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South Korea > Capital markets > Capital markets – Local firms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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  1. Capital markets – Local firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s distinguished equity practice continues to be regularly instructed by domestic issuers and underwriters and counts The Export-Import Bank of Korea, Korea Development Bank and Citigroup Global Markets as recent clients. Standout work examples in this area include Hee-Gang Shin and Mi Eun Roh advising Daegu Bank on its issuance of $300m 3.75% fixed rate notes due 2023; he and Young-Joon Cho also acted for NongHyup Bank in the issuance of $500m 2.87% notes due 2022 under its US $8bn GMTM Programme. Shin, Roh, Seung Il Hong and practice head Eui Jong Chung represented the underwriters, Citigroup Global Markets and Goldman Sachs, on the issuance of GDRs of Kakao and the listing of the GDRs on the Singapore Exchange. Roh and Ho Jin Kim are also active on the debt side. The team has been joined by five foreign attorneys and advisers.

Kim & Chang continues to be a prominent practice within the capital markets arena; the 31-partner strong team handles IPOs in Korea and other jurisdictions, securities, credit and equity-linked derivatives, and bonds. Yong Ho Kim heads the structured finance department and has a speciality in asset securitisation, ABCP conduit programmes and credit derivatives. He and Ie-Hwan Yoo advised Hanwha Investment & Securities on its refinancing transaction involving outstanding RCPS'. The practice remains a popular choice for underwriters; Kim and Yong Seung Sun represented NH Investment & Securities as the arranger in securing a hybrid loan guaranteed by CJ Cheil Jedang. M&A specialist Young Man Huh is also proficient in securities and IPOs; Chang Hyeon Ko is recommended for capital market and venture capital transactions. Seon-Jee Lee advises on structured financing transactions including asset-backed securitisation, and Myoung Jae Chung is a well-respected practitioner in the area of securities and asset management; he is advising Korea East-West Power on its $500m issue of 2.62% notes and, along with Seung Jae Yoo, advised Korean Air Lines on its issue of $300m senior capital securities which were issued pursuant to a fiscal agency agreement entered into between the issuer and Deutsche Bank (Hong Kong Branch), acting as agent. Associate Kwon Eui Park is recommended for securities transactions and securities regulations.

Lee & Ko remains highly active on debt capital markets work advising blue-chip clients on their issuances or subscriptions on a wide range of bonds, for example on Korea National Oil Corporation's $285m 3% notes due 2022. It also retains strong capabilities in IPOs, derivatives, disputes and regulatory matters. Securities and derivatives expert Hyunjoo Oh and Seung-A Hyun assisted Korea Midland Power with the establishment of a €3bn MTN programme and issuance of €40m 1.7% notes due 2037. IPO leading figure Wonsik Choo and Jun Woo Cho  advised SD Bio-Tech and U-Bio Logics on their successful IPOs on the Korean Exchange. Je Won Lee focuses on private equity funds and Geen Kim specialises in financial investment products and compliance; they and Ji Young Lee are recommended for collective investment schemes. Wonkyu Han leads the practice which has been joined by partners Cheekwan Kim from Clifford Chance and former judge Jiwoong Lim.

Shin & Kim is ‘excellent with respect to industry knowledge and transaction experience’. Jong-Uk Lee is singled out as ‘outstanding’ and is consistently involved in the most significant ABS and covered bond deals, for example in acting for the issuer from the structuring to the documentation phase to successfully issue the ABS for Lotte Card in the value of $260m. In securities issuances, Lee, Yong Jin Park and practice head Sang Man Kim advised Heungkuk Life Insurance regarding its offering of $500m 4.475% subordinated capital securities – the first public offering of this type of securities abroad by a medium-sized life insurance company.  Other key figures in the ‘value for money’ team are Tae-Yong Seo and Jeong-Hoon Lee who lead on IPO deals – they represented underwriters Daishin Securities as transaction counsel in relation to Aekyung Industrial's IPO and listing on the Korea Exchange.

Yulchon’s capital markets team sits within the corporate and finance group and is able to draw on its cross-departmental expertise in handling securitisation, debt market deals, IPOs for international corporations such as Kia Motors and the BMW Group. Jin Kook Lee is frequently involved in IPO and other equity capital transactions; he and senior foreign attorney Sung Keun Park advised Kia Motors on regulatory and compliance matters in connection with the issuance of foreign bonds. On the debt side, structured finance partner Kyu Sik Kim assisted with the structuring of Kangaroo Bonds to be issued by KEB Hana Bank under the A$2bn Australian debt issuance programme. He also advised BMW Group on the issuance of asset-backed securities, based on automobile instalment bonds worth KRW370bn in the domestic public offering market. Gun Kim  is also active in this area; he and Young Su Shin advised KyoboLife Insurance on the issuing of new hybrid bonds in the value of $500m. He also worked alongside Sung Wook Eun in assisting POSCO facilitate a block trade transaction of over seven million shares of KB Financial Group, a public company owned by POSCO. Hee Woong Yoon leads the department. Associate Soo Yeon Choi is another name to note.

At Jipyong, practice head Haeng-Gyu Lee is active in representing underwriters in IPO transactions, for example, he advised Samsung Securities in connection with the IPO of Shinheung, and IBK Investment & Securities in relation to Dong Yang Piston's IPO. He is also involved in contentious matters, successfully representing MP Group in securing its position on the Korean Exchange after it was suspended following review of eligibility due to shareholder embezzlement and breach of fiduciary duty allegations. Hee-Suk Chai is a name to note in the private equity funds space. Ki-Il Ban is experienced in the capital markets of Cambodia and Laos.

Yoon & Yang LLC has expertise across a diverse range of areas such as IPOs and securities work and has a particularly strong offering in the financial regulatory and disputes spaces. Team head Soonghee Lee’s primary focus is on the financial regulations area of banking, securities and asset management. Young Ho Kang is also a name to note for securities and financial regulation, while Sung Woon Kang  is experienced in domestic and overseas IPOs, structured securities and regulations. Work highlights include Young Sun Cho advising Celltrion in relation to delisting from KOSDAQ and relisting on the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI). Hyun Suk Jung and Dong Seon Kim assisted Meritz Securities as the underwriters for KOSDAQ-listed PATI Games in a capital increase totalling KRW80bn, with new shares to be issued to a third party as an exchange of shares between a listed company and an unlisted company.

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Dinner with GC -
Korea 2018

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Legal Developments in South Korea

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    On February 21, 2019, the Supreme Court of Korea issued an en banc decision overruling its prior precedents on the issue of whether a licensee who is continuing to make royalty payments under an existing license agreement nevertheless has standing to challenge the validity of the licensed patent. In short, the Korean Supreme Court held that absent special circumstance, a patent licensee is an “interested party” eligible for challenging the validity of a licensed patent, despite the lack of any threat or potential threat posed by the patent holder against the licensee’s right to use the patented invention. (Supreme Court En Banc Decision No. 2017Hu2819).
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    The Korea Fair Trade Commission (the “KFTC ”) recently amended its Guidelines for Merger Review (the ”Guidelines ”), which took effect from February 27, 2019. The Guidelines now provide for particular issues relating to “innovation markets” and “big data” that will be considered during the KFTC’s review of mergers within R&D-intensive (i.e. innovative) industries.

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