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Next Generation Partners

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Kim & Chang’s multi-disciplinary practice continues to attract Korean and international insurance, reinsurance and brokerage companies who regularly call on the team’s substantial expertise in regulatory, licensing and commercial matters. In one key example, practice head Jay Ahn and Hyun Wook Shin assisted AIA Life Insurance on regulatory issues concerning new healthcare guidelines by successfully obtaining an authoritative interpretation from the Financial Services Commission. Elsewhere, Hanil Joo and Hoon Koo Yeo successfully represented Korean Fire Protection Association in a dispute concerning marine insurance. Kevin L Todd,  Jae Ho Baek and Joon Young Kim  are also active on significant cases.

Lee & Ko’s multi-disciplined team assists leading Korean and international insurers, reinsurers, agents and brokers across the full spectrum of insurance matters. The ‘very strong team’ is jointly led by Jin Hong Kwon and John Jung Kyum KimJinyoung Jung, Jae Hwan Kim and Chongsu Seo are ‘excellent lawyers with great client care skills and a thorough understanding of insurance work’. In a recent highlight, H Kim and Seo are acting for a group of insurers and reinsurers in the leading case concerning the scope of coverage for cyber attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges. Sae Um Kim is recommended for disputes, policy reviews and regulatory advice with cross-border elements for life, mobile phone, and trade insurance.

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s strong capability in contentious insurance disputes was again in evidence with the team acting in several recent high-profile cases. Jong Ku Kang succeeded in obtaining relief for Tongyang Life Insurance against a claim brought to the Financial Supervisory Service over the application of interest rates, as well as acting for The-K Non-Life Insurance on the insurance coverage arising from a fire accident. Meanwhile, Jaiyoung Kim and Jong Min An are representing Samsung C&T in a claim arising out a fire which occurred in the warehouse operated by Samsung.

Shin & Kim’s insurance practice handles contentious disputes and financial transactions for insurance companies, as well as regulatory matters. Chan-Mook Jung and Sang-Mi Baek have been active in several key cases of late, including assisting the General Insurance Association of Korea with a review aimed at overhauling the auto insurance compensation system. Meanwhile, Jung, Baek and So Yeon Kim are representing Samsung Life Insurance in an appeal concerning the liability of payment in cataract surgery. Practice head Hyungsuk Lee is recommended as are Se Ryul Hong and Su Hyun Lee.

Yulchon's Young Su Shin and Hyeon Hwa Shin are particularly active in contentious insurance disputes and M&A mandates; recent work includes acting for Samsung Life Insurance in the course of sanction proceedings by the financial regulators on the issue of overdue death claims for insurees who committed suicide. On the corporate side, the practice assisted Mirae Asset Life Insurance in acquiring a controlling stake in Vietnam’s Prevoir Vietnam Life Insurance as well as advising on a strategic alliance between the two companies. Hyung Ki Lee and Soo Yeon Choi are also names to note.

Jipyong’s expertise covers interpretation of insurance agreements, disputes, antitrust issues, assisting Korean corporates on expansion into new jurisdictions, and advising foreign insurers on entry into the Korean insurance market. In the Supreme Court, Seong-Jin Bae successfully acted as counsel for Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance by overturning current precedent on liabilities placed on a lessee for damages to parts of premises not leased to the lessee. Young-Soo Kim also represented Samsung in the Supreme Court decision concerning an excessive claim for MRI scan fees.

Shipping boutique Cho & Lee specialises in advising on aviation, marine, and carriage insurance as well as professional liability insurance and public liability insurance. Managing partner Sung Keuk Cho is the main contact.

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Dinner with GC -
Korea 2018

  • China and Hong Kong GC Powerlist

    In May, The Legal 500 and GC Magazine added another country to the list of destinations for their exclusive Dinner with GC series, as South Korea’s elite in-house counsel came together at Mugunghwa in Seoul, for a closed-door discussion on the realities of the role.

    Dinner with GC - Korea 2018

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Legal Developments in South Korea

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  • Greater Reforms for Promoting Work-Life Balance – Changes to the Gender Equal Employment....

    Greater Reforms for Promoting Work-Life Balance – Changes to the Gender Equal Employment and Work-Life Balance Support Act
  • Lee & Ko successfully represents Big Hit Entertainment against unauthorized use of BTS’ photos

    Lee & Ko, on behalf of Big Hit Entertainment (“Big Hit”), obtained the first-ever decision in Korea to recognize the entertainment companies’ right to independently request for injunction against those who free-ride on the customer attractiveness that is based off of popularity and fame of the artists managed by the companies. This landmark decision is expected to serve as an important pedestal in protecting the legitimate interest of entertainment companies (domestic as well as international) that manage famous artists and entertainers and remain vulnerable to unfair competition of free-riders.
  • First- Ever Decision by the Supreme Court of Korea ...

    First- Ever Decision by the Supreme Court of Korea to Find Copyright Infringement in the Selection, Arrangement or Combination of Game Elements
  • Key International Tax Law Amendments in the Draft 2019 Tax Revision Bill

    On July 25, 2019, the Ministry of Economy and Finance publicly released the 2019 draft Tax Revision Bill (the “Draft Bill”). The Draft Bill is expected to be sent to the National Assembly on September 3, 2019 for deliberation and adoption.
  • Russian Court’s Judgment Recognized for Enforcement in Korea

    Recently, based on the premise that requirements for “mutual guarantee” or “reciprocity” in relation to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments can be allowed between Russia and Korea, a District Court of Korea rendered its decision which allowed a judgment concluded by a Russian court to be enforceable in Korea (see Changwon District Court, Decision 2018Gahap51099 held on January 17, 2019).
  • Korean National Assembly Passes “Blind Hiring” Bill to Reform Hiring Culture

    Recently, the National Assembly of Korea passed legislative amendments to the Fair Recruitment Procedure Act (“FRPA ”) as part of the reform efforts to address the country’s recruitment culture. The latest amendment – dubbed the “blind hiring” bill – expands the FRPA to prohibit any type of recruitment irregularities (e.g., improper solicitation, coercion, pressure) and, more importantly, bars employers from asking jobseekers to provide any information unrelated to the position and the applicant’s merit. The amended FRPA will go into effect starting July 17, 2019.
  • Korean Financial Supervisory Service Mandating Disclosure of Transaction Documents When Filing Repor

    Korean Financial Supervisory Service Mandating Disclosure of Transaction Documents When Filing Report on Material Facts
  • Successful Challenges to Korean Health Insurance Regulator’s 13-Year Old System...

    Successful Challenges to Korean Health Insurance Regulator’s 13-Year Old System of Automatic Reduction of Original Drug Price
  • Korean Supreme Court Confirms Licensee’s Standing to Challenge Patent Validity

    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).
  • Amendments to the KFTC Merger Review Guidelines

    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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