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GC Diversity & Inclusion Report 2016
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South Korea’s economy is heavily reliant on the country’s family-owned conglomerates, known as chaebols; Samsung alone is estimated to account for 20% of the country’s economy. As a result, work for these clients forms a significant proportion of law firms’ workloads, with firms benefitting from the recent trend among the chaebols to divest of non-core assets, generating an uptick in M&A instructions. Private equity activity has also noticeably increased, with the standout deal for 2016 the $6bn sale of Tesco’s Homeplus business to a consortium led by Asian private equity firm MBK Partners. Although some sectors of the Korean economy are flourishing, the ongoing struggles within the Korean shipbuilding industry has led some to question its future; Daewoo, Hyundai Heavy and Samsung Heavy all posted record losses in 2015, and 2016 looks to continue the downward trend on profitability.
The domestic legal market is led by the so-called ‘Big Six’, which comprises Kim & Chang, Lee & Ko, Bae, Kim & Lee LLC, Shin & Kim, Yulchon and Yoon & Yang LLC. New domestic law firm openings are rare in the Korean market, however in September 2015 KL Partners was established by partners previously at Shin & Kim, and is, along with Jipyong, expected to challenge the traditional hegemony in the market. In other developments, Korean law firms are continuing to establish bases outside of Korea, with Lee & Ko opening an office in Vietnam and Bae, Kim & Lee LLC launching in Myanmar in August 2016.
South Korea remains an attractive prospect for international law firms, with Allen & Overy LLP Foreign Legal Consultant Office opening in September 2015, and Latham & Watkins LLP’s application – in February 2016 – for a licence to open a foreign legal consultant office.
Firms in the spotlight
Cho & Partners
Cho & Partners was established in 2002 by two senior attorneys who decided to leave a large firm environment to create a more focused, efficient and responsive practice. Based on the reputation and capabilities of the founding members, as well as the established trust and loyalty of their clients, Cho & Partners was immediately active in representing multinational clients. The firm’s clients are among the most recognised names and leaders in various business sectors, such as software and technology, retail, luxury goods and fashion, and energy.
Lee & Ko
With more than 30 years’ experience as Korea’s leading full-service law firms, Lee & Ko has a widely recognised and long-established record of excellence in providing expert legal advice and representation to its diverse clientèle in domestic and international matters involving all areas of legal practice.
GC Powerlist -
Australia and New Zealand
Recognising in-house innovation, quality and excellence, the GC Powerlist: Australia and New Zealand identifies an array of the most influential and innovative in-house counsel working in these two jurisdictions.
MoreGC Powerlist - Asia Pacific
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific - Insight reports
Search News and Articles
On July 28, 2016, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance (“MOSF”) announced the proposed tax law amendments for 2017. MOSF has submitted the draft tax law amendment to the National Assembly.
Korea’s Environment Ministry Preparing Tougher and More Expansive Regulations for Chemical Substances & Products
On March 16, 2016, the Patent Court published its “Guidelines Regarding Appeals of IP Infringement Actions” (“Guidelines”).
On July 28, 2016, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance (“MOSF”) announced the annual proposal to amend the tax law for 2017 (the “Proposal”). The Proposal was submitted to the National Assembly on 2 September 2016.
- Enforcement Decree to the Fair Retail Agency Transactions Act
Proposed Amendment to the Enforcement Decree of PIPA
To date, most issuance of bonds in the Korean capital markets has been focused on the public market, but in regard to issuance of bonds in the public market, there is an obligation to file a securities registration statement for investor protection purposes and there are broad disclosure obligations even during the period of secondary distribution and trading of such securities.
On July 28, 2016, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance announced its proposed tax law amendments for 2016. According to the proposal, the revisions are aimed at increasing the engines for growth and promoting fairness in taxation in accordance with the mid- to long-term tax policy initiatives of the government. The proposed amendments are expected to come into effect on January 1, 2017 pending approval by the National Assembly.
Substantial Developments in Korean Bankruptcy Laws Reflecting Practical Needs of the Parties Involved: CRPA and DRBA
A Systematic Approach of Securing Greater Flexibility in Managing Poor Performing Employees
KHASK is a Ukrainian major producer and exporter of self-adhesive tapes and packaging materials. The loan facility is used to finance the purchase and installation of a solvent recuperation system, related general construction and energy efficiency capital investments.
In light of the European Commission’s ruling, those that have suffered as a result of the truck cartel are now able to claim damages. That being said, it is important for them to not lose sight of the statute of limitations.
SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw) is pleased to announce the admission of Aaron Roi B. Riturban and Franco Aristotle G. Larcina to the partnership.
The Limay, Bataan power project was recognized by IJGlobal as the “Best Power Deal in the Asia Pacific Region”. SyCipLaw acted as local counsel to DBS Bank Ltd., Mizuho Bank, Ltd. and Standard Chartered Bank, the structuring banks in the US$400 million Project Financing of a new 300MW coal-fired power plant in Limay, Bataan of SMC Consolidated Power Corp. Read more information on this transaction .
SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan hosted the Pacific Rim Advisory Council (PRAC) 60th International Conference last September 24-27, 2016. The Conference gathered 43 delegates from PRAC member firms in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, The Netherlands, and the United States of America. The conference program provided delegates with various learning and networking opportunities.
Bogus applicants who do not actually intend to take up a post cannot subsequently invoke anti-discrimination legislation. This comes from a ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
If the works council no longer indicates a willingness to continue negotiations to prevent collective redundancies, the employer can consider the consultation process pursuant to sec 17(2) of the Kündigungsschutzgesetz (KSchG) [German Employment Protection Act] to have come to an end.
The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) held “The User’s Guide to the SIAC Rules 2016” last November 24, 2016 and the Young SIAC (YSIAC) Advocacy Workshop last November 25, 2016.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has decided not to prosecute Soma Oil and Gas regarding corruption in Somalia, due to insufficient evidence. Aziz Rahman looks at what insufficient evidence means and how to challenge prosecution allegations.
JP Morgan is paying $264M to settle allegations of bribery over its hiring of children of key Chinese decision makers to try and secure business. Aziz Rahman explains what constitutes bribery and how to prevent it.