Korea’s Anti-graft Law shall be effective on most companies doing business in Korea on September 28, 2016. Call your lawyer in Korea and get your lawyer to write you a memo on the issue. The law will have, immediate, effects on most companies doing business in Korea.
Korea, based on calls from civic groups and some in the media criticized the powers that be in Korea that Korea was lax on white-collar crime. These individuals, among other arguments, claimed it is near impossible to succeed in business in Korea without resorting to corruption.
The Chair of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission – retired Supreme Court Justice Young-ran Kim – motioned the National Assembly of Korea to implement a broad-based anti-corruption law. A watered-down version of the law passed the Korean National Assembly after much debate. Challenges filed to the Constitutional Court were dismissed by the Court.
This Anti-graft law will, likely, affect any business doing business with the government, quasi-government agencies, or educational institutes. Additionally, any companies engaging media consultants that actively engage with the media – may also find themselves on the wrong side of this law.
Please get your Korean attorney to explain the law to you. Sanctions under the law are, in many cases, steep, and because of recent changes at the Korean Immigration Services, sanctions can lead to the deportation of foreign executives who find themselves or their staff running foul of the law.
The law imposes a burden on any individual providing a gratuity over a certain mandated amount to any national or local government official, member of a quasi-government organization, media company and educational institutes (some exceptions exist).
Please check back soon – more to come on this issue in the near future.
Sean is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the first non-Korean attorney to have worked 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. Sean is ranked, for Korea, as one of only two non-Korean lawyers as a Top Attorney by AsiaLaw. Sean is known for his proactive New York-style street-market advice and his aggressive and non-conflicted advocacy. Sean works with some of the leading retired judges, prosecutors, and former government officials working in Korea.
Sean’s profile may be found at: Sean C. Hayes
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