Leading Individuals

Capital markets: foreign firms in South Korea

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is well known for its unrivalled expertise in capital markets transactions, advising Korean issuers on multi-tranche offerings and IPOs, listings and offerings of hybrid securities. Practice head Jinduk Han advises on debt and equity private placements and public offerings and is supported by counsel Jay Hoon Choi who represents both issuers and underwriters in addition to advising Korean companies with their disclosure obligations under US securities laws. Senior associates Wonjeong Angela Park and Insoo Park provide strong support to the team and are active in major IPO work. Hongki Moon retired in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

Jinduk Han

Testimonials

‘Jinduk Han – excellent coordinator for all the parties. great in developing solutions and alternatives.’

Key clients

The Export-Import Bank of Korea

Kookmin Bank

Korea Development Bank

Korea National Oil Corporation

LG Group Companies

POSCO

Republic of Korea

Samsung Group companies

SK Group companies

Woori Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised J.P. Morgan, NH Investment & Securities, Korea Investment & Securities and Mirae Asset Daewoo (the underwriters) in the ₩962.5bn IPO of common shares of Big Hit Entertainment Co., Ltd. – the first entertainment company to debut on the main bourse.
  • Advised The Republic of Korea in its SEC-registered dual-tranche offering of €700m zero coupon notes and $625m notes.
  • Advised NAVER Corporation in a $500m sustainability notes offering – NAVER’S maiden international debt offering, as well as the first issuance of sustainable notes by a Korean online services company.

Linklaters

Linklaters advises across the full spectrum of capital market transactions, with a particular focus on deals involving GDRs and equity-linked products such as convertible and exchangeable bonds. The team has an integrated US and UK legal offering which allows it to provide both New York and English law capabilities to its wide-ranging client base. Hyung Ahn has significant experience advising on securities offerings in Asia with sales to US investors and represents both issuers and underwriters. Daniel Kwon now heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Kwon

Other key lawyers:

Hyung Ahn; Shawn Yoon

Key clients

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

Merrill Lynch International

The Korea Development Bank

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole

CGS-CIMB Securities International Pte. L

Société Générale Asia Limited

Bank of New York Mellon

J.P. Morgan Securities plc

Work highlights

  • Served as the arranger, dealer and BNY Mellon Corporate Trustee Services Limited as trustee counsel in Kookmin Bank’s establishment of $7bn Global Covered Bond Programme.
  • Advised on the $5bn Global Covered Bond Programme establishment for Hana Bank (the second covered bond programme set up in Korea).
  • Acted as the purchasers’ counsel in SK hynix Inc.’s issuance of $500m 1.000% Notes due 2024, $1bn 1.500% Notes due 2026 and $1bn 2.375% Notes due 2031.

Paul Hastings LLP

Leveraging specialist expertise from its global network of offices, Paul Hastings LLP has a broad-ranging capital markets practice and is particularly active in equity IPOs, debt deals, block trade sale transactions and GDR offerings. Daniel Sae-Chin Kim and Jinkang Albert Nah both left the firm to join O’Melveny & Myers and Lee & Ko respectively, however, the team remains strong with the arrival of Iksoo Kim from Greenberg Traurig LLP in February 2021, bringing significant debt capital markets expertise. Practice head Dong Chul Kim is regularly instructed by international investment banks.

Practice head(s):

Dong Chul Kim

Other key lawyers:

Iksoo Kim

Testimonials

‘Paul Hastings is a go-to law firm in Korea for any capital markets deal involving foreign investors. PH understands the market precedents and is capable of giving the right advice to clients.’ ‘Dong Chul Kim is always very responsive and extremely knowledgeable about precedents. He actively leads legal workstream which helps a lot in overall process management.’

Key clients

Samsung Group

Credit Suisse

Citigroup

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

J.P. Morgan

CJ Group

Morgan Stanley

Nomura

UBS

Lotte Group

Hanwha Group

Korean Investment Corp

Kakao Bank

Hana Bank

Krafton, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented J.P. Morgan, Mirae Assets, Credit Suisse and Korea Investment & Securities as underwriters in the $2bn global offering and listing of SK IE Technology Co Ltd.
  • Represented UBS as placing agent in the $220m block trade shares of Celltrion Healthcare sold by One Equity Partners.
  • Represented Credit Suisse, KB Securities and Korea Investment & Securities as placing agents in the $171m block trade of shares of Doosan Fuel Cell Co. Ltd, sold by members of Doosan founder family.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Active in both public and private, outbound and inbound transactions, the capital markets team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is well balanced in providing legal advice to issuers and underwriters, as well as financial and strategic investors. Practice head Jin Hyuk Park’s extensive experience in this area includes IPOs and Rule 144A/Regulation S offerings, representing both blue-chip companies and leading investment banks. He is supported by associates Joongwon Park and Chanik Park.

Practice head(s):

Jin Hyuk Park

Other key lawyers:

Joongwon Park; Chanik Park

Key clients

Bank of America Merill Lynch

BNP Paribas

Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

Crédit Agricole CIB

Credit Suisse

J.P. Morgan

Korea Electric Power Corporation

Korea Expressway Corporation

Mizuho

Morgan Stanley

Nomura

Shinhan Financial Group

Shinhan Bank

SK Biopharmaceuticals Co., Ltd.

SK Holdings Co., Ltd.

Société Générale

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising SK Biopharmaceuticals in its ₩959.3bn KRX KOSPI IPO, the largest initial public offering in Korea since 2017 at the time.
  • Advising Joint Managers in Woori Card’s $100m floating rate notes offering in 2020, the first Formosa bond issuance by a credit finance company in Korea, and its $200m fixed-rate notes offering in 2021.
  • Advising Shinhan Financial Group and Shinhan Bank, including Shinhan Financial Group on multiple first offerings as the first Korean financial holding company to issue social bonds to overseas investors and Shinhan Bank with the first “Formosa” 144A/Reg S offering among Korean issuers.

Allen & Overy LLP Foreign Legal Consultant Office

Allen & Overy LLP Foreign Legal Consultant Office’s capital markets team handles the full range of transactions, including those with a cross-border element for Korean companies, quasi-sovereigns and financial institutions. Integrated into the firm’s practice is a group of US corporate finance lawyers who specialise in US securities law, giving the team an advantage in advising on cross-border issues. Practice head John Lee has over 20 years of experience working with Korean clients on debt transactions and is supported by associate Julie Song who advises on liability management issues.

Practice head(s):

John Lee

Other key lawyers:

Julie Song

Testimonials

‘John Lee is a unique and key person in this team and a leader. He is friendly, respectable, intelligent, approachable, responsive in and outside of work and has a depth of experience. ’

‘A&O’s team has a specialty in providing services under multi-cultural conditions. Since many of the transactions were committed by multiple entities in diverse countries, coordinating them smoothly is one of the toughest jobs that I have to cover. However, A&O’s team has supported me with their full experiences of dealing with multicultural companies and provided me useful advice under those situations. That’s why I consistently look for A&O’s team for my transactions.’

‘Julie Song is one of the most client-centric legal advisors who I have ever worked with. Whenever I look for her advice, she was always there to listen to us and tried to spend more time sharing ideas. Even in the pandemic situation visiting Korea for her vacation, she even spent time visiting her clients (meeting the safety guidelines) and listen to their voices.’

Key clients

KEXIM

K-sure

Shinhan Bank

Woori Bank

Busan Bank

HSBC

Samsung

KB Kookmin Bank

Korea Development Bank

Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (HK) Holdings, Limited

Ashurst

The team at Ashurst has close relationships with issuers and provides advice on the full range of capital markets products and transactions, including securitisation and derivatives. Former practice head Peter Kwon departed in January 2022.

Testimonials

‘Always alert to client’s needs and willing to be flexible. Proactive with work and advice.’

‘All lawyers are attentive and keen to understand client’s business and concerns. ’

‘Heavy involvement of partners, strong technical and regulatory knowledge & experience, close relationship with issuers’

‘Ashurst has a very strong structured finance practice, which is very well recognised by Korean banks and financial institutions. They are very strong in the securitisation and covered bonds space in Korea.’

Key clients

Hana Alternative Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Export Import Bank of Korea

KEB Hana Bank

KTB Investment & Securities

HSBC Hong Kong

LBBW Singapore

Work highlights

    Tiang & Partners

    Practice head Michelle Taylor and the capital markets team at Tiang & Partners focuses on asset-backed securitisation, with extensive experience as international legal counsel on Korean cross-border and domestic securitisation transactions. Counsel Kevin Tsang is a key member of the team and advises a wide range of industries such as aviation, real estate and automobile, across the Asia Pacific region.

    Practice head(s):

    Michelle Taylor

    Other key lawyers:

    Kevin Tsang

    Testimonials

    ‘Tiang and Partners team has very extensive knowledge and experience in Korean securitization markets and the relevant Korean laws. ’

    ‘Michelle Taylor is remarkable in understanding various parties’ commercial positions and always prepared to accommodate the parties’ commercial agreements into documentation and to address local law issues as well. ’

     

    Key clients

    DBS Bank Ltd.

    Work highlights

    • Acting as counsel to DBS Bank as the Arranger on the offering of asset-backed notes arising from the securitisation of certain credit card receivables originated by KB Kookmin Card.