The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
39 SAJIK-RO 8-GIL, JONGNO-GU, SEOUL 03170, SOUTH KOREA
Tel:
Work +82 2 3703 1114
Email:
Web:
www.kimchang.com

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration

Leading firms
Leading firms - ranked: tier 3

Kim & Chang

Korean heavyweight Kim & Chang’s Seoul office handles work not just in engineering, but also concerning M&A disputes, global projects and investment disputes. Chul-Won Lee is representing a Korean shipyard in a $500m dispute with an offshore drilling contractor, with other key lawyers in the team including Byung-Chol Yoon and Eun Young Park. Foreign attorneys of note include Joel Richardson and Kay-Jannes Wegner – the former is admitted in the District of Columbia, the latter in England and Germany; Richardson and Byung-Woo Im represent a Korean industrial company in a dispute concerning oil pipelines in the GCC region.

[back to top]

South Korea

International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang ‘consistently delivers an extremely high level of service' in the most complex international disputes, particularly within M&A, construction and shipping sectors. The practice jointly led by Byung-Chol Yoon  and Eun Young Park; Yoon ‘manages the client interface and client meetings very well’ and is highly experienced in cross-border disputes; he and Sungjean Seo successfully defended a Korean shipbuilder in a London-based ad hoc arbitration. Meanwhile, Park, Byung-Woo Im and Joel Richardson represented the claimant, a Korean subsidiary of a French industrial gases supplier, in ICC arbitration over the termination of a supply agreement. Kay-Jannes Wegner is ‘one of the best advocates in Korea’; he regularly acts in cases involving European interests. Richard Menard and Chul-Won Lee are also recommended. Liz Kyo-Hwa Chung has joined Microsoft Korea as head of corporate, external and legal affairs.

Leading individuals

Eun Young Park - Kim & Chang

Kay-Jannes Wegner - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Antitrust and competition

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

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang is ‘the best team in Korea for antitrust work’, according to one client. Led by Kyung-Taek Jung, the ‘strong’ team ‘clearly understands the rules and workings of the KFTC’ and is regularly instructed by well-known international companies and Korean conglomerates to assist on the most complex mandates. Youngjin Jung ‘is the best in terms of knowledge and practical advice’; Tae-Kyu Kang and Kyung-Yul Lee are involved in a number of the practice' key mandates and are other names to note. Senior foreign attorneys Brian Tae-Hyun Chung and Luke Y. Shin, Sang Hyuk Park and Jung-Won Hyun are also highly recommended, as is Gene-Oh (Gene) Kim. Highlights for the team include successfully limiting the scope of KFTC’s review of the Dow Chemical Company. The practice continues to assist Qualcomm in  various KFTC merger reviews in relation to its acquisition of NXP Semiconductors. Sung-Eyup Park is recommended for antitrust matters within the IT industry.

Leading individuals

Youngjin Jung - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Kyung-Yul Lee - Kim & Chang

Tae-Kyu Kang - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Banking and finance

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

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang's ‘always responsive, constructive and client-friendly’ team is highly sought after by leading Korean and foreign commercial banks, private equity funds and asset management companies owing to its expertise in transactions, fund formations, restructuring and compliance in addition to contentious matters. Prominent figures in the sizeable team are Geon Ho Kim and Hi Sun Yoon who are experienced in project finance and have recently acted for Kookmin Bank and Bank of Communications on significant transactions. Sang Hwan Lee is a name to note for financial regulation matters, restructuring and M&A and Young Kyun Cho and Ick Ryol Huh are recommended for aircraft finance. Young Min Kim and foreign attorney Robert Gilbert represented Export Development Canada as senior lenders in all aspects of the transaction for the delivery of a Bombardier jet to Korean Air. Ie Hwan Yoo is also recommended securities-related transactions.

Leading individuals

Hi Sun Yoon - Kim & Chang

Young Min Kim - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Ie Hwan Yoo - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Capital markets

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

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang continues to be a prominent practice within the capital markets arena; the 31-partner strong team handles IPOs in Korea and other jurisdictions, securities, credit and equity-linked derivatives, and bonds. Yong Ho Kim heads the structured finance department and has a speciality in asset securitisation, ABCP conduit programmes and credit derivatives. He and Ie-Hwan Yoo advised Hanwha Investment & Securities on its refinancing transaction involving outstanding RCPS'. The practice remains a popular choice for underwriters; Kim and Yong Seung Sun represented NH Investment & Securities as the arranger in securing a hybrid loan guaranteed by CJ Cheil Jedang. M&A specialist Young Man Huh is also proficient in securities and IPOs; Chang Hyeon Ko is recommended for capital market and venture capital transactions. Seon-Jee Lee advises on structured financing transactions including asset-backed securitisation, and Myoung Jae Chung is a well-respected practitioner in the area of securities and asset management; he is advising Korea East-West Power on its $500m issue of 2.62% notes and, along with Seung Jae Yoo, advised Korean Air Lines on its issue of $300m senior capital securities which were issued pursuant to a fiscal agency agreement entered into between the issuer and Deutsche Bank (Hong Kong Branch), acting as agent. Associate Kwon Eui Park is recommended for securities transactions and securities regulations.

Leading individuals

Myoung-Jae Chung - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Kwon Eui Park - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Corporate and M&A

Corporate and M&A – Local firms
Corporate and M&A – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang has strengthened its team with the recruitment of M&A specialists Woojae Kim and Eun Joo Kang from Paul Hastings LLP and Bae, Kim & Lee LLC respectively. In one of Korea’s largest outbound transactions to date, Kyung-Yoon Lee, Joon Kim and Sookyung Lee acted as lead counsel to SK Hynix, one of the main financial investors of the consortium led by Bain Capital, which acquired Toshiba Memory from Toshiba Corporation for $2bn.  Elsewhere, Shin Kwon Lim advised MBK Partners on the $1.1bn purchase of 100% of shares in Daesung Industrial Gases. The team also assisted on the sale of Lock & Lock shares to a private equity firm. Jong Koo Park, Young Jay Ro and Young Man Huh are recommended for being ‘experts in the field’.

Leading individuals

Jong-Koo Park - Kim & Chang

Young Jay Ro - Kim & Chang

Young Man Huh - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Jong Hyun Park - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution – Local firms
Dispute resolution – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

When it comes to disputes, Kim & Chang is ‘best in class in terms of industry knowledge, appropriateness of advice, and strength of team’. The team has expertise in a diverse range of areas, including corporate and M&A litigation, professional liability, family and estates, media and health, among others.  Cross-border expert Jin Yeong Chung is able to ‘cut through the complicated facts and legal analysis to provide practical guidance throughout the litigation process’; he is advising a conglomerate in a complex class action suit, and a foreign financial institution in a high-value criminal investigation and civil action suit. Accomplished litigator Sang Ho Han is representing Philip Morris Korea, alongside Hye Kwang Lee, Sungwook Kim and Chul-Won Lee, in an on-going suit brought by the National Health Insurance Service claiming damages equivalent to insurance paid out to policyholders diagnosed with cancer as a result of tobacco defects and company misconduct. Other key figures include Sun Seong Park, Jung Keol Suh and Chang Beom Ryu who have a niche focus on securities and derivatives litigation.

Leading individuals

Jin Yeong Chung - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Chang Beom Ryu - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Insurance

Insurance – Local firms
Insurance – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang’s multi-disciplinary practice continues to attract Korean and international insurance, reinsurance and brokerage companies who regularly call on the team’s substantial expertise in regulatory, licensing and commercial matters. In one key example, practice head Jay Ahn and Hyun Wook Shin assisted AIA Life Insurance on regulatory issues concerning new healthcare guidelines by successfully obtaining an authoritative interpretation from the Financial Services Commission. Elsewhere, Hanil Joo and Hoon Koo Yeo successfully represented Korean Fire Protection Association in a dispute concerning marine insurance. Kevin L Todd,  Jae Ho Baek and Joon Young Kim  are also active on significant cases.

Leading individuals

Jay Ahn - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Joon Young Kim - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Intellectual property

Intellectual property – Local firms
Intellectual property – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Jay Young-June Yang leads Kim & Chang’s substantial and prominent IP practice, which remains the ‘top-choice’ for international pharmaceutical companies and international brands; the practice is well known for its strength in litigation and in a recent landmark case, Bo Hyun Park and Duck Soon Chang successfully defended Astellas Pharma against challenges to the patent term extension, the first Korean case in which the court issued specific guidance regarding the proper calculation method for determining the PTE term. Young Kim has an impressive track record in pharmaceutical patent litigation; she and Yu-Seog Won have defended one of Pfizer’s top-selling drugs, Lyrica, in various patent actions against generic companies. Sang-Wook Han is experienced in advising Japanese clients. For trade mark and design matters, Sung-Nam Kim, Ann Nam-Yeon Kwon, Angela Kim and John J Kim all have substantial experience in prosecution, enforcement and portfolio management. In patent litigation, Jong Seok Kim, Bong Seop Kim and Kum Uk Lee successfully represented AT Solutions in invalidating the patents of a competitor.

Leading individuals

Sung-Nam Kim - Kim & Chang

Young Kim - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Labour and employment

Labour and employment – Local firms
Labour and employment – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang 's substantial team stands by providing HR services, compensation and benefits design, in addition to the full breadth of labour and employment law services. Chun Wook Hyun and Weon Jung Kim lead the team which includes Ki Young Kim, who is praised for his ‘depth and sound knowledge of local laws and strategic acumen’; he is active on a number of complex and high-value employment disputes. Deok Il Seo advises corporate clients on matters involving employee benefits strategies, while Hyun Jae Park is experienced in corporate restructuring, early retirement plans, employee privacy and wage claims. Senior foreign attorney Matthew Jones is noted ‘for his ability to understand the needs of a large corporation’.

Leading individuals

Chun Wook Hyun - Kim & Chang

Weon Jung Kim - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Hyun Jae Park - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Projects and energy

Projects and energy – Local firms
Projects and energy – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang’s ‘quality and client-focused’ team advises sponsors, state-owned entities, engineering firms and lenders on significant, high-value energy and infrastructure projects. The practice also has strong capabilities in project finance; it recently advised the Korean lenders, including the Export-Import Bank of Korea, on a $5.3bn in joint financing of the construction of a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) processing facility in Mozambique. Energy and outbound transactions specialist Chang-hee Shin is working with Ick Ryol Huh to assist Korea East-West Power in its investment in a coal-fired power plant in Indonesia. Young Kyun Cho represented Goseong Green Power in the biggest domestic IPP business valued at $3.8bn. Dong-Seok (Johan) Oh is prominent in outbound transactions and litigations in the energy space, and is regularly assisted by Claire (Mi-Jin) Kim in project finance matters. Practice co-heads Huh and Yon Kyun Oh are praised for their ‘depth knowledge, experience and good contacts in the sector’.

Leading individuals

Dong Seok (Johan) Oh - Kim & Chang

Young-Kyun Cho - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Claire (Mi-Jin) Kim - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Real estate

Real estate – Local firms
Real estate – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang's market-leading real estate practice has enjoyed another strong year; the team has been active in several significant inbound transactions including advising Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management in the $679m sale of Signature Tower. Kwan Sik Yu is singled out for his ‘profound legal knowledge’ and is ‘always aware of up-to-date regulation changes’; he and Jin-Ho Song continue to advise Mastern No.28 CENTRE POINT Myeongdong PFV on land acquisition and development in the Myeongdong area of Seoul. In outbound investment work, Keun Ah Cho, Sang Min Lee and David Pyun acted for Mirae Asset Global Investments in the acquisition of a landmark building in Frankfurt, Germany, valued at €281m. Practice head Yon Kyun Oh has a strong reputation in the real estate and construction sector.

Leading individuals

Keun Ah Cho - Kim & Chang

Kwan Sik Yu - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Sang Min Lee - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Regulatory: compliance and investigations

Regulatory: compliance and investigations – Local firms
Regulatory: compliance and investigations – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

With its strong forensic capabilities, Kim & Chang’s multi-disciplinary practice is a favourite with international businesses seeking assistance with compliance issues. Head of the corporate investigations and white-collar defence Kook Hyun Yoo is working alongside Seung Ho Lee, Ho-Keun Ryu, and Michael Yu in defending Audi Volkswagen Korea against investigations by multiple Korean agencies in connection with the "Diesel Gate" scandal for vehicles imported into the Korean market. Other key contacts are Myungsuk Sean Choi for white-collar criminal defence, anti-corruption and regulatory compliance; Dong Min Cha leads in corporate crime and insider trading; Hankyu Kim is highly experienced in internal investigations and leading criminal cases. Sung Gwan Chun acts in cases involving Korean conglomerates, while Byung Suk Lee’s expertise lies in securities fraud and insider trading. In non-contentious matters, Yu advised Lotte Chilsung Beverage in negotiating compliance provisions in a distribution and joint venture agreement with a multinational beverage corporation.

Leading individuals

Ho-Keun Ryu - Kim & Chang

Kook Hyun Yoo - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Shipping

Shipping – Local firms
Shipping – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

The team at Kim & Chang is ‘able to handle various shipping matters with quality advice’. Chul-Won Lee has a ‘wealth of experience’ in shipbuilding disputes; he and Dong-Seok Oh recently acted in a case relating to termination of the shipbuilding contract and the tender of delivery. Jae-Bok Lee ‘gives particularly good practical advice’ in marine insurance-related matters and ship financing projects. Department head Byung-Suk Chung specialises in maritime law, insurance disputes and domestic and cross-border international trade litigation. He and JB Lee are representing several creditors in bankruptcy proceedings against Hanjin Shipping, one of the largest insolvency cases in the maritime industry. Joon Hwan Park is a key name in the area of cargo claims and marine casualties.

Leading individuals

Byung-Suk Chung - Kim & Chang

Chul-Won Lee - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Joon Hwan Park - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: TMT

TMT – Local firms
TMT – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang continues to be a prominent player in the TMT market. Department head Dong Shik Choi is singled out for his ‘excellent track record, experience and wisdom’ and his team frequently draws upon its multi-disciplinary expertise in M&A, antitrust and intellectual property to advise on complex large-scale transactions. Recent work highlights include Min Chul Park and Jung-Chull Lee assisting Mercedes-Benz Korea with the launch of a connected car service. Jin Hwan Kim and Brian Oh focus on litigation and regulatory issues, and Hyun Ho Eun represented NXC Corporation in its acquisition of the controlling shares of Korbit Inc. Seong-Hyeon Bang and In Sang Kim are also names to note.

Leading individuals

Dong Shik Choi - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Seong-Hyeon Bang - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Tax

Tax – Local firms
Tax – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

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.

Leading individuals

Byung Moon Jung - Kim & Chang

Tae Yeon Nam - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Hae Ma Joong Kim - Kim & Chang

[back to top]



Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration

Leading firms
Leading firms - ranked: tier 3

Kim & Chang

Korean heavyweight Kim & Chang’s Seoul office handles work not just in engineering, but also concerning M&A disputes, global projects and investment disputes. Chul-Won Lee is representing a Korean shipyard in a $500m dispute with an offshore drilling contractor, with other key lawyers in the team including Byung-Chol Yoon and Eun Young Park. Foreign attorneys of note include Joel Richardson and Kay-Jannes Wegner – the former is admitted in the District of Columbia, the latter in England and Germany; Richardson and Byung-Woo Im represent a Korean industrial company in a dispute concerning oil pipelines in the GCC region.

[back to top]

South Korea

International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang ‘consistently delivers an extremely high level of service' in the most complex international disputes, particularly within M&A, construction and shipping sectors. The practice jointly led by Byung-Chol Yoon  and Eun Young Park; Yoon ‘manages the client interface and client meetings very well’ and is highly experienced in cross-border disputes; he and Sungjean Seo successfully defended a Korean shipbuilder in a London-based ad hoc arbitration. Meanwhile, Park, Byung-Woo Im and Joel Richardson represented the claimant, a Korean subsidiary of a French industrial gases supplier, in ICC arbitration over the termination of a supply agreement. Kay-Jannes Wegner is ‘one of the best advocates in Korea’; he regularly acts in cases involving European interests. Richard Menard and Chul-Won Lee are also recommended. Liz Kyo-Hwa Chung has joined Microsoft Korea as head of corporate, external and legal affairs.

Leading individuals

Eun Young Park - Kim & Chang

Kay-Jannes Wegner - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Antitrust and competition

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

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang is ‘the best team in Korea for antitrust work’, according to one client. Led by Kyung-Taek Jung, the ‘strong’ team ‘clearly understands the rules and workings of the KFTC’ and is regularly instructed by well-known international companies and Korean conglomerates to assist on the most complex mandates. Youngjin Jung ‘is the best in terms of knowledge and practical advice’; Tae-Kyu Kang and Kyung-Yul Lee are involved in a number of the practice' key mandates and are other names to note. Senior foreign attorneys Brian Tae-Hyun Chung and Luke Y. Shin, Sang Hyuk Park and Jung-Won Hyun are also highly recommended, as is Gene-Oh (Gene) Kim. Highlights for the team include successfully limiting the scope of KFTC’s review of the Dow Chemical Company. The practice continues to assist Qualcomm in  various KFTC merger reviews in relation to its acquisition of NXP Semiconductors. Sung-Eyup Park is recommended for antitrust matters within the IT industry.

Leading individuals

Youngjin Jung - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Kyung-Yul Lee - Kim & Chang

Tae-Kyu Kang - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Banking and finance

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

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang's ‘always responsive, constructive and client-friendly’ team is highly sought after by leading Korean and foreign commercial banks, private equity funds and asset management companies owing to its expertise in transactions, fund formations, restructuring and compliance in addition to contentious matters. Prominent figures in the sizeable team are Geon Ho Kim and Hi Sun Yoon who are experienced in project finance and have recently acted for Kookmin Bank and Bank of Communications on significant transactions. Sang Hwan Lee is a name to note for financial regulation matters, restructuring and M&A and Young Kyun Cho and Ick Ryol Huh are recommended for aircraft finance. Young Min Kim and foreign attorney Robert Gilbert represented Export Development Canada as senior lenders in all aspects of the transaction for the delivery of a Bombardier jet to Korean Air. Ie Hwan Yoo is also recommended securities-related transactions.

Leading individuals

Hi Sun Yoon - Kim & Chang

Young Min Kim - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Ie Hwan Yoo - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Capital markets

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

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang continues to be a prominent practice within the capital markets arena; the 31-partner strong team handles IPOs in Korea and other jurisdictions, securities, credit and equity-linked derivatives, and bonds. Yong Ho Kim heads the structured finance department and has a speciality in asset securitisation, ABCP conduit programmes and credit derivatives. He and Ie-Hwan Yoo advised Hanwha Investment & Securities on its refinancing transaction involving outstanding RCPS'. The practice remains a popular choice for underwriters; Kim and Yong Seung Sun represented NH Investment & Securities as the arranger in securing a hybrid loan guaranteed by CJ Cheil Jedang. M&A specialist Young Man Huh is also proficient in securities and IPOs; Chang Hyeon Ko is recommended for capital market and venture capital transactions. Seon-Jee Lee advises on structured financing transactions including asset-backed securitisation, and Myoung Jae Chung is a well-respected practitioner in the area of securities and asset management; he is advising Korea East-West Power on its $500m issue of 2.62% notes and, along with Seung Jae Yoo, advised Korean Air Lines on its issue of $300m senior capital securities which were issued pursuant to a fiscal agency agreement entered into between the issuer and Deutsche Bank (Hong Kong Branch), acting as agent. Associate Kwon Eui Park is recommended for securities transactions and securities regulations.

Leading individuals

Myoung-Jae Chung - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Kwon Eui Park - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Corporate and M&A

Corporate and M&A – Local firms
Corporate and M&A – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang has strengthened its team with the recruitment of M&A specialists Woojae Kim and Eun Joo Kang from Paul Hastings LLP and Bae, Kim & Lee LLC respectively. In one of Korea’s largest outbound transactions to date, Kyung-Yoon Lee, Joon Kim and Sookyung Lee acted as lead counsel to SK Hynix, one of the main financial investors of the consortium led by Bain Capital, which acquired Toshiba Memory from Toshiba Corporation for $2bn.  Elsewhere, Shin Kwon Lim advised MBK Partners on the $1.1bn purchase of 100% of shares in Daesung Industrial Gases. The team also assisted on the sale of Lock & Lock shares to a private equity firm. Jong Koo Park, Young Jay Ro and Young Man Huh are recommended for being ‘experts in the field’.

Leading individuals

Jong-Koo Park - Kim & Chang

Young Jay Ro - Kim & Chang

Young Man Huh - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Jong Hyun Park - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution – Local firms
Dispute resolution – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

When it comes to disputes, Kim & Chang is ‘best in class in terms of industry knowledge, appropriateness of advice, and strength of team’. The team has expertise in a diverse range of areas, including corporate and M&A litigation, professional liability, family and estates, media and health, among others.  Cross-border expert Jin Yeong Chung is able to ‘cut through the complicated facts and legal analysis to provide practical guidance throughout the litigation process’; he is advising a conglomerate in a complex class action suit, and a foreign financial institution in a high-value criminal investigation and civil action suit. Accomplished litigator Sang Ho Han is representing Philip Morris Korea, alongside Hye Kwang Lee, Sungwook Kim and Chul-Won Lee, in an on-going suit brought by the National Health Insurance Service claiming damages equivalent to insurance paid out to policyholders diagnosed with cancer as a result of tobacco defects and company misconduct. Other key figures include Sun Seong Park, Jung Keol Suh and Chang Beom Ryu who have a niche focus on securities and derivatives litigation.

Leading individuals

Jin Yeong Chung - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Chang Beom Ryu - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Insurance

Insurance – Local firms
Insurance – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang’s multi-disciplinary practice continues to attract Korean and international insurance, reinsurance and brokerage companies who regularly call on the team’s substantial expertise in regulatory, licensing and commercial matters. In one key example, practice head Jay Ahn and Hyun Wook Shin assisted AIA Life Insurance on regulatory issues concerning new healthcare guidelines by successfully obtaining an authoritative interpretation from the Financial Services Commission. Elsewhere, Hanil Joo and Hoon Koo Yeo successfully represented Korean Fire Protection Association in a dispute concerning marine insurance. Kevin L Todd,  Jae Ho Baek and Joon Young Kim  are also active on significant cases.

Leading individuals

Jay Ahn - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Joon Young Kim - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Intellectual property

Intellectual property – Local firms
Intellectual property – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Jay Young-June Yang leads Kim & Chang’s substantial and prominent IP practice, which remains the ‘top-choice’ for international pharmaceutical companies and international brands; the practice is well known for its strength in litigation and in a recent landmark case, Bo Hyun Park and Duck Soon Chang successfully defended Astellas Pharma against challenges to the patent term extension, the first Korean case in which the court issued specific guidance regarding the proper calculation method for determining the PTE term. Young Kim has an impressive track record in pharmaceutical patent litigation; she and Yu-Seog Won have defended one of Pfizer’s top-selling drugs, Lyrica, in various patent actions against generic companies. Sang-Wook Han is experienced in advising Japanese clients. For trade mark and design matters, Sung-Nam Kim, Ann Nam-Yeon Kwon, Angela Kim and John J Kim all have substantial experience in prosecution, enforcement and portfolio management. In patent litigation, Jong Seok Kim, Bong Seop Kim and Kum Uk Lee successfully represented AT Solutions in invalidating the patents of a competitor.

Leading individuals

Sung-Nam Kim - Kim & Chang

Young Kim - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Labour and employment

Labour and employment – Local firms
Labour and employment – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang 's substantial team stands by providing HR services, compensation and benefits design, in addition to the full breadth of labour and employment law services. Chun Wook Hyun and Weon Jung Kim lead the team which includes Ki Young Kim, who is praised for his ‘depth and sound knowledge of local laws and strategic acumen’; he is active on a number of complex and high-value employment disputes. Deok Il Seo advises corporate clients on matters involving employee benefits strategies, while Hyun Jae Park is experienced in corporate restructuring, early retirement plans, employee privacy and wage claims. Senior foreign attorney Matthew Jones is noted ‘for his ability to understand the needs of a large corporation’.

Leading individuals

Chun Wook Hyun - Kim & Chang

Weon Jung Kim - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Hyun Jae Park - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Projects and energy

Projects and energy – Local firms
Projects and energy – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang’s ‘quality and client-focused’ team advises sponsors, state-owned entities, engineering firms and lenders on significant, high-value energy and infrastructure projects. The practice also has strong capabilities in project finance; it recently advised the Korean lenders, including the Export-Import Bank of Korea, on a $5.3bn in joint financing of the construction of a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) processing facility in Mozambique. Energy and outbound transactions specialist Chang-hee Shin is working with Ick Ryol Huh to assist Korea East-West Power in its investment in a coal-fired power plant in Indonesia. Young Kyun Cho represented Goseong Green Power in the biggest domestic IPP business valued at $3.8bn. Dong-Seok (Johan) Oh is prominent in outbound transactions and litigations in the energy space, and is regularly assisted by Claire (Mi-Jin) Kim in project finance matters. Practice co-heads Huh and Yon Kyun Oh are praised for their ‘depth knowledge, experience and good contacts in the sector’.

Leading individuals

Dong Seok (Johan) Oh - Kim & Chang

Young-Kyun Cho - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Claire (Mi-Jin) Kim - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Real estate

Real estate – Local firms
Real estate – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang's market-leading real estate practice has enjoyed another strong year; the team has been active in several significant inbound transactions including advising Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management in the $679m sale of Signature Tower. Kwan Sik Yu is singled out for his ‘profound legal knowledge’ and is ‘always aware of up-to-date regulation changes’; he and Jin-Ho Song continue to advise Mastern No.28 CENTRE POINT Myeongdong PFV on land acquisition and development in the Myeongdong area of Seoul. In outbound investment work, Keun Ah Cho, Sang Min Lee and David Pyun acted for Mirae Asset Global Investments in the acquisition of a landmark building in Frankfurt, Germany, valued at €281m. Practice head Yon Kyun Oh has a strong reputation in the real estate and construction sector.

Leading individuals

Keun Ah Cho - Kim & Chang

Kwan Sik Yu - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Sang Min Lee - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Regulatory: compliance and investigations

Regulatory: compliance and investigations – Local firms
Regulatory: compliance and investigations – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

With its strong forensic capabilities, Kim & Chang’s multi-disciplinary practice is a favourite with international businesses seeking assistance with compliance issues. Head of the corporate investigations and white-collar defence Kook Hyun Yoo is working alongside Seung Ho Lee, Ho-Keun Ryu, and Michael Yu in defending Audi Volkswagen Korea against investigations by multiple Korean agencies in connection with the "Diesel Gate" scandal for vehicles imported into the Korean market. Other key contacts are Myungsuk Sean Choi for white-collar criminal defence, anti-corruption and regulatory compliance; Dong Min Cha leads in corporate crime and insider trading; Hankyu Kim is highly experienced in internal investigations and leading criminal cases. Sung Gwan Chun acts in cases involving Korean conglomerates, while Byung Suk Lee’s expertise lies in securities fraud and insider trading. In non-contentious matters, Yu advised Lotte Chilsung Beverage in negotiating compliance provisions in a distribution and joint venture agreement with a multinational beverage corporation.

Leading individuals

Ho-Keun Ryu - Kim & Chang

Kook Hyun Yoo - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Shipping

Shipping – Local firms
Shipping – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

The team at Kim & Chang is ‘able to handle various shipping matters with quality advice’. Chul-Won Lee has a ‘wealth of experience’ in shipbuilding disputes; he and Dong-Seok Oh recently acted in a case relating to termination of the shipbuilding contract and the tender of delivery. Jae-Bok Lee ‘gives particularly good practical advice’ in marine insurance-related matters and ship financing projects. Department head Byung-Suk Chung specialises in maritime law, insurance disputes and domestic and cross-border international trade litigation. He and JB Lee are representing several creditors in bankruptcy proceedings against Hanjin Shipping, one of the largest insolvency cases in the maritime industry. Joon Hwan Park is a key name in the area of cargo claims and marine casualties.

Leading individuals

Byung-Suk Chung - Kim & Chang

Chul-Won Lee - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Joon Hwan Park - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: TMT

TMT – Local firms
TMT – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang continues to be a prominent player in the TMT market. Department head Dong Shik Choi is singled out for his ‘excellent track record, experience and wisdom’ and his team frequently draws upon its multi-disciplinary expertise in M&A, antitrust and intellectual property to advise on complex large-scale transactions. Recent work highlights include Min Chul Park and Jung-Chull Lee assisting Mercedes-Benz Korea with the launch of a connected car service. Jin Hwan Kim and Brian Oh focus on litigation and regulatory issues, and Hyun Ho Eun represented NXC Corporation in its acquisition of the controlling shares of Korbit Inc. Seong-Hyeon Bang and In Sang Kim are also names to note.

Leading individuals

Dong Shik Choi - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Seong-Hyeon Bang - Kim & Chang

[back to top]

South Korea: Tax

Tax – Local firms
Tax – Local firms - ranked: tier 1

Kim & Chang

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.

Leading individuals

Byung Moon Jung - Kim & Chang

Tae Yeon Nam - Kim & Chang

Next Generation Partners

Hae Ma Joong Kim - Kim & Chang

[back to top]


Legal Developments by:
Kim & Chang

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.