South Korea > Legal market overview
- Legal market overview
- Antitrust and competition
- Banking and finance
- Capital markets
- Corporate and M&A
- Dispute resolution
- Foreign firms
- Intellectual property
- Intellectual property: patents and trademarks
- Projects and energy
- Real estate
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South Korea is making a steady recovery from the financial crisis, as evidenced by a notable increase in corporate transactions and IPOs. It is hoped that the free trade agreement between South Korea and the US, which came into force on March 15 2012, will lead to more robust inbound deal flow.
Foreign firms were recently granted permission to open offices in the jurisdiction, and this has led to a slew of applications. Allen & Overy, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Paul Hastings LLP, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP are the leading foreign firms operating on Korean deals, and all are expected to open offices by 2013.
Among domestic firms, Kim & Chang and Lee & Ko have the largest offerings, but other firms such as Shin & Kim, Yoon & Yang LLC, and Yulchon gathered momentum in 2012. Bae, Kim & Lee LLC also has a solid reputation, particularly for employment and litigation work.
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Proposed Regulations on Delegation of Information Processing and IT Facilities of Financial CompanieOn April 16, 2013, the Financial Services Commission ("FSC") proposed draft Regulations on the Delegation of Information Processing and IT Facilities of Financial Companies (the "Regulations"). Currently, the delegation of information processing and use of offshore IT facilities are permitted on a very limited basis pursuant to the Regulations on Delegation of Businesses of Financial Institutions.
For the first time in Korea, Shin & Kim’s Antitrust Practice Group obtained a landmark decision from the Supreme Court, which held that a notice of non-confirmation of leniency status issued by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the “KFTC”) to a leniency applicant involved in unfair collusion (i.e., cartel) would constitute an administrative disposition, and thus, the leniency applicant would be able to immediately appeal such ecision of the KFTC through an administrative proceeding.
On March 5, 2013, the Legislation and Judiciary Committee of the National Assembly passed a bill (the “Bill”) proposing changes to the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act (“FISCMA”). The Bill introduces a clearing system for financial investment agreements and amends relevant provisions of the FISCMA to set out certain exceptions with respect to listed companies in accordance with the amendments to the Commercial Code which took effect in April, 2012. The proposed changes aim to establish sound market order while keeping pace with the needs of the rapidly changing financial industry.
The draft amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Network Act (the "Amendment") was recently announced, which sets forth details of the new obligations and scope of the amended Act on Promotion of Information and Telecommunications Network Utilization and Information Protection (the "Network Act") that focuses on reinforcement of privacy and data protection and is scheduled to take effect on August 18, 2012.
The new Act on security over Movable Property and Receivables (“The New Act”), which became effective June 11, 2012, was enacted to address the public’s need for an improved mechanism to allow non-real estate assets to be provided as collateral.
In cases involving soil contamination, it is usually difficult to find liable parties when soil contamination damages are discovered, primarily because of the long-term nature of soil contamination.
The Asbestos Safety Management Act (the "Asbestos Act"), which is designed to ensure safe and effective management of asbestos became effective as of April 29, 2012. In the face of growing public concerns over escalating risk associated with asbestos, the Asbestos Act was promulgated last year to effectively control and manage asbestos-containing products, potential asbestos-containing materials and asbestos construction materials. The main features of the Asbestos Act are as follows.
On August 8, 2012 and August 9, 2012, the Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance has announced the government’s proposed tax law amendments (“Proposal”) for 2013. Set forth below is an overview of the major items of the Proposal that may affect foreign-invested companies or foreign corporations conducting business in Korea. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of the Proposal that may affect your organization.
1) The Korean government plans to apply these changes to information & communications service providers first through this Revised Act (defined below), and then subsequently expand the application to the offline sectors through updating each relevant law such as the Personal Information Protection Act.
In connection with the consent decree system adopted on December 2, 2011, the KFTC introduced the Rules on Management of and Procedures for the Consent Decree System (the "Rules") on March 28, 2012.
Recently, HaoLiWen advised and represented a multinational in initiating the consulting process with MOFCOM, to confirm export shipment of certain goods blocked by China Customs was not an item subject to dual-use item license. The pleading and reasoning prepared by HaoLiWen were accepted by MOFCOM after consultation, which has saved the export business of the client and avoided further investigation by Anti-smuggling Bureau of China Customs into the suspected evasion of dual-use item license.
Sayenko Kharenko advises on M&A deal of the year by IFLR Europe Awards 2013.
Sayenko Kharenko acted as the legal counsel to Citi Venture Capital International and Apollo , private equity firms, on the acquisition of 3 shopping malls in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk operating under the Karavan trademark.
Sayenko Kharenko crowned an extraordinary year by carrying off its third "Ukraine Law Firm of the Year Award" at the IFLR's European Awards ceremony held in London on 10 April 2013.
The Legal 500 directory has announced its 2013 results with outstanding listings for Sayenko KharenkThe Legal 500, an independent guide to law, published its 2013 research last week. Sayenko Kharenko affirmed its reputation as a leading full-service Ukrainian law firm.
Sayenko Kharenko acted as legal counsel to Credit Suisse , Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan , the lead-managers of the USD 500 million 8.875% loan participation notes due 2018 for the purpose of providing a loan to "State Savings Bank of Ukraine"
According to the recently released Chambers Global 2013, Sayenko Kharenko maintains its position at the top of the market, being highly ranked in all practice areas researched for Ukraine.
Sayenko Kharenko acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan and UBS, the joint lead managers of the USD 175 million Eurobond offering by Privatbank with 10.875% coupon maturing in 2018.
Sayenko Kharenko acted as legal counsel to a foreign investment fund on the sale of a majority shareholding in Private Joint-Stock Company "Insurance Company "Kyivska Rus" to a group of local investors.