – White & Case; Jaime Bianchi – White & Case; Jim Robinson – White & Case; Sheldon Philp – White & Case;

Law Firms: White & Case;

Clients: Hyundai Motor Company;


Author: Michael Patrini