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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Garnishing Wages in Korea: Collection of Debts in Korea

I received a call from a friend asking about information concerning collecting on a personal debt. He loaned money to a “friend” and the friend never made a payment on the loan.  I advised one of the ways to encourage payment is via garnishing wages. Korea has an effective and efficient method of garnishing wages. In Korea, after a judgment or order to pay by a court, a plaintiff can collect on an unpaid debt through garnishing wages. Garnishing of

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Happy Lunar New Year from IPG Legal

Happy Lunar New Year to all our Korean friends. We would, also, like to wish a Happy Lunar New Year to all of our Chinese friends.  Have a wonderful Lunar New Year! IPG Legal is an international Asia-focused law firm and business advisory focused on assisting clients in entering and succeeding in Asian markets, including China, Korea, Hong Kong and the majority of nations in Southeast Asia.  This past year, among other projects, we are proud to have: advocated for a

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Drinking Culture in Korea Explained by Tom Coyner

It’s funny how words can inform and mislead. When I first came to Korea in the mid-1970s, I often was enchanted and confused by the similarity of Korean and Japanese. For example, I stumbled across the word “judo.” Was it the martial art? No, that was “yudo” in Korean. It turns out that in at least literary circles, judo refers to the “way of wine.”  For an article on Importing and Selling Wine in Korea, please see: Importing & Selling

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Sailing into the winds of change: Sailing in Korea

My Yacht/Sailing Club was featured in the Joongang Daily. Sailing into the winds of change Joong ang Ilbo (February 23, 2007) Harold Shim, right, aboard a 21-foot trimaran on the Han River in Seoul with members and guests of the 700 Yacht Club. In 1965, as an 11-year-old immigrant to the United States, Harold Shim found himself with his brother and sister living with an adoptive family on Wrangell Island in southeastern Alaska. His adoptive parents were teachers, who did

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at IPG Legal

We wish you a safe and happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

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Execution of Stock Options in Korean Corporations under Korean Commercial Code

Stock options, in Korea, are often provided to senior foreign and domestic employees of companies in Korea.  For stock options, in non-listed/non-public companies in Korea, to be exercisable by employees in Korea (thus a valid option) the option must be approved, in most cases, at a general shareholders meeting of the Korean company. Another article that may be of interest can be found at: Granting & Exercising Stock Options in Korea.   The articles of incorporation should be amended or should

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Contracts Necessary for Doing Business with a Korean Company?

If you would like to avoid Korean court expenses and headaches related to your business in Korea, please do yourself a favor and have you Korean contracts drafted by an experienced Korean professional prior to doing business with a Korean company.  Many of the standard agreements utilized in the West are not adequate for Korea. We handle litigation and arbitration matters for many clients that either used a Korean attorney without adequate experience or that have foregone the use of

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How to Successfully Manufacture OEM in Korea: First Break Products Down to the Threads

While China is the factory to the world, Korea is, still, a great choice for those that enjoy less headaches.  Even though Korea tends to be easier to painlessly manufacture OEM in, Korea is not without risk or pains.  Thus, we advised over the years on these pages to, always, do your due diligence in Korea.   We see an alarming number of cases of fraud and, also, an alarming number of cases where a product infringes on a patent or

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Korea Divorce Checklist for Negotiation of a Marital Separation Agreement in Korea

The following Korea divorce checklist may be useful for those negotiating a marital separation agreement in Korea. We highly recommend the utilization of a marital separation agreement, since the normal Korean judgment doesn’t consider some issues that may arise in the future including pension and social security that are addressed in a typical marital separation agreement.  In most cases, it is advisable to retain a lawyer to assist with you divorce. The average Korean lawyer that doesn’t handle many divorces

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Protecting your Intellectual Property Rights in Korea: Avoid “Trying Different Things & Smoking Funny Things”

A popular song regularly played on the radio proclaims that in the summer of 1989 the songwriter, Kid Rock, was “trying different things and smoking funny things.”  If you have any exposure to the Korean market, do your business a favor and don’t be like the songwriter.  All business with any exposure to the Korean market must have a plan in place to protect their intellectual property.  Thus, for the sake of your company, at a bare minimum, you should

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Korean Labor Law Checklist for Employers and Employees

The Korean Ministry of Labor created this list with revisions by Sean Hayes and IPG.  I will update the list periodically. The checklist is intended for all employers that employ five or more workers. The list contains many generalizations, thus, don’t take this as the end all list.  I suggest, also, clicking on the label to the right entitled Korean Employment Law.  Please note that Korea’s Labor Law is evolving rapidly, thus, this list may not reflect recent changes.   KOREAN

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Audit Proof your Independent Contractor Expenses

I just read a great post on an even better blog entitled the New York Small Business Law Blog. The blog post – Tips on Making your Independent Contractors Audit Proof – notes that the feds are increasing their efforts to crack down on misclassified independent contractors. They advise the attorney gave on how to avoid the scrutiny of the government would have also been useful for a client of ours that ran into an issue with the Korean National Tax Service and the Ministry

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Korea’s Fairness in Subcontracting Transactions Act Amendments of July 2021

The Korean National Assembly passed a bill in July of 2021 that amends the Fairness in Subcontracting Transactions Act (“Subcontracting Act”). The Act makes major changes with regard to discovery in litigation and aims to protect the intellectual property/confidential data/technical data (“Technical Data”) of subcontractors from poaching by prime contractors. For another article on Korea’s Subcontracting Act please see: Fair Transactions in Subcontracting Act of Korea: So Buyer Beware or Simply Avoid the Risk and Buy the Seller. 2021 Amendments

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Debtor’s Liability to New Owner after Transfer of Business and Trade Name

A developer recently contacted IPG Legal concerning a dispute with a supplier of building materials.  The developer purchased building materials from a supplier with payment to be forwarded 30-days after receipt of the materials. This is a common practice when a supplier has a long-term relationship with a developer, provides a consistent flow of supplies to a developer, and the developer is solvent. Here comes the problem.  The supplier was sold and the business and trade name was transferred to

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The Ten Commandments of Labor Relations in South Korea: Korean Human Resources Basics

Korea has one of the most capricious and least efficient labor forces in the world (which the exception of a few industries) and China is catching up with Korea very fast. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will soon follow. The fault is not only on the employees, but on the employers.  Korean companies have departed for greener fields in China to discover that the fields are not as green as originally imagined. Many of these same companies,

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Protecting Trade Secrets in Korea: Top 5 Things to Know Before Subjecting your Business Secrets to the Korean Market

We receive emails, regularly, requesting advice on the protection of IP rights in Korea and China.   Most of the issues I addressed in this blog come from these questions.  I realized, after writing over 1000 posts on this blog, that I never drafted a post on trade secrets.  Don’t blame me, blame my paralegal. 🙂 Definition of a Trade Secret in KoreaAs you probably know, a trade secret is, simply any design, process, formula or the like that is

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Happy Korean Thanksgiving

Happy Korean Thanksgiving from all of us at IPG Legal. We wish you a safe and happy holiday.

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