Capital markets: local firms in South Korea

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s practice covers the full spectrum of capital markets transactions that have a Korean nexus, from Korea Exchange listings by foreign companies to listing of REITs and derivatives. With a decades-long career, Hee Gang Shin is a sought after counsel for both equity and debt capital markets, IPOs, note offerings and bond issuances. Eui Jong Chung is another top debt capital markets and convertible bonds specialist for global financial institutions and private equity funds. Jeong-Hoon Lee and Mi Eun Roh and foreign attorney Heesug Chung also provide valuable support.

Practice head(s):

Hee-Gang Shin

Other key lawyers:

Eui Jong Chung; Jeong-Hoon Lee; Mi Eun Roh; Heesug Chung

Testimonials

BKL have contributed to our success story in relation to the establishment and listing of a REIT in Korea by providing innovative structural solutions and help find practical and commercial alternatives.’

In all mandates with BKL, we have worked with Eun-Jin Jeon of BKL as leading partner. We are very much satisfied with what she has done for us by meeting clients’ needs in the most time-efficient and balanced manner without missing any key legal aspects of transactions.’

Key clients

Citigroup Global Market Korea Securities

Credit Suisse Securities (Europe)

Goldman Sachs (Asia)

J.P. Morgan Securities (Far East)

KB Securities

Korea Investment & Securities

Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance

Merrill Lynch International

Work highlights

  • Advised Morgan Stanley & Co. and six underwriters on the IPO and listing on the Korea Exchange of LG Energy Solution, a leader in the global rechargeable battery market with production and R&D networks across the world.
  • Advised KakaoBank, the leading mobile-only bank and fintech platform in Korea, on its successful Korean IPO and listing on the KOSPI market of the Korea Exchange.
  • Advised Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance on the issuance and offering of foreign exchange equalization bonds (US $500 million Notes and EUR 700 million Notes).

Kim & Chang

Housing one of Korea’s largest groups of capital markets specialists, Kim & Chang is renowned for its work in market-leading IPO’s, debt capital markets, noted domestic and cross-border debt issuances and asset-backed securities. Kye-Sung Chung chairs the practice, which includes Yong-Ho Kim and Tae Min Yun, who are experts in asset securitization, ABCP conduit program and credit derivatives. Myoung Jae Chung is a well known figure in the equity and debt space, while Chang Hyeon Ko  routinely acts for Korean issuers. Ie Hwan Yoo ‘s practice centers around securities and bank regulations and securities-related litigations.

Practice head(s):

Kye Sung Chung

Other key lawyers:

Yong-Ho Kim; Myoung Jae Chung; Tae Min Yun; Ie Hwan Yoo

Testimonials

‘Kim &Chang’s team has vast experience in the Korean capital markets. In  securitisation, the firm’s strength is backed by highly qualified professionals with market and industry knowledge. The team provide invaluable advice and support with unparalleled experience in the Korean securitization market and its access to regulators.’

Key clients

J.P. Morgan Securities (Far East) Limited.

Citigroup Global Markets Korea Securities Limited

Morgan Stanley

Goldman Sachs

BNP Paribas

Credit Suisse

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel for LG Energy Solution in its IPO to list its shares on the Korea Exchange’s KOSPI Market.
  • Advised Krafton, which developed and published the renowned global online game “Player Unknown Battleground (PUBG)” in connection with the public listing of Krafton’s shares on the Korea Exchange.
  • Korean legal counsel for the underwriters, Merrill Lynch International, Citigroup Global Markets, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, in the issuance of foreign exchange stabilization bonds by the government of the Republic of Korea.

Lee & Ko

Lee & Ko displays strong capabilities in debt capital markets, derivatives,  assistance with IPOs and delisting work, both advisory and contentious, often acting for foreign issuers listing in Korea. It also stands out for its expertise in fintech, digital finance and REIT-related work. ’Industry leaderHyunjoo Oh is an authority on all types of securities, debt capital market transactions, derivatives, compliance issues and foreign exchange regulations. Won Sik Choo and Jun Woo Cho are the other significant figures for equity capital markets and for Korean and foreign issuers on IPOs. Associate Dongyon Kim has experience in green bond issuances.

Practice head(s):

Hyunjoo Oh

Other key lawyers:

Won Sik Choo; Jun Woo Cho; Dongyon Kim

Testimonials

‘Hyunjoo Oh is truly an industry leader, and inspires confidence and is highly respected by her peers and regulating bodies. ‘

‘Dong Yon Kim is incredibly smart, hard-working and will surely be the best among her peers in the near future.’

‘Lee & Ko provides a high quality services, backed by extensive market knowledge and experience, with reasonable billing.’ 

‘Hyunjoo Oh provides a high level of expertise and support to any question. She certainly has abundant experience, from her legal career and also as a member of government committee. This helps clients understand the conduct of the authority and where they want to lead the market, which is incredibly useful foresight and helps limit potential issues in the future.’ 

Key clients

National Pension Service

Export-Import Bank of Korea

Korea Development Bank

Korea Post

ING Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

BNP Paribas

Deutsche Bank

Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted as issuer’s Korean legal counsel to KEB Hana Bank, acting through its New York Agency, in connection with the establishment of its US Yankee Certificate of Deposit Program.
  • Advised consortium (formed by CBC Group, Mubadala, GS, and IMM) to establish Aphrodite Acquisition Holdings LLC in order to acquire KOSDAQ-listed corporation, Hugel from Leguh Issuer Designated Activity Company (LIDAC). Under the agreement, LIDAC transferred 5.4 million shares in Hugel and convertible bonds to the consortium for KRW 1.7 trillion.
  • Issuer’s Korean legal counsel to Posco, in connection with the issuance of EUR1,065,900,000 Zero Coupon Green Convertible Bonds due 2026.

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim has a stellar reputation in supporting foreign clients and Korean companies on securities offerings, including Formosa and Kangaroo bonds, as well as its extensive track record in IPO’s, securitisation and derivatives. The firm also reports a growing number of instructions on IPOs of REITs. One of Korea’s most prominent advisors, Tae-Yong Seo leads the practice where he focuses on equity capital markets and public offerings at the Korea Exchange. Structured finance and securitisation experts Jong-Uk Lee and Kevin(Woo Hyuk) Choi , are noted, as is Yong Jin Park for debt capital markets mandates.

Practice head(s):

Tae-Yong Seo

Other key lawyers:

Jong-Uk Lee; Kevin (Woo-Hyuk) Choi; Yong Jin Park

Testimonials

‘Tailor made service providers, Shin & Kim has a great sense of communication. They elaborate difficult terms into easy to understand words for clients. ‘

‘The team are especially good at sorting out complicated legal matters, simplify the issue for the client and tackle multiple matters at the same time, aided by its large team of specialists.’ 

Key clients

Shinhan Financial Group

The Export-Import Bank of Korea (“KEXIM”)

Yuanta Securities

Woori Asset Management Corp

ESR Kendall Square REIT

Korea Housing Finance Corporation

SK Bioscience

KakaoBank Corp.

Work highlights

  • Underwriters counsel to KB Securities Co., Ltd., Credit Suisse Seoul Branch and Citigroup Global Market Korea Securities Ltd, on the successful IPO and listing of Kakao Bank on the KOSPI Market of the Korean Exchange.
  • Advised on various issues as issuer’s counsel in connection ESR Kendall Square REIT capital raising.
  • Underwriters counsel to Mirae Asset Securities Co., Ltd., Morgan Stanley & Co. International Plc, Seoul Branch, KB Securities Co, in connection with CJ Olive Young Corporation IPO and Listing on the KOSPI Market of the Korea Exchange.

Yoon & Yang LLC

Yoon & Yang LLC is a well-known powerhouse in advising clients on capital markets regulations in Korea, led by Soonghee Lee, an expert in financial disputes and regulations. Practice head Young Ho Kang specialises in transactions in equity and debt markets, and he led the overseas debt issuance transactions for Korean banks including Korea Exim Bank’s overseas note issuance. Sung Woon Kang is also recommended for cross-border mandates; his experience includes advising 3NOD Digital, the first foreign company listed on the Korea Exchange, with its listing in Korea, as well as Chinese, UK, and US companies for their listings

Practice head(s):

Young Ho Kang

Other key lawyers:

Sung Woon Kang; Soonghee Lee

Testimonials

‘I believe that the people from Y&Y are professional, experienced and overall outstanding. Y&Y provides us with timely, commercial and detail-orientated advisors.’

‘Sung-Woon Kang is very professional with the deep knowledge and understanding. His feedback is always timely, client-orientated, thorough and detailed.’

Key clients

Shinhan Bank

Woori Bank

KEB Hana Bank

Korea Development Bank

Export-Import Bank

Korea-Deposit Insurance Corporation

NH Investment & Securities

Korea Investment & Securities

Mirae Asset Daewoo

Work highlights

  • Advising Mirae Asset Securities, KB Securities and Goldman Sachs as joint managers for the public offering and listing of Hyundai Engineering on the KOSPI market.
  • Advising US bio-tech company Avellino Lab USA on its public offering and listing on the KOSDAQ market.  
  • Successfully advised Hyundai Department Store in its issuance of approximately US $30 million amount US Dollar denominated bond offering guaranteed by MUFG Bank in Japan.

Yulchon

Yulchon advises an enviable list of issuers, underwriters and investors on equity and debt capital markets, hybrid bonds and regulatory issues. Geen Kim is a trusted counsel in domestic and offshore alternative investments, and long-time advisor to one of the largest pension funds in Korea on its offshore alternative investments. Jin Kook Lee often acts for lead managers and issuers in equity capital markets transactions. Kyu Sik Kim and Gun Kim are ‘one of the most well experienced experts in the field.’ Young Su Shin and Sung Wook Eun head the wider corporate and finance department.

Practice head(s):

Young Su Shin; Sung Wook Eun

Other key lawyers:

Geen Kim; Kyu Sik Kim; Gun Kim

Testimonials

‘The Yulchon team is exceptional in all aspects. They are available around the clock, which is very important upon executing overseas transactions. They are able to apply their vast experience on overseas transactions and their proactive attitude allows inspires confidence that everything will be handled to the highest standard.’

‘The team is well equipped with good knowledge and experience, but still very eager and very much devoted to the client. They are very responsive, proactive and accommodating.’

‘Geen Kim – Her vast experience on overseas transactions basically means she always has an answer to all questions. If in the most unlikeliest case she does not have an answer straight away, she returns to the client within a very short timeframe with the right answer and solution.’

‘Kyu Sik Kim and Gun Kim are definitively one of the most well experienced experts in the field.’

Key clients

KB Securities Co., Ltd.

Mirae Asset Securities (HK)

PS Alliance Co., Ltd.

BMW Group

Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C.

Korea Investment & Securities Co., Ltd.

Lotte Rental

JP Morgan

Credit Suisse

Kia Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Renaissance PS No. 1 in a purchase of non-registered coupon private exchangeable bonds in the aggregate amount of KRW 305 billion in electronically registered value which are to be exchanged with common shares issued by TMON Inc., by Renaissance PS No. 1 from TMON Global Inc.
  • Advised German headquarters of BMW Group on the transaction of issuing the asset-backed securities in Korean public offering market with automobile instalment loans.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. on a transaction involving the issuance of privately placed bonds to international investors with the right to receive the principal and interest under the Act on the Online Investment-Linked Financial Business and Protection of its Users as underlying assets.

Jipyong

Jipyong’s Haeng-Gyu Lee-led department continues to be active on IPOs, on behalf of both managers and issuers, and foreign companies listing on the Korean Exchange. A first among Korean law firms, the group launched an ‘ESG Strategic Consulting Group’, aimed at assisting clients with ESG related issues and listing on the KRX. Lee recently advised the first Singaporean company to be listed on the Korea Exchange, and is currently advising the first Spanish and Malaysian companies on their respective listings in Korea.

Practice head(s):

Haeng Gyu Lee

Key clients

BioPlus Co., Ltd.

ILJIN Materials CO., Ltd.

SK REITS

NH All One REIT Co., Ltd.

KTB Network

Aju Steel

Enchem

Prestige Biologics

DearU

LBLusem

Il Seung Co., Ltd.

Abion Inc.

Hanyang Securities., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised BioPlus Co., Ltd. on the listing on the KOSDAK market.  
  • Advised ILJIN Materials, a South Korean mid-sized corporation which manufactures secondary cell materials, on the listing of its Malaysian subsidiary on the KRX.
  • Represented NH All One REIT Co., Ltd. (a parent REIT), NH No. 3 REIT Co., NH No. 5 REIT Co, and advised them on the entire processes covering the purchase of Budang Square and Vision World in Sungnam, A-One Tower Ingye and A-One Tower Dangsan, and Doji Logistics Center in Icheon, whose total value amounts to approximately KRW 470 billion, financing for the purchase, to IPO and listing.