Divorce in South Korea: Divorce by Agreement & Divorce by Court Order in Korea

A Basic Explanation of the Types of Divorces in Korea. Under Korean law, there are two types of divorces. One is divorce by mutual agreement and the other is divorce by court order. agree to dissolve their marriage amicably. We advise, in all but the most exceptional of matters, to engage a lawyer in Korea to obtain a divorce by court order (judicial divorce) and forgo a divorce by mutual agreement to insure that the divorce is recognized in all

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Korean Small Business Partnerships/Joint Venture Startups

Starting a small business in Korea can be enjoyable and profitable if you get the business on the right track from the start.  Too often we see those with “limited funds” (we all have limited funds -even multinationals have limited funds) choosing to forgo having the deals structured by a professional and just downloading a “partnership” agreement off the internet.  Avoid the headaches and the costs in the future and structure all right from the start. I have learned from

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Opportunities in the K-Beauty Export/Import Business

The Success of K- Beauty Exports and The Impact on Economy One of the top 10 beauty markets in the world, South Korea is renowned for its inventiveness, gentle ingredients, and attractive packaging. Due to the effects of COVID-19, the market size was projected to be $6.8 billion in 2020, a considerable decrease from the $9.4 billion it was the previous year. The total export of K-beauty products and the balance of trade have improved by about 16% and 14%

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Deregulation of Korean Cloud Computing and Network Separation in the Korean Financial Sector in South Korea

Deregulation of Cloud Computing and Network Separation in the Financial Sector in Korea explained by lawyers at a leading law firm in Korea. Korean Cloud Computing and Network Separation Rules:  Improvements in the Korean Financial Sector. The Korean Financial Services Commission presented its intentions to enhance the rules governing cloud computing and network separation in the Korean financial industry on April 14, 2022. This Korean government plan was created in response to the financial industry’s worries about the challenges associated

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What Constitutes an “Employee” under Korean Law?

Who is an Employee/Worker under Korean Law with the Rights and Protections under Korean Labor Standards Acts and Related Laws & Regulations? The definition of an employee in Korea is a topic that had filled books. The following is a brief introduction to an issue that IPG Legal litigates for foreign employees of Korean companies and for foreign companies doing business in Korea. IPG Legal is the go to law firm for expats and foreign companies doing business in Korea

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Short of Workers in Korea Deepens Issues in the Korean Construction Industry

The shortage of workers in South Korea’s construction industry is deepening, and it has pushed the industry to request the government to allow in more foreign workers. The industry is now discussing with the government easing regulations on visa rules in order to hire more foreign construction workers to overcome this serious shortage. We hope that the new Korean Administration considers foreigners a necessary and important part of the Korean economy. These proposals from the Korean Construction Industry come as

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Korean Patent Act Development of 2022

Major revisions to the South Korean Patent Act (KPA) came into effect on April 20, 2022. The period for filing an appeal against a rejection decision in Korea will be extended from 30 days to three months. Under the amended Korean Patent Act (KPA), applicants can save costs by avoiding time extensions that earlier had a narrow time period of 30 days. The time period was extended to three months from the date of receipt of a Notice of Final

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Renewal Rights/Terms for Commercial Leases in Korea Under Amended Commercial Building Lease Protection Act of Korea

The Korean Commercial Building Lease Protection Act (“CBLP”) came into force on August 13, 2013.  The Korean CBLP amendments, mentioned below, will solely come into force for leases entered into after August 13, 2013.  The changes will assist those with large deposits from being evicted by a landlord in Korea based on no apparent reasons. Please note a new law has come into effect and we shall be writing on this new law within the next couple of weeks.  Please

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Korean Inheritance Tax for Estates in Korea

IPG Legal lawyers handled numerous inheritance and inheritance tax matters over our nearly two decades handling cases for expats, families abroad, domestic families and foreigners with residence in Korea. The Korean Inheritance Tax Deductions Chart and the Korean Inheritance Tax Rate Chart were drafted, since many clients contact us wishing to understand how to calculate inheritance tax and how to save on inheritance tax. The following is, only, meant as a brief guide. We, always, rely on an inhouse accountant

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IPG Legal’s Korean Criminal Defense Practice

IPG Legal is one of the only law firms in Korea that obtained dozens of not guilty, dismissals and suspension of indictments in Korea. We handled hundreds of cases for foreigners in Korea and believe that we are the most experienced law firm in Korea handling criminal defense cases for expats, business executives, U.S. government employees and senior enlisted soldiers and airmen working in Korea. Our criminal defense attorneys have worked with expats on criminal matters in Korea for over

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Foreign Franchisees Joining the Korean Franchise Association

The Korean Franchise Association is an organization that is authorized/licensed by the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy. All domestic and foreign franchises that have registered Franchise Disclosure Statements with the Korean Fair Trade Commission can apply to the Korean Franchise Association. IPG Legal believes, most foreign franchisors, should join the Korean Franchise Association. The KFA is an excellent resource for market intelligence and an excellent conduit to understand the unique aspects of the Korean franchise market and Korea’s

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Definition of “Ordinary Wage” in Korea: Korean Employment & Labor Law Basics

The courts of the Republic of Korea, for years, has struggled to find a consistent interpretation of an “Ordinary Wage.” The definition of Ordinary Wage, under Korean Law, was clarified by the Korean Supreme Court in two decisions handed down on December 18, 2013. The calculation of Ordinary Wages is important, since the calculation is utilized to calculate statutory entitlements, and thus has an impact on the aggregate amount of contributions necessary to be paid to employees. For example, according

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Korean Trademark Act Amendments for 2022

Recent Amendments to the Korean Trademark Act were passed by the the National Assembly of Korea. On February 3, 2022, the National Assembly published the Korean Trademark Act revisions. One major revision was the expansion of the meaning of “use of a trademark.” The revision should make the application process easier for applicants and expand the rights of those granted a trademark. IPG Legal welcomes these changes. Another article that may be of interest to the reader includes: Korean Intellectual

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Material Omissions in Korean Franchise Disclosure Documents in South Korea

In April of 2015, the Supreme Court of Korea ruled that under Article 4; Article (9)(1); and Article 41(1) of the prior version of the Fair Transactions in Franchise Business Act (“Franchise Act”) damages may be obtained, from a franchisor, for all material omissions (Supreme Court 2014 DA 84824,84831, April 9, 2015) within Korean Franchise Disclosure Documents. Thus, we advise all franchises in Korea to review and update their franchise agreements, thoroughly, on a yearly basis. Damages for Material Omissions

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Dismissal of Employees in Korea: Supreme Court of Korea Precedent

The Korean Supreme Court ruled, in March of 2018, that a company may terminate employees for one incident of employee gambling. The case is a precedent that may make it easier for employees to terminate employees that violate certain company rules without the need to provide notification and an opportunity to improve. The case stems from the termination of bus drivers that were caught on one occasion gambling prior to driving buses. The lower courts ruled, in short, that gambling

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Require a Injunction in a Korean Court Against your Former Korean Franchisee for Competing Against your New Korean Franchisee?

Under the Fair Franchise Transactions Act of Korea (“Franchise Act”), a franchisee has the right, under Korean Law, to request the renewal of a Korean franchise agreement after ten years of successful operation of a franchise.  In some cases this reality leads to a Former Franchisee continuing the franchise in competition with your new franchisee. We wrote about termination of a Korean franchise in other articles including: Termination of a Franchise in Korea.  Also, you can view other articles on

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Wrongful Termination in South Korea

South Korea is not an “at-will” employment country, which means that an employer may not dismiss an employee for any reason nor without warning or notice. Under the Korean Labor Standard Act, an employer who has five or more employees may not dismiss or suspend from work any of its employee without “justifiable cause.” And even the employer can establish justifiable cause for dismissal, in Korea, the employer is still required to give a minimum of 30-days advance notice (or

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How to Retain an English-Speaking Attorney in Korea by Tom Coyner

There are excellent and ethical attorneys in every country; this is certainly also the case in Korea with Korean attorneys and international attorneys working in Korea. While all are no doubt intelligent and highly educated, the manner in which many approach their clients’ needs harkens more to the early 20th century than the cusp of the 21st century. Unfortunately, most Korean attorneys fail to appreciate or care to consider the commercial context of their counsel. Based on what one reads

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Drafting of Korean Distribution Agreements for your Distributor in Korea.

Drafting of a Korea-centric distribution agreement and a good deal of due diligence of the anticipated distributor/agent is necessary for avoiding issues that may require the litigation services of a law firm.  Some of the articles posted by IPG Legal on Due Diligence may be found at: Doing Business in Asia: Due Diligence, Agreements, Attorneys and Street Smarts Listen to My Mother: JVs in Korea (Translated from Korean) Debt Collection Cases in Korea on the Rise: Due Diligence Brother I have

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Korean Independent Contractor Risks and Obligations under Korea LSA Speech to Amcham Korea

During a recent speech the head of the Korean Labor & Employment Law Team and I gave to the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, a few interesting topics came up that seemed to be of particular interest to participants.  For the Power Point of the presentation click HERE. Factors Courts use to Determine if an Individual is an Employee and Thus Obligated to Provide Severance and Employment Security etc. Under the Korea Labor Standards Act (LSA). These following factors

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