Tax: local firms in South Korea

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang ‘has the bench strength and expertise’ to advise on a wealth of tax issues, ranging from tax on corporate transactions, transfer pricing and application for tax exemptions. Its leading tax audits and litigation team, led by Byung-Moon Jung is also highly regarded. Chartered CPA and senior partners Woo Hyun Baik and Tae Yeon Nam specialise in corporate tax planning and transfer pricing. Jeong-il Park is noted for his expertise in finance and insurance tax. Litigators Sang Woo Lee and Hae Ma Joong Kim continue to be active in cutting-edge taxation issues in Korea.  

Practice head(s):

Woo Hyun Baik; Byung-Moon Jung

Other key lawyers:

Tae-Yeon Nam; Sang Woo Lee; Hae Ma Joong Kim; Jeong-il Park


‘Kim & Chang has the bench strength and expertise to meet the client’s high expectations. They have a good global network and co-operate well.’

‘Outstanding professional knowledge, particular those applying the financial services industry, and the relevant tax aspects. 

‘Jeong-Il Park has the top level of tax knowledge and experience to achieve a successful result for the client.’

‘Jeong-Il Park has been working with us more than 10 year. He has in-depth understanding of client’s needs and issues. His approach to solve issue is reasonable and always brings successful result.’

‘Hae Ma Joong Kim is our go-to counsel for tax audit and litigation, and general tax consulting. He has over 16 years of tax experience and is very diligent and competent.’

Key clients

Goldman Sachs

LG Electronics Inc.



Morgan Stanley

Hyundai Motor Company

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Oracle Korea

SK Hynix

National Oilwell Varco

Work highlights

  • Represented an individual taxpayer in a landmark Supreme Court decision based on an assessment of income tax, on the application of a tie-breaker rule under a tax treaty.
  • Acted for CJ ENM, Co., Ltd. in VAT litigation on sales discount.
  • Represented a corporate client in tax litigation seeking a cancellation of tax imposed on a company for sales incentive payments treated as non-deductible entertainment expense.

Lee & Ko

Lee & Ko‘s tax team includes former judges with specialist expertise in tax controversies, Korean and international attorneys with a broad range of transactional and litigation experience and CPAs. In a standout case, Ok Hyun Ma led a team which represented Dongbu Insurance and other insurance companies’ in tax litigation seeking the cancellation of an education tax assessment of more than $110m. Sung Hwan Kim , Young Uk Park and Sung Hyun Ryu are highly sought after tax litigators. Byeong Jun Son has developed a specialism in proceedings relating to customs and international tax matters. Tom Kwon  and Jay Shim  take the lead in international tax planning, cross-border transactions and offshore fund structuring from a tax perspective.

Practice head(s):

Ok Hyun Ma; Tom Kwon

Other key lawyers:

Sung Hwan Kim; Young Uk Park; Sung Hyun Ryu; Byeong Jun Son; Jay Shim


‘Tom Kwon and his team always bring get-to-the-point outcome in a timely manner. Highly professional service amongst all the firms we work with.’

‘Jay Shim is a brilliant tax lawyer,  with a strong team to provide best tax/legal service to client. Jay’s team is sincere, has profound knowledge and provides client focused service.’

‘The team has provided us with the best services. The team has appropriately composed experts with various skills and experiences to provide the best possible defence and litigation response. In pleading, the team has continuously remained positive and respond creatively as concrete, sincere experts.’

Key clients

Dongbu Insurance Co., Ltd. and 5 other insurance companies

Dongwon Loex Co., Ltd

Biogen, Inc.

Seoul Metropolitan City

Mastercard Incorporated

Office Depot, Inc.

Microsoft Corporation

Changshin Group

IGIS Asset Management

Mastern Investment Management

Work highlights

  • Represented Dongwon Loex Co., Ltd., a leading logistics company, against the assessment of corporate income tax arising from a split-off.
  • Advising Biogen, Inc., a publicly traded U.S. biotech company, with respect to the sale of its 49% interests in Samsung Bioepis, Co., Ltd.
  • Successfully represented Mastercard at tax litigation on the complicated issue of income characterization of certain fees that Mastercard received from its members in Korea.


Specialising in transfer pricing, auditing and M&A-related taxation, Yulchon is praised for its ‘exceptional legal and regulatory knowledge and courtroom experience’. Yun Heui Cho leads the contentious team, which reports an increasing amount of instructions in tax litigation and VAT appeals. Kyu Dong Kim and Yong Whan Choi are active on international tax mandates, while Se Hoon Park focuses on customs and Tae Hyoung Kim has transfer pricing expertise. Jeremy Everett assists international companies with their tax matters in Korea.

Practice head(s):

Seok Hoon Kang; Dong Soo Kim

Other key lawyers:

Kyu Dong Kim; Yun Heui Cho; Yong Whan Choi; Se Hoon Park; Jeremy Everett; Tae Hyoung Kim


‘Highly rated for its people, their exceptional legal and regulatory knowledge and experience in the courtroom, and collaboration with the client.’

‘Each team member is a true professional, who is able to view the issue from the clients’ perspective as if they were the client themselves. They inspire confidence from clients, knowing that the matter will be taken care of professionally. Yulchon always give 120% of their ability to accomplish the client’s goals.’

‘Each Yulchon team member is so responsive to any questions. Their speed outshine every other competitor.’

‘Yulchon is the only Korean tax advisor we work with – its services are spot on, excellent performance in tax litigation, in Korea and internationally. They are hand working, work with integrity and provide innovative solutions for each client.’

Key clients






Cadence Design Systems

Koch Industry Group






Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Goldman Sachs

TPG capital


Morgan Stanley

L’Oréal International


Meritz Alternative Investment Management

Hyundai Asset Management

Mirae Asset Global Investments


British American Tobacco

Samsung Electronics

SK Hynix

LG Energy Solutions

Lotte Group

IGIS Asset Management

KTB Investment & Securities


Kayak (Hotels Combined)

Société Générale

JP Morgan Chase Bank

Mastern Investment Management

ARA Korea Asset Management



Work highlights

  • Successfully represented foreign financial institutions including JPMorgan Chase Bank in education tax assessment litigation.
  • Advised Mastern Investment Management on its investment in a US real estate development project.
  • Advised ARA Korea Asset Management regarding the acquisition of an office building in London, England via a real estate fund.

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC‘s full-service tax practice continues to be involved in complex tax appeals and litigation before the Tax Tribunals, as well as complex work such as transfer pricing audits. Practice head Seog Kyoo Kang and fellow senior partner, Il Young Cho  have extensive expertise representing Korean and foreign clients in a wide range of civil and criminal actions relating to tax disputes. Foreign partner Maria Chang assists overseas clients in managing tax controversies. 

Practice head(s):

Seog Kyoo Kang

Other key lawyers:

Il Young Cho; Maria Chang


‘The team is able to provide cutting-edge tax services for tech sector clients, start-ups and other new businesses. The team in agile and brings together various professionals to provide the right level of specialism and best service to the client’s request. We were very impressed with their understanding of tax issues within the growing tech sector.’

‘Overall, the individuals in BKL have high understandings of their professional fields and are open-minded, collaborative and provide innovative solutions’ 

Key clients

DWS Asset Management (Korea) Company Limited

HDC Hyundai Development Company

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited

KEB Hana Bank and other commercial banks

Korea Electric Power Corporation

Korea Exchange

Melbo International Investment Limited

Mirae Asset

Samsung Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented about ten large domestic companies (Samsung, Hyundai, LG, GS, Hanwha affiliates, and some of its corporations) in their dispute over the converted tax method of local income tax and resulting economic losses.
  • Representing major domestic banks and securities companies in their dispute regarding the Act on Real Name Financial Transactions and Confidentiality and the withholding tax system under the tax law.
  • Advised Korea Exchange on tax matters relating to developing the next-generation ultra-rapid trading settlement system.

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim continues to rapidly expand its full-service tax practice with the lateral hire of practice head Je Heum Baik, along with CPAs Young-Min Chung and Hee Jin Kim, all moving from Kim & Chang in spring 2022. Baik lends his significant experience in litigating corporate tax issues on behalf of financial institutions and foreign entities, which is supplemented by Chung’s experience as defence counsel in audits and inheritance tax cases. Hyeon-Jin Kim leads the tax advisory and tax investigation team, and Sun Young Kim is noted for his knowledge of international tax. 

Practice head(s):

Je-Heum Baik

Other key lawyers:

Young-Min Chung; Hee Jin Kim; Hyeon-Jin Kim; Sun Young (Sunny) Kim


‘Shin & Kim LLC has an excellent success rate in tax litigation and appeals. The fees are reasonable, and I am very satisfied with the practice’s overall knowledge in tax and expertise in developing a winning strategy in court.’

‘Kim Hyeon-Jin is highly recommended. With his expertise and extensive experience, he understood his client’s position accurately and successfully argued for his clients’ position.’

‘Shin & Kim LLC is a reliable, trustworthy and professional firm for all tax matters in Korea.’

‘Shin & Kim is one of the largest and most famous law firm in Korea. They very trustworthy and professional.’

‘Kim Hyeon-Jin is highly rated as a very good counsel based on his responsiveness, high quality of work, high degree of experience and client management skill.’

‘A team with excellent people and ideas provides the optimal solution’

‘Je-Heum Baik is an attorney practising primarily in our tax audit and dispute resolution, tax litigation, and general tax consulting. He has long of tax experience. He leads an excellent team of tax lawyers who are very diligent in providing sound legal support.’

Key clients

KCC Corporation

Lotte Group

GE Capital

Kyobo Life Insurance

Chubb Limited


Korea Gas Corporation

Landing Entertainment Korea


Willam Grant & Sons Korea

KT&G Corporation

IGIS Asset Management

LaSalle Investment Management

Samsung SDI Co., Ltd.

CJ Logistics

SD Biosensor

Jeil Construction Corp.

National Pension Services of Korea

La Prairie / Beiersdorf AG

Hyundai Asset Management Company

Kangwon Land

S-Oil Corportion

Joongang Holdings

Work highlights

  • Assisted Chubb on the tax aspects in respect of its acquisition of Cigna’s business in Korea.
  • Represented SK E&S Co., Ltd, the plaintiff, in and successfully obtained a decision from the Tax Tribunal that the tax imposition should be invalidated on the grounds that imposition of tax using APA application documents is an infringement of the taxpayer’s procedural rights and constitutes a material procedural defect.


DR & AJU LLC focuses on corporate tax, international tax, customs and representation in tax investigations. Managing partner Kyu Chul Lee and Shin Hee Kim are the lead partners for VAT, corporate tax and tax appeals.

Practice head(s):

Kyu Chul Lee; Shin Hee Kim

Work highlights

  • Advised Head of Seocho District Tax Office and Head of Banpo District Tax Office in an investigation on whether the principle of prohibition of double tax investigation was violated, following a tax audit.
  • Represented a group of individuals and corporations who paid the comprehensive real estate tax in a class action claiming the unconstitutionality of the Comprehensive Real Estate Holding Tax Act.

Yoon & Yang LLC

Yoon & Yang LLC advises a mix of domestic conglomerate and foreign entities on corporate and finance tax, provides opinions on taxation policies and administrative matters. It continues to win new instructions from individuals on inheritance and personal tax matters. Jae Woong Jeong is the lead litigator in the group, assisted by Jung Yeol Lee, who has a background in customs litigation. Jeongsu Park, Wankyu Jeon and Yong Taek Kim are the other key members of the practice. 

Practice head(s):

Jae Woong Jeong; Wankyu Jeon

Other key lawyers:

Jeongsu Park; Yong Taek Kim; Jung Yeol Lee


‘The practice provides accurate, well-thought-out legal advice at a resonable price’ 


Key clients

SK Innovation Co., Ltd.

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Intel Corporation

GE Appliances

Korea Investment & Securities Co., Ltd.

Bithumb Korea Co., Ltd.

Realtek Semiconductor Corporation

Korea Zinc Co., Ltd.



Hyundai Glovis Co., Ltd., Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd., Innocean Worldwide Inc., Hyundai Autoever Co., Ltd., Hyundai Architects & Engineers Assoc. Co., Ltd.

Samsung C&T Corporation

Rolex Korea Limited

Rothmans Far East BV, British American Tobacco Korea Manufacturing

LG Chem Co., Ltd.


Kumho Petrochemical Co., Ltd.

AIG Korea Inc.

LS Electric

Hydis Technologies Co., Ltd.

SPC Samlip, Paris Croissant

Hyundai Department Store Duty Free

Taekwang Industrial Co., Ltd., Heungkuk Life Insurance Co., Ltd., Heungkuk Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd., Heungkuk Securities Co., Ltd., Heungkuk Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Acted for LG Chem Co., Ltd in successfully challenging a customs duty imposition issued by the Seoul Main Customs.
  • Advised POSCO in connection with various issues under the Corporate Income Tax Act.
  • Defended Hydis Technologies Co., Ltd. (Taiwanese company) in a dispute concerning income tax.