TMT: local firms in South Korea

Kim & Chang

Many of Kim & Chang's TMT practitioners have experience of serving as regulators and officials from key government agencies (including the Korea Communications Commission and the KFTC) or have technical backgrounds. Complementing his private practice experience, Min Chul Park serves as a consultant for a number of regulatory agencies. With Dong Shik Choi at the helm, the team acts for a wide range of clients, including broadcasting and telecommunications companies, hardware and software corporations, online service providers and games developers. Brian Oh is recommended for high-profile disputes and investigations. Seong-Hyeon Bang is another notable individual in the group.

Practice head(s):

Dong Shik Choi

Key clients

LG Uplus

CJ ENM

Hyundai Motors

Naver

Facebook

Kakao

Microsoft

Delivery Hero

Yanolja

Work highlights

  • Advised CJ ENM on its proposed sale of 50% plus 1 share in CJ Hello to LG Uplus, at the aggregate purchase price of $648m.
  • Assisted Naver, the largest online search platform in Korea, with its spin-off transaction to establish Naver Financial.
  • Advised the Hyundai Motor Group on its formation of a joint venture with Aptiv, focusing on the research and development of an autonomous driving technology.

Lee & Ko

Lee & Ko's TMT practice is known for its 'depth in understanding the subject matter' and showing 'perseverance in dealing with difficult issues'. The team's proficiency in handling advisory work is demonstrated by its retention in a regulatory capacity by a number of government bodies, including the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Korea Communications Commission and the KFTC. On the contentious side, the group frequently represents clients in lawsuits over interconnection fees, requests for disclosure of operating costs, data breaches and criminal cases stemming from the operation of crypto-currency exchanges. Kwang Bae Park takes the lead on data privacy, cybersecurity and fintech matters, while Soon Yub (Samuel) Kwon heads up the practice. Other key members of the group include Jongsoo (Jay) Yoon, Hyun Jun KimHwan Kyoung Ko and Ju Bong Jang.

Testimonials

This firm has more variety in their specialised fields, more depth in understanding the subject matter and more consistency and perseverance in dealing with difficult issues.

The team consists of top-tier attorneys from various fields.

Park Kwang Bae is a good strategist.’

Key clients

Marriott

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation

eBay Korea Co., Ltd.

LG Electronics

SK Telecom

Naver

Audi Volkswagen Korea

Google LLC

Shinhan Financial Group

Korea Credit Bureau

Work highlights

  • Advised Google on the evaluation process for maintaining its status as a self-rating game distributor.
  • Advised CJ E&M on its joint venture with JTBC to launch an integrated over-the-top (OTT) media platform.
  • Advised Binance Korea on a wide range of legal issues related to the potential issuance and distribution of its stable coin.

Yulchon

Yulchon's TMT group, which undertakes a mix of advisory and contentious work, is assisting clients with issues emerging in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including those concerning AI, big data and fintech. Practice head Doil Son and his team act for clients such as major mobile communications service providers, media companies and key technology players. The practice was notably strengthened by the recent arrival of a large number of partners and senior advisers from Bae, Kim & Lee LLC, including Jung Woo Lee, Choon Jae Wee and Yoon Young Huh.

Practice head(s):

Doil Son

Testimonials

Hyung Joo Lim has good commercial knowledge.

Key clients

SOCAR

SK Telecom

SK Broadband

Contents Alliance Platform

Stratasys

CJ Hello

LG HelloVision (formerly known as CJ Hello)

Hyundai Motors

KIA Motors

Woowa Brothers

Korean Association for Industrial Technology Security

Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd

Dell EMC

KT

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended SOCAR and VCNC, and their respective CEOs, against an allegation of violation of the Passenger Transport Service Act.
  • Advised SK Telecom and SK Broadband on the acquisition of T-Broad.
  • Assisted the Contents Alliance Platform with its incorporation of the OTT Entity WAVVE, a combination of its POOQ and SK Broadband’s Oksusu services.

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC is well-known for its expertise in regulatory matters, particularly due to its 'good reputation and relationship with the industry experts and the government officials, which makes a big difference'. The group offers assistance with every relevant area of regulation, including infrastructure and broadcaster regulations, data privacy and security, and GPS data usage regulations. The practice is also increasingly instructed to advise start-ups, as well as fast-growing mid-size firms, in areas such as biotech, AOI, big data and app-based services. Another key developing area of focus for the firm is the mobility industry, with practice head Kwang Hyun Ryoo and Minwoon Yang taking the lead on advising clients in this sector. Other names to note include Joon Yong ParkYang Ho Oh and Sang Jik Lee.

Practice head(s):

Kwang Hyun Ryoo

Testimonials

The team has a good reputation and relationship with the industry experts and the government officials, which makes a big difference.

They all have very professional work experience and good knowledge in the field of TMT.

One of the strongest capabilities of BKL’s TMT group is its handling of regulatory issues.

Key clients

Alibaba Group

Comcast Corporation

Expedia

Hancom Inc.

Kakao

KT Corp.

LG Uplus

Macquarie PE

Microsoft Corporation

NAVER Corporation

NETFLIX

Neutron Holdings, Inc. (“Lime”)

Tesla Korea

Uber Technologies Inc.

Work highlights

  • Successfully obtained a telecommunication business licence for Tesla Korea.
  • Advised LG Uplus on its acquisition of CJ Hello.
  • Advising micromobility company Lime on its planned product launch on the Korean market.

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim's TMT group, which garners praise for its 'good communication with clients and government officials', handles regulatory and compliance matters for high-profile names such as Facebook, Google and Netflix. It also demonstrates expertise in TMT-related M&A and corporate restructurings; in a recent highlight, team head Sinook Kang advised on the notable merger of SKB and T-Broad. The practice was strengthened by the arrival of Claudia Chong-Ah Hong from Kim & Chang in September 2019. Other key practitioners include June Young Jang, newly-promoted partner Kyu Hong Park and senior associate Jung-Hyun Hwang .

Practice head(s):

Sinook Kang

Testimonials

Great expertise in the TMT field.

Good communication with clients and government officials.

Key clients

SK Broadband

SK Telecom

Joint project of three major mobile carriers (SKT, KT, and LGU+)

KB Kookmin Bank

Inmarsat Global Limited

LGU+

NS Homeshopping (Harim Group)

Hyundai Homeshopping

Ministry of Science and ICT

Korea Internet & Security Agency

T-Broad

Personal Information Protection Commission

CJ ENM

Work highlights

  • Developed a litigation strategy on behalf of SK Broadband, concerning a lawsuit filed against the client to confirm the absence of debt in connection with network usage fees.
  • Advising SKT, KT, and LGU+ on issues relating to license tax, standby power, and frequency allocation pricing.
  • Advising KB Kookmin Bank on the establishment and operation of its MVNO business.

Yoon & Yang LLC

Yoon & Yang LLC's newly-formed Fourth Industrial Revolution Response Team brings together eight partners and four associates who previously specialised in key TMT areas (such as big data, AI, and fintech) to focus on providing clients with regulatory assistance and advisory services, as well as representing them in litigation. Practice head Kwang Wook Lee regularly advises on the legal issues presented by new and emerging technologies for notable clients such as Qualcomm, Microsoft, and Apple. Keun Woo Lee is the name to note for privacy and trade secret-related matters. Yong Hae Lee is a key contact for international media and entertainment companies wishing to expand their businesses into South Korea.

Practice head(s):

Kwang Wook Lee

Other key lawyers:

Keun Woo Lee; Yong Hae Lee

Testimonials

They provide prompt and precise information.

Kwang Wook Lee is a specialist in Korean corporate matters.

Key clients

Qualcomm

Nestle Korea

Korea Broadcasting System (KBS)

Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)

Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)

BTC Korea.com

British American Tobacco Korea

D’Live

SK Telecom

Chanel

Cargill Agri Purina

Heineken Korea

Galderma Korea

NETFLIX

VIACOM

Hyundai Homeshopping

Work highlights

  • Advising Heineken Korea on the overall issues of its personal information protection system.
  • Providing Netflix with comprehensive legal advice in relation to its OTT (over-the-top) services in South Korea, including preparing contracts and assisting with related regulatory issues.
  • Defending BTC Korea.com against a class action lawsuit for damages brought by cryptocurrency investors claiming that they incurred losses due to the server’s shutdown of Bithumb, a Korean cryptocurrency exchange platform.

Jipyong

Jipyong's TMT team has experience of acting for a wide range of public bodies and authorities, including the Ministry of Science, Technology, Information and Communication; the Korea Communications Commission; the Personal Information Protection Commission and the KFTC. In addition to handling regulatory issues, the group is active in other non-contentious work and it also assists clients with resolving disputes through arbitration, mediation and litigation. Practice head So Young Lee is a key contact for advice on copyright (and other intellectual property rights), personal information issues and fintech-related matters. Chang Ik Sung and Mun Hui Kim are other notable individuals in the group.

Practice head(s):

So Young Lee

Other key lawyers:

Chang Ik Sung; Mun Hui Kim

Key clients

Korea Communications Commission

Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology

Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

17 Metropolitan & Provincial Offices of Education including KERIS

HYENA – Keyeast

The King-Eternal Monarch – Hwa & Dam Pictures

PLEDIS Entertainment

SM Entertainment

Call – Yong Film, Inc.

Alien – Caper Film

Management SOOP / PLEDIS Entertainment/ OFF THE RECORD Entertainment

SBS

SM C&C

Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), a national television network

Minister of Science and ICT

Kakao/Kakao M

Chairperson and the largest shareholder of Kakao (approximately 15 %)

Naver Corporation

Work highlights

  • Successful obtained a ruling by the Supreme Court to quash and remand the case for damage compensation filed by a video producer against client Kakao.  
  • Provided regulation proposals related to current issues and opinions for improvement of the laws and regulations to the Korea Communications Commission.
  • Advised the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology on the revision of laws regarding the designation of projects for the Regulation-Free Special Zones.