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Bae, Kim & Lee LLC's ‘dedicated team’ has a strong reputation for inbound and outbound real estate investments; the group has a close working relationship with the leading Korean real estate developers and is instructed on commercial, residential and multi-use building city development projects. Practice head Gun Chul Do, Chiyoung Song and Michael Lee are lead counsel to Korea Land & Housing in its participation in the South Saad Al-Abdullah New Town Development Project in Kuwait. The practice is also advising Legoland Korea and its parent company on the development of a new theme park in Gangwon-do. Other key contacts are Hyeon Kang, David Sung Jin Ahn and Eun Jin Jeon.

Kim & Chang's market-leading real estate practice has enjoyed another strong year; the team has been active in several significant inbound transactions including advising Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management in the $679m sale of Signature Tower. Kwan Sik Yu is singled out for his ‘profound legal knowledge’ and is ‘always aware of up-to-date regulation changes’; he and Jin-Ho Song continue to advise Mastern No.28 CENTRE POINT Myeongdong PFV on land acquisition and development in the Myeongdong area of Seoul. In outbound investment work, Keun Ah Cho, Sang Min Lee and David Pyun acted for Mirae Asset Global Investments in the acquisition of a landmark building in Frankfurt, Germany, valued at €281m. Practice head Yon Kyun Oh has a strong reputation in the real estate and construction sector.

Lee & Ko draws on its multi-disciplinary expertise to act in inbound and outbound real estate transactions; the practice is active in commercial development, overseas projects, REIT, and trust and real estate litigation. The sizeable team is jointly led by Chan Ik Jang, Jin Wook Yang and Jung Hwan Lee. Joong Hoon Kwak and Eun Young Shin represented Kookmin Bank, the sellers, in the $241m sale of the KB Myeongdong Office Building. In outbound transactions, Lee acted for Hyundai Investment in the acquisition of a commercial building in Belgium. Dong Eun Kim and Dong Seok Woo are also highly recommended. Associate Jee In Kim frequently assists in real estate acquisitions and financing as well as domestic and overseas investment.

Shin & Kim’s ‘extensive market knowledge, in-depth experience and proactive legal advice’ continues to attract Korean and international clients seeking ‘sound legal advice’ and assistance and in all aspects of real estate transactions. Kyung Don Lee leads the sizeable group, which has been active in a number of big-ticket deals. Notable highlights include Kyoung Soo Chang acting for IGIS Asset Management on the purchase of the Signature Tower in Seoul. The team also advised Vestas Investment Management on the $657m sale of the K-Twin Tower. In outbound transactional work, Suk Lee represented Hana Alternative Investment Asset Management in the acquisition of Sentinel Building in Washington DC. Thak Hwan Kim specialises in the management of real estate collective investment vehicles under the Capital Markets Act, while Eunjoo Lee advises Korean and foreign companies on the acquisition, operations and sale of commercial properties.

With expertise spanning all aspects of real estate transactions, Yulchon's team are ‘experienced in international and cross-border transactions’ and counts Deutsche Asset Management (Korea), Mirae Asset Global Investments and Goldman Sachs (Asia) among its impressive client roster. Led by Jubong Park, significant mandates for the team include advising Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation on the sale of land and acquisition of a building in Yeouido, Seoul; it also continues to advise Posco E&C on its participation in the Songdo International Business District project in Incheon. In overseas investment, a cross-departmental group acted for Korea Investment Management on its investment in the Ariake Central Tower, Tokyo. Jin Seok Choi and Min Gyu Kim are names to note.

Yoon & Yang LLC advises asset managers on the establishment of REITs, sales and acquisitions in Korean real estate, domestic and international development projects, as well as handling construction and real estate-related disputes. Department head Don Eok Choi and Young Woo Park are advising KORAMCO REIT's management and trust on a broad range of complex legal issues. Meanwhile, Hyong Kun Kim assisted Hyundai Engineering in a strategic transaction structure for the sale of its shares in Phnom Penh Tower, Cambodia.

The cross-disciplinary real estate practice at Jipyong is able to draw on its group of corporate, finance and construction law specialists to assist Korean and foreign clients on a broad range of regulatory, transactional and litigation matters. Won Jeong leads on several key real estate disputes; notable wins include representing Seoul Metropolitan City on the validity of a district unit plan notification relating to the incorporation of Hyundai Motor Group’s new office. Bong Kwan Sa, Sung-Taek Lim, Seungmin Jasmine Jung and Han Sa Song are recommended for international transactional mandates.

Lee International IP & Law Group's Myung-Ho Song advised World Development in relation to the partial payment for installation of infrastructure in an urban development project. He also counselled Raon City Development in a dispute over the transfer of land for a development project.

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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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    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).
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