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Editorial

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

 

Korean TR, Finally and Officially Coming Soon

February 2019 - Finance. Legal Developments by Lee & Ko .

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Korean TR, Finally and Officially Coming Soon

Key Changes to Korean Labor Standards Act in 2019

February 2019 - Employment . Legal Developments by Lee & Ko .

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Key Changes to Korean Labor Standards Act in 2019

In 2018, Korea experienced major reforms to the employment laws including, but not limited to, the Labor Standards Act. For example, many employers scrambled – many are still struggling – to adjust their work hour structures to comply with the new 52-hour work hour limit. In 2019, legislative reforms and amendments proposed in 2018 have taken effect. For your information, we have highlighted two major changes in the employment law landscape for 2019.

Direction of Financial Regulatory Environment of Korea in 2019: Legislation Supporting Financial Inn

February 2019 - Finance. Legal Developments by Lee & Ko .

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Direction of Financial Regulatory Environment of Korea in 2019: Legislation Supporting Financial Innovation and Reform of Supervisory System

For 2019, it is expected that the financial regulatory/legislative environment will see further developments along two key tracks, with one track consisting of the enactment of special laws favoring new business initiatives aimed at promoting innovation in the financial business sector, and the other track consisting of legislative activity aimed at reforming and improving the existing financial supervisory system to promote greater efficiency and integration.  The following specific examples of legislation are representative of the overall direction planned for the financial regulatory environment in the year ahead.

Korean Financial Regulators Advance Legislation to Introduce Regulatory Sandbox to Spark FinTech

January 2019 - Finance. Legal Developments by Lee & Ko .

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Korean Financial Regulators Advance Legislation to Introduce Regulatory Sandbox to Spark FinTech

The 2018 year in review in Korea was notable for the sluggish overall economy, uncertainty surrounding the geo-politics and impact on Korea due to the global trade wars, on-going concerns related to the lack of jobs and unemployment, increased taxes and burdens for businesses and families, and no meaningful improvement or clarity in the current situation for 2019. In response, the Korean National Assembly passed a legislation called the Financial Innovation Support Act (the “FinISA”) on December 7, 2018 to spark the financial services industry in conjunction with FinTech products and services. The FinISA, which will soon take effect in March 2019, is intended to lay the legal foundation to introduce a regulatory sandbox for innovative financial services, where FinTech firms test their new products and services without certain regulatory oversight pursuant to exemptions for a limited period of time (“Sandbox”). As the FinISA exempts or defers application of existing finance-related regulations for new financial technology, products or services with the purpose of fostering the creation of innovative and new financial products and services, it will also support the stabilization of such services in the financial services market at the end of the testing period and is expected that the FinISA will support a revitalization of the FinTech industry which experienced sluggish growth in recent times. In particular, as companies and investors become more interested in security tokens and Security Token Offerings (“STO”) which are regulated by the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act (the “FSCMA”), there have been on-going discussions and debates as to whether the FinISA could lead to a breakthrough in the crypto-asset industry based on blockchain technology. Crypto assets encompasses those assets which utilize blockchain technology where the asset is digitalized by utilization of cryptography, peer-to-peer networks and a public ledger of verified transactions resulting in a ‘units’ of such a crypto asset without any involvement by middle-persons or brokers (e.g., cryptocurrency.

Flying Under the Radar

January 2019 - Employment . Legal Developments by Lee & Ko .

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Flying Under the Radar: Companies Must Increase Awareness of the Potentially Dormant and Disruptive Changes to the Minimum Wage in Korea

Korea has experienced unprecedented yearly increases to the statutory minimum wage since 2017 in addition to changes in the applicable legislation. While companies are aware of the more patent impacts of the recent major changes to the Labor Standards Act and have initiated proactive measures to ensure legal compliance, companies often overlook the impacts of the significant changes to the statutory minimum wages and associated legislation until it is too late. And as an employer may face criminal sanctions (i.e., imprisonment up to 2 years or criminal fine not exceeding KRW 20 million) for unpaid wages, companies must be aware of the changing legislation related to the statutory minimum wage and – as with changes to the Labor Standards Act – take proactive measures to ensure continued legal compliance.

New Legislation: Amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Act on External Audit of Stock Companies

January 2019 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Lee & Ko .

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New Legislation: Amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Act on External Audit of Stock Companies

The amendment to the Act on External Audit of Stock Companies (the “Act”) and the enforcement decree thereof (the “Enforcement Decree”), whose key feature pertains to the external audit and disclosure requirements for limited liability companies, became effective as of November 1, 2018. Certain provisions relating to the category of targets of external audits will become effective with respect to the fiscal years that commence on or after November 1, 2019. Therefore, for the majority of companies whose fiscal years begin on January 1 and ends on December 31 of each year, the revised category will become effective with respect to the fiscal year that begins on January 1, 2020.

New Proposed Tax Law Amendments Provide Clarification on the Taxation of Foreign Funds

November 2018 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Lee & Ko .

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On July 30, 2018, the Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance (“MOEF”) announced the proposed tax law changes/amendments for 2019 and beyond (“Proposals”). The Proposals are expected to be reviewed and finalized by the Korean National Assembly in December 2018.

Some key Proposals that should be of great interest to private equity funds and other investors relate to the Korean taxation of a foreign collective investment vehicle, referred to as an Overseas Investment Vehicle (“OIV”) in the Korean tax law. An OIV is broadly defined as an overseas vehicle that raises funds through an investment offering, manages investment assets, derives value from the acquisition and disposition of such assets, and distributes such derived value to its investors. Consequently, partnerships, limited liability companies and other types of collective investment vehicles (e.g., trusts) would likely be included in the definition of OIV.

The key provisions of the Proposals in relation to an OIV that will impact tax planning for foreign funds are summarized below.

KFTC to Expand Scope and Penalties of Korea’s Antitrust Enforcement Regime

November 2018 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Lee & Ko .

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Korea’s competition authority, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the “KFTC, has announced a proposal to expand its existing enforcement authority to the courts and prosecutors through a full-scale reform of the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade  Act, Korea’s primary competition statute. If all proposed reforms are passed by the National Assembly as currently drafted, the impact on the Korean economy and antitrust enforcement will require companies doing business in Korea to tighten their risk management and compliance measures, as the scope and penalties of Korean antitrust enforcement would be broadened.

Korean data law amendments pose new constraints for cross-border online services and data flows

Under amendments to IT Networks Act, set to take effect in March 2019, offshore online businesses, meeting thresholds of nexus to Korea, will be required to designate local agent for regulatory oversight purposes.

Amended rules will also newly restrict onward transfer (to additional countries) of personal information by offshore parties, and, on a reciprocity basis, allow regulators to restrict transfers of personal information to countries that likewise restrict outflows of such data.

New Legislation Reduces Maximum Weekly Working Hours in Korea

July 2018 - Employment . Legal Developments by Bae, Kim & Lee LLC.

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*For better understanding of this article with other graphics , we highly recommend you to visit our firm's website as below.
http://www.bkl.co.kr/upload/data/20180410/bkl-legalupdate-2018000410.html#.WsxBYIhuaHs

 

Nearly 4 years after they first began discussions to revise the law, the Korean National Assembly passed a bill on February 28, 2018 to amend the Labor Standards Act (“LSA”), to reduce the maximum working hours. The new law will reduce Korea’s maximum working hours (“Maximum Working Hours”) from 68 hours per week to 52, will make all public holidays mandatory paid days off, will reduce the number of special industries that are exempt from restrictions on Maximum Working Hours, and will provide much needed clarification on overtime premiums for weekend working hours. The law will become effective on July 1, 2018 and will apply to large companies before being rolled out in stages to smaller companies.

The main changes affected by the bill are summarized below. If you have any questions or would like further information on this topic, please feel free to contact us.

 

 

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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