This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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FIRM OF THE YEAR - KOREA
It was business as usual for the Korean outfit in 2013, as it advised on some of the highest-profile transactions including acting as Korean counsel to the joint lead managers in the US$1 billion, 3.875 per cent issuance of notes by the Republic of Korea due 2023, the first issuance of notes by the republic since April 2009.
|KIM & CHANG|
|Capital Markets||4||Product Liability Defence||2|
|Corporate Governance||1||Telecoms & Media||1|
|Environment||1||Trade & Customs||3|
|Labour & Employment||4|
The firm recently bolstered several of its practice areas with hires including an M&A lawyer from Citigroup global markets, Korea, a finance lawyer and two former high court senior judges.
|Total Listings in WWL||43||Established||1973|
|Home jurisdiction||Korea||Total size of firm||900|
|Number of partners||120||Number of offices||2|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
Competition is a particular strength of the firm and its practice comprises over 100 professionals. Kyung Taek Jung chairs the practice as well as the firm’s corporate department. He is noted for his extensive experience in the pharmaceutical, IT, energy and automobile industries. Sung Eyup Park currently serves as a member of the consulting committee for competition policy and advertisement review at the Korea Fair Trade Commission advising on amendments to the fair trade law and sub-regulations. His counsel is “highly sought after”. Jay Ahn is also singled out for his work in the areas of cartels, abuse of dominance, merger filings and other anti-competitive issues. He is also active in complex competition litigation cases.
Kim & Chang’s capital markets practice is “very active”. The firm’s lawyers have advised on listings on foreign stock exchanges, domestic IPOs, offshore and onshore offerings. Chang Hyeon Ko is “terrific” and is praised for his “meticulous approach”. Young Man Huh is knowledgeable in IPOs and other offerings of equity and fixed income securities in overseas and domestic capital markets.
Kye Sung Chung chairs the finance department at the firm and is noted for his experience in representing publicly and privately held companies in cross-border acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, securities offerings and financings.
The firm’s “market leading” labour and employment practice is chaired by Chun Wook Hyun, who specialises in restructurings, collective bargaining, HR policy design and compliance audit and litigation involving wage and hour claims, unfair labour practices and wrongful termination. Weon Jung Kim specialises in litigation and dispute resolution of employment and labour law issues and is “first-rate” in the area of industrial relations.
Recent transactions for the firm include representing MBK Partners in its 1.2 trillion won acquisition of a controlling stake in Woongjin Coway, a water purification business. Woongjin’s balance sheet had been damaged by the slowdown in the real estate market and this transaction is widely recognised as being a critical moment in the successful rehabilitation of Woongjin Holdings. Furthermore, Kim & Chang represented Vogo Eagle Ford Fund in its 550 billion won acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in KNOC-Vogo Eagle Ford LLC, a joint venture company with KNOC. The deal is one of the largest private equity investments that closed in Korea in 2013.
Recognised as one of the top 10 law firms for pro bono by Who’s Who Legal in its 2013 global survey, Kim & Chang’s dedication to the practice is “highly impressive”. The firm sets a target of 30 hours of pro bono per lawyer per year and recently prepared a draft of a special bill to compensate damaged enterprises in Kaesong, a special industrial complex made up of South Korean capital and North Korean land and labour, in response to North Korea denying South Korean employees access to the complex.
The firm places a high importance on multicultural backgrounds, global legal training and excellent legal skills in order to add a global perspective to the firm’s practice areas.
First and foremost, Kim & Chang aims to provide clients with the best service possible and in order to achieve this the firm hires the most talented lawyers. The firm is currently building on its industry sector expertise in areas such as private equity and venture capital, real estate and construction, health, broadcasting and telecommunications, shipping, banking, insurance, entertainment/sports, aerospace and defence and energy.
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