Firm Profile > Shin & Kim > Seoul , South Korea

Shin & Kim
SEOUL 03155
South Korea

Capital markets: local firms Tier 1

Shin & Kim handles debt and equity matters including IPOs, offshore issuance of convertible bonds, global depository receipts, American depository receipts, exchangeable bonds and dual listings. The firm also advises on all cross-border securitization deals involving Korean companies. Tae-Yong Seo is recommended for his experience in large IPOs. Jong-Uk Lee is recommended for his experience in bond deals. Seong-Eun Cho was promoted to partner and Jeong-Hoon Lee left the firm for Bae, Kim & Lee LLC.

Dispute resolution: local firms Tier 1

Shin & Kim's litigation department has an excellent record assisting clients with their most significant 'bet the company' disputes. It has key specialisms in areas such as intellectual property, product liability, capital markets, labour and bankruptcy, and administrative and tax law. In 2018, Woong Cho and Sookmi Lee were the lead advisers to Korea Development Bank on its application for an injunction prohibiting the spin-off of automobile manufacturer Korea GM Company; this matter arose from parent company GM Group attempting to spin-off Korea GM into production and technology subsidiaries without consulting with the client. Jin-Jo Jeong and Se Kil Park are defending Samsung Securities in a damages action brought by eight investors over a Samsung employee issuing 2.8 billion “ghost shares” in error. Despite the company issuing a warning, circa five million shares were sold by 16 Samsung Securities' employees, which caused financial losses to the investors. Tae Hun Kim and Jong Woo Lee, who formerly served as presiding judges at the Seoul Central District Court, are recent additions to the team. Another key arrival is Jin Tae Kim, who served as the former Public Prosecutor General. Jeong Seok Kang and Kyoung Sik Lee also have significant experience as prosecutors. Seung Soo Lee is another key figure in the team, which is jointly led by Yong Dam KimJae Yun YunSinseob Kang and Hong Il KimJong-Han Oh and Ghyo-Sun Park are also recommended.

Antitrust and competition: local firms Tier 2

Shin & Kim is heavily involved in antitrust investigations in South Korea, including those involving abuses of dominance and collusive practices. It is instructed on an especially high number of cartel investigations. On the non-contentious side, the group handles merger clearance mandates. The firm also works on matters regarding previously unchartered areas of Korean antitrust law such as the Act on Fair Transactions in Large Franchise and Retail Business and the Act on Fair Transactions in Subcontracting. Practice head Young Chul Yim doubles up as managing partner of the firm. Sangdon Lee is the name to note for merger control and cartel-related work. Hyuna Kim departed for Bae, Kim & Lee LLC in May 2019.

Banking and finance: local firms Tier 2

Chang Bok Hur and Woong-Soon Song are key contacts at Shin & Kim. While the firm is capable of handling a range of mandates across the practice area, acquisition financing remains a core strength. In such matters, the team often represents leading Korean commercial banks and export agencies, which comprise much of its client base in this space. Elsewhere, it is also instructed by multinational private equity firms and asset managers. Project financing is another major focus area. Hyunju Helen Pak  maintains her reputation as one of the leading cross-border finance lawyers in Korea, having advised on many outbound financing and investment transactions into jurisdictions such as Uzbekistan, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia and the USA.

Corporate and M&A: local firms Tier 2

Shin & Kim advises a sizeable number of Korea's largest companies on headline outbound investments, particularly in markets where they do business most actively, such as China and Vietnam. It also acts for private equity houses and foreign multinational companies on inbound matters in Korea. In a key development for the practice, in 2018, the firm opened an office in the Pangyo Techno Valley, putting it on a strong footing to attract work from start-ups and conglomerates focusing on information technology, biotech, cultural technology and fusion technologies. In 2018, Jiwon Kang and Tong-Gun Lee were among the advisers to Korea Development Bank on its investment and debt-to-equity swap of approximately $4.5bn into GM Korea. In a more recent deal, Lee, Kang and Myong-Hyon (Brandon) Ryu assisted CJ Group with its $1.83bn acquisition of Schwan's Company; this was the largest M&A transaction by the client to date. Jae Young Chang specialises in M&A transactions involving companies in the manufacturing sector and the online/e-commerce sector. Other notable individuals include Chris Chang-Hyun SongJae Woo ImJoon Hyug ChungStephanie H. KimChaewon Kang and Hae Sung JeongJung Eun Choi and Hye Jeong Lee recently made partner.

Insurance: local firms Tier 2

Shin & Kim 's insurance team is well versed in advising on regulatory issues and also acts on a range of disputes. Soo Hyun Lee co-heads the practice and is most notably skilled in handling transactions involving insurance companies. Also leading the team is Chan-Mook Jung, who is very active in contentious issues and advisory work. Sang Mi Baek is another key figure and primarily advises on insurance regulations.

Intellectual property: local firms Tier 2

Highly respected practitioners Yong-Ho Moon and Ghyo-Sun Park head up the IP practice group at Shin & Kim. The offering is especially reputed for its contentious IP capabilities, often working on complex litigation (including patent prosecution) and arbitration cases in addition to disputes related to unfair competition and trade secrets. Elsewhere, the firm also advises on the registration and licensing of trade marks, designs and copyrights. Bo Kyung Lim boasts niche expertise in the area of drug patents and pharmaceutical trade secrets. Shortly after the departure of Changsu Park in February 2019, Jong Woo Lee joined from the judicial bench at Seoul Central District Court March 2019.

International arbitration Tier 2

Shin & Kim's practice is gaining momentum under the leadership of recently re-elected managing partner Doo-Sik Kim and Jae Min Jeon, with the firm attracting new cases, where it is typically instructed to act as the lead or sole counsel. The group features prominently in investment treaty arbitrations, where it acts for foreign investors in disputes connected with investments into Korea, as well as representing Korean clients in matters arising from outbound investments. Jeon, Youngwon YoonRockey YooArie Eernisse and others are part of the team which is acting as the lead counsel to Korea Western Power Co., Ltd in an investor-state arbitration against the Government of India, which concerns India’s change in gas allocation policy and alleged misrepresentations on the availability of domestic gas for power plants. In another matter, the firm acted as Korean counsel to Lone Star Funds, as the former majority shareholder of Korea Exchange Bank, in a $4.4bn claim against the Republic of Korea; this is one of the largest ever ICSID arbitration claims. On the commercial arbitration front, the team demonstrates strong capabilities in a full range of contentious matters, including M&A-related disputes, as well as matters connected with construction, finance and bankruptcy. Jeon led a group, which acted as the lead counsel to K-Water and JSC Nenskra Hydro (a special purpose vehicle established by K-Water) in a dispute with contractor Salini Impregilo in connection with the construction of a hydropower plant in Georgia. SeungMin Lee, who is the first Korean-qualified lawyer to be admitted as a Fellow of the CIArb, also recently became qualified to practise in England and Wales.

Labour and employment: local firms Tier 2

Shin & Kim has a strong record in the resolution of high-profile contentious labor union and employee dispute situations. The team represents clients such as Samsung Electronics, Samsung Corporation, and POSCO on unfair labor charges and illegal labour practices in Korea, including illegal secondment cases. Young-Seok Ki spearheads the group with the support of senior partners Dong-Wook Kim , Se Ryul Hong and Seongki Park . Also notable is expert adviser Jihyun Woo who recently joined the team from the Ministry of Employment and Labour.

Projects and energy: local firms Tier 2

Shin & Kim handles the full range of project work concerning infrastructure, solar power, energy storage systems, fuel cells, electricity generators and liquefied natural gas (LNG). On the energy side, the group's workload is evenly split between power projects involving conventional sources (coal, oil, and gas) and those involving renewable sources. In the latter space, the firm is developing a reputation for handling a large number of wind power projects, and those pertaining to offshore wind generation specifically. Michael Chang is the name to note for outbound project investment work while Seung-Gyu Yang boasts a wide-ranging practice. Financing expert Hyunju Helen Pak is also recommended. Sang-Hyun Lee is practice head.

Real estate: local firms Tier 2

At Shin & Kim, Robert Young and Kyung Don Lee jointly head up a team of over 50 practitioners dedicated to real estate work covering the areas of real asset M&A (including value-add acquisitions) and outbound real estate investments and divestment. The group also assists clients through the entire cycle of real estate development, from the acquisition of land through to zoning and building permits and the eventual completion of a building. Furthermore, a track record of handling transactions involving landmark Korean buildings is evident. Senior foreign attorney Eunjoo Lee boasts extensive experience of representing Korean funds in outbound investments into the USA, Asia and Europe.

Regulatory: compliance and investigations: local firms Tier 2

At Shin & Kim, core strengths include criminal cases with defence, taxation, medical and pharmaceutical, labour, personal information protection, construction, finance, real estate, fair trade and anticorruption elements. Equally strong acting for domestic and foreign clients, the department is led by Hong Il Kim. Its legal expertise is complemented by the firm having specialist teams of accountants, customs consultants and patent attorneys. Seong-Jin Choi is knowledgeable about digital forensics, high-tech and financial crimes, money laundering and IP property rights.

TMT: local firms Tier 2

The TMT team at Shin & Kim is 'unique because it provides truly comprehensive advice based on individuals' technical understanding of the industry'. Major Korean players across all three strands of TMT regularly instruct the firm, including Kakao, KT Corporation and NS Homeshopping. The group has a particularly notable expertise in telecommunications, with practice head Sinook Kang boasting a historical track record of involvement in some of the most significant M&A transactions in this sector. Kang's current practice also compasses contentious work. Deep regulatory insight is another hallmark of the group; key practitioner June Young Jang is the name to note on this front. Also recommended are associates Kyu Hong Park and  Jung-Hyun Hwang. Hwang has 'an impressive degree of experience in mergers of broadcasting and telecommunications operators'. The firm continued to develop its practice with multiple recent hires.

Tax: local firms Tier 3

In the tax space, Shin & Kim focuses on providing consulting services for purely non-contentious matters. These include advice on tax planning, inheritance, tax aspects of mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructuring and those of financial transactions (such as asset-backed securitization and the sale of non-performing loans). The firm fields a team of experienced attorneys, licensed customs consultants, former tax officials and certified public accountants. Choon Cho and Hyeon-Jin Kim are the key contacts; also recommended is Hee-Chan Byun.

The firm

Now in its 37th year, Shin & Kim is one of the largest and highly regarded law firms in Korea.

The breadth and depth of experience offered by over 450 professionals (including Korean and foreign attorneys, patent attorneys, tax attorneys, certified public accountants, customs specialists and other advisors) has kept the firm at the forefront of changes in the global financial market and the international business environment.

The practice has expanded with the increase in intra-regional cooperation and investments, with Shin & Kim’s offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City providing comprehensive legal advisory services in China and Vietnam.

Areas of practice

Among the practice areas in which Shin & Kim is pre-eminent are:

M&A, investment and restructuring: Shin & Kim has represented both foreign and domestic clients in many of the largest cross-border M&A transactions and hostile takeovers in Korea. The firm also specialises in providing legal services relating to foreign direct investments and has extensive experience of assisting US, European, Asian and other foreign clients in establishing subsidiaries, joint ventures, branches and liaison offices in Korea. The firm is widely recognised as having one of the leading bankruptcy practices in Korea and has handled an extensive list of corporate reorganisation, composition and bankruptcy cases.

Corporate: Shin & Kim provides the full range of corporate services, including legal advice relating to issues of fair trade, monopoly and labour, and has extensive experience in the areas of broadcasting; information and telecommunications; energy and environment; real estate and construction; IT; WTO and international trade; customs; government contracts; and general commercial trade. The firm is noted for its creativity in finding solutions to the issues facing its clients.

Securities, banking and finance: Shin & Kim advises many of the leading financial institutions and other corporate clients on all aspects of their involvement in the world’s capital markets. Since its inception, Shin & Kim has been a pioneer in securities, banking and finance law, having assisted in the establishment of the Korea Fund and the Korea-Europe Fund; foreign-owned investment funds; most of the existing domestic funds; virtually all Korean issues of convertible bonds and bonds with warrants; and the first global depository receipt issuance by a Korean company.

Litigation: Shin & Kim is recognised as one of the premier firms in Korea for litigation. The firm has been involved in many landmark cases, including its recent representation of the Samsung Group in the largest litigation ever filed in Korea.

International dispute resolution: Shin & Kim’s experienced arbitration practitioners represent the firm’s clients in large complex arbitrations all over the world and under the rules of all major arbitral institutions, including the ICC, SIAC, HKIAC, LCIA and KCAB.

Intellectual property: Shin & Kim offers its clients a full range of legal services relating to the acquisition, enforcement and protection of intellectual property rights, including litigation, counselling and other related services. Shin & Kim’s intellectual property practice consists of Korean attorneys, foreign attorneys, patent attorneys, technical consultants and a large staff with extensive experience in dealing with the particular issues posed in this area.

Tax and accounting: the firm has a highly regarded tax and accounting practice, staffed by tax attorneys and certified public accountants with in-depth experience and expertise. Shin & Kim’s tax and accounting practice has been designed to provide a ‘one-stop service’ to a broad range of domestic and international clients.

Department Name Email Telephone
Antitrust and competition YC Yim
Antitrust and competition J Choi
Antitrust and competition JY Park
Banking and finance CB Hur
Banking and finance WS Song
Banking and finance HS Hwang
Banking and finance H Pak
Banking and finance KH Moon
Corporate DS Kim
Corporate SG Kim
Corporate JW Im
Dispute resolution YD Kim
Dispute resolution JY Yun
Dispute resolution SS Kang
Dispute resolution JH Oh
Environment HA Kim
Environment SY Jung
Insolvency and restructuring YK Lee
Insolvency and restructuring YS Park
Insolvency and restructuring BG Choi
Intellectual property YH Moon
Intellectual property GS Park
Intellectual property BK Lim
International arbitration DS Kim
International arbitration JM Jeon
International trade and customs DS Kim
International trade and customs HN Jung
IT and telecommunications SG Kim
IT and telecommunications SN Kang
IT and telecommunications JY Jang
Labour and employment SR Hong
Labour and employment YS Ki
Labour and employment M Chang
Labour and employment DW Kim
Mergers and acquisitions CH Song
Mergers and acquisitions TG Lee
Mergers and acquisitions HS Shin
Mergers and acquisitions MH Ryu
Projects and energy SH Lee
Projects and energy H Pak
Projects and energy M Chang
Real estate KD Lee
Real estate R Young
Real estate YW Lee
Real estate S Lee
Securities SM Kim
Securities YH Jo
Securities TY Seo
Tax and accounting HJ Kim
Tax and accounting C Cho
Tax and accounting TY Seo
Number of lawyers : 390+
Contacts : Sinseob Kang (managing partner)