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  1. Tax – Local firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Kim & Chang's ‘excellent in every factor’ practice handles all tax-related matters including M&A, transfer pricing, tax audit litigation and appeals. Co-heads Woo Hyun Baik and Byung Moon Jung are highly regarded, while Seung Jong Yang and Je Heum Baik are singled out for their ‘outstanding reputation’ in tax audit and disputes. Im Jung Choi, Seung Hwan Jin and Jong Koo Park acted for MBK Partners on a transaction valued at $ 1.1bn. Jin and Keun Ah Cho represented JP Morgan Asset Management on the first REF trust sale. Tae-Yeon Nam has extensive expertise in transfer pricing and audit matters. Also of note for tax disputes, M&A and audits are Hae Ma Joong Kim and foreign attorney Jeremy Everett.

Lee & Ko’s ‘top of the market’ practice covers the full spectrum of tax-related matters including inbound and outbound tax planning, audit, customs and dispute resolution. The team, co-headed by Jay Shim and Myung Sub Kim, has significantly strengthened its capabilities with the recruitment of 14 lawyers. Highlights include Shim, Ok Hyun Ma, Kyung Tae Kim and Hoan Ku Lee represented MasterCard in a case relating to assessment fees in cross-border transactions. Elsewhere, Kim and Byeong Jun Son acted for SK Telecom in VAT litigation. Young Gee Park specialises in customs and internal investigations, while Young Uk Park focuses on corporate tax matters. Other names to note are Tae-Gyung Kim, Jangwoon John Kwak and Sung Hyun Ryoo.

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s tax group is particularly strong in disputes, appeals and customs matters. Key figures include practice head Wu Cheol Song, Cheol Hyung Yu and Il Young Cho, who recently acted for SK E&C, securing the dismissal of approximately $12.7m worth of VAT levied on the company. Seung-Wan Chae has advised Philip Morris Korea on a range of tax matters relating to the launch of new IQOS products. Other key cases include a successful Supreme Court appeal dismissing the tax authority's demand for $5.7bn worth of VAT imposed on KORAIL. Elsewhere, Tae Kyoon Kim, Hakrae Cho and senior foreign attorney Maria Chang advised Unilever on its acquisition of Carver Korea.

Shin & Kim’s tax practice is comprised of experienced tax lawyers, CPA’s and tax accountants who advise national and international clients including the KT Corporation and Samsung SDS on matters ranging from tax appeals, investigations and customs. The practice is led by Choon Cho and Hyeon-Jin Kim, whose expertise covers corporate, VAT, inheritance, gift, local and custom taxes disputes. Cho obtained a favourable result for Korea Gas in its claim back of $62m paid in taxation. Meanwhile, Hee-Chan Byun acted for Korea South-East Power in a corporate tax claim totalling $3m; the case is significant for being the first where a court has recognised proper tax treatment of a trial product as a result of the government-funded technical innovation project.

Yoon & Yang LLC's team has a strong focus on tax disputes and was recently joined by Jeongsu Park, a former judge of the Seoul Southern District Court. Managing partner Seung Soon Lim and practice head Oh-Young Jeon successfully acted for Booyoung in a case concerning expenses in the real estate and construction industry. ‘Highly experienced’ litigator Jeon successfully challenged the Busan Customs Office over $3m imposed on Longchamp Korea. Wankyu Jeon is recommended for corporate and international taxation and Jae-Woong Jeong for customs tax.

Dong Soo Kim and Seok Hoon Kang jointly lead Yulchon ’s ‘highly knowledgeable’ full-service tax group. Key figures include Yun Heui Cho for disputes, Kyung Suk Jung for audits, and Un Sang Jung and Jeong Cheol Cho for customs-related matters. M&A and restructuring work are particular strengths of the group; recent cases include Kim and Sang Woo Song advising Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering on a $1.35bn restructuring, while Kim, Kyu Dong Kim and Joon Yung Jo acted for Mirae Asset Global Investments on a $430m M&A. Soo-Jeong Ahn is recommended for international tax matters.

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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

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • 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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