Enforceability of Korean Executed Holographic/Handwritten Wills in Korea

Holographic wills are enforceable in Korea under Article 1066 of the Civil Act of Korea.  Our law firm is, presently, handling a matter concerning the estate of a decadent where the decadent executed a handwritten (holographic) will and the inheritors are Korean and foreign nationals. Holographic Wills This is a common issue for lawyers at our firm to handle – with the exception of the handwritten will issue. We, rarely, see cases, these days, of a testator that has executed

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Enforcement of Covenants Not to Compete in Employment Agreements in Korea: Restrictive Covenants in Korea

It is getting easier for an employer to enforce non-compete restrictive covenants in employment agreements in Korea, because of recent judgments by lower Korean courts noting, among other things, the value of trade secrets in competitive industries in Korea. Korean Non-Compete Agreements Recently, an interesting case, in a Seoul, Korean court, concerning the wedding planning business was handed down by the Seoul Central District Court (2104NA63529). The Court upheld a three-year non-compete clause against an employee but reduced a liquidated

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Voluntary Resignation of an Employee in Korea: Employment Law Updates

A Seoul Central District Court ruled in favor of the employer in a case of an employee claiming damages for, inter alia, the not accepting of the voluntary resignation of an employee.  The dispute was between the Industrial Bank of Korea and an employee under a criminal investigation for alleged work-related malfeasance. The Korean bank has an internal rule that an employee may not receive “special” severance payments if the employee, in question, is under investigation for work-related malfeasance.  The

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Fiscal Transparency in International Business: International Business Structures

The September 2015 edition of International Bar Associations “Business Law International” has an interesting article entitled: “Fiscal Transparency – International Business Structures and Issues” The article is useful for, also, those doing business in Korea.  The articles does not, specifically, address in any detail issues in Korea, the article does a great job in explaining issues relevant to those forming partnerships/joint ventures with UK, U.S. and developed European economies. The article notes, in part,  that: “The continued globalization of business

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Five Businesses to Avoid in Korea

We get a number of hare-brained foreigners that have requested advice on the opening of some peculiar businesses.  Here are a few businesses that we do not advise opening in Korea.  Farming. Prohibited for foreigners and foreign companies.  For example, the growing of rice and barley is prohibited for foreigners.  The farmers don’t even want to be in this business.  Stay away. Publishing & Broadcasting.  Prohibited for foreigners to own 50% or more of a publishing company and totally prohibited

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Korea’s Real Name Transaction Act Strengthened: Korea’s Banking Law Basics

The National Assembly of Korea, in May of 2014, passed an amendment to the Act Concerning Financial Transactions by Real Name and Confidentiality Protection (“Real Name Transactions Act”). The Real Name Transactions Act, prior to this amendment, only, imposed fines on employees of financial institutions that violated the law, but did not impose these fines on those that lend or borrow a name/identification details in order to engage in a transaction. The new Real Name Transactions Act shall be enforced

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Koreans Doing Business in and with New Zealand

New Zealand is very welcoming and open to foreign investment as reflected in a few recent deals between New Zealand business/government and Korean conglomerates. Leading Korean firms such as Hansol Forem, Daesung Group, KNC Construction (formerly Daeju Group) and Ottogi Corporation have already made substantial investments in New Zealand. Other Korean investment in New Zealand includes property, hides and skins, tourism, timber, food processing, fisheries and small businesses. New Zealand wireless charging start-up PowerbyProxi secured $4 million in funding from

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Korea inks FTA with China

Korea on June 1, 2015 inked a free trade agreement with China.  China is the largest economy in Asia and Korea is the 4th or 5th largest economy in Asia.   The agreement requires the approval of the Korean National Assembly to come into effect.  The Korea-China FTA is claimed by the Korean government to allow greater access to Korean exporters of appliances, cosmetics, fashion goods and specialty food products.  The agreement may by an, immediate, boon for large Korean exporters.

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Korean Manufacturing/Sub-Contractor Agreement Payment Terms Matter: Don’t fall for the “Service” Trap

We handle numerous cases of the less than scrupulous in Korea taking advantage of the more than trusting from abroad.   The, typical, situation occurs when a Korean company (Buyer or General Contractor) agrees to purchase a product or services from a non-Korean company (Manufacturer or Sub-Contractor). Often, the Korean company agrees to pay a percentage upfront with future payments based on progress milestones.  Often these “progress milestone” are not clearly defined and even if they are Korean companies are notorious

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Protecting Products from Parallel Imports into Korea: Trademark/IP in Korea?

A trademark, in brief, under Korean Law is defined as a method of expression used to distinguish one’s goods from those of others.  The concept is simple, however, the law on trademarks in Korea and abroad is far from simple. The use of another person of a company’s trademark (need to register trademarks in Korea – see posts below) is a violation of the rights of the holder of the trademark entitling the holder to an injunction and, potentially, damages. 

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