We recently had a client with a myriad of joint venture issues. The issues were caused, primarily, because of the joint venture agreement being drafted, only, in English without a review my client or a competent lawyer and most of the negotiations occuring through a translator.
For example, the American company believed that the joint venture agreement mandated that all disputes were to be handled via arbitration in Hong Kong. The American company SEVP noted this to the interpreter as non-negotiable. The agreement was drafted in Korean and the American SEVP never reviewed the joint venture agreement in anything but the Korean language.
Oddly enough, the law firm drafting the agreement never even mentioned this to the American Company.
Because of this issue the SEVP and the in house attorney that assisted on this deal were fired. The international law firm operating out of Hong Kong was, also, fired.
Please read a few of my posts on drafting joint venture agreements. Please, always, have, at a bare minimum, the governing language of your joint venture agreement English and, always, have an arbitration clause.
- Entering into a Joint Venture/ Partnership in Korea
- Bare Essential of a JVA in Korea
- Basic Agreements for Doing Business in Korea
- Due Diligence, Agreements and Attorneys: Doing Business in Korea
Sean Hayes may be contacted at: SeanHayes@ipglegal.com.
Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the only non-Korean to have worked as an attorney for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty.
- Do you Need to Enter the Korean Market via a Joint Venture/Partnership?
- Forming a Joint Venture in Korea? Beware a Common Pitfall
- Korean Small Business Partnerships/Joint Venture Startups
- So you Want to Start a Partnership/Joint Venture in Korea?
- English-Speaking Business Lawyers in Seoul, Korea: Corporate Law & Compliance Team at IPG Legal
- Drafting of Korean Distribution Agreements for your Distributor in Korea.
- Forming a Joint Venture in Korea, China & Southeast Asia: Listen to My Mother
- Hanwha Korea Loses Battle in New York Court over Forum Non Conveniens Issue
- Hiring a Korean Independent Contractor for Work in Korea
- Korea Contracts Don’t Forget the Counter-party: Due Diligence before Executing an Agreement in Korea