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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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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Calculating Child Support in Korea

The following Korean Child Support Table is applicable as of March of 2022. The top green line of the table is the amount of earning per month for the mother and the father. The orange line on the left is the age of the child, while the amounts in yellow are the costs per child. To calculate you obligations you calculate the sum owed to the custodial parent by your share of the family income.. For example, if your child

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Top Law Firms in Seoul, Korea for English-Speaking Clients According to 10 Magazine

We are proud to note that 10 Magazine listed us in an article titled 10 Lawyers in Seoul for English-Speaking Expats in Korea. IPG is listed under the title Large/International Law Firms.  Thanks for the mention 10 Magazine. We love your work.  IPG Legal and many of our lawyers were listed as top attorneys by numerous legal rating services and magazines. The article by 10 Magazine on the law firms in Korea notes: The lawyers of IPG focus on business law,

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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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