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Industry knowledge and appropriateness of advice’ are strong at Bae, Kim & Lee LLC and the team is regularly instructed on the most significant disputes in the TMT sector. Kitae Hong and Kwang Jun Kim are part of a large team acting for KT in the Supreme Court in a case to determine liability for hacked personal information, and Taeck Soo Kwon and Ji Yeon Park (who ‘offers business-friendly strategies’) are representing a number of cable companies in an appeal against a decision that they illegally retransmitted SBS programmes. The practice is led by Yang Ho Oh and telecoms specialist Sangjik Lee; Lee, together with Kwang Hyun Ryoo, Kwang Jun Kim, Ji Yeon Park and Joon Yong Park, advised Interpark on an investigation by the police and the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) over the suspected leak of personal information. The team’s non-contentious work included advising Panasonic Avionics on obtaining regulatory approvals for Asiana Airlines’ in-flight Wi-fi service.

Kim & Chang’s ‘particular strength in English communication skills’ makes it a favourite with major international technology companies such as IBM and eBay. Highlights included senior foreign attorney Richard Lee advising Google on the launch of YouTube Red in Korea. The practice is able to draw on the firm’s expertise in M&A to advise on a large number of major TMT deals and recently acted for DoubleU Games on its acquisition of IGT’s social online gaming business. In the media space Seong-Soo Park defended various cable TV system operators including CJ Hellovision and Hyundai HCN in a dispute over royalties for transmission of broadcasts. Other key figures include practice head Dong Shik Choi, who ‘sees the big picture’ and specialises in telecoms and broadcasting transactions and regulatory matters, and Jung Un Lee, who is ‘smart and hard-working’.

Service level is high’ at Lee & Ko where the team’s work included representing SKT in two major interconnection disputes with KT, and advising Gachon University Gil Medical Centre and Daegu Catholic University Medical Center on privacy issues arising from the implementation of an artificial intelligence system. The practice is led by Soon-Yub Kwon who, together with Jubong Jang and Hyun Jung Kim, assisted Doosan Infracore with the launch of a telematics service in Korea. Other names to note include the ‘flexible and client-friendlyKwang Bae Park, whose expertise covers mobile, fixed and satellite services and regulatory issues arising from internet services, and telecoms and broadcasting specialist Hwan Kyoung Ko, who has ‘a strong organisational ability to research a case’. In the transactional space, Min Young Park has ‘strong Japanese language skills’.

Shin & Kim enjoyed a strong year in 2016 with the practice securing a number of new clients including CJ O Shopping and Korea Cable Television & Telecommunications Association. In the telecoms space, the team handled various significant matters, including practice co-head Sinook Kang acting for Kakao in the mitigation of a corrective order imposed by the KCC pertaining to unfair competition, and Juneyoung Jang representing Korea Telecommunication Operators Association in opposing the government’s decision to offer free Wi-fi services for self-use by individuals. Kang was also highly active in a range of non-contentious broadcasting mandates. In another example of the team’s work, Yong-Ho Moon, Sang-Hyeok Im and Woo-Gyun Kim represented SBS in a claim against certain cable television system operators for retransmitting terrestrial broadcasting channels to their subscribers without licenses or authorisation. Sung Geun Kim co-heads the practice.

Yulchon is noted for its ‘thorough approach and strong legal knowledge and skills’, with data privacy compliance a particular specialism. ‘Strong player’ Doil Son, who co-chairs the ICT and fintech team, represented a client in a major investigation relating to personal information management, and also advised KB Kookmin Card on risks associated with its electronic payment system and fraudulent transaction detection system. In the telecoms space, Seung Hyuck Han was particularly active; as well as successfully acting for KT in opposing SKT’s planned acquisition of CJ HelloVision, Han is also representing a number of cable operators in litigation relating to payment of terrestrial TV retransmission fees. Other key figures are senior foreign attorney Jai Wook Lee, who co-heads the ICT team, and corporate and finance group head Hee Woong Yoon.

Yoon & Yang LLC was highly active in the contentious broadcasting space, with practice head Kwang-Wook Lee, Sang Hoon Park, and Chulgun Lim successfully representing the nation’s three main terrestrial broadcasters in the Supreme Court in a damages case regarding JTBC’s unauthorized use of exit poll results during the 2014 provincial election. Lee, Wonil Kim and Keun Woo Lee are advising the same clients on a claim seeking retransmission fees from several multichannel video programming distributors. On the non-contentious side, the team advised CNH Industrial on regulatory issues relating to the overseas transfer of personal data.

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    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.

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