Real estate: local firms in South Korea

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC is a leading name in city development projects, real estate developments and investment projects using REITs and real estate fund structures. Gun Chul Do ‘s expertise covers the full range of real estate transactions, development and property litigation. Hyeon Kang has ‘profound knowledge‘ and is particularly skilled at collective investment in real estate through real estate holding companies, REITs and project finance vehicles. Eun Jin Jeon and senior associate Seung Eun Chi also focuses on investment transactions.

Practice head(s):

Gun Chul Do

Other key lawyers:

Hyeon Kang; Eun Jin Jeon;  Seung Eun Chi

Testimonials

‘BKL’s team has good insight into the legal system, and its real estate fund and REIT knowledge is excellent.’

‘They have profound network and knowledge in Korean legal market and well connected to real estate institutional investors and financial authorities including FSS Korea.’

‘Hyeon Kang has profound legal knowledge in real estate. He is very responsive and tries his best to support and understand clients in their issues and offer a pragmatic and commercial solution. Great lawyer.’

Key clients

Applied Materials, Inc.

Hines Korea Advisors

Hyundai Engineering & Construction

Inspire Integrated Resort

KT&G

Mastern Investment Management

Merlin Entertainment Plc

Mirae Asset Global Investments

Pacific Asset Management

Shinhan REITs Management

SK REITs Management

ST Telemedia

Work highlights

  • Advised Inspire Integrated Resort on the development of a luxury resort project in the Incheon Free Economic Zone which will be the first integrated resort outside of the US developed by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment.
  • Advised Pacific Asset Management on the development of a hyperscale Internet Data Center in South Korea with investment from the Canadian Pension Investment Board.
  • Advised Mastern Investment Management on the IPO and listing on the Korea Exchange of “Mastern Premier REIT 1”, of which underlying asset is Crystal Park building in France.

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang maintains its prominent market position in precedent setting domestic and outbound real estate transactions, REITs and development projects. Yon Kyun Oh and Keun Ah Cho are the practices’ top advisors for acquisitions and sales of real estate assets, project financing and transactions involving investment vehicles. Jin Ho Song and Sang Min Lee act on behalf of foreign and institutional investors on domestic commercial real estate transactions, and investment plans through REITs, funds and other structures.

Practice head(s):

Yon Kyun Oh

Other key lawyers:

Keun Ah Cho; Jin Ho Song; Sang Min Lee

Testimonials

‘K&C team has more extensive knowledges and experiences than other firm, and always make the best efforts to provide the best legal advices in order for us to execute our business decision given legal/regulatory restrictions.’

‘Sangmin Lee is the best lawyer that I have ever worked with in terms of work quality, efficiency, responsiveness and time efficiency.’

Key clients

GIC

Angelo, Gordon & Co.

DWS Group

KKR & Co.

Goldman Sachs

The Blackstone Group

Mirae Asset Financial Group

M&G Real Estate

Brookfield Asset Management

Samsung SRA Asset Management Co.

Work highlights

  • Represented the buyer and its local fund manager, IGIS Asset Management Co on the acquisition of the hotel at KRW 1.1 trillion for multi-use development.
  • Assisted the seller, E-Mart in its sale and lease back of E-Mart’s Gayang store with the purchase price of KRW 682 billion.
  • Advised on GIC’s acquisition of a parcel of land located in Incheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea, and the logistics facilities constructed on it, through a real estate fund established through GIC’s investment.

Lee & Ko

Lee & Ko‘s powerhouse real estate practice houses specialists in domestic, commercial and overseas investment and development, REITs and property disputes. In a standout matter, Junghwan Lee and Jee In Kim advised Hana Alternative on the acquisition of an office building in Washington DC, using a collective investment trust set up in Korea that invested through a US joint venture investment structure. Dong Seok Woo is another leading transactional lawyer with a history of acting for foreign asset management companies, pension funds, banks, as well as Korean conglomerates. Jin Wook Yang specialises in development projects.

Practice head(s):

Junghwan Lee; Dong Seok Woo; Jin Wook Yang

Other key lawyers:

Jee In Kim

Testimonials

‘Experienced and dedicated team. Passion and enthusiasm to deliver precise and comprehensive advice to clients.’

Key clients

IGIS Asset Management Co., Ltd.

LB Asset Management Inc.

Tiger Alternative Investors Co., Ltd.

Samsung SRA Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Vestas Investment Management Co., Ltd.

AIP Asset Co., Ltd.

Mirae Asset Global Investments Co., Ltd.

GAW Capital Partners

D&D Investment Corp.

ALPHA Asset Management M.F.M.C

Shinhan REITs Management Co., Ltd.

DWS Asset Management (Korea) Co. Ltd.

Shinhan Alternative Investment Management, Inc.

Hana Alternative Management Co., Ltd.

Mastern Investment Management Co., Ltd.

KTB Asset Management Co., Ltd.

BNK Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Korea Investment Management Co., Ltd.

Kyungbang Co., Ltd.

Hyundai Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Hyundai Investments Co., Ltd.

Hotel Lotte Co., Ltd.

Lotte Shopping Co., Ltd.

Pacific Investment Management Co., Ltd.

Inmark Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Koramco Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Midas Asset Management Co., Ltd.

KB Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Lotte Insurance Co., Ltd.

Pine and Partners Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Belstar Superfreeze Holdings

Daishin Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Goodwill Company Co., Ltd.

Keppel Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Lotte Shopping and Hotel Lotte on their sale of 25% stake in Lotte World Tower & Mall.
  • Advised Pacific Investment in its forward purchase of a logistics center in the Yongin International Logistics Complex.
  • Advised Koramco Asset in its acquisition of two student housing properties respectively located in Syracuse, New York and Austin, Texas and colloquially known as “Theory Syracuse” and “Villas on Rio”.

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim is well-equipped to advise clients on all aspects of real estate-related transactions, and attracts new REIT instructions in outbound investment work from Korean funds in acquiring assets in the US, Europe and real estate-secured non-performing loans overseas. Kyung Don Lee continues to take the lead on acquisitions and development projects. Foreign attorneys Robert Young and Eunjoo Lee , along with Thak Hwan Kim advise domestic and international investors and private equity funds on development, sale and purchase and financing of real estate assets. Suk Lee and Yong Ho Han are noted for funds work.

Practice head(s):

Kyung Don Lee

Other key lawyers:

Robert Young; Thak Hwan Kim; Suk Lee; Yong Ho Han; Eunjoo Lee

Testimonials

‘Very dedicated team and have an understanding of commercial aspects of real estate transactions’

‘The Shin & Kim Real Estate team provides wide range of legal services and is well known it has the largest real estate legal team in Korea. ’

Key clients

Blackstone

LaSalle Investment Management Asia Pte Ltd.

Brookfield

Recap V Acquisitions Ltd.

Nuveen Singapore Private Limited

AEW ASIA LIMITED

IGIS Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Kendall Square Logistics Properties

Mirae Asset Global Investments Co, Ltd.

Pacific Alliance Group(PAG)

NH Investment & Securities Co., Ltd.

Macquarie Korea Asset Management

National Pension Service (NPS)

MERITZ Alternative Investment Management

Hana Alternative Asset Management

GIC Real Estate International Korea Co., Ltd.

Pebblestone Asset Management

KEPPEL REIT (KOREA)

Aberdeen Standard Investments

IFC Seoul

Work highlights

  • Assisted to IGIS Asset Management with due diligence and in sale negotiation of its purchase of the Magok CP4 Complex.
  • Advised CDL Hotels (Korea) on the sale of Millennium Hilton Seoul hotel.
  • Advised ESR Kendall Square REIT on acquisition of six logistics facilities located in Korea through parent-subsidiary REIT structure and public offering and listing on the Korea Exchange of the shares to be newly issued by the parent REIT.

Yulchon

Yulchon is ‘well resourced for cross-border transactions’ and participates in numerous real estate development projects, leasing, investments into large-scale investments in office buildings, logistics, data and retail facilities, and REITs. Tae Jin Cha and Jin Seok Choi have a wealth of experience across all manner of real estate acquisitions, sale, financing and collective investment. Geen Kim and Sung You Choi specialises in REIT and offshore alternative investments. Construction partner Ju Bong Park is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Tae Jin Cha; Ju Bong Park

Other key lawyers:

Jin Seok Choi; Geen Kim; Sung You Choi

Testimonials

‘The Yulchon team is exceptional in all aspects. They are available 24/7 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 the client to be fully assured that nothing is being missed out.’

‘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.’

‘Sungyou Choi – he is very proactive always thinking of the next step ahead. He is very detail-focused, which along with his proactive attitude, makes the client that nothing is being missed out. Sungyou is reachable around the clock and always warm and friendly.’

‘Tae-jin Cha is very diligent and productive. Can be reached out 24/7.  He works with a brilliant team – very collaborative, knowledgeable and efficient. They are able to supplement the practice with their experienced tax department colleagues on cross border transactions.’

‘Well resourced for cross-border transactions. Keeping good trust relationship with the clients, which makes the team’s work very efficient.’

‘Jin Seok Choi is always accessible and quick to respond. He manages clients expectation well and delivers great results in cross-border transactions.’

Key clients

ARA Korea

ADF Asset Management

BentallGreenOak (formerly known as GreenOak)

BNK Asset Management Co. Ltd

CBRE Investment Management (Korea) Ltd. (formerly known as CBRE Global Investors (Korea) Limited)

DWS Asset Management (Korea) Co. Ltd. (changed name from Deutsche Asset Management (Korea) Co., Ltd.)

Hana Alternative Asset Management Co.,Ltd.

Hana Asset Trust Co.,Ltd

Hana Financial Investment Co., Ltd.

Hangang Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Hanwha Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Hotel Lotte Co., Ltd.

IGIS Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Inmark REITs Management Co. Ltd

JR AMC Co.Ltd

Keppel Investment Management Co., ltd.

Korean Teachers’ Credit Union

Kreits Investment Management Co., Ltd.

Lotte AMC

Morgan Stanley

Pacific Investment Management

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co., ltd.

Shinhan Investment Corp.

Work highlights

  • Advised ARA Korea (REF) Limited on its acquisition of Marble Arch Place Building located at London, UK.
  • Advised ADF Asset Management on its acquisition of a major logistics facilities located in Yongin Gyeonggi-do, located in the vicinity of Seoul (transaction amount 1.4BN KRW).
  • Advised BentallGreenOak on a number of logistics facilities development projects.

Yoon & Yang LLC

Yoon & Yang LLC has a well-balanced transactional practice, encompassing acquisitions, project financing and REITs, supplemented with a strong group of litigation specialists with experience handling disputes involving construction, commercial and residential development and social overhead capital projects. Construction partners Kyung In Jung and Young Kang Eo co-head the practice, focusing largely on contentious matters. Young Woo Park is one of the most bright and excellent lawyers in Korea’ and works across all areas of real estate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Kyung In Jung; Young Eo Kang

Other key lawyers:

Young Woo Park

Testimonials

‘Yoon & Yang has provided excellent personalised legal advice tailored to our specific needs and our sector demands. Its lawyers provide excellent comments and they are really fast and quick to respond to our questions.’

‘Young Woo Park is one of the most bright and excellent lawyers in South Korea. He has in-depth knowledge on real estate matters that financial industries have handled. Our company is actively operating real estate funds and Young Woo Park’s expertise on both industries are 100% fitting to us. In addition, I individually praise that Young Woo Park continues constant communication with our company.’

‘Yoon & Yang’s team is comprised of real estate transactions experts, US tax experts and foreign lawyers, all of whom show in-depth understanding on the US laws and regulations. The team is capable of handling real estate transactions in the US. They show their capabilities in real estate transaction between Korea and the US (acquisitions and financing).’

‘Young Woo Park is one of the best committed lawyers in Korea. He always responds to our calls/emails immediately, but never misses the important points. In addition, he always provides practical, business-minded advice.’

Key clients

Hyundai Engineering & Construction

GS Engineering & Construction

POSCO Engineering & Construction

Hyundai Development Corporation

Hanwha E&C

Shinsegae Engineering & Construction

POSCO ICT Company

Shinyoung D&D

Daesung Industrial

Korea Investment & Real Estate Trust

Koramco REITs & Trust

DL Engineering & Construction

Korea Expressway Corporation

Posco

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended POSCO E&C in litigation concerning the construction of the Incheon-Gimpo Expressway of the 2nd Capital Region Ring Road, in which the client was sued by the residents of the regions near Incheon Bukhang Tunnel.
  • Advised KORAMCO REITs Management Trust‘s takeover deal of Hanwha Galleria Department Store which was a large scale of commercial facility transaction.
  • Advised Belstar Superfreez Consortium in leasing and developing land in Incheon to build a warehouse.

Dentons Lee

Dentons Lee advises on inbound and outbound real estate investment, ground up development and redevelopment, trust establishment and property litigation. The arrival of Timothy Trinka as the head of real estate has generated a significant amount of new work in construction, financing, leasing and, the acquisition of real property in Europe and the US on behalf of Korean institutional investors. Corporate partner Ghil-Won Jo also handles real estate mandates.  

Practice head(s):

Timothy Trinka; Ghil Won Jo

Key clients

Hangang Asset Management

Lotte Hotel and Resorts

Work highlights

  • Advising Korean investors, Hangang Asset Management on the international aspects of the acquisition of a fulfilment centre in Ottawa for CA$497m, the largest real estate investment ever made by Korean investors into Canada and largest fulfilment centre in Canada.
  • Advising Lotte Hotels and Resorts on all aspects of the acquisition of the hotel, which will be operated under the L7 brand, the flagship launch of the brand outside of Korea.

Jipyong

Distinguished for its cross-border transactional capabilities, Jipyong benefits from a team of experienced lawyers located in China, Vietnam and Myanmar, operating alongside its wider network of specialists in Japan, Russia and Latin America. Real estate finance partners Joon Hyuk Lee and Seok Jae Lee works together with Yully Kang, on project financing, asset acquisitions and REIT mandates.

Practice head(s):

Yully Kang

Other key lawyers:

Joon Hyuk Lee; Seok Jae Lee

Testimonials

‘This team has diversity, provides great legal services, good international experience. Remains commercially-minded and responsive to the client’s needs at all times.’

 

Key clients

SK Inc.

K-1 15TH Pangyo Real Estate Investment Trust Company

LT KB Geumcheon 5th New Stay REIT Co., Ltd.

Cushman & Wakefield Korea

Mastern Investment Management

Banwol Smart Logistic PFV

Yongsan Daehan Newstay REIT Co., Ltd.

Igisneovalue Asset Management

Welcome Savings Bank

Kalon Private Real Estate Investment Trust No.8

KORAMCO Reits Management and Trust Co.Ltd.

Nonhyeon PFV

Hana Insurance

Kiwoom Asset Management

KB Asset Management

Korea Asset In Trust Co., Ltd.

IGIS NEOVALUE Asset Management Co., Ltd.

JR Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Daejeon Dunsan Retail Companies Restructuring REIT

Work highlights

  • Advised SK Inc. on the  financing and purchase through REITs (SK REITs and Clean Energy REITs) of the SK Group’s headquarters building (Seorin Building) and 116 SK Gas stations nation-wide.
  • Advised K-1 15TH Pangyo Real Estate Investment Trust Company on the Purchase of H square in Pangyo (including Reporting of Combination of Enterprises).
  • Advised LT KB Geumcheon 5th New Stay REIT Co., Ltd. on the purchase of Lotte Castle near the Doksan Station from Lotte Aluminum Co., Ltd.