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Clifford Chance

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South Korea

International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s multi-jurisdictional practice is extremely active within the Korean arbitration sector. Thomas Walsh splits his time between the Hong Kong and Seoul offices, and Singapore-based Paul Sandosham achieved a favourable result for a leading shipbuilder in an LMAA arbitration concerning the construction of a large crude oil carrier in Korea worth more than $70m. The group is representing a Korean construction company in a dispute relating to the construction of a hotel in Mongolia, as well as advising an engineering company in highly complex technical and factual issues arising from the engineering, procurement and installation of a major offshore processing facility. In other significant matters, Walsh is acting as lead counsel in an ICC arbitration between Chinese and Korean parties over the intellectual property and gaming rights for Spongebob Squarepants in the People's Republic of China.

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South Korea: Capital markets

Capital markets – Foreign firms
Capital markets – Foreign firms - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

Hyun Kim at Clifford Chance is a key figure in capital markets and is experienced in advising Korean and international issuers on a wide range of securities offerings. Richard Lee is likewise a well-respected practitioner in this sector, his expertise spans high-yield debt offerings, medium-term note programs, takedowns, IPOs and M&A. Recent standout work includes advising JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) on a 144A/Reg S hybrid security offering by Kyobo Life Insurance in Korea and Singapore. In other matters, the practice acted as international counsel for HSBC and others in connection with KEB Hana Bank’s global Medium Term Note update and drawdown in Korea and Singapore. Angela Ryu in Hong-Kong is also a prominent figure and is consistently involved in the most significant transactions.

Leading individuals

Hyun Kim - Clifford Chance

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South Korea: Corporate and M&A

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

Clifford Chance

Corporate partners, Melissa Ng, Valerie Kong and Satbir Walia lead the Singapore-based M&A team at Clifford Chance. Noted highlights for the team include advising Unilever on its acquisition of Carver Korea for $2.7bn from the company's founder, Bain Capital Private Equity and Goldman Sachs. It is also assisting private equity firm Navis Capital on the merger of a portfolio asset, a chain of fitness gyms, with Fitness First gyms across South-East Asia owned by Oaktree Capital. Clients in the joint venture space include PT Medco Energi International and Airbus. Hyun Kim in Seoul acts for development banks and financial institutions.

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South Korea

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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.