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Capital markets – Foreign firms

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets – Foreign firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Jinduk Han - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
    • Hyun Kim - Clifford Chance
    • Yong Guk Lee - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Jay Hoon Choi - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
    • Daniel Kwon - Linklaters
    • Hongki Moon - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton leads in capital markets transactions and IPOs as ‘the top international counsel for Korean clients’. The ‘top-notch’ Seoul-based team includes Jinduk Han, who advises on debt and private equity placements and IPOs, and Yong Guk Lee whose experience covers debt and equity capital markets transactions and M&A for Korean clients. Senior attorney Hongki Moon, according to one client ‘is number one for US SEC documentation and relevant regulations’. Counsel Jay Hoon Choi is experienced in representing issuers and underwriters in IPOs, Korean capital market transactions, private and public offerings of debt and equity securities and also advises domestic clients on compliance with US securities law. Standout work highlights include assisting Kakao in a Regulation S/Rule 144A offering of global depository shares and it is also representing Korea Development Bank in its SEC-registered offering of $500m floating rate notes due 2020, $150m due in 2022 and $350m 2.75% notes due 2023.

Hyun Kim at Clifford Chance is a key figure in capital markets and is experienced in advising Korean and international issuers on a wide range of securities offerings. Richard Lee is likewise a well-respected practitioner in this sector, his expertise spans high-yield debt offerings, medium-term note programs, takedowns, IPOs and M&A. Recent standout work includes advising JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) on a 144A/Reg S hybrid security offering by Kyobo Life Insurance in Korea and Singapore. In other matters, the practice acted as international counsel for HSBC and others in connection with KEB Hana Bank’s global Medium Term Note update and drawdown in Korea and Singapore. Angela Ryu in Hong-Kong is also a prominent figure and is consistently involved in the most significant transactions.

Linklaters’ multi-jurisdictional capital markets team is actively involved across the whole practice area, with a strong offering in high-value deals involving global depository receipts and convertible and exchangeable bonds. Singapore-based Hyung Ahn has been involved in a number of standout deals, including working with Tokyo-based Peter Frost in advising CrĂ©dit Agricole as the arranger on the $130m Floating Rate Notes due 2019 issued by POSCO Daewoo. Daniel Kwon, based in the Seoul office, and Shawn Yoon advised Bank of China on the $300m senior capital securities issued by Korean Air Lines; the first deal in Korea solely arranged by a Chinese Bank. The practice counts Lotte Shopping Business Management, DBS Bank and Merrill Lynch International as clients.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has an impressive track record advising Korean corporations, financial institutions and other clients in the most significant transactions in capital markets, M&A and private equity investments. The firm has announced the closure of its Seoul office by the end of 2018 but will continue to advise Korean clients from its Hong Kong outpost. Hong Kong-based partner Jin Hyuk Park represented the initial purchasers in connection with the offering of $600m 3% notes due 2023 and $300m 3.5% notes due 2027 by Kia Motors Corporation. The group advised Celltrion Healthcare in its IPO of 24,604,000 shares of its common stock, which raised $900m; he also acted for a number of financial institutions, such as JP Morgan Securities as the initial purchasers in Hanwha Life Insurance’s $1bn subordinated capital securities offering. At the time of publication, Youngjin Sohn is set to leave the firm.

John Lee at Allen & Overy LLP Foreign Legal Consultant Office has substantial experience in advising Korean clients on a diverse range of capital market transactions such as hybrid securities, MTN programmes, bonds, IPO’s and GDRs. His recent standout work includes advising Mitsubishi UFJ Securities as lead arranger on Woori Bank’s $5bn Global Certificate of Deposit Programme. Tokyo-based Matthias Voss is experienced in advising Korean companies on structured finance and project finance matters. Julie Song frequently assists Lee with the practice’s most complex mandates.

Ashurst is particularly strong in the areas of securitisation and derivatives, while also handling debt capital markets and covered bonds transactions. The team enjoys a strong partnership with leading firms in Korea and has recently completed a substantial transaction involving covered bonds. Hong Kong-based corporate partner Peter Kwon has worked on the largest cross-border securitisation transactions in Korea for key client Hana Asset Management, which he advised in relation to the restructuring of the $300m notes issued by E-Shang Redwood. He also advised Hana on an IPO of a Vietnamese joint stock company holding multiple Vietnamese real estate assets.

Paul Hastings LLP is able to leverage expertise from multiple offices to handle complex cross-border capital market transactions; its Asia Pacific deals are often coordinated with the support of colleagues in Hong Kong and Tokyo. The practice has a strong reputation representing underwriters in Korean IPOs; Dong Chul Kim advised underwriters UBS and Mirae Asset Daewoo in the IPO of shares of Celltrion Healthcare. In other matters, Kim represented Citigroup and Goldman Sachs as joint bookrunners in the $1bn global depositary receipts offering by Kakao listed in the Singapore Exchange with the underlying common shares listed on the Korean Exchange. Kim heads the practice and is experienced in debt and equity capital market transactions; Daniel Sae-Chin Kim and associate Albert Nah are names to note in private and public offerings, M&A and private equity.

James Lin at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is active in a number of significant transactions in debt capital markets. The practice is knowledgeable in US and English law and has a deep understanding of the Korean regulatory business environment.

Capital markets – Local firms

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets – Local firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s distinguished equity practice continues to be regularly instructed by domestic issuers and underwriters and counts The Export-Import Bank of Korea, Korea Development Bank and Citigroup Global Markets as recent clients. Standout work examples in this area include Hee-Gang Shin and Mi Eun Roh advising Daegu Bank on its issuance of $300m 3.75% fixed rate notes due 2023; he and Young-Joon Cho also acted for NongHyup Bank in the issuance of $500m 2.87% notes due 2022 under its US $8bn GMTM Programme. Shin, Roh, Seung Il Hong and practice head Eui Jong Chung represented the underwriters, Citigroup Global Markets and Goldman Sachs, on the issuance of GDRs of Kakao and the listing of the GDRs on the Singapore Exchange. Roh and Ho Jin Kim are also active on the debt side. The team has been joined by five foreign attorneys and advisers.

Kim & Chang continues to be a prominent practice within the capital markets arena; the 31-partner strong team handles IPOs in Korea and other jurisdictions, securities, credit and equity-linked derivatives, and bonds. Yong Ho Kim heads the structured finance department and has a speciality in asset securitisation, ABCP conduit programmes and credit derivatives. He and Ie-Hwan Yoo advised Hanwha Investment & Securities on its refinancing transaction involving outstanding RCPS'. The practice remains a popular choice for underwriters; Kim and Yong Seung Sun represented NH Investment & Securities as the arranger in securing a hybrid loan guaranteed by CJ Cheil Jedang. M&A specialist Young Man Huh is also proficient in securities and IPOs; Chang Hyeon Ko is recommended for capital market and venture capital transactions. Seon-Jee Lee advises on structured financing transactions including asset-backed securitisation, and Myoung Jae Chung is a well-respected practitioner in the area of securities and asset management; he is advising Korea East-West Power on its $500m issue of 2.62% notes and, along with Seung Jae Yoo, advised Korean Air Lines on its issue of $300m senior capital securities which were issued pursuant to a fiscal agency agreement entered into between the issuer and Deutsche Bank (Hong Kong Branch), acting as agent. Associate Kwon Eui Park is recommended for securities transactions and securities regulations.

Lee & Ko remains highly active on debt capital markets work advising blue-chip clients on their issuances or subscriptions on a wide range of bonds, for example on Korea National Oil Corporation's $285m 3% notes due 2022. It also retains strong capabilities in IPOs, derivatives, disputes and regulatory matters. Securities and derivatives expert Hyunjoo Oh and Seung-A Hyun assisted Korea Midland Power with the establishment of a €3bn MTN programme and issuance of €40m 1.7% notes due 2037. IPO leading figure Wonsik Choo and Jun Woo Cho  advised SD Bio-Tech and U-Bio Logics on their successful IPOs on the Korean Exchange. Je Won Lee focuses on private equity funds and Geen Kim specialises in financial investment products and compliance; they and Ji Young Lee are recommended for collective investment schemes. Wonkyu Han leads the practice which has been joined by partners Cheekwan Kim from Clifford Chance and former judge Jiwoong Lim.

Shin & Kim is ‘excellent with respect to industry knowledge and transaction experience’. Jong-Uk Lee is singled out as ‘outstanding’ and is consistently involved in the most significant ABS and covered bond deals, for example in acting for the issuer from the structuring to the documentation phase to successfully issue the ABS for Lotte Card in the value of $260m. In securities issuances, Lee, Yong Jin Park and practice head Sang Man Kim advised Heungkuk Life Insurance regarding its offering of $500m 4.475% subordinated capital securities – the first public offering of this type of securities abroad by a medium-sized life insurance company.  Other key figures in the ‘value for money’ team are Tae-Yong Seo and Jeong-Hoon Lee who lead on IPO deals – they represented underwriters Daishin Securities as transaction counsel in relation to Aekyung Industrial's IPO and listing on the Korea Exchange.

Yulchon’s capital markets team sits within the corporate and finance group and is able to draw on its cross-departmental expertise in handling securitisation, debt market deals, IPOs for international corporations such as Kia Motors and the BMW Group. Jin Kook Lee is frequently involved in IPO and other equity capital transactions; he and senior foreign attorney Sung Keun Park advised Kia Motors on regulatory and compliance matters in connection with the issuance of foreign bonds. On the debt side, structured finance partner Kyu Sik Kim assisted with the structuring of Kangaroo Bonds to be issued by KEB Hana Bank under the A$2bn Australian debt issuance programme. He also advised BMW Group on the issuance of asset-backed securities, based on automobile instalment bonds worth KRW370bn in the domestic public offering market. Gun Kim  is also active in this area; he and Young Su Shin advised KyoboLife Insurance on the issuing of new hybrid bonds in the value of $500m. He also worked alongside Sung Wook Eun in assisting POSCO facilitate a block trade transaction of over seven million shares of KB Financial Group, a public company owned by POSCO. Hee Woong Yoon leads the department. Associate Soo Yeon Choi is another name to note.

At Jipyong, practice head Haeng-Gyu Lee is active in representing underwriters in IPO transactions, for example, he advised Samsung Securities in connection with the IPO of Shinheung, and IBK Investment & Securities in relation to Dong Yang Piston's IPO. He is also involved in contentious matters, successfully representing MP Group in securing its position on the Korean Exchange after it was suspended following review of eligibility due to shareholder embezzlement and breach of fiduciary duty allegations. Hee-Suk Chai is a name to note in the private equity funds space. Ki-Il Ban is experienced in the capital markets of Cambodia and Laos.

Yoon & Yang LLC has expertise across a diverse range of areas such as IPOs and securities work and has a particularly strong offering in the financial regulatory and disputes spaces. Team head Soonghee Lee’s primary focus is on the financial regulations area of banking, securities and asset management. Young Ho Kang is also a name to note for securities and financial regulation, while Sung Woon Kang  is experienced in domestic and overseas IPOs, structured securities and regulations. Work highlights include Young Sun Cho advising Celltrion in relation to delisting from KOSDAQ and relisting on the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI). Hyun Suk Jung and Dong Seon Kim assisted Meritz Securities as the underwriters for KOSDAQ-listed PATI Games in a capital increase totalling KRW80bn, with new shares to be issued to a third party as an exchange of shares between a listed company and an unlisted company.

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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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