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Shin & Kim

23TH FLOOR, D-TOWER (D2), 17 JONGNO 3-GIL, JONGNO-GU, SEOUL 03155, SOUTH KOREA
Tel:
Work +82 2 316 4114
Fax:
Fax +82 2 756 6226
Email:
Web:
www.shinkim.com
Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai

South Korea

International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 2

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim attracts praise for its ability ‘to field a large team of several partners along with talented junior lawyers’; the practice is headed by Doo-Sik Kim, who is particularly active in investor-state disputes, as well as in litigation involving complex construction and finance-related matters. Kim has an ‘impressive gravitas with clients and before tribunals’; he advised Lone Star Funds in one of the largest claims in ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Korea. In addition, he and commercial arbitration specialist Jae Min Jeon are acting for Baring Private Equity Asia in a complex case involving a post-M&A transaction. Elsewhere, Seungmin Lee is highlighted for her ‘outstanding speciality and commitment’. Recently promoted partner Sang-Hoon Han is also recommended, while foreign attorney Arie Eernisse is ‘by far their best advocate’.

Next Generation Partners

Arie Eernisse - Shin & Kim

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South Korea: Antitrust and competition

Antitrust and competition – Local firms
Antitrust and competition – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim’s team continues to hold a dominant position within the antitrust and competition practice and the 22-partner strong team continues to act as legal counsel for Qualcomm in its appeal to the Korean Supreme Court in relation to abuse of dominance cases. Cartel and merger control specialist Sangdon Lee assisted Valeo in obtaining merger clearance for its formation of a joint venture with PHC Group across multiple jurisdictions. He and foreign attorney Jeannie Y Jeong led Linde’s merger filings to the KFTC for Linde’s merger with Praxair valued at $85bn. Practice head Young Chul Yim is involved in defending automakers, marine transportation companies and manufacturers against KFTC investigations for collusion and litigation. Other significant figures include John H Choi, Jooyoung Park, Chang-young Cho, Daeyong Baek and Hyun Ah Kim. Sohyun Hong departed to Kim & Chang.

Leading individuals

Young Chul Yim - Shin & Kim

Next Generation Partners

Sangdon Lee - Shin & Kim

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South Korea: Banking and finance

Banking and finance – Local firms
Banking and finance – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim continues to have a strong reputation in acquisition and project finance. The team has been active on several significant transactions, in one notable example Yun Seok Jang and Yong Hee Kim advised a syndicate of financial institutions led by long-standing client Woori Bank as lenders on the refinancing of acquisition financing for Doosan Machine Tools valued at over $900m. Senior foreign attorney Hyun Ju Helen Pak frequently advises private equity and asset management firms and sponsors on acquisition finance with a cross-border element. She and Jang advised Korea Trade Insurance on a loan facility extension to Korea Shipping and Maritime Transportation. For project finance transactions, Sang-Hyun Lee is well regarded and has been active on the practices’ largest transactions.

Leading individuals

Hyun ju Helen Pak - Shin & Kim

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South Korea: Capital markets

Capital markets – Local firms
Capital markets – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim is ‘excellent with respect to industry knowledge and transaction experience’. Jong-Uk Lee is singled out as ‘outstanding’ and is consistently involved in the most significant ABS and covered bond deals, for example in acting for the issuer from the structuring to the documentation phase to successfully issue the ABS for Lotte Card in the value of $260m. In securities issuances, Lee, Yong Jin Park and practice head Sang Man Kim advised Heungkuk Life Insurance regarding its offering of $500m 4.475% subordinated capital securities – the first public offering of this type of securities abroad by a medium-sized life insurance company.  Other key figures in the ‘value for money’ team are Tae-Yong Seo and Jeong-Hoon Lee who lead on IPO deals – they represented underwriters Daishin Securities as transaction counsel in relation to Aekyung Industrial's IPO and listing on the Korea Exchange.

Leading individuals

Jong-Uk Lee - Shin & Kim

Tae-Yong Seo - Shin & Kim

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South Korea: Corporate and M&A

Corporate and M&A – Local firms
Corporate and M&A – Local firms - ranked: tier 2

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim's ‘deep industry knowledge’ help it deliver the best services to its client’. Key figures Tong-Gun Lee and Myong-Hyon Ryu advised CJ Group in the sale of its 100% stake in CJ HealthCare, one of Korea’s largest pharmaceutical M&As valued at $1.2bn. The team also assisted Novelis Korea’s joint venture agreement with Kobe Steel. Also of note, Jae Young Chang specialises in transactions within the manufacturing sector, while Joon Hyug Chung focuses on private equity transactions. Also recommended are Byung Tae Kim and Chang-Hyun Song. Associate Chaewon Kang has ‘lots of potential to become a great partner’.

Next Generation Partners

Chaewon Kang - Shin & Kim

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South Korea: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution – Local firms
Dispute resolution – Local firms - ranked: tier 2

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim has notable expertise across a range of disputes including administrative and fair trade, construction, capital markets and crime, to name but a few. Standout wins for the team include representing Incheon Metropolitan City and Lotte Group in a long-running dispute against Shinsegae Department Store concerning the sale and transfer of a terminal site. Elsewhere, Jong-Han Oh, Hyun-Jeong Kang and Jin-Ho Jeong are active in key financial disputes. Jae-Yun Yun is a well-regarded construction and real estate litigator. Seung Soo Lee is also a name to note.

Leading individuals

Jae Yun Yun - Shin & Kim

Next Generation Partners

Seung Soo Lee - Shin & Kim

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South Korea: Insurance

Insurance – Local firms
Insurance – Local firms - ranked: tier 2

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim’s insurance practice handles contentious disputes and financial transactions for insurance companies, as well as regulatory matters. Chan-Mook Jung and Sang-Mi Baek have been active in several key cases of late, including assisting the General Insurance Association of Korea with a review aimed at overhauling the auto insurance compensation system. Meanwhile, Jung, Baek and So Yeon Kim are representing Samsung Life Insurance in an appeal concerning the liability of payment in cataract surgery. Practice head Hyungsuk Lee is recommended as are Se Ryul Hong and Su Hyun Lee.

Leading individuals

Chan-Mook Jung - Shin & Kim

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South Korea: Intellectual property

Intellectual property – Local firms
Intellectual property – Local firms - ranked: tier 2

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim has successfully represented Korean pharmaceutical companies including Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical and PMG Pharm in several significant patent disputes; the practice also advises clients in the food and drink, cosmetics, tech and financial sectors. Recent highlights include Ghyo-Sun Park and Bo Kyung Lim acting for Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical Corporation in the successful reversal of a Trial and Appeals Board's decision, enabling their client to launch a generic drug. Lim also successfully represented Oilily World and Lady M Confections in a licensing and trade mark infringement case. Commercial litigators Yong-Ho Moon and Yoon Hee Kim are experienced in handling trade mark disputes, while Sang-Hyeok Im is recommended for media and copyright-related matters.

Leading individuals

Bo Kyung Lim - Shin & Kim

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South Korea: Labour and employment

Labour and employment – Local firms
Labour and employment – Local firms - ranked: tier 2

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim’s full-service labour department spans internal compliance investigations, restructuring and has strong capabilities in disputes, particularly in illegal dispatch worker cases. Practice head Young-Seok Ki and Michael Chang recently advised BBC Korea on setting up its employment structure, employee handbook and policies in compliance with Korean labour laws. In other matters, Dong-Wook Kim and Jong Soo Kim are representing the Ministry of Employment and Labor in the highly topical administrative lawsuit and constitutional petition brought by small and medium businesses in response to the legislative increase of the minimum wage.

Leading individuals

Dong-Wook Kim - Shin & Kim

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South Korea: Projects and energy

Projects and energy – Local firms
Projects and energy – Local firms - ranked: tier 2

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim continues to be at the forefront of the alternative energy industry while also advising blue-chip corporate clients in domestic and international projects. Highlights include Hyunju Helen Pak and Sang-Hyun Lee acting for the National Pension Service as part of a consortium which acquired full ownership of Helix Holdings, and several Korean lenders in relation to financing the construction of a suspension bridge in Turkey. In investment in renewable energy projects, Michael Chang and Lee advised Korea Electric Power on the acquisition of a solar power facility located in California. In other inbound transactions, Seung-Gyu Yang and Lee lead on project finance for Daesan Green Energy's fuel cell power systems project, as well as advise K Securities, Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance and Kyobo Life Insurance on the Younggwang wind farms project financing.

Leading individuals

Michael Chang - Shin & Kim

Sang-Hyun Lee - Shin & Kim

Next Generation Partners

Seung-Gyu Yang - Shin & Kim

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South Korea: Real estate

Real estate – Local firms
Real estate – Local firms - ranked: tier 2

Shin & Kim

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.

Leading individuals

Kuyng Don Lee - Shin & Kim

Next Generation Partners

Eunjoo Lee - Shin & Kim

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South Korea: Regulatory: compliance and investigations

Regulatory: compliance and investigations – Local firms
Regulatory: compliance and investigations – Local firms - ranked: tier 2

Shin & Kim

The 'outstanding’ white-collar crime practice at Shin & Kim is comprised of highly skilled former prosecutors and judicial officials, and is regularly instructed to advise and represent executives and corporations in criminal proceedings. The firm's recently established digital forensic centre is utilised for internal investigations, corruption prevention, and compliance. Dong-Seong Myung heads the sizeable team, which includes Dong-Shin Yeom and Tak-Kyun Hong, and focuses on criminal investigations and trials. Keonjoo Lee and Doosik Lee successfully defended a key client against bribery, while Seong-Jin Choi, a specialist in financial crimes, money laundering and digital forensics, has been counsel on several high-profile criminal trials.Ok-Sook Byun and Hong-Il Kim are also names to note.

Leading individuals

Seong-Jin Choi - Shin & Kim

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South Korea: TMT

TMT – Local firms
TMT – Local firms - ranked: tier 2

Shin & Kim

Shin & Kim's TMT practice recently launched an IT support centre to provide advice for start-ups and SMEs. Sinook Kang leads the sizeable team which includes Juneyoung Jang, who advises SK telecom and KT Corporation on IT regulations, privacy and personal data protection issues. Sung Geun Kim specialises in telecoms-related transactions, while Su Yong Jung is an expert in communications and broadcasting law. The practice counts LGU+, Telenav, and Estsoft as clients which it advises on M&A, licensing, data protection and litigation.

Leading individuals

Juneyoung Jang - Shin & Kim

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South Korea: Tax

Tax – Local firms
Tax – Local firms - ranked: tier 2

Shin & Kim

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.

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Legal Developments by:
Shin & Kim

  • Essilor’s Proposed Combination with an Optical Lens Maker in Korea is Blocked

    In its press release on March 17, 2014, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the "KFTC") blocked the proposed acquisition of 50% shares by Essilor Amera Investment Pte. Ltd. (a subsidiary of Essilor International S.A., the largest optical lens maker in the world) in Daemyung Optical Co., Ltd. (the second largest optical lens maker in Korea) citing inter alia the likely lessening effect on price competition and the probable future abuses of the enhanced market power. On top of the expressed competitive concerns, the KFTC observed that allowing foreign firms to acquire local firms and turn them into their local sub-contractors worsens the competitive market structure of the domestic optical lens industry.
    - Shin & Kim

Legal Developments in South Korea

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