The Legal 500

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39 SAJIK-RO 8-GIL, JONGNO-GU, SEOUL 03170, SOUTH KOREA
Tel:
Work +82 2 3703 1114
Email:
Web:
www.kimchang.com

South Korea

International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang’s ‘excellent’ team, which includes a mix of Korean and foreign counsel, ‘works together very well, supporting the international legal advice with first-rate Korean law advice’ and is commended for its ‘consistent quality of advocacy, both written and oral’. The ‘excellentByung-Chol Yoon and Liz Kyo-Hwa Chung, who provides ‘excellent solutions and commercially minded advice’, defended the Republic of Korea in an ICSID case brought by two Dutch companies. Other key individuals include Eun Young Park, European arbitration desk head Kay-Jannes Wegner, who, for one client, is ‘the best oral advocate in Korea’, and Joel E Richardson, who ‘leaves no stone unturned and is a very good writer’.

Leading individuals

Byung-Chol Yoon - Kim & Chang

Eun Young Park - Kim & Chang

Liz Kyo-Hwa Chung - Kim & Chang

Next generation lawyers

Hye Sung Kim - Kim & Chang

Una Cho - Kim & Chang

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South Korea: Antitrust and competition

Local firms
Antitrust and competition: Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang’s practice head Kyung Taek Jung led a sizeable team representing Oracle in a dispute with the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) regarding the joint sale of software updates and support services. In the merger control space, Jung Won Hyun is advising Anheuser-Busch InBev on obtaining KFTC clearance of its proposed purchase of SABMiller.

Leading individuals

Kyung Taek Jung - Kim & Chang

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South Korea: Banking and finance

Local firms
Banking and finance: Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang’s ‘knowledgeable and experienced’ team has experienced a considerable uptick in acquisition financing mandates, largely due to the increased activity of private equity funds in the Korean market. In an illustration of this growth, the group advised private equity firm Hahn & Company on the acquisition financing for the purchase of a controlling stake in Halla Visteon Climate Control, which involved senior and junior financing. The team’s regulatory capability was strengthened by the arrival of James Geechul Lee, who was previously in-house at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Young Kyun Cho is another name to note. Soo Man Park has left to join Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Jina Myung left the firm in 2017.

Leading individuals

Soo Man Park - Kim & Chang

Young Kyun Cho - Kim & Chang

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South Korea: Capital markets

Local firms
Capital markets: Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Among the market leaders for equity and debt work, Kim & Chang has a sizeable team in this area headed by Kye Sung Chung. Myoung Jae Chung and Kwon Eui Park led advice to the underwriters on the Republic of Korea’s issuance of offshore RMB-denominated bonds. Standout ECM mandates on the issuer side included the IPOs of Mirae Asset Life Insurance and Innocean Worldwide. Senior foreign attorney Hoin Lee is another key name in the team.

Leading individuals

Myoung Jae Chung - Kim & Chang

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South Korea: Corporate and M&A

Local firms
Corporate and M&A: Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang’s ‘very professional’ corporate and commercial practice comprises over 150 lawyers, giving it the breadth of resources to handle both buy-side and sell-side instructions. The team has noted an increase in instructions from Chinese clients; recent highlights include advising both the purchaser and seller on Anbang Life Insurance’s acquisition of Tong Yang Life Insurance. Individuals singled out in Kyung Taek Jung’s team include Jong Koo Park, Young Man Huh and Sang Hyuk Park. The firm bolstered its venture capital expertise with the arrival of Jung-Chull Lee from Reed Smith LLP in early 2016.

Leading individuals

Jong Koo Park - Kim & Chang

Sang Goo Lee - Kim & Chang

Young Jay Ro - Kim & Chang

Young Man Huh - Kim & Chang

Next generation lawyers

Sun Yul Lee - Kim & Chang

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South Korea: Dispute resolution

Local firms
Dispute resolution: Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang’s ‘outstanding’ team has a breadth of experience across a range of sectors and is adept at handling domestic and cross-border litigation. The group defended Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in fuel efficiency claims brought by purchasers of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and successfully defended Nongshim in competition proceedings pertaining to an alleged ramen noodle price cartel. Other highlights included defending Philip Morris Korea against a compensation claim initiated by the National Health Insurance Service pertaining to high-profile tobacco litigation. Sang Ho Han’s sizeable team includes Jin Yeong Chung, who heads the cross-border litigation practice, and it expanded further with the arrivals of Yun Seek Hahm, Aera Han and Yun Seok Jang, who all joined from judicial positions.

Leading individuals

Sang Ho Han - Kim & Chang

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South Korea: Employment

Local firms
Employment: Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang’s employment practice, which has an impressive roster of heavy industry clients, handles strategic matters and high-stakes litigation for major corporations. Weon Jung Kim, who heads the team alongside Chun Wook Hyun, represented GM Korea in litigation regarding salary calculation. Other clients include banking, technology and pharmaceutical luminaries.

Leading individuals

Chun Wook Hyun - Kim & Chang

Weon Jung Kim - Kim & Chang

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South Korea: Insurance

Local firms
Insurance: Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang is, for some, ‘the number-one choice in Korea for strategic and significant matters’, and has a particular strength in regulatory work. Jay Ahn, who has ‘unparalleled knowledge of the industry and its regulatory history’, defended LINA Korea in a criminal trial regarding data protection matters. Ahn jointly heads the team with Woong Park, who advised KB Financial on the regulatory aspects of its acquisition of LIG Insurance. Allianz is also a client. Since publication, Young Hwa Paik has left to join the Korea Insurance Research Institute.

Leading individuals

Jay Ahn - Kim & Chang

Next generation lawyers

Joon Young Kim - Kim & Chang

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South Korea: Intellectual property

Local firms
Intellectual property: Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang is able to apply its ‘on-trend industry knowledge’ to handle a range of intellectual property litigation. Practice head Jay Young-June Yang represented Ezaki Glico, owner of the Pepero biscuit brand, in a packaging design dispute with Lotte regarding the ‘catch-all’ provision of Korean IP law. The pharmaceutical industry, where the team is ‘extremely knowledgeable’, is a core focus for the practice, with In-Hwan Kim, who ‘provides excellent advice’, representing sector behemoths in patent litigation. Duck Soon Chang is ‘a strong leader’ and is commended for his strategic approach.

Leading individuals

Jay Young-June Yang - Kim & Chang

Next generation lawyers

Sang Young Lee - Kim & Chang

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Patents and trade mark attorneys
Intellectual property: Patents and trade mark attorneys - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang’s team, which ‘provides appropriate advice from a legal and business sense’, handles a range of validity, registration and enforcement issues, with notable strength in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Overall practice head Jay Young-June Yang handles novel trade mark cases, while Mee-Sung Shim and Duck Soon Chang represented Bristol-Myers Squibb in challenges by local generic drug companies. Man Gi Paik heads the firm’s patent prosecution group.

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South Korea: Projects and energy

Local firms
Projects and energy: Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang has played a leading role advising its Korean clients on their overseas investments, as illustrated by its work for the developers and shareholders on a biomass power plant project in Indonesia. In another highlight, project finance specialist Young Kyun Cho advised the borrowers and sponsors on refinancing an LNG-powered combined cycle power plant. Yon Kyun Oh and Ick Ryol Huh jointly head the team.

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South Korea: Real estate

Local firms
Real estate: Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang advises major real estate investors on acquiring commercial and mixed-use developments. Ann Seung-Eun Lee and Hyo Sang Kim advised Pontegadea on its 400bn purchase of a mixed-use development in Myeongdong. Yon-Kyun Oh heads the practice with Kwan Sik Yu, who advised a Korean REIT on acquiring a logistics centre in Japan.

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South Korea: Shipping

Local firms
Shipping: Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang’s ‘diligent and commercial’ team handles the full gamut of shipping matters, ranging from marine casualty to insolvency proceedings. Highlights included acting as co-counsel for a Korean shipyard in arbitration proceedings pertaining to a shipbuilding contract before the London Maritime Arbitrators Association. Practice head Byung-Suk Chung holds prominent positions in the shipping community, including serving as president of the Maritime Law Association, and is noted for his ‘expert guidance’. Jin Hong Lee is another name to note.

Leading individuals

Byung-Suk Chung - Kim & Chang

Jin Hong Lee - Kim & Chang

Next generation lawyers

Helen Heoun Joo Kim - Kim & Chang

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South Korea: TMT

Local firms
TMT: Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang’s TMT workload includes transactions in the entertainment sector, as well as regulatory advice on cutting-edge fintech and new media matters. Department head Dong Shik Choi, along with Sang-Hwan Lee, advised a consortium led by KT Corporation on its successful application for one of Korea’s first licences for an internet-only bank, while Hyun Ho Eun assisted Hong Kong investment fund with investing in record label Brave Entertainment. Other clients include several leading US technology companies.

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South Korea: Tax

Local firms
Tax: Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang advises household-name clients on issues such as transfer pricing, international taxation and VAT. Byung Moon Jung, who jointly heads the team with Woo Hyun Baik, successfully represented OCI in High Court proceedings pertaining to tax exemptions and a spin-off company, securing a refund of ₩470bn. Other clients include leading names in the technology and financial services sectors, and major chaebols. Jin Hwan Lee heads the customs practice.

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Legal Developments by:
Kim & Chang

Legal Developments in South Korea

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