Esther E.J. Sohn has worked as an international transactional lawyer and her practice focuses on a broad range of finance and corporate transactions. Esther has an exceptional commitment for excellence based on a client-centered approach and takes pride in being very responsive and proactive to ensure that each transaction or project progresses as efficiently and seamlessly as possible.
Before joining Miller Thomson LLP, Esther worked as an associate and then as a senior foreign attorney within the Corporate and Finance Practice Group at one of the top five law firms in South Korea. She also worked at premier international law firms in Singapore where she received extensive training in London and Hong Kong and managed numerous cross-border transactions after having articled with a national law firm in Toronto.
Esther has represented a variety of corporate clients and (both global and local in the Asia Pacific region) financial institutions including a syndicate of senior lenders, security agents/trustees, mandated lead arrangers, equity investors and/or project sponsors, borrowers, finance lessors/lessees and project companies, in connection with a range of general corporate commercial and financing transactions, including bilateral loan transactions, secured transactions, project finance, syndicated or structured financing, acquisition finance, ship finance and other asset-based financing transactions, debt restructuring/re-financing, lease transactions and M&As. She frequently dealt with complex intercreditor issues and different security regimes in multiple jurisdictions for due perfection of security interests in favour of the senior lenders.
Esther was called to the Ontario Bar in 2006 and is in the process of being called to the British Columbia Bar in 2018.
Professional achievements & leadership
- Bull Housser & Tupper Academic Award in Technology Law
- Jongman Kim Memorial Academic Award in Korean Legal Studies
The following are a few representative transactions that Esther has worked on:
- Represented Deutsche Bank, Singapore and Hong Kong Branches in connection with the US$30million K-sure Covered Secured Term Facility provided to E-land Asia Holdings Pte. Ltd. guaranteed by E-land World Limited.
- Represented Kumho Asiana Plaza Saigon Company Limited in its equity sale to Mapletree Investment in Singapore regarding its existing syndicated credit facilities for purposes of refinancing.
- Acted for Hana Bank in reviewing and advising on the existing credit facilities in relation to the merger with the Korea Exchange Bank and assistance with the refinancing requirements.
- Acted for Unison Capital of Japan relating to the acquisition of Gongcha Korea.
- Acted for Korea Finance Corporation in reviewing the existing credit facilities relating to certain business transfer to The Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) in connection with the proposed merger with KDB.
- Represented BMW Group and BMW Financial Services Korea on the issuance of KRW300billion asset backed securities backed by auto loans and finance lease receivables and the issuance of KRW130billion unsecured bonds.
- Advised Ernst & Young, Singapore in connection with the proposed sanctions by and review hearings at the Financial Supervisory Commission of South Korea.
- Represented Stokke Holdings AS regarding the senior term and revolving facilities guaranteed by Stokke Korea Co., Ltd. and related intercompany loan arrangements.
- Represented Starkist Co. in connection with US$230million senior loan facility provided by a syndicate of lenders guaranteed by Dongwon Enterprise Co., Ltd.
- Advised a leading power company in Korea on its JPY14.8 billion financing from KDB, on-lent from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU).
- Advised Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, Hanover, acting through its Singapore Branch in connection with approximately US$338million refinancing of the 626 MW LNG Combined Cycle Power Generating Facilities located in Inchon, Korea provided to Posco Energy Co., Ltd.
- Represented MetLife in connection with its up to KRW20billion participation in the army BTL project in Paju, Korea.
- Represented Hyundai Capital Services, Inc. in connection with various corporate financing provided by foreign banks including Bank of America, N.A.
- Advised Hana Bank its issuance of THB8billion notes arranged by Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) Public Company Limited and Kasikornbank Public Company Limited.
- Advised KEXIM in connection with approximately US$470,743,000 financing of the four container vessels under the French Tax Lease structure provided to CMA CGM SA, a leading French shipping company (CMA) by BNP Paribas, CM-CIC and KEXIM.
- Represented equity investors in relation to the acquisition of one of the top five coal producers in Indonesia with an enterprise value of around US$1,180,000,000 by way of acquiring various intermediary holding companies in British Virgin Islands, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Malta, Seychelles and Singapore.
- Represented senior lenders led by a German shipping bank in a syndicated acquisition financing relating to US$208,620,000 pre-delivery and post-delivery facilities in relation to six 33,500 DWT bulk carriers currently under construction by a Korean shipbuilder in China.
- Represented a German commercial bank, as the lender and the mandated lead arranger (structured trade and export finance team) relating to a one year revolving inventory finance facility in the amount of US$95million provided to a leading coffee been trader in Indonesia.
- Represented mandated lead arrangers of a syndicate of 15 lenders in connection with the S$661million guarantee project financing of a 300mm wafer fabrication plant in Singapore, supported by a capital assistance loan provided by the Economic Development Board, Singapore.
- Assisted in representing a hydro-electric power company in the Philippines in relation to refinancing of US$20million debt service reserve facility and debt modification of the US$169million loan.
- Assisted in representing a British financial institution in connection with the S$34million financing for the development of a biodiesel plant on Jurong Island, Singapore.
- Korean (native)
Bar admissions & education
- Ontario Bar, 2006
- LL.B., University of British Columbia, 2005
- M.A., Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at University of Toronto
- B.A. (Education), Magna Cum Laude, Ewha Womans University