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Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

Legal Developments Worldwide

Articles contributed by Kim & Chang

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[SOUTH KOREA] Potential Regulatory Compliance Systems to Enhance the Safe Control of Chemical ...

February 2018 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Potential Regulatory Compliance Systems to Enhance the Safe Control of Chemical Substances

Continuing its policy to enhance the safe control of chemical substances, the Ministry of Environment (“MOE”) has been making legislative efforts to further heighten regulations of chemical substances. 

[SOUTH KOREA] KFTC Announces Plan to Eliminate Technology Misappropriation

February 2018 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On September 8, 2017, to promote joint growth of enterprises of all sizes and their collaborative efforts, the Korean Fair Trade Commission (“KFTC”) and the ruling Democratic Party of Korea held a consultation conference to step up efforts to eliminate unfair demands of technical information and/or misappropriation of technology by large conglomerates against small and medium-sized enterprises.

[SOUTH KOREA] Amendments to the Patent and Design Protection Acts Now Effective, Key Changes That...

February 2018 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Several amendments to the Patent Act (“PA”) and the Design Protection Act ("DPA"), which passed the National Assembly on March 2, 2017, went into effect on September 22, 2017. We highlight below the major changes: 

[SOUTH KOREA] Supreme Court Affirms Lower Decision, Finding Invalid the Regulations on Foreign ...

December 2017 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Supreme Court Affirms Lower Court Decision, Finding Invalid the Regulations on Foreign Exchange Report on Incorporation of Offshore Subsidiary by an Offshore Company

On June 15, 2017, the Korean Supreme Court affirmed an appellate court decision which ruled that a Korean company is not guilty of a violation of the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act (the “FETA”) for failing to file a foreign exchange report after its offshore branch office established an offshore subsidiary.  This Supreme Court decision is a milestone decision that requires a clear legal basis in relevant statutes for finance-related regulations. 

[SOUTH KOREA] New Administration’s Key Environmental Policies

December 2017 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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To step forward as an environment-friendly government, the Moon Jae-in Administration has announced its key environmental policies, including improving safety in chemical substances and household chemical products, and reinforcing implementation measures of the Paris Agreement.  Under the “sustainable development” paradigm, the new administration will continually promote new regulations to protect the environment and strengthen its enforcement of environmental regulations.

[SOUTH KOREA] Lower Court Issues Favorable Decision for 27,000 KIA Motors Employees in an ...

December 2017 - Employment . Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Lower Court Issues Favorable Decision for 27,000 KIA Motors Employees in an Ordinary Wage Case 

On August 31, 2017, the Seoul Central District Court held for around 27,000 employees of KIA Motors ("KIA") in their claim seeking payment of unpaid allowances.  These allowances were not paid, because the defendant, KIA, had not included the employees' regular bonuses in their ordinary wages.

[SOUTH KOREA] KFTC Announces Standard Distribution Agreement for F&B Businesses

August 2017 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On February 15, 2017, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (“KFTC”) announced the Standard Distribution Agreement for transactions between suppliers and distributors in the food & beverage (“F&B”) industry. 

[SOUTH KOREA] Supreme Court Rules that Distributor's Sales Agents Are Distributor's Employees ...

August 2017 - Employment . Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Supreme Court Rules that Distributor's Sales Agents Are Distributor's Employees, Entitling Them to Severance Payment from the Distributor

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court held that although a company (the "Distributor") executed service agreements with its sales agents (the "Sales Agents") who worked in the Distributor's retail space at a department store, the Sales Agents were the Distributor's "employees" as defined under the Labor Standards Act and entitled to statutory severance from the Distributor. Although the Sales Agents were subcontracted to the Distributor and received a sales commission for selling products on its behalf to customers, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Sales Agents.

[SOUTH KOREA] MOE Moves to Further Stringently Regulate Hazardous Chemical Substances

August 2017 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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The Amendment to the Chemicals Control Act (“CCA”), as proposed by the MOE and promulgated on December 27, 2016, is scheduled to take effect on December 28, 2017 (the “Amendment”). 

[SOUTH KOREA] Korean Supreme Court Issues Several Rulings on Whether a Foreign Company Doing ...

May 2017 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Korean Supreme Court Issues Several Rulings on Whether a Foreign Company Doing Business in Korea May Be Found to Have a Permanent Establishment 

In 2016, the Korean Supreme Court issued several rulings shedding light on its approach when analyzing whether a foreign company conducting business in Korea may be found to have a permanent establishment (“PE”). 

[SOUTH KOREA] KFTC Announces Its Enforcement Plan Detailing Its Focus Areas for 2017

May 2017 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On January 5, 2017, the Korea Fair Trade Commission ("KFTC") announced its enforcement plan for 2017 (the "Plan"), and set out detailed policies to: (i) monitor and remedy anti-competitive structure and behavior; (ii) establish a healthy business system among large conglomerates and small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”); and (iii) build a consumer-friendly environment promoting consumers’ rights.  

[SOUTH KOREA] Ministry of Environment (i) Strengthens Safety/Labeling Standards for ...

May 2017 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Ministry of Environment (i) Strengthens Safety/Labeling Standards for Potentially Risky Products and (ii) Introduces Biocides Act Modeled After EU’s Similar Regulation 

On December 30, 2016, Korea’s Ministry of Environment (“MOE”) announced an amendment to the “Potentially Risky Product Designation & Safety/Labeling Standards” (“MOE’s Notice”), which strengthens the safety and labeling standards relating to potentially risky products, as well as the “Act on the Safe Control of Household Chemical Products & Biocides” (“Biocides Act”) modeled after the EU BPR (Biocidal Products Regulation) to regulate active substances and biocidal products.

[SOUTH KOREA] Questions on Product Safety Continue, Bringing About Strengthened Regulatory Oversight

February 2017 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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In the midst of growing public concern over the health hazards of certain household chemical products,¹ concerns are now being raised about the safety of chemicals in other types of products, such as "quasi-drugs" (e.g., toothpastes) and cosmetics.   

Primarily, these recent concerns focus on the health hazards associated with biocides contained in household products. In particular, Korean people are concerned about chemicals that were used as biocides in some humidifier sterilizers, such as chloromethyl-methylisothiazolone (“CMIT/MIT”).  

[SOUTH KOREA] (1) Hong Kong Tax Treaty, and (2) Amendment to the Korea–India Tax Treaty

February 2017 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Much earlier than expected, on September 12, 2016, the Korean government notified the Hong Kong government of the Korean National Assembly’s ratification of the Korea–Hong Kong Tax Treaty (“Treaty”). On September 27, 2016, the Treaty entered into force.   

[SOUTH KOREA] KFTC Begins to Enforce the Amended Consumer Dispute Resolution Standard

February 2017 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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KFTC Begins to Enforce the Amended Consumer Dispute Resolution Standard to Reinforce Consumer Protection   

On October 26, 2016, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the “KFTC”) announced that it would enforce its amendment to the Consumer Dispute Resolution Standard (the “Standard” or such amendment the “Amendment”).   

[South Korea] Korea’s Strategy and Finance Ministry Proposes Tax Law Changes for 2017

October 2016 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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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.

[South Korea] Korea’s Environment Ministry Preparing Tougher and More Expansive Regulations for ..

October 2016 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Korea’s Environment Ministry Preparing Tougher and More Expansive Regulations for Chemical Substances & Products

Korean public interest in chemical safety has been higher than ever. The public has been hearing news reports that continue to raise health and safety risks of certain household and industrial products (e.g., humidifier sanitizers, air fresheners, filters used in air purifiers or air conditioners). Meanwhile, South Korea’s environment authority, the Ministry of Environment (“MOE”), has been taking active consumer protection measures, such as product recalls. Specifically, the MOE recently conducted a comprehensive inspection of “potentially risky products.” Based on the data gathered, the MOE is preparing an amendment to the regulations to: (i) expand the list of regulated products; and (ii) strengthen the safety and labeling standards applicable to these products.

[South Korea] The Patent Court Publishes Guidelines for Appeals of IP Infringement Cases

October 2016 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On March 16, 2016, the Patent Court published its “Guidelines Regarding Appeals of IP Infringement Actions” (“Guidelines”).

[South Korea] Ministry of Strategy and Finance Issues Notice of a New Filing Requirement, and ...

July 2016 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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[Ministry of Strategy and Finance Issues Notice of a New Filing Requirement, and Those Companies Subject to the Comprehensive Report on International Transactions]

Under the amendments to Article 11 of the International Tax Coordination Law (“ITCL”) and Article 21-2 of the Presidential Decree of the ITCL, taxpayers are required to submit an Individual Company Report, and a Comprehensive Report on International Transactions (“Comprehensive Report”) if their annual sales amount exceeds KRW 100 billion (approx. USD 83 million) and annual cross-border intercompany transactions exceeds KRW 50 billion (approx. USD 42 billion).

[South Korea] KFTC Issues Amended Guidelines on the Review of Unfair Trade Practices

July 2016 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On December 31, 2015, the Amendment to the Guidelines on the Review of Unfair Trade Practices (“Amendment” and “Guidelines,” respectively) came into effect. The Guidelines are intended to provide guidance to companies about when their unilateral conduct may be considered an “unfair trade practice.”

[South Korea] Government to Strengthen Investigation of Environmental Crimes through a Newly ...

July 2016 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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[Government to Strengthen Investigation of Environmental Crimes through a Newly Established Task Force]

In an effort to strengthen its ability to better enforce major criminal violations of environmental regulations, the Ministry of Environment (the “MOE”) newly established the “Central Environmental Crime Investigation Task Force” (“the Task Force”).  

[South Korea] National Assembly Passes the "Special Act for Business Reinvigoration"

March 2016 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On February 4, 2016, the National Assembly held a plenary session, and passed the "Special Act for Business Reinvigoration" (the "One-Shot Legislation").

The act is a temporary legislation. It will become effective on August 13, 2016, and stay in effect for 3 years.

[South Korea] Environment Ministry Issues New Administrative Regulations to Guide the Disclosure of

March 2016 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Environment Ministry Issues New Administrative Regulations to Guide the Disclosure of Information on Chemical Substance

Effective December 31, 2015, Korea’s Ministry of Environment (the “MOE”) promulgated the "Regulations on the Management of Chemical Substance Investigation Results and Information Disclosure System" (the “Management Regulations”).

[South Korea] Update on the Korea-Hong Kong Tax Treaty

March 2016 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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The Korea-Hong Tax Treaty (“Hong Kong Treaty”) has not yet been ratified.¹ As a result, the Hong Kong treaty did not enter into force in 2015. Consequently, its provisions will not have effect in 2016.

[South Korea] Presidential Advisory Commission Agrees on 5 Key Labor Issues

December 2015 - Employment . Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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A Step Forward for the Korean Labor Market – Presidential Advisory Commission Agrees on 5 Key Labor Issues 

On September 15, 2015, after one year of deliberations, the Economic and Social Development Commission (the "ESDC") came to an agreement on 5 key issues relating to labor policies.

[South Korea] Food and Drug Safety Ministry Expands Its Regulatory Scope to Include Wellness...

December 2015 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Korea’s Food and Drug Safety Ministry Expands Its Regulatory Scope to Include Wellness Products

The convergence of two fast growing industries – the healthcare industry with the information & communications technology (“ICT”) industry – has led to the introduction of new products and services that include health-related functions (“wellness products”).

[South Korea] Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy Amends Regulations on Export Control of...

December 2015 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy Amends Regulations on Export Control of Strategic Goods

On July 20, 2015, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy ("MOTIE") amended the Regulations on Export Control of Strategic Goods ("Regulations").

[South Korea] Supreme Court Decides on the Criteria for Distinguishing Worker Dispatch from Subcontr

August 2015 - Employment . Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On February 26, 2015, the Supreme Court rendered decisions regarding subcontracted workers. In particular, the Court provided specific factors to consider when determining whether a subcontracting arrangement will be deemed worker dispatch, which can potentially result in an illegal dispatch relationship and create a de facto employment relationship.

[South Korea] FSC Introduces Internet-Primary Bank in Korea

August 2015 - Finance. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Introduction

From January to April 2015, the Financial Services Commission (“FSC”) operated the Internet-Primary Bank Task Force (“TF”), which was a joint private and public sector effort.  The TF reviewed related legislative bills and system reform plans regarding the introduction of the Internet-primary bank in Korea.

[South Korea] MOE’s Leniency Program: MOE Plans to Enforce Regulations to Combat Illegal Manufactu

August 2015 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On January 1, 2015, the Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals (“K-REACH”) and the Chemicals Control Act (“CCA”) took effect.  In this regard, the Ministry of Environment (“MOE”) plans to provide guidelines on the violations of K-REACH and CCA, and begin to enforce regulations against the violations in the near future.

[South Korea] Major Changes in Environmental Policy in 2015

July 2015 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Enforcement of the Act on the Registration, Evaluation, Etc. of Chemicals

The Act on the Registration, Evaluation, Etc. of Chemicals (“K-REACH”) and its subordinate regulations, i.e., the Enforcement Decree and the Enforcement Rules to K-REACH, took effect as of January 1, 2015. Under K-REACH, businesses handling chemicals are subject to more stringent government control; for instance, any person who intends to import (i) a new chemical, (ii) a pre-existing chemical of one ton or more per year, or (iii) a product containing hazardous chemicals, is required to file the respective report with the regulatory authority.

[South Korea] Newly Issued Online Personal Information Processing Guidelines

July 2015 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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By announcing the Online Personal Information Processing Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) on November 12, 2014, the Korea Communications Commission (“KCC”) has further clarified the standards for (1) collecting minimum personal information, (2) destroying personal information, and (3) obtaining consent, as required under the Act on the Promotion of Information and Communications Network Use and Information Protection (the “Network Act”). The Guidelines contain the following key points:

[South Korea] Changes to the Presidential Decrees of Tax Laws for 2015

July 2015 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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The Government amended the Presidential Decrees of various tax laws on February 3, 2015. Included below are some highlights:

Proposed Legislation for Environmental Pollution Damage Compensation Has Passed National Assembly

June 2015 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On December 10, 2014, the proposed legislation for the Environmental Pollution Damage Compensation and Recovery Act (the “Environmental Damage Compensation Act”) was passed by the National Assembly by unanimous votes of the present members. This Act will enter into force one year after the date of its promulgation, provided that, however, the obligation to subscribe environmental liability insurance under Article 17 will be enforced 18 months after tis promulgation.

[South Korea] Proposed Tax Law Changes for 2015

June 2015 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On August 6, 2013, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance announced proposed tax law amendments for 2015, most of which would take effect on January 1, 2015 if enacted into law. The main items as currently proposed are summarized below but are subject to change during the National Assembly’s legislative review later this year.

[South Korea] Regulations on Subcontracting, Franchising and Distribution to be Amended

June 2015 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On September 30, 2014, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the “KFTC”) announced plans to amend regulations regarding the subcontracting, franchise and distribution sectors. In particular, the KFTC identified 12 action items that address the propriety and need for certain rules, and aim to mitigate burdens on industry. The KFTC plans to submit the relevant bills to the National Assembly and finalize the amended Enforcement Decrees by the end of 2014, and to update the subordinate regulations by the first quarter of 2015.

South Korea: Court Decisions Since the Supreme Court Rulings on Ordinary Wage

February 2015 - Employment . Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Since the Supreme Court rulings in Kabul Autotech cases last year, the courts rendered a number of decisions applying these Supreme Court rulings on ordinary wage and the applicability of good faith preclusion, including the following.  

 

 

 


Court Decision on Collusion Case Regarding Compensation for Commission Rate Tied to Personal Life..

February 2015 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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  Court Decision on Collusion Case Regarding Compensation for Commission Rate Tied to Personal Life Insurance Products  Following the Korea Fair Trade Commission (“KFTC”)’s correction order and imposition of administrative fines on December 15, 2011 against 16 life insurance companies for their engagement in unfair concerted action (cartel), consumers that purchased the insurance policies (the “Complainants”) brought a number of civil actions against these 16 life insurance companies.  On April 25, 2014, and on June 27, 2014, the Seoul Central District Court issued judgments on a number of these civil cases in favor of the life insurance companies on grounds that the aforementioned life insurance companies had not been conclusively found to have engaged in unfair concerted action.

South Korea: Draft Act on Compensation and Relief of Environmental Pollution Damage

September 2014 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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The Korean Government has launched a government project to establish a system to compensate and insure against environmental pollution damage, and is pursuing the introduction of a legal relief system for environmental pollution damage. Such Government initiative is intended to address the current situation where environmental pollution accidents inflict serious damage on society due to the enormous amount of tax money that is required for curing the pollution, while companies that caused the accident sometimes go bankrupt because they cannot bear the financial burden of paying the compensation. Moreover, the victims of environmental pollution accidents are often unable to obtain proper compensation due to the burden of proving that their injury resulted from the pollution or due to the prolonged litigation process which is unavoidable in light of the nature of environmental pollution.

South Korea: KFTC Approves First Consent Decree

September 2014 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On March 12, 2014, the Commissioners of the Korea Fair Trade Commission ("KFTC") approved a consent decree with Korea's major Internet portal companies, Naver and Naver Business Platform (collectively "Naver") and Daum Communications ("Daum"). This was the first time since its introduction that a consent decree was used to conclude a case before the KFTC. With this consent decree, the KFTC's investigation of Naver and Daum for their alleged abuse of market dominance ended without any finding of liability.

South Korea: Recent Developments in Broadcasting Regulations

September 2014 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Recent regulatory developments in the ever-changing broadcasting environment are summarized below.

 

Accounting System Reformation Plan and Expansion of External Audit for Limited Liability Company

May 2014 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On October 28, 2013, the Financial Services Commission (the “FSC”) announced an accounting system reformation plan related to the amendment to the Act on External Audit of Stock Companies (the “Plan”) aiming primarily at improving transparency of limited companies (yuhan heosa) and non-listed large company’s accounting system.

South Korea: Update on K-REACH and CCA

April 2014 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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As noted in our previous issue, the Act on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical Substances (K-REACH) and Chemicals Control Act (CCA) were recently enacted. Below are some of the key updates on K-REACH and CCA.

 

South Korea: KFTC’s First Application of the Consent Decree Process

April 2014 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On November 27, 2013, the Korea Fair Trade Commission ("KFTC") agreed to apply for the first time the consent decree process in its investigation of Naver and Naver Business Platform (jointly, "Naver") and Daum Communications ("Daum") for their alleged violations of Korea's Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Law ("FTL").

South Korea: K-REACH and Chemicals Control Act: Advance Notice of Draft Subordinate Statutes

April 2014 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On February 18, 2014, the Ministry of Environment of Korea ("MoE") announced an advance notice for the draft subordinate statutes of the K-REACH and Chemicals Control Act ("CCA"). Provided below are the key provisions of the legislation that is to take effect on January 1, 2015.

 

South Korea: Supreme Court Decisions on Ordinary Wage – Action Plan for Employers

April 2014 - Employment . Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On December 18, 2013, the Supreme Court, sitting en banc, rendered its decisions on the ordinary wage cases of Kabul Autotech. The Supreme Court's ruling provided some guidance on how to resolve a substantial portion of the employers' past obligations related to ordinary wages.

 

South Korea: Supreme Court Defines the Scope of Ordinary Wage

April 2014 - Employment . Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Ordinary wage, the standard in assessing compensation for overtime, nighttime and holiday work and unused annual leaves, refers to any money paid regularly, uniformly and on a fixed basis. On December 18, 2013, the Supreme Court rendered two full bench decisions on the scope of ordinary wage. Kim & Chang represented the Defendant-Appellant Kabul Autotech in both cases, in which the Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the lower courts in favor of the Defendant-Appellant and remanded the cases.

South Korea: Notice on Proposed Partial Amendment to Commercial Code

October 2013 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On July 17, 2013, the Ministry of Justice issued an advance legislative notice of a proposed partial amendment to the Commercial Code in order to improve corporate governance. The proposed amendment is schedule to be submitted to the National Assembly in the latter half of this year after the advance notice period expires on August 25, 2013.
 

South Korea: Major Amendments to Fair Trade Laws

October 2013 - Insurance. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On April 30, 2013, the National Assembly passed an amendment to the Fair Transactions in Subcontracting Act (the "Subcontracting Act") followed by amendments regarding the exclusive right of the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the "KFTC") to file criminal complaints under the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Law (the "FTL"), the Act on Fair Transactions in Large Franchise and Retail Business (the "Franchise Act") and the Subcontracting Act on June 25, 2013. Finally on July 2, 2013, amendments to the FTL (restriction of inter-affiliate deals), the Subcontracting Law (prevention of unfair subcontract transactions) and the Fair Labeling and Advertising Act (the "Labeling and Advertising Act") were passed by the National Assembly.

Korean REACH Legislation Update

October 2013 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On May 22, 2013, the Korean National Assembly officially announced the Act on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical Substances (the "Korean REACH") which the National Assembly passed on April 30, 2013. The Korean REACH will take effect on January 1, 2015. Relative to the earlier version announced in February 2011, the draft bill submitted to the National Assembly in September 2012 was more lenient in its requirements. However, due to increased scrutiny arising from several highly publicized accidents involving chemical substances in recent months, a more stringent version of the Korean REACH has now been passed, which includes reporting requirement for certain products.

South Korea: New Presidential Administration Announces National Policy Agenda (Fair Trade)

October 2013 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On February 21, 2013, the Presidential Transition Team announced the New Presidential Administration's five strategic policy areas, including 140 specific policy items. At the top of the New Presidential Administration's policy agenda is the establishment of an "employment-based creative economy" based on fair trade. In order to achieve this, the Presidential Transition Team proposed to "establish a market economy based on sound principles," by way of (i) reforming the current regulatory system under which the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act ("MRFTA") is enforced and (ii) enforcing the MRFTA in a manner that protects consumers and the economically disadvantaged.

South Korea: Amendment to Laws Protecting Non-Regular Employees

October 2013 - Employment . Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On March 22, 2013, both the Act on Protection, etc. of Fixed-Term and Part-Time Workers and the Dispatched Workers' Act (the "Act on Protection of Non-Regular Employees") were promulgated to address discrimination against fixed-term, part-time and/or dispatched workers ("non-regular employees"). The amendments will become effective 6 months after the promulgation of the amendment.

South Korea: Stricter Enforcement of Environmental Regulations under New

October 2013 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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At the end of 2012, the Ministry of Environment tested samples of untreated waste water from 60 randomly selected factories, and the results revealed that 44 of those were in violation of the Water Quality and Ecosystem Conservation Act (the "Water Quality Act"). The Ministry followed up with a second round of investigations in early 2013, testing all 318 Class 1 waste-producers (facilities are categorized into Classes 1 through 5 based on the volume of their generated waste, with Class 1 being the heaviest producers), of which 163 were found to be in
violation of the Water Quality Act. These investigations evidence a change in the policy direction of the Ministry of Environment to implement stricter enforcement of the Water Quality Act as opposed to the past lax enforcement of the local municipalities.

South Korea: Strengthened Regulations on the Use of Personal Information by IT Service Providers

November 2012 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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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.

South Korea: Enforcement of Asbestos Safety Management Act

September 2012 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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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.

South Korea: Establishment of Rules on Management of and Procedures for the Consent Decree System

August 2012 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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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.

South Korea: Ministry of Strategy and Finance's Efforts to Strengthen International...

June 2012 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Cooperation for Tax Information Exchange

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance (the "MOSF") announced through its official press release dated March 12, 2012 its plan to strengthen the international cooperation for the exchange of tax information with other countries.  

Key Amendments to Korea’s Labor Laws - Second Half 2012

June 2012 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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1. The Obligation to Hire Illegal Dispatch Workers Arises Immediately When the Violation is Found.

South Korea: Effectiveness of Amendments to Enforcement Decrees of the...

May 2012 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Public Health Control Act Legalizing Serviced Residences 

Serviced residences combine features of the hotel business and short-term leasing business and typically target medium or long-term guests. On April 15, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that operating a serviced residence constitutes accommodation business rather than real estate leasing business and therefore the operation of a serviced residence without reporting itself as an accommodation business was illegal.

Recent Amendments to Korea’s Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Law

April 2012 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On February 27, 2012, the National Assembly passed the draft amendments to the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Law (the “FTL”) (the “Draft Amendments”), which will become effective on June 22, 2012. The following summarizes the major changes to the FTL that will be effectuated through the Draft Amendments:

Amendments to the Enforcement Decree of the Korean Commercial Code

April 2012 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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New amendments to the Enforcement Decree of the Korean Commercial Code (the "Amendments") were passed by the National Cabinet on April 3, 2012.

New Proposed Legislation to Strengthen Financial Consumer Protection

March 2012 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On December 16, 2011, the Financial Services Commission (the "FSC") proposed to enact two new pieces of legislation, the Act on Financial Consumer Protection (the "AFCP") and an amendment to the Act on Establishment of Financial Services Commission (together with the AFCP, the "Proposed Legislation"). The Proposed Legislation aims to strengthen the protection of consumers of financial products from financial institutions.

Korea Fair Trade Commission’s 2012 Business Plan

February 2012 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On December 15, 2011, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the “KFTC”) announced the key elements of its 2012 business plan. According to the 2012 business plan, the KFTC’s main goal is to establish a fair market economy that benefits the small and medium-sized enterprises, large conglomerates and consumers altogether. The key points of the KFTC’s 2012 business plan are outlined below.

Announcement of Proposed Amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Korean Commercial Code

February 2012 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On December 28, 2011, the Ministry of Justice announced a proposed amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Korean Commercial Code (the "Amendment"). The Amendment elaborates on certain provisions in the newly-amended Korean Commercial Code – which will come into effect on April 15, 2012 – and aim to improve and supplement the current regime.

Amendment to Korean Employee Retirement Benefits Security Act

December 2011 - Employment . Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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An amendment to the Employee Retirement Benefits Security Act (the “Act”) was promulgated on July 25, 2011 and is scheduled to take effect on July 26, 2012. The following is a brief summary of the key provisions of the amendment.

REPORT ON THE FUTURE PLANS OF THE KOREA FAIR TRADE COMMISSION

November 2011 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On September 22, 2011, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the “KFTC”) reported its future plans to the National Assembly’s Government Affairs Committee (the “Committee”) during the National Assembly’s Audit, details of which are described below.

AMENDMENT TO KOREA’S ACT ON PREVENTION OF DIVULGENCE AND PROTECTION OF INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY

November 2011 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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The recent amendments to the Act on Prevention of Divulgence and Protection of Industrial Technology, which were passed by the National Assembly on June 30, 2011, were promulgated on July 25, 2011. The amendments are scheduled to become effective six months from the promulgation date - on January 26, 2012.

MORE STRINGENT PRIVACY PROTECTION LAWS

September 2011 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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1. Separate Consent for Privacy Matters

The Amendment to the Act on Promotion of Information Telecommunication Networks and Protection of Information ("APITN") came into effect on July 6, 2011.

ASBESTOS SAFETY ACT

September 2011 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Shortly after the enactment of the Act on Relief of Asbestos-Related Damages on January 1, 2011, the Asbestos Safety Act (the "Asbestos Act") was approved by the National Assembly and thereafter promulgated on April 28, 2011. The Asbestos Act is scheduled to become effective on April 29, 2012.

KFTC ACTION PLAN FOR ESTABLISHING A PLATFORM FOR GROWTH AND PROMOTION OF COMPETITION

August 2011 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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During a meeting with the State Affairs Committee held on June 13, 2011, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the "KFTC") reported that "establishing a platform for growth and strengthening law enforcement" was the KFTC's top priority.

INTRODUCTION OF MULTIPLE UNION SYSTEM IN KOREA

August 2011 - Employment . Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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Pursuant to the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act amended on January 1, 2010, more than one union may be established in a given company ("Multiple Union System") starting from July 1, 2011. Even where there are two or more labor unions in a single company, however, the company is only required to engage in collective bargaining with one bargaining channel per company, unless the company agrees otherwise. The single bargaining channel requirement will not apply to pre-existing multiple unions until July 1, 2012. The following may serve as the relevant single bargaining channel:

RECENT AMENDMENTS TO THE KOREAN COMMERCIAL CODE

August 2011 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On March 11, 2011, the National Assembly passed a number of proposed amendments to the Korean Commercial Code (the "KCC"). These amendments, which comprise the final phase of an amendment process that began in 2005, represent the most large-scale revisions to the KCC since its inception. Notably, they include an array of provisions that aim for more flexibility in relation to corporate financing and enhanced transparency in relation to corporate governance.

ENACTMENT OF GENERAL PRIVACY REGULATION - PERSONAL INFORMATION PROTECTION ACT

June 2011 - Employment . Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On March 11, 2011, the National Assembly passed a draft bill for the Personal Information Protection Act ("PIPA"), which is expected to take effect within approximately 6 months. The information telecommunications service providers who are subject to the Act on Promotion of Information Telecommunications Networks and Protection of Information ("APITN") will also have to comply with the following aspects of the PIPA that are not currently covered by the APITN:

LAUNCHING OF NTS FORENSIC & ANTI TAX-EVASION CENTER

June 2011 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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The National Tax Service (the "NTS") announced through its official press release dated February 8, 2011 the recent launch of a Forensic and Anti Tax-Evasion Center ("FAC") within the NTS and plans for other FACs to be established within the various regional tax offices across Korea.

HEIGHTENED CONTROLS ON TRANSACTIONS WITH IRAN

February 2011 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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The Korean government recently amended the guideline of the Bank of Korea ("BOK") regarding certain advance reporting or approval of the BOK that a Korean resident trading with Iranian entities and individuals need to be obtain (the "Amended Guideline").

PROVISIONS ON POST-MANUFACTURE OR IMPORT ENFORCEMENT OF CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES CONTROL

February 2011 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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The Ministry of Environment on December 3, 2010 issued "Provisions on Post-Import or Manufacture Enforcement of Chemical Substances Control" under the Toxic Chemicals Control Law (the "TCCL"). The provisions apply to the commissioners of local environmental agencies, to whom certain authorities are delegated by the Minister of Environment, in enforcing the TCCL with respect to manufacturers and importers of chemical substances.

UPDATE ON THE TAX LAW CHANGES

February 2011 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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The bills for tax laws as proposed by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance ("MOSF") last August have been reviewed and ratified by the Strategy and Finance Committee of the National Assembly ("NA") on December 7, 2010. After subsequent ratifications by the Legislation & Judiciary Committee and a plenary session of the NA, the bills became effective as of January 1, 2011. Summarized below are the key amendments in the final bills that were not included in the original MOSF proposals last August.

KOREA FAIR TRADE COMMISSION'S 2011 BUSINESS PLAN

February 2011 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On December 15, 2010, the Korea Fair Trade Commission ("KFTC") announced the key elements of its business plan for the year 2011. The KFTC's 2011 business plan aims to foster stability in the everyday life of the average consumer and to promote the development of small, medium and large-sized businesses through the reinforcement of its competition policies.

TAX LAW CHANGES FOR YEAR 2011

February 2011 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On December 27 and December 30, 2010, amendments to tax laws and related presidential decrees have been promulgated, most of which took effect as of January 1, 2011 (with the exception of those provisions for which different effective dates are specified). It is also expected that there will be further amendments to presidential decrees unrelated to the above amendments to tax laws sometime around February or March 2011. Among the amendments for this year, we provide you below with some of the major items that may affect your business or may be of interest to you.

COURT DECISION REGARDING LEGITIMATE RIGHTS IN DOMAIN NAMES

December 2010 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On August 17, 2010, the Daegu District Court issued a ruling on the scope of one's legitimate rights in a domain name under the Internet Address Resource Act ("IARA"). This case is now pending before an appellate court.

LIST OF 470 GREENHOUSE GAS REGULATED COMPANIES ANNOUNCED BY KOREAN GOVERNMENT

December 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On September 28, 2010, the Korean government announced a list of 470 companies whose emissions of greenhouse gases ("GHG") shall be regulated ("Regulated Companies") pursuant to the Framework Act on Low Carbon Green Growth ("Framework Act") and the Guidelines on the Designation and Supervision of GHG and Energy Regulated Companies.

2010 TAX LAW CHANGES PROPOSED BY THE MINISTRY OF STRATEGY AND FINANCE

December 2010 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On August 23, 2010, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance ("MOSF") announced a series of proposals for revisions to the tax laws before the end of 2010. The proposals include revisions to tax laws aimed at mitigating potential tax burdens arising from the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards ("K-IFRS") by listed companies or financial institutions starting from next year.

No.1 legal advisor in Korea - mergermarket M&A League Tables of Legal Advisors for Q1~Q3 2010

December 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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In mergermarket M&A League Tables of Legal Advisers up until Q3 in 2010, Kim & Chang ranked as the no.1 legal advisor in Korea based on both deal volume and count.

KFTC CONDUCTS EXTENSIVE INVESTIGATION ON ABUSE OF IT PATENTS

November 2010 - Finance. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On August 9, 2010, the Korean Fair Trade Commission (“KFTC”) launched an industry-wide investigation into possible abuses of patent rights in the IT industry. This is the first time that the KFTC has launched an extensive investigation into whether domestic or foreign/multinational corporations in the IT industry have abused their patent rights. According to the KFTC’s press release, 59 companies (40 domestic and 19 multinational corporations) that have direct or indirect relationships with the domestic IT industry are subject to the initial investigation.

New Guidelines of the Korea Fair Trade Commission on Unfair Exercise of Intellectual Property Rights

May 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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The Korea Fair Trade Commission (“KFTC”) recently approved the “Guidelines on the Exercise of Intellectual Property Rights” (“Guidelines”), which specify a basic principle of applying the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Law (“FTL”) against abuse of IP rights and provide guidance on the scope of transactions to be covered and the standards for determining when enforcement of IP rights may constitute a violation of the FTL. The Guidelines has come into effect as of April 7, 2010 and the main contents of the Guidelines are as follows:

The Ministry of Justice of Korea Announces Poison Pill Legislation

March 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Kim & Chang .

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On December 1, 2009, the Ministry of Justice announced amendments to the Commercial Code setting forth proposed legislation on poison pills. A poison pill is a defensive tactic used by companies to protect management rights in the event of a hostile takeover. It typically works by granting existing shareholders the right to increase their holdings by purchasing newly issued securities at a below-market price. Despite repeated requests from Korean conglomerates to allow poison pills as a management rights protection device, the introduction of poison pill legislation had been delayed due to conflicting views held among different government circles. The government authorities have, however, reached a consensus on the issue, culminating in the announcement of pending legislation by the Ministry of Justice.