This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2012
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Firm of the Year – Korea
This year marks the eighth consecutive occasion on which Kim & Chang is the leading Korea law firm in our research. The firm retains an international reputation of excellence and stands out for its impressive record of involvement in landmark deals and decisions in Korea. With more than 800 lawyers, it is a true powerhouse of talent, and many of its team are dual-qualified, allowing the firm to advise multinational companies in inbound and outbound transactions. The firm receives 38 listings across 19 practice sectors.
|KIM & CHANG|
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 38|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Capital Markets||3||Product Liability||2|
|Corporate Governance||1||Regulatory Communicationse||1|
|Labour & Employment||2||Trademarks||2|
Kim & Chang’s strongest performance is in the competition chapter, where five lawyers are highly nominated. Named an “elite” practice group by Global Competition Review, the competition team comprises 103 lawyers. Kim & Chang’s work is a testament to its leading position and recent examples include the firm’s successful representation of Canon Korea Business Solutions in the Korean Fair Trade Commission’s (KFTC) investigation of resale price maintenance, in which the commission reduced its imposed sanctions from an administrative fine and a correction order to a warning. This chapter plays host the firm’s leading individual (in terms of the number of listings) Youngjin Jung, who features in our competition, insolvency and restructuring and trade and customs sections. A “prominent figure” in the Korean bar, Jung is well known for his “extensive experience” in competition and trade matters and was a member of the cartel advisory board of the Korea Fair Trade Commission and of the Korea Communication Commission. Jay Ahn specialises in advising clients involved in investigations of abuse of a dominant position, anti-competitive agreements and concerted practices. Ahn is “highly regarded” for his defence counsel in the most complex of cases. Luke Shin is a “prominent figure” in the competition bar, well known for his work in landmark cases such as the first series of cases where the KFTC exercised extraterritorial jurisdiction to investigate overseas companies. His practice extends to representing Korean companies in cases in other jurisdictions.
Banking and finance is a further strong suit at Kim & Chang, and the firm garners listings across the banking and project finance chapters. Ick Ryol Huh is a “notable” entry to both chapters, best known for his expertise in project and acquisition financing. Huh’s experience includes domestic and offshore projects from infrastructure to power and petrochemical projects. Soo Man Park is praised for his “proficiency” in advising local and foreign banks on trust law issues, foreign exchange and regulatory matters. Young Kyun Cho is listed in both the project finance and aviation chapters and advises on project and aircraft financing. His clients include banks, asset management companies, insurance companies, construction and engineering companies and offshore lenders and lessors in aircraft financing transactions.
Kim & Chang fields three lawyers to the capital markets chapter. Active in this area since the Korean government first allowed offshore issuance of securities by Korean companies in the late 1980s, the firm has built up considerable expertise in the sector and has been involved in all four of the concurrent dual listings of shares on the Korea Stock Exchange (KRX) and depository receipts on an offshore exchange by Korean companies to date. Chang Hyeon Ko is “highly knowledgeable” in capital market transactions and previously worked as a member of the surveillance committee for the KRX. The “excellent” Young Man Huh specialises in IPOs and other equity offerings and fixed income securities, in both domestic and international capital markets.
Intellectual property is a key focus of the firm, and this group comprises more than 190 lawyers. The firm achieves three listings in the patents chapter and a further two in the trademarks section. With a presence across both chapters, Jay (Young-June) Yang has over 25 years’ experience in the field of IP including both contentious and non-contentious aspects of the practice, and is “highly revered”. Young Kim has a “long-standing reputation” in the field of patent law and has been involved in several landmark cases including those in the Supreme Court on inventive steps for a chemical invention. Recognised for his trademark expertise, Gene Kim is “greatly admired” by peers for his trademark enforcement work.
The firm’s dispute resolution capability stands out with three inclusions in the commercial arbitration chapter, two for product liability and one in the litigation section. BC Yoon features in both the arbitration and litigation chapters and heads the firm’s international arbitration practice group. His skills are “highly sought after”, as are those of the “eminent” Eun Young Park, who is co-head of the firm’s international arbitration and litigation group and advises both domestic and international clients in proceedings in Korea and overseas. John Rhie is also admitted to practise in England and Wales; he focuses on international commercial and investment treaty arbitration. His clients come from a wide range of industries including construction, ship building and investment banking. Noted for their product liability knowledge, Sang Ho Han and Inhak Lee are “valuable assets” to the firm. Han is chair of the litigation department and excels in product liability cases where he has successfully defended multinational corporations. Lee is equally well respected for his litigation “know-how”.
Kim & Chang competes on an international scale, representing many of the world’s leading companies and corporations. With its depth of expertise and foreign attorneys bolstering its international capabilities, it is the premier law firm in Korea, not to mention one of the leading firms worldwide.
Kim & Chang, widely recognised as Korea’s premier law firm, has set the standard for excellence for legal services in every major area of practice since 1973. The principles on which the firm was founded, and to which it still adheres today, enable it to provide the highest-quality legal advice to clients – specialization in core practice areas, dedication to meeting the distinctive needs of each client, and internationalisation of professionals and staff. Having advised in the majority of landmark transactions, projects, and cases in Korea, the firm has earned an enviable track record for developing innovative solutions to the increasingly complex legal challenges that clients face, both in Korea and overseas.
Kim & Chang owes much of its success to the expertise and dedication of its professionals and staff. The firm’s professionals include attorneys, patent attorneys, tax attorneys, economists, and sector specialists, who number more than 800 today. Its Korea- and overseas-trained attorneys, foreign attorneys and other professionals who have served in the public sector offer a great breadth and depth of experience. This combination of multi-area expertise and hands-on understanding of clients’ businesses allows the firm to immediately understand clients’ requests, identify the key issues and craft well-tailored, innovative solutions designed to achieve their objectives in the most cost-effective way.
Commitment to Client Service
Kim & Chang has the fortune and privilege of advising an extraordinary roster of multinational corporations, domestic companies, international and domestic financial institutions, and private equity funds as clients; in fact, the firm’s clients include most of the companies in the Fortune 500 operating in Korea. But whether they are established industry leaders or start-ups, the firm strives to provide all its clients with timely, top-quality advice that is uniquely tailored to their needs.
To ensure excellent service, the firm places a high priority on getting to know the clients’ business and the dynamics of the market they are in. This helps Kim & Chang fully understand and appreciate the needs and concerns driving the client’s request for assistance. Once the firm understands these needs, it leverages the expertise and experience to provide the best advice it can, with professionals in one practice area reaching out seamlessly to colleagues in other practice areas to ensure timely, expert advice. To ensure that the firm assists as cost-effectively as possible, it assigns professionals with the appropriate level of seniority to projects and relies on its pool of highly experienced paralegals to perform standardised work.
The diverse expertise and multicultural backgrounds of Kim & Chang’s professionals make the firm the recognised leader in providing specialised legal services for cross-border transactions. The firm’s international outlook is thanks to the large number of foreign-licensed professionals who work closely with Korean professionals in each practice area, and who bring with them legal expertise relating to their respective jurisdictions and language skills. This global perspective also owes much to the education and training of Korean-licensed professionals overseas. These qualities uniquely qualify the firm to address the legal needs of multinational companies doing business in Korea and to advise Korean multinational companies in outbound transactions. In fact, the professionals of the firm are qualified to advise on the laws of the US, Japan, China, Germany, France and the Netherlands, as well as Korea. Reflecting its global outlook, Kim & Chang pioneered the establishment of practice groups specialising in serving clients of Japan, China and Europe.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.