Benjamin F. Hughes is an independent arbitrator and an adjunct professor at National University of Singapore Faculty of Law. Prior to launching his career as an independent arbitrator, Ben practiced international arbitration with 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 left law firm practice in March 2013 to focus on his practice as an independent arbitrator. Since then, he has been appointed in over 100 arbitrations with a total amount in dispute in excess of USD 2 billion under the rules of the AAA/ICDR, ACICA, AIAC/KLRCA, BAC, CAA, CIETAC, DIS, HKIAC, ICC, JCAA, KCAB, LMAA, SCC, SIAC, UNCITRAL (both administered and ad-hoc) and VIAC. He has also acted as emergency arbitrator and as sole arbitrator in expedited and fast track proceedings, and is a panel arbitrator of numerous arbitral institutions.
Ben’s experience as arbitrator spans a broad range of commercial disputes, including joint venture and shareholder disputes, intellectual property and licensing disputes, construction and infrastructure projects, energy and resources, shipping and shipbuilding, automobile and heavy machinery manufacturing, agency and distributorship agreements, sale of goods and general contractual disputes. He has heard cases governed by the CISG and the laws of Australia, Austria, BVI, Cayman Islands, China, England and Wales, Fiji, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia (including Sharia), Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United States (including New York, California and US territories) and Vietnam, as well as lex mercatoria. He has also handled complex conflict of law and jurisdictional issues, joinder and intervention applications, and disputes involving multiple contracts and applicable laws.
Ben is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators, the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration. In addition to his appointment as adjunct professor at NUS, he has served as associate professor of law at Seoul National University Law School (2015-2019), visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law and visiting scholar at National Taiwan University Law School.
Ben was educated in both the civil law and the common law traditions, having studied first at Seoul National University College of Law (MA, all coursework in Korean), and then at NYU School of Law (JD). While at NYU, he spent one semester at the University of Palermo Law School in Buenos Aires, Argentina (all coursework in Spanish). He also studied Chinese (Mandarin) in Beijing and East Asian history at Harvard University.