Translation Support for International Legal Battle

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  • Translation Support for International Legal Battle

    Background Information

    Client's Industry


    Type of product

    Document translation

    Type of project

    Legal and financial translation, editing and proofreading

    Languages involved


    Volume of work

    1 letter, 1 financial audit report, 1 report from Korean court, about 5,000 total words

    Time frame

    Ongoing support over 6 months

    Project Brief

    After the dissolution of a major Korean conglomerate, tensions arose in bankruptcy proceedings and the former parent company retained one of the world’s most respected international law firms (the Client) to argue on their behalf. In the course of collecting records and documents across two continents, the Client utilized our team of experts in the Korean language to provide certified translations of various documents necessary to formulate the best case possible for their own client, with extremely high stakes tied to the accuracy of the Korean to English translations. The Client successfully argued their case at the appellate level in 2014 and won their judgment of over $150 million.

    The Problem

    Reeling from the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, the reorganization of a large South Korean chaebol (conglomerate) raised legal tensions with many of its former subsidiaries. A number of cases were held in Los Angeles courts and the former parent company of the chaebol was represented by the LA office of a long-standing Client of Paragon’s. In one particular case, the Client needed more than just professional legal Korean translators with specific expertise in bankruptcy proceedings, they also needed linguists with expertise in complex commercial litigation as well as profound experience with professional financial audit reports. With years of experience trusting Paragon with matters of language, the Client knew that this case would be no exception.

    The Solution

    Paragon knew that the key to success in this case was selecting the right linguists for the job. Translators enjoy working with Paragon because of our friendly and respectful staff and dedication to on-time payment, which they do not always experience working in the translation and localization industry. For this project, we identified a qualified and credentialed court interpreter with extensive experience in business and financial written translation. The talent pool of linguists in Southern California is rather large, but Paragon insists on working with the cream of the crop, especially given the stakes of this case for the Client. Unlike many competitors, we ensured that all of the documents that came in over a roughly six-month period were translated by the same linguist, instead of a different person for each one. The audit report was from the early 2000s, and was only available in PDF scans, which is normal but adds time to document preparation. It was incumbent upon Paragon’s reviewers that the English documents submitted to the Client for analysis closely matched the formatting of the source Korean PDFs. After signing a certificate attesting to their credentials and the quality of the translations, the documents were well received and created a critical piece of research for the Client. 

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