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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Projects and energy – Local firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC draws on its combined expertise within M&A, project financing and construction to advice sponsors and investors on significant domestic and international infrastructure projects. In contentious matters, practice head Joonki Yi successfully overturned an earlier government decision opposing the construction of a coal-fired power plant and obtained approval for POS Power to continue with the power generation project as planned. In outbound transactions, the team acted as lead counsel for Hanaro in relation it’s a mezzanine loan to finance a biomass project in the UK. Seungkyo Lee is particularly active in overseas investment; he is also a key counsel advising Korea Electric Power Corporation against two of Korea’s largest construction companies in an LCIA arbitration.

Kim & Chang’s ‘quality and client-focused’ team advises sponsors, state-owned entities, engineering firms and lenders on significant, high-value energy and infrastructure projects. The practice also has strong capabilities in project finance; it recently advised the Korean lenders, including the Export-Import Bank of Korea, on a $5.3bn in joint financing of the construction of a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) processing facility in Mozambique. Energy and outbound transactions specialist Chang-hee Shin is working with Ick Ryol Huh to assist Korea East-West Power in its investment in a coal-fired power plant in Indonesia. Young Kyun Cho represented Goseong Green Power in the biggest domestic IPP business valued at $3.8bn. Dong-Seok (Johan) Oh is prominent in outbound transactions and litigations in the energy space, and is regularly assisted by Claire (Mi-Jin) Kim in project finance matters. Practice co-heads Huh and Yon Kyun Oh are praised for their ‘depth knowledge, experience and good contacts in the sector’.

Lee & Ko's expertise spans the full spectrum of projects and energy work, with notable expertise in project financing, outbound transactions and litigation. The full-service practice is co-headed by Dong Eun Kim, who is highly experienced in transactions in the construction and energy space, and Tom Shim. Supported by a cross-disciplinary team, Shim and In Soo Kim advised Samsung Life Insurance on its investment in the Gaziantep Integrated Health Campus. In another prominent mandate, Hun Ko assisted Seoul Beltway and its sponsors in executing the amended concession agreement and negotiating with new lenders for a facility agreement totalling $2.4bn. In inbound transactional work, Kwang Yul Kim and Dae Hong Kim are assisting GS Retail Consortium in all matters connected to the development of a multi-purpose complex. Hyunsu Kim is also recommended for infrastructure, PPP and project finance matters. Charles Peterson, former head of international energy at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, joined the group in March 2018.

Shin & Kim continues to be at the forefront of the alternative energy industry while also advising blue-chip corporate clients in domestic and international projects. Highlights include Hyunju Helen Pak and Sang-Hyun Lee acting for the National Pension Service as part of a consortium which acquired full ownership of Helix Holdings, and several Korean lenders in relation to financing the construction of a suspension bridge in Turkey. In investment in renewable energy projects, Michael Chang and Lee advised Korea Electric Power on the acquisition of a solar power facility located in California. In other inbound transactions, Seung-Gyu Yang and Lee lead on project finance for Daesan Green Energy's fuel cell power systems project, as well as advise K Securities, Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance and Kyobo Life Insurance on the Younggwang wind farms project financing.

Yulchon’s cross-departmental practice is active in project development mandates including energy, infrastructure, real estate, and PPP/BOT. Raymond M. Kang leads the group and his experience covers domestic and international greenfield and brownfield projects as well as transactions relating to power plants. Regulatory expert Bong Hee Han is recommended for work in the energy space. Highlights for the team include advising Lotte Group in connection to a real estate development in Vietnam, and Hyundai City Corporation on the development of its Taean Enterprise City project.

Jipyong’s practice advises on strategic regulatory matters, M&A and real estate, outbound investment in mining operations, renewable energy and traditional power generation projects. Hee Suk Chai's expertise in private equity funds and PPP arrangements saw him advise the Korea Development Bank and other investors on a $130m investment through a Korean private equity fund on the Hainan Haikou International Airport Expansion Project in China. In another foreign direct investment, Han Seok Myung acted for a corporate partnership comprising of Woori, KEPCO and Sprott Global Private Equity Fund in the acquisition of three solar power generation facilities in California.

Yoon & Yang LLC's Sung-Jin Kim is an M&A and capital markets expert for clients in the projects and energy space; he recently advised POSCO Energy on the preparation of a contract for the issuance of redeemable convertible preferred shares designed to improve its financial structure. Team head Soong-Ki Yi is assisting Korea Water Resources Corporation and its subsidiary, JSC Nenskra Hydro, on several matters relating to a hydropower development project in Georgia.

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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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Legal Developments in South Korea

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  • Greater Reforms for Promoting Work-Life Balance – Changes to the Gender Equal Employment....

    Greater Reforms for Promoting Work-Life Balance – Changes to the Gender Equal Employment and Work-Life Balance Support Act
  • Lee & Ko successfully represents Big Hit Entertainment against unauthorized use of BTS’ photos

    Lee & Ko, on behalf of Big Hit Entertainment (“Big Hit”), obtained the first-ever decision in Korea to recognize the entertainment companies’ right to independently request for injunction against those who free-ride on the customer attractiveness that is based off of popularity and fame of the artists managed by the companies. This landmark decision is expected to serve as an important pedestal in protecting the legitimate interest of entertainment companies (domestic as well as international) that manage famous artists and entertainers and remain vulnerable to unfair competition of free-riders.
  • First- Ever Decision by the Supreme Court of Korea ...

    First- Ever Decision by the Supreme Court of Korea to Find Copyright Infringement in the Selection, Arrangement or Combination of Game Elements
  • Key International Tax Law Amendments in the Draft 2019 Tax Revision Bill

    On July 25, 2019, the Ministry of Economy and Finance publicly released the 2019 draft Tax Revision Bill (the “Draft Bill”). The Draft Bill is expected to be sent to the National Assembly on September 3, 2019 for deliberation and adoption.
  • Russian Court’s Judgment Recognized for Enforcement in Korea

    Recently, based on the premise that requirements for “mutual guarantee” or “reciprocity” in relation to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments can be allowed between Russia and Korea, a District Court of Korea rendered its decision which allowed a judgment concluded by a Russian court to be enforceable in Korea (see Changwon District Court, Decision 2018Gahap51099 held on January 17, 2019).
  • Korean National Assembly Passes “Blind Hiring” Bill to Reform Hiring Culture

    Recently, the National Assembly of Korea passed legislative amendments to the Fair Recruitment Procedure Act (“FRPA ”) as part of the reform efforts to address the country’s recruitment culture. The latest amendment – dubbed the “blind hiring” bill – expands the FRPA to prohibit any type of recruitment irregularities (e.g., improper solicitation, coercion, pressure) and, more importantly, bars employers from asking jobseekers to provide any information unrelated to the position and the applicant’s merit. The amended FRPA will go into effect starting July 17, 2019.
  • Korean Financial Supervisory Service Mandating Disclosure of Transaction Documents When Filing Repor

    Korean Financial Supervisory Service Mandating Disclosure of Transaction Documents When Filing Report on Material Facts
  • Successful Challenges to Korean Health Insurance Regulator’s 13-Year Old System...

    Successful Challenges to Korean Health Insurance Regulator’s 13-Year Old System of Automatic Reduction of Original Drug Price
  • Korean Supreme Court Confirms Licensee’s Standing to Challenge Patent Validity

    On February 21, 2019, the Supreme Court of Korea issued an en banc decision overruling its prior precedents on the issue of whether a licensee who is continuing to make royalty payments under an existing license agreement nevertheless has standing to challenge the validity of the licensed patent. In short, the Korean Supreme Court held that absent special circumstance, a patent licensee is an “interested party” eligible for challenging the validity of a licensed patent, despite the lack of any threat or potential threat posed by the patent holder against the licensee’s right to use the patented invention. (Supreme Court En Banc Decision No. 2017Hu2819).
  • Amendments to the KFTC Merger Review Guidelines

    The Korea Fair Trade Commission (the “KFTC ”) recently amended its Guidelines for Merger Review (the ”Guidelines ”), which took effect from February 27, 2019. The Guidelines now provide for particular issues relating to “innovation markets” and “big data” that will be considered during the KFTC’s review of mergers within R&D-intensive (i.e. innovative) industries.

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