Bae, Kim & Lee LLC > Seoul, South Korea > Firm Profile

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC
Tower B
Centropolis,
26 Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno-gu,
03161
South Korea

South Korea > Antitrust and competition: local firms Tier 1

The antitrust and competition group at Bae, Kim & Lee LLC  is the go-to team for many domestic and international e-commerce clients, with a particular focus on acting for music streaming service providers and online travel agencies. An expert in antitrust issues, such as cartels and merger controls, Keumseok Oh brings significant experience to the team which advises on a range of issues including abuse of dominance, damage suits and unfair trade practices. Practice head Seong Un Yun focuses on competition law and administrative litigation within the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries while Sanghoon Shin’s practice concentrates on consumer protection and fair-trade cases. The practice is further strengthened by the arrival of two new foreign attorneys, Kee Won Shin and Richard Tong-Jun Shin who were previously at Lee & Ko.

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Testimonials

‘Competition team of BKL has a variety of partners who have a good command of English and Japanese. They have a deep knowledge of the KFTC’s practice which is very helpful.’

‘Junghun Kim is a good Japanese speaker and he is particularly experienced in KFTC cartel investigations.’

‘It is comprised of people who are more attentive than other local firms. They focus on listening to difficult-to-understand professional content, try to understand it, and also try to give us optimal advice. For this, they used internal human resources to combine teams and teams to present solutions from various perspectives.’

‘Seong Un Yun has long experience and has shown careful observation of the new industrial environment at the same time. In my opinion, because of this, he can think flexibly. ’

Key clients

Apple

BorgWarner

Hyundai Heavy Industries Holding

Hyundai Oilbank

Intel Corporation

Korea Development Bank

KT

LG CNS

Uber Technologies

Tesla Korea

Work highlights

  • Advising Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings (“HHIH”) in preparing merger filings in multiple jurisdictions in regard to HHIH’s acquisition of Doosan Infracore.
  • Advised Hyundai Oilbank on the US DOJ and KFTC investigation into the alleged bid-rigging in relation to fuel supplied to US military bases in Korea.
  • Advised Daewoong Pharmaceutical on responding to the KFTC’s first enforcement of the fair trade law on unfair patent infringement claim.

South Korea > Capital markets: local firms Tier 1

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s capital markets team is ‘one of the leading teams in Korea’ with a ‘great track record’ in both equity and debt. The team advises on the full spectrum of capital markets work, including IPOs and listings, an area in which the team has seen an increasing amount of instruction and has hired a number of senior advisors from the Korea Exchange and Financial Supervisory Service, including partner Young Ju Park, in order to strengthen its risk management expertise for listed and to-be-listed companies. Practice head Hee-Gang Shin specialises in a broad range of capital markets and finance transactions, some with a cross-border element while Eui Jong Chung focuses on corporate restructurings and insolvency procedures. IPO specialist Heesug Chung is also recommended.

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Testimonials

‘BKL’s key strengths are the quality and precision of its legal advice and multifaceted practice. I also appreciate that BKL has deep and experienced bench from which it operates a multifaceted capital markets practice, including a near-monopoly of foreign company IPO listings on the KRX – a sub-practice that BKL developed over the years.’

‘BKL is highly respected and a trusted name in the capital markets industry.’

‘Hee-Gang Shin is undisputedly one of the leaders in this industry and much credit must be given to him for building up and maintaining the quality of BKL’s capital markets practice. Mr. Shin is very sharp and quick to respond to issues, being at ease in giving advice in both English and Korean.’

‘They are a team that is highly experienced for both domestic and international capital markets deals’

‘Heesug Chung is particularly good. Very commercial and also thorough and is pro-active and ‘solutions’ orientated’

‘BKL’s capital markets team is one of the leading teams in Korea. Many clients turn to BKL for Korean law advice on complex capital markets transactions. They have a great track record in both equity and debt.’

Key clients

Citigroup Global Markets

Credit Suisse

GS Holdings

Kakao Games

KB Securities

Korea Development Bank

Korea Investment & Securities

Mirae Asset Securities

Morgan Stanley

NH Investment & Securities

Goldman Sachs

JP Morgan

Work highlights

  • Advised Citigroup Global Markets Korea Securities and six other underwriters on SK Biopharm’s IPO and listing on the Korean Stock Exchange.
  • Advised J.P. Morgan Securities and three other underwriters on Big Hit Entertainment (management label of BTS, currently known as HYBE)’s IPO and listing on the Korean Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Citigroup Global Markets and five other underwriters on the issuance and offering of the USD Exchange Equalization Bonds and EUR Exchange Equalization Bonds by The Republic of Korea.

South Korea > Corporate and M&A: local firms Tier 1

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC covers a wide-ranging spectrum of commercial transactions, with expertise in joint ventures and strategic collaborations, supply agreements and licenses. It also provides guidance on corporate compliance issues such as foreign exchange controls and regulatory reports. The group has a particularly strong private equity practice, with Kyunseok Kim  and Sung Jo Yun specialising in private equity acquisitions and corporate group restructurings, and Mok Hong Kim focusing on M&A and private equity fund deals. Sky Yang is a well-regarded practitioner in cross-border M&A, with particular expertise in transactions involving financial institutions and multinational corporations. Joonki Yi heads the practice, advising clients on energy-related deals.

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Testimonials

‘BKL has top-notch lawyers and advisors in Korea from a knowledge and experience standpoint. Their experiences help clients navigate through difficult deal situations.’

‘In terms of the team, Bae, Kim & Lee LLC is highly collaborative, both internally and externally. Whenever a client asks a legal question, BKL is willing and does provide a holistic answer with views from multiple dimensions so that a client can make an informed decision.’

‘All of their attorneys are first-class and a pleasure to work with.’

‘BKL is very practical in negotiations while knowing what to focus on. They work very well with international law firms when collaboration is required.’

Key clients

Affinity Equity Partners

Anchor Equity Partners

BlueRun Ventures

Delivery Hero Holding GmbH

Hana Financial Group

Intel Corporation

KB Kookmin Bank

LG Chem

Macquarie PE

Uber Technologies

Work highlights

  • Advised Intel Corporation on the $9bn sale of its NAND flash memory business to SK Hynix.
  • Advised Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings on the $765m acquisition of Doosan Infracore from Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction.
  • Advised Uber Technologies on its establishment of the joint venture, “T Map Mobility”, with SK Telecom.

South Korea > Labour and employment: local firms Tier 1

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC provides the full range of labour and employment services to Korean conglomerates and multinational companies in Korea, with particular strengths in employment litigation. The team is well known for its close relationship with the Ministry of Employment and Labour, and the National Labour Relations Commission, of which employment law expert Jeong Han Lee serves as a member. In response to developments within the legal market, the firm has formed a task force consisting of top labour, criminal and regulatory experts to advise on preventative measures and respond to the occurrence of serious accidents. Practice head Wook Rae Lee handles all aspects of labour and employment law, including labour-management disputes, industrial accidents, subcontracting and unfair labour practices. Hyung Ro Kim specialises in large-scale labour disputes whilst Sang Min Kim represents clients in connection with dismissals.

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Testimonials

‘The firm provides a good conference environment to the clients.’

‘BKL has special expertise in the field of labour. But this is what most top class lawfirms have. I think What makes BKL special is a clear explanation of the issue. BKL allows the person in charge to understand the issue even if lacks legal knowledge. and that increase the efficiency of the company’s work.’

‘The lawyer Sang-min Kim. He is in charge of our company’s “litigation to confirm the status of regular employees”. He works more passionately than others, and this has a good effect on litigation.’

‘The advantage of this team is that there is a close collaboration system among the team members. For specific issues, a senior attorney develops the overall strategy and clearly defines the roles that team members should play, and a junior attorney conducts case studies and writing.’

‘Efficiency of work is high through smooth communication between team members. Compared to other law firms, the work progress is fast.’

‘Among the members of the bkl law firm, I recommend Sang-min Kim, a partner attorney. He carries out the case entrusted by the client with all his passion as if it were his own case. He is also very good at communicating with clients.’

‘The composition of personnel and management methods of large law firms are generally similar. However attorneys at the Bae, Kim & Lee LLC Labor team are very competent, experienced and good at communicating with clients. specially partner lawyer Sang Min Kim is outstanding among labor lawyers in Korea. Their advice is very practical, reasonable and applicable!’

‘BKL laour and employment team is made up of very experienced lawyers. Senior and junior lawyers of the tem are harmonious each other, so they are suitable for getting the best results. Me and my company are always satisfied with their results. ’

Key clients

Asahi Glass

China Eastern Airlines

Coupang

Hyundai Heavy Industries

Hyundai Motor Group

Kumho Tire

LG Electronics

POSCO

Samsung Electronics

Work highlights

  • Represented LG Electronics against its white-collar labor union which filed an application for division of bargaining unit from the existing union.
  • Representing Samsung Electronics in a damage claim suit filed by victim’s family involving a severe industrial accident.
  • Representing POSCO in a series of lawsuit filed by its subcontractors claiming for confirmation of worker status.

South Korea > Real estate: local firms Tier 1

The ‘excellent’ real estate practice at Bae, Kim & Lee LLC is highly specialised in city development projects including offices, commercial facilities, hotels and multi-use buildings. It also advises international clients on real estate investment projects in Korea as well as providing support to Korean conglomerates on transactions using REIT and REF structures. The group is a leader in private rental housing projects, advising on the first-ever publicly supported private rental housing in Korea. Practice head Gun Chul Do handles projects related to inbound and outbound investments, real estate development and project financing. Hyeon Kang is noted for his expertise in collective investment and project finance vehicles. For construction litigation and consultation, Chiyoung Song is recommended.

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Testimonials

‘BKL real estate legal counsel team is excellent of legal advice for Korea investors purchased US office buildings. Especially, the BKL team is specialized in advisory for the K-REIT (Korean Real Estate investment Trust that korean investors use) authorized by Korea government.’

‘Special thanks to Hyeon Kang, Dongwook Kang, Dongwoo Seo because of long hours of dedication to the excellent legal advice. ’

‘The strength of the team is detailed and effective consulting and prompt feedback on inquiries, based on their expertise in the real estate sector.’

‘I often ask the team at Bae, Kim & Lee LLC for advice that requires accurate and very quick feedback, and whenever that happens, the team at Bae, Kim & Lee LLC provides fast and accurate advisory services.’

‘Hyeon Kang is a very high-level expert in Korea. He provides accurate solutions when providing advisory services in the real estate sector. Despite being a partner, he engages in advisory details more than an associate. So, I actively recommend Hyeon Kang to other stakeholders.’

Key clients

A.I.M. Investment Management

General Motors

Hana Asset Trust

KB Securities

Koramco Asset Trust

Korea Investment & Securities

Korea Water Resources Corporation

Mastern Invest Management

Merlin Entertainment

Mirae Asset Global Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised Koramco Asset Trust on the establishment of Koramco Energy Plus Trust (“REITs”), IPO and KRX listing with the acquisition of gas stations.
  • Advised Merlin Entertainment on the development of Legoland Park resort/theme park in Korea.
  • Advised Mirae Asset Global Investments on its investment in overseas FedEx and Amazon logistics centers through a REIT vehicle.

South Korea > Banking and finance: local firms Tier 2

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC represents lenders and borrowers on a range of financial transactions. Led by Eui Jong Chung, the group represents international companies, private equity and venture capital funds in M&A financing as well as working on diverse assets and structures in its asset finance branch, including aviation and shipping. The team is also strong in project and infrastructure, with Ho Jin Kim being the key practitioner in this area. Senior associate Miro Kang’s practice is diverse, focusing on overseas alternative investment, securitisation and structured finance.

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Testimonials

‘Good legal advice with commercial sensitivity. Prompt delivery and helpful team.’

‘I’ve worked closely with them on several matters and found them to be consistently reliable and professional. Very helpful and patient when dealing with difficult clients and issues. Always a pleasure to work with them.’

Key clients

Affinity Equity Partners

Citibank Korea

Credit Suisse

Hanwha Investment & Securities

HSBC

HMM

ING Bank N.V.

KB Kookmin Bank

Korea Development Bank

Macquarie PE

Mizuho Bank

NH Investment & Securities

Work highlights

  • Advised Credit Suisse on the acquisition financing for The Carlyle Group’s investment in KB Financial Group.
  • Advised Korea Development Bank on financing the syndicated term loan facility for LG Chem’s Poland-based subsidiary.
  • Advised Affinity Equity Partners with financing for its investment in Shinhan Financial Group.

South Korea > Dispute resolution: local firms Tier 2

The corporate litigation group at Bae, Kim & Lee LLC frequently represents multinational parties before Korean courts in addition to maintaining an active outbound practice where it assists Korean parties involved in disputes in foreign jurisdictions. The team advises clients throughout the entire litigation process, from provisional junctions to appeals, and has been highly successful in civil, criminal and commercial litigation cases. The team has diverse practices, with team leader Byoung Ha Jeon focusing on litigation and consultations regarding real estate development and investment whilst Wu Cheol Song is a civil appellate and administrative law expert. Also recommended is Tony Dongwook Kang who has led multiple strategy and execution for multinational litigants, including manufacturers and financial institutions based in the US, EU and China. In March 2021, the firm strengthened its offering through the hire of Junghwan Rhie from Seoul High Court.

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Testimonials

 ‘As a very experienced partner, Byoung Ha Jeon has been very helpful for me and the management team to understand implications concerning all the damages claims filed by investors. In addition to being a reliable legal advisor, he has been very pleasant to work with. He carefully considers clients’ needs and comes up with satisfactory feedback and advice. As a person, he is very humble and there is a lot to learn from him in this regard.’

‘The BKL team’s strengths are Collaboration & Diversity with great expertise. The BKL-Dispute practice consists of many experts who know how to link each specialisation into a new one.’ 

Key clients

Deloitte Anjin

Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS)

Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC)

LG CNS

MAN Truck & Bus Korea

Mirae Asset Daewoo Co., Ltd.

Samsung C&T Corp.

Shinhan Investment Corp.

Work highlights

  • Represented Berjaya Jeju Resort (“BJR”) for the damages claims against Jeju International Free City Development Center and other provincial authorities.
  • Represented Korea National Oil Corporation (“KNOC”) on the dispute asserted by Korean companies over the equity purchase contract for the oil reserves in the Yemen gas field.
  • Representing Deloitte Anjin and their accountants on the lawsuit filed by shareholders of DSME seeking damages for accounting fraud.

South Korea > Insurance: local firms Tier 2

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC advises Korean and multinational insurers and reinsurers on a broad range of corporate matters, including M&A and joint ventures. It also provides strategic guidance on regulatory issues, investigation and enforcement, litigious matters, and is particularly adept at assisting clients with the general management and operation of their insurance business in Korea. Practice head Jong Ku Kang has years of experience advising on insurance claims and the asset management of insurance companies. Jong Min An is a key practitioner, leveraging his knowledge of the regulatory framework to provide expert advice to financial supervisory authorities. Jae Seok Yang is also recommended.

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Testimonials

‘Elaborate logic and professional handling on legal matters, winning a series of lawsuits.’

Key clients

ABL Life Insurance

Hanwha General Insurance

Hanwha Life Insurance

Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance

Korean Reinsurance Company

LINA Life Insurance

MetLife

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance

Samsung Life Insurance

Shinhan Life Insurance

Work highlights

  • Advised Shinhan Life Insurance and Orange Life Insurance on their merger transaction.
  • Representing Samsung Life Insurance on responding to the penalty review committee following a comprehensive inspection by Financial Supervisory Service.
  • Representing DB Insurance and nine additional insurance companies on arbitration proceedings and parallel Korean court proceedings regarding coverage scopes of insurance.

South Korea > Intellectual property: local firms Tier 2

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s intellectual property team is particularly strong in representing clients in the pharmaceutical and high-tech industries and on the non-contentious side, advises entertainment and sports sector clients in connection with IP licensing and technology transfers. IP transaction specialists Mun Ki Nam and Ingi Min are the key contacts in this area of work. The group also has a trade secret practice that encompasses all aspects of litigation, investigation and legal compliance involving trade secrets in both civil and criminal contexts; Jihyun Kim and Tae Uk Kang are key members of the team. Kijoong Kang oversees the department, with his practice focused on IP litigation, including domestic litigation as well as counselling and management of foreign IP litigation. Taeck Soo Kwon is well known for his expertise in intellectual property jurisprudence.

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Testimonials

‘BKL’s Intellectual Property team showed an excellent teamwork, expertise and professionalism throughout client’s project. BKL played a critical role to bring the dispute to a successful conclusion with a superb capability beyond IP matters and provdided comprehensive legal service to meet client’s needs. ’

‘Jihyun Kim presented great professionalism and expertise in resolving our dispute. Her service did not stop at just providing IP analysis, but covered broad matters beyond IP issues, oftentimes even helped the client come up with innovative business ideas in cases of making tough judgments. ’

‘BKL has an international presence and can work on IP cases globally. They support a big Korean multinational company against a big Japanese firm in well-known global IP litigation.

‘They maintain an excellent international legal network to provide the best supporting team for their client.’

‘I work with Hoodong Lee and Wonyoung Chung on big international litigation, and they support their client very well. They speak Japanese very well and support the client efficiently. They maintain excellent communication with the client.’

‘BKL lawyers have given their opinion very promptly. They find legal issues exactly and we are satisfied with their opinion. A specific stand-out partner is Jihyun Kim.’

‘BKL team handle technical disputes including patent infringement and invalidity cases with support of the patent prosecution division. They are very familiar with the Japanese practice of the court and the JPO. ’

Key clients

LG ENSOL(former LG Chem)

Starbucks Korea

Uber Technologies (“Uber”)

Hyosung TNS Inc.

Lotte Confectionery Co., Ltd.

Actoz Soft Co., Ltd.

The Korea Exchange

Celltrion

LG Uplus Corp, and KT

Watcha, Wavve, and Kakao TV

CJ CheilJedang, CJ Japan Corp.

Daewon Media Co., Ltd., and Futabasha Publishers Ltd.

GS Retail Co., Ltd.

HP Printing Korea

JW Holdings

Media Res Studio

Scatter Lab Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented LG ENSOL(former LG Chem) for the dispute over infringement of trade secrets and other intellectual properties.
  • Represented Starbucks Korea Inc. in the lawsuit for patent infringement regarding an electronic payment system.
  • Advised Uber on the establishment of a joint venture in Korea.

South Korea > International arbitration Tier 2

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s combined international arbitration and cross-border litigation group utilises its capabilities to provide clients with a broad dispute strategy across multiple jurisdictions. Growth areas for the firm include the expansion of its arbitration enforcement practice and the development of an oil and gas practice that focuses on LNG disputes. Hongjoong Kim’s international commercial arbitrations practice covers a wide range of industries, including aerospace, automobile and sports. Junu Kim leads the firm’s investment treaty practice and has a specialist interest in investor-state disputes and post-M&A disputes. Brandon Bang is a ‘creative thinker who provides pragmatic solutions’ with over a decade of international arbitration experience. Woojae Kim and Sejin Kim are also recommended. The firm welcomed Changhyun Lee in February 2021 after the departure of David McArthur in December 2020 to join Anderson Mori & Tomotsune in Tokyo. Tony Dongwook Kang leads the practice.

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Testimonials

‘BKL is a full-service firm providing robust support on Korean law issues across a variety of practice disciplines. BKL’s international arbitration team has a long history of handling complex and high-stakes matters under a variety of arbitral rules.’

‘The team is smart, highly responsive, hard-working, and efficient.’

‘Junu Kim is smart, analytic, hard-working, diligent, responsive, and has very good judgment and instincts. He knows Korean civil and administrative law extremely well, and is also well versed in international commercial and investment treaty arbitration. ’

‘The BKL is dedicated to answering and meeting the expectation of clients. Their strengths are to proceed with the complex international arbitration case with reasonable billings and to answer the clients’ inquiry in a short time regardless of volumes of materials and to produce the creative advices and strategy. ’

‘Very responsive and easy to work with. Team is led by a Korean who speaks fluent English and understands western culture which makes communication excellent. Very collaborative.’

‘Brandon Bang is creative thinker who provides pragmatic solutions. He is friendly and easy to work with. He always tries to be available to clients and meet the client’s expectations.’

‘Bae, Kim & Lee’s international arbitration practice has a significant contingent of lawyers who were educated in the US and are licensed to practice in the in the US. This helps to make them user-friendly for US clients and lawyers.’

‘The team is a strong mix of lawyers that are steeped not only in Korean law, but also New York law and the laws of other key international commercial jurisdictions. The team brings local and international knowledge to bear, as well as a strong understanding of international arbitral practice. ’

Key clients

Asiana Airlines, Inc.

Actoz Soft, Co., Ltd.

DL E&C Co., Ltd.

Hyundai Home Shopping

Incheon Metropolitan City, and Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority

Kinbara Noriten Co., Ltd.

Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)

Republic of Korea

Work highlights

  • Advised a major game software company in Korea on dispute arises from an exclusive software licensing agreement for a popular video game software that was developed in Korea and became popular in mainland China.
  • Represented the Republic of Korea in the first-ever investment treaty-based arbitration brought by Lone Star Funds.
  • Acted for a Korean home shopping company filing a request for arbitration against the Chinese partner for its purported termination of the JV agreement.

South Korea > Projects and energy: local firms Tier 2

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s energy and infrastructure team draws together the firm’s expertise in project development and finance, M&A, construction, technology and PPP projects to assist clients through the full spectrum of legal issues. The team has expertise in renewable and alternative energy, representing major multinational companies as well as working with major Korean power companies and foreign sponsors to develop offshore wind power projects in Korea; Hyunchul An, Robert Dooley, Jung Gwan Kim, Hyukjin Im head the sub-team that advise on offshore wind power projects. Seungkyo Lee leads the overall practice that is increasingly focusing its efforts on ESG investments and advising in the development of non-traditional renewable sources.

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Testimonials

‘BKL Team has experience in the sector. They also understand our company’s thinking and the communication is fluid and easy for both parties. The team also understands the time and culture barriers and adapts very well.’

Key clients

GS Engineering & Construction

Hanwha Investment & Securities

KEPCO KPS

Korea Development Bank

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power

Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation

Korea Western Power

Macquarie PE

NH-Amundi Asset Management

Shinhan Alternative Investment Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Macquarie PE on the acquisition of Fuel Cell Power Plant Development Project in Korea.
  • Advised BlackRock Financial Management in relation to its investment in a renewable power plant project in Korea.
  • Advised Korea Western Power and KDB Infrastructure Investments Asset Management regarding their strategic investment in the Killingly Energy Center, a combined-cycle gas turbine facility in Connecticut, USA.

South Korea > Regulatory: compliance and investigations: local firms Tier 2

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s white-collar defence and internal investigations group has extensive experience in representing individuals and companies in criminal investigations and trials. In addition, the team is able to assist in the review of internal practices for risk assessment and management as well as conducting internal investigations. The team has strengthened its offering through recruiting a number of high-ranking officers from the prosecutor’s office and the police, most notably former Prosecutor General, Soo Nam Kim and former Commissioner General at Daejeon Metropolitan Police, Hyun Choi, joining the firm in July and September 2020, respectively. For cross-border expertise, Soo Bong Jung handles international criminal affairs while Jun Ki Park takes the lead on multijurisdictional regulatory investigations. Jin Han Lee leads the team.

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Testimonials

‘Bae, Kim & Lee LLC innovates constantly, continuously upgrading their services to provide clients with efficient cutting-edge legal solutions to address their clients’ evolving business needs. By using a combination of the latest legal technology, process innovation, flexible teams and creative culture, professionals of BKL work seamlessly to deliver the greatest value to their clients.’

‘Three major business philosophy of Bae, Kim & Lee LLC are talent management, value management, and advanced system management as the top three indicators and they aim for customer-centered legal services. And this makes BKL value ethics and righteousness rather than benefits.This makes BKL more unique and allows us to trust it. ’

‘Top-tier litigation and arbitration reputation – Aggressive and strategic’

‘Jun Ki Park – excellent lawyer who bridges the cultural differences and expectations between east and west. Great insight into regulatory matters.

‘Unlike other large Korean firms, BKL does not just throw a bunch of lawyers at a problem. They do a good job of selecting the most appropriate professionals to address issues based on a focused approach. This may be largely due to the partner I work with — Jun Ki Park. He is very hands-on and does an excellent job focusing on client needs.’

‘The partner I work with is Jun Ki Park. He is one of the most intelligent lawyers I have met. He is completely bilingual (Korean and English). And he does a superb job identifying client needs and using the right resources to meet such needs. He is hands-on, which is not always common among talented partners of large Korean firms.’

‘We got quick feedback on our questions. The team was perfectly aligned and all contact partners were informed about our case and our situation. The collaboration was extremely professional and friendly. The team showed strong flexibility and was able to react quickly to different situations during our case.’

‘Our contact persons from BKL were real experts, were strong in understanding our case and worked deeply in technical details of our products which was necessary to win the case / to give us perfect support. Moreover, the lawyers were strong in local Korean law and in communicating to our international internal team in English. This gave headquarter strong confidence in our team and ensured that we had a great internal and external project team.’

Key clients

KEB Hana Bank

LG Chem

Olympus Korea

Samsung Heavy Industries

Samsung Electronics

Work highlights

  • Advised KEB Hana Bank on responding to the government sanctions for DLF mis-sale.
  • Defended Emart against a criminal charge for product liability

South Korea > Shipping: local firms Tier 2

The maritime group at Bae, Kim & Lee LLC is regularly involved in maritime casualty, chartering and bill of lading disputes as well as continuing to be instructed on LMAA arbitration cases on behalf of shipowners, charterers and paint suppliers. The group also has vast experience in advising on major collision cases in Korea. Jong Ku Kang has a diverse practice and is sought after by major domestic and foreign clients to handle shipbuilding as well as wet and dry cases. Joon Sung (Justin) Kim and Yoon Jeong Park are key members of the team; Kim advises on contract of carriage and charter party disputes and is heavily involved in marine casualty cases, while Park’s practice covers both contentious and non-contentious matters and has a strong track record in acting for Korean shipowners in London arbitration and English court proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

ADK Maritime

Bulkhaul Limited

Boyang Ltd.

Citibank (Korea)

DL E&C (formerly known as Daelim Industrial)

HMM

KB Kookmin Bank

Polaris Shipping

Shinhan Bank

Steamship Insurance Management Services

Work highlights

  • Advised HMM in relation to its financing for the purchase of 16,000 TEU Container Vessels built by Hyundai Heavy Industries.
  • Defending DL E&C (formerly known as Daelim Industrial) against a damage claim suit filed by the owner of a Panamanian vessel regarding a collision with Busan New Port facilities in Korea.
  • Advised London Insurers on the claim brought against the Insured, Shanghai Salvage Company in relation to the Insured’s liability under Korean law for the oil spill during the wreck removal of MV Sewol.

South Korea > Tax: local firms Tier 2

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC has a stellar track record in defending transfer price audits, a core area of expertise for the team, as well as handling tax appeals at the tax tribunal. The team is also strong in litigation which is reflected in its practitioners, including practice head and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Seog Kyoo Kang and Il Young Cho who handles tax cases at the Seoul District Court and the Supreme Court. The group has seen an increase in volume of tax advisory work on overseas alternative investments by Korean asset management companies and continues to expand its advisory services to include cross-border transactions. Another area of growth for the firm is the expansion of its foreign client base; Maria Chang assists foreign clients across various industry sectors in all tax-related issues. Seung-Wan Chae and Tae Kyoon Kim are also CPA licensed, handling general tax matters, including appeals, advice and investigations. Donghyun Kim is an ‘expert in M&A cases’ and advises on tax compliance reviews.

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Testimonials

‘BKL Tax team consists of top tax professionals, including attorneys, certified public accountants who have practiced in internationally recognized accounting firms, as well as former tax agents at the Korean tax authorities.’

‘The team of dedicated professionals seems to be fully committed to developing effective tax strategies to manage tax risks involved in operating businesses.’

‘BKL professionals seems to have in-depth experience as well as tax knowledge in all aspects of tax law – Among other BKL partners, Tae Kyoon Kim is very impressive. His strength arises from intimate knowledge about information and trends regarding the Korean tax authority’s rulings and accurate understanding of the legislative history of tax laws.’

‘I appreciate very much Donghyun Kim who is one of my best legal and tax advisors. Also, he is very expert in M&A cases. Additionally, he is very good at organizing and harmonizing with the people he works with. I was very happy to work with him and his team in this firm. ’

‘The BKL Tax Group is known as one of the strongest in handling tax disputes, with particularly high success rate in representing clients in major corporate and value added tax impositions and disputes.’

‘The team has provided us with tax services with expertise, good collaboration with other teams when needed. Also, their response was timely. Their team members’ career was long enough to provide us tax services.’

‘Great local expertise with excellent service quality.’

‘Working with BKL facilitates the most efficient tax structuring for our investments and by working with them for many years, we have not once encountered any issue.’

Key clients

Bank of China (Korea branch)

Google

GS Caltex Corp.

Hdac Technolgy AG

Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai Oilbank Co.

Korea Electronic Power Corporation (“KEPCO”)

Seoul Housing and Communities Corporation

Shinhan Alternative Investment Management, Inc.

SK Hynix Inc.

Uber Technologies

Xperi Corporation

16 major domestic banks including Nonghyup Bank Co., Ltd., and other 20 major securities companies

Work highlights

  • Represented about 10 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 16 major domestic banks and 20 major 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 Uber on tax matters relating to domestic or foreign investments, establishment and operation of a joint venture, and other various tax issues in Korea.

South Korea > TMT: local firms Tier 2

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC has a ‘well-rounded team that can accommodate the client in every situation’. The TMT group is well known for its regulatory expertise, advising on licences, clearances and filings as well as crisis management. It covers a wide range of industries, including automotive, social media, B2B online services, entertainment, finance and the Artificial Intelligence sector. Practice head Kwang Hyun Ryoo advises on a broad range of compliance matters for major clients such as Netflix and Huawei. Joon Yong Park left the firm to head a recently founded boutique law firm but has been replaced by three new recruits, including big data regulation expert Kyu Jeong Lee, telecoms regulation expert Deuk Won Kim and Suk Chun Kwon, a specialist in the broadcast and media sector. For contentious matters, Ji Yeon Park is the key contact.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘They are our go-to-firm in South Korea for privacy & data protection matters.’

‘While most law firms will profess that they have a balanced team with experts in every avenue, the TMT team at BKL truly has a well-rounded team that can accommodate the client in every situation.’

‘While this team responds to various customer needs with the highest level of expertise, its strength is that it emphasizes friendly relationships with clients and communication with clients.’

‘BKL team has been showing a great combination of senior partners with extensive experience and know-how and junior attorneys equipped with innovative legal reasoning based on their new idea. I believe this makes BKL very professional in resolving any type of difficulties clients face.’

‘Ji Yeon Park is the best lawyer in the field of TMT practice. She has incomparable accomplishments in litigation and consultation. She always gives clients satisfying results.’

‘Kwang Hyun Ryoo, who heads the TMT practice, always provides very practical advice. He understands that how it is difficult for multinational tech companies to comply with local laws as they provide global service. He thinks through with clients to find out alternatives, which impact the business less but also satisfy the local regulators.’

Key clients

ByteDance

Huawei Technologies

KT

LG Electronics

LG Uplus

Maeil Broadcasting Network (“MBN”)

Netflix

Spotify

Telstra International

Uber Technologies

Work highlights

  • Advised Uber Technologies on the establishment of a mobility joint venture company with SK Telecom.
  • Advised Spotify on launching its music streaming service in South Korea.
  • Advised ByteDance on its response to the investigation by Korean government over data privacy issues.

Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration > Leading firms Tier 3

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC has a strong commercial and investment treaty arbitration in South Korea. For the former, Hongjoong Kim is the key contact while Junu Kim focuses on investment disputes. The practice, led by Tony Dongwook Kang, recently welcomed former judge Changhyun Lee in February 2021 after the departure of David McArthur in December 2020 to join Anderson Mori & Tomotsune in Tokyo.

Practice head(s):

Tony Dongwook Kang

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC (BKL) is among the oldest and largest law firms in Korea with over 700 professionals. With practice groups specialised in every significant area of law for business in Korea, BKL supplies timely, accurate and practical legal support to its clients, wherever they are based, across a broad cross-section of industry, investment and finance.

BKL has long been at the leading edge of cross-border legal work in Korea. Among its many practice areas, it has been one of the busiest firms in Korea in the areas of M&A, finance and securities, advising clients from North America, Europe and Asia for over three decades. Likewise, BKL has built a reputation in the disputes arena not only as a litigation powerhouse but also as one of the top international arbitration and cross-border disputes teams in Asia.

Owing to the scale, quality and volume of its work, BKL has received many ‘Deal of the Year’ and ‘Firm of the Year’ honours. In every recognised client or peer assessment, BKL is ranked among the top firms in Korea. In all the firm does, it strives to provide client-focused legal services to its clients, many of whom have been with the firm for many years.

The firm’s clients include many multinational business groups and leaders in the Korean market. Manufacturer clients represent industries such as automotive, software, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas and shipping. Among its financial clients are banks, brokerage and asset management companies, insurers and private equity groups. Other clients are in energy, property development, retail and broadcasting, to name a few.

Headquartered in Seoul, BKL maintains overseas offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Dubai, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Yangon and Singapore. The first Korean firm to set up offices in China and the UAE, BKL has pioneered a region-wide approach to legal services. BKL is also the first Korean law firm to establish its branch office in Pangyo Techno Valley,  an industrial complex in the city of Pangyo, South Korea.  BKL is a member of the World Law Group and regularly collaborates with other firms across the world.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Antitrust and Competition Seong-Un Yunseongun.yun@bkl.co.kr
Banking and Finance Eui-Jong Chungej.chung@bkl.co.kr
Construction Jung-Myun Ohjungmyun.oh@bkl.co.kr
Corporate and M&A Joon-Ki Yijoonki.yi@bkl.co.kr
Intellectual Property Kijoong KANGkijoong.kang@bkl.co.kr
Intellectual Property (Patent, Trademark) Jong-Wook LeeJWR@bkl.co.kr
Labour and Employment Wookrae Leewookrae.lee@bkl.co.kr
International Arbitration Tony Dongwook Kangtony.dw.kang@bkl.co.kr
White-Collar Crime Soo-Bong Jungsoobong.jung@bkl.co.kr
Projects and Energy Seungkyo Leeseungkyo.lee@bkl.co.kr
Real Estate Gun-Chul Dogunchul.do@bkl.co.kr
Regulatory and Compliance Jeena Kimjeena.kim@bkl.co.kr
Restructuring and Insolvency Hyun-Wook Parkhyunwook.park@bkl.co.kr
Tax Seog-Kyoo Kangseogkyoo.kang@bkl.co.kr
TMT Kwang-Hyun Ryookh.ryoo@bkl.co.kr
Litigation Byoungha Jeonbyoungha.jeon@bkl.co.kr
Capital Markets Hee-Gang Shinheegang.shin@bkl.co.kr
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Mr Jong Min An photo Mr Jong Min AnPartner
Mr Hyunchul An photo Mr Hyunchul AnPartner
Brandon Bang photo Brandon BangSenior Foreign Attorney (New York, New Zealand)
Ms Maria Chang photo Ms Maria ChangMaria Chang is a foreign legal advisor in the firm’s tax practice…
Mr Ho Kyung Chang  photo Mr Ho Kyung Chang Partner
Ms Il Young Cho  photo Ms Il Young Cho Partner
Mr Heesug Chung photo Mr Heesug ChungSenior Foreign Attorney (New York)
Mr Eui Jong Chung  photo Mr Eui Jong Chung Attorney Eui Jong (EJ) CHUNG is a partner of Bae, Kim &…
Mr Eui Jong Chung  photo Mr Eui Jong Chung Partner
Mr Gun Chul Do  photo Mr Gun Chul Do Gun Chul DO is a partner and head of BKL’s Real Estate…
Mr Joon Sung (Justin) KIM  photo Mr Joon Sung (Justin) KIM Associate
Mr Tae Uk Kang photo Mr Tae Uk KangAttorney Tae Uk KANG is a partner of Bae, Kim & Lee…
Ms Miro Kang photo Ms Miro KangAs an associate of Finance Practice Group of BKL, attorney Miro Kang…
Hyeon Kang  photo Hyeon Kang Partner
Mr Jong Ku Kang  photo Mr Jong Ku Kang Jong Ku Kang is a partner in our Maritime and Insurance Practice…
Mr Tony Dongwook Kang  photo Mr Tony Dongwook Kang Tony DongWook Kang is the partner in charge of international arbitration and…
Mr Junu Kim photo Mr Junu KimPartner
Mr Ho Jin Kim photo Mr Ho Jin KimAs a member of the Securities, Banking and Finance Practice Group of…
Ms Jihyun Kim photo Ms Jihyun KimPartner
Sang Min Kim photo Sang Min KimPartner
Mr Hyung Ro Kim photo Mr Hyung Ro KimAttorney Hyung Ro KIM worked in the HR & Labor Relations Team,…
Joon Sung Kim photo Joon Sung KimAssociate
Ms Hyun A Kim  photo Ms Hyun A Kim Partner
Mr Woojae Kim  photo Mr Woojae Kim Senior associate specializing in international construction arbitration, investment treaty arbitration and cross-border…
Mr Taeck Soo Kwon  photo Mr Taeck Soo Kwon Attorney Taeck Soo KWON is a partner of Bae, Kim & Lee…
Mr Sangchul Lee photo Mr Sangchul LeeAttorney Sangchul LEE is a partner of Bae, Kim & Lee LLC…
Mr Seungkyo Lee photo Mr Seungkyo LeeAttorney Seungkyo LEE gained expertise from the experience in overseas power projects…
Mr Jeong Han Lee  photo Mr Jeong Han Lee Jeong Han LEE is a partner of Labor and Employment Practice Group…
Ji Yeon Park photo Ji Yeon ParkPartner
Ms Yoon Jeong Park  photo Ms Yoon Jeong Park Senior Foreign Attorney advising on all maritime matters comprising of shipbuilding disputes,…
Mr Kwang Hyun Ryoo photo Mr Kwang Hyun RyooKwang Hyun RYOO is a partner on the technology, media, and telecommunications…
Mr Wu Cheol Song  photo Mr Wu Cheol Song After serving as judge for 23 years and 6 months, he joined…
Mr Jae Seok Yang photo Mr Jae Seok YangJae Seok YANG is an attorney in Bae, Kim & Lee LLC…
Mr Sky Yang photo Mr Sky YangMr. Yang is a partner in the Corporate and M&A Practice Groups…
Mr Seong Un Yun  photo Mr Seong Un Yun Partner
Number of partners : 320
Number of lawyers : 580
Number of fee-earners : 740
Burmese
Chinese
English
French
German
Hindi
Japanese
Korean
Portuguese
Russian
Spanish
Vietnamese
American Bar Association (ABA)
American Chamber of Commerce in Korea
IBA (International Bar Association)
Korean Bar Association
IPBA
World Law Group
Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA)

SOUTH KOREA

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC (BKL) is among the oldest and largest law firms in Korea with over 600 professionals. With practice groups specialised in every significant area of law for business in Korea, BKL supplies timely, accurate and practical legal support to its clients, wherever they are based, across a broad cross-section of industry, investment and finance.

 

BKL Named Best Firm in South Korea at Euromoney Asia Women in Business Law Awards 2017

Bae, Kim & Lee ("BKL") has been named the "Best Firm in South Korea" at the Euromoney Legal Media Group Asia Women in Business Law Awards 2017 hosted by the global legal publisher Euromoney Legal Media Group on November 9, 2017 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Hong Kong. Furthermore, senior partner Il Young CHO was honored as the best lawyer in transfer pricing while senior patent attorney Catherine Eunkyeong LEE was recognized as the best lawyer in patent and trademark prosecution among Asia's leading women in the legal profession.


BKL Partner Wu Cheol SONG Named “Disputes Star of the Year”

Wu Cheol SONG, a senior partner at Bae, Kim & Lee LLC (“BKL”), was named the “Disputes Star of the Year” in South Korea at the Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2017 held on September 28, 2017 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Hong Kong.


BKL Partner Kap-You (Kevin) KIM Appointed as President of KCAB International Arbitration Committee

Mr. Kap-You (Kevin) KIM, a senior partner at Bae, Kim & Lee LLC (“BKL”), has been appointed as President of the International Arbitration Committee of the Korea Commercial Arbitration Board (“KCAB”).


Bae, Kim & Lee LLC Hosts Seminar on European Real Estate Investment

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC ("BKL") and Linklaters LLP jointly held the "European Real Estate Investment Seminar" on June 8, 2017 at the Park Ballroom of the Conrad Hotel in Yeouido, Seoul, attracting approximately 150 attendees from legal and overseas affairs teams at leading investment institutions and asset managers, including pension funds, insurance companies, banks and securities firms.


BKL Hires Seong Soo KIM, Former Presiding Judge of Seoul Central District Court

Bae, Kim & Lee ("BKL") has hired Seong Soo KIM, a former Presiding Judge of the Seoul Central District Court as a partner in its litigation practice group.


BKL receives 10 awards at ALB Korea Law Awards, including “Deal Firm of the Year,” “Litigation

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC ("BKL") emerged from the ALB Korea Law Awards 2016 as one of the two biggest winners on the night, receiving highly coveted awards for "Deal Firm of the Year," "Litigation Law Firm of the Year," and "Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year." In addition, the firm's reputation as advisor of choice on the biggest and most complex deals in the market was confirmed by wins for "Deal of the Year" in nearly all of the awarded categories, while BKL M&A partner Ri Bong HAN was honored as "Dealmaker of the Year" for the second consecutive year.