This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2013
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FIRM OF THE YEAR – KOREA
Founded in 1973, Kim & Chang is one of Korea’s leading law firms and for the eighth consecutive time is named our Korean law firm of the year. The firm boasts over 800 professionals and recently expanded into Hong Kong, having opened an office in December 2012. Clients praise the firm for its top-quality legal advice across a range of different specialisms – as borne out in our research, where the firm achieves 39 listings across 16 different chapters.
|KIM & CHANG|
|TOTAL LISTINGS IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 39|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Capital Markets||4||Product Liability Defence||1|
|Corporate Governance||1||Regulatory Communications||1|
|Environment||2||Trade & Customs||2|
|Labour & Employment||4||Trademarks||2|
The firm’s competition practice is “world class” and its lawyers are renowned for offering strategic and effective guidance on the most complex matters. Clients describe it as a “one-stop shop” due to its ability to meet all their needs. Five “brilliant” individuals at the firm are recognised in the corresponding chapter, including the “internationally respected” Youngjin Jung. Widely considered an “authority” on competition law in Korea, Jung is also “greatly respected” for his trade and customs practice and earns an addition listing in that chapter. The “terrific” Jay Ahn provides “top-notch” advice to clients on a wide range of competition law matters, with an emphasis on investigations of abuse of dominant positions, anti-competitive agreements and concerted practices. Kyung Taek Jung has extensive experience in the competition legal market and is considered a “pioneer” in this area. He frequently represents clients before the Korean Fair Trade Commission on cartel and abuse of dominance cases. He is also recognised for his “superb” corporate governance work. The “brilliant” Luke Shin focuses on competition law cases involving multinational corporations and has been involved in some of the most “high-profile” cases over the past decade, including many cases that presented ground-breaking issues under Korean competition law and practice. Sung Joo Yoon represents companies in investigations, cases and enforcement actions initiated by the Korean Fair Trade Commission.
Kim & Chang boasts a “very strong” capital markets practice, with individuals from the firm participating in a wide range of securities offerings in the global markets. Their practice has assisted companies from almost every industry sector and in many different types of transactions, not only traditional equity and bond offerings, but structured instruments, such as equity-linked or hybrid securities and derivatives. A quartet of lawyers are singled out for their expertise in this area, including Seong-Koo Cheong, “one of the best lawyers in the country” according to our sources. Clients praised his legal capabilities, business mind and the quality of his work. Young Man Huh has a “top-notch” securities practice, which includes IPOs and other offerings of equity, fixed income securities in overseas and domestic capital markets. Chang Hyeon Ko is considered to be “at the forefront of securities offerings transactions” in Korea and Suhn Kyoung Hong is a “must for inclusion” in this chapter according to peers.
Management, labour and employment is a further area in which the firm excels. Kim & Chang provides “superb” representation on all aspects of human resources and industrial relations, including strategy with respect to M&A, spin-offs, disciplinary actions, regulations and policies, employment discrimination, compensation and benefits. Chun Wook Hyun chairs the firm’s labour and employment practice group and has been legal counsel for the ministry of employment and labour since 1993. He is considered a “key figure” in the labour and employment legal market and a “point of reference” for many of his peers. Co-chair of the practice group Paul Cho is considered a “specialist” in the field, especially in the areas of collective bargaining negotiations and crisis management. With over 20 years of experience, Weon Jung Kim focuses his litigation and dispute resolution practice on employment and labour law issues before the court, Labour Relations Commission, Labour Office and Human Rights Commission. Ki Young Kim is “a font of knowledge” when it comes to labour and employment law and “the lawyer of choice” for clients seeking sound advice in this area.
Kim & Chang is renowned for the dedication and skill of its professionals and maintains a top-quality practice while remaining committed to supporting its communities through pro bono work.
Kim & Chang
Kim & Chang, widely recognised as Korea’s premier law firm, has set the standard for excellence in legal services in every major practice area since it was established in 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: specialisation in core practice areas including corporate/M&A, antitrust, banking and finance, dispute resolution, intellectual property, tax and other specialties by industry sectors; dedication to meeting the individual needs of each client; and the diversity and international outlook of the firm’s professionals. Having advised on 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 nationally and overseas.
Kim & Chang owes much of its success to the expertise and dedication of its professionals. These include attorneys, patent attorneys, tax attorneys, economists and industry-sector specialists – currently, the firm offers a workforce of more than 850 such professionals. Korean-trained attorneys, 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 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, its client list includes most of the Fortune 500 companies 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 puts a high priority on getting to know the client’s 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 stems from the large number of foreign-licensed professionals who work closely with their Korean counterparts in each practice area. They offer expertise in the law and language of their respective jurisdictions. The firm also sponsors the education and training of Korean-licensed professionals overseas. These qualities and investments 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 firm offers professionals who 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 from or in 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.