Korean Trust Act of 1961 Amended

The 1961 Korea Trust Act has been criticized as being an archaic law that does not reflect generally accepted international trust standards and practices.  The revised Korean trust law was passed to alleviate many of the problems of the old Korean Trust Law.  The new law in Korea will came into effect in July of 2012.  This post is a revised version of a post that was first posted in 2012. The most significant changes to Korea’s Trust Act are

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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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Non-Acceptance of Government Report Grounds for an Appeal to Korean Court

Over the past decade, Korea has liberalized its government permit system and has required, in many more instances, only a report or notification to be filed with the government for many activities that previously required approval of a relevant Korean government authority. Even with the change, however, the Korean bureaucracy has, often, been unwilling to give up its power and has simply rejected reports, thus, in reality rejecting the anticipated activity. In a Supreme Court case handed down late last

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Attaching Assets in Korea: Security on Movable Property and Receivables in Korea

The Ministry of Justice has recently announced a draft bill concerning the securitization of movables and receivables. The Bill has been pushed for strongly by SMEs. SME’s have complained, since the 1997 Currency Crisis that they are unable to adequately capitalize at market rates. Representatives of the IMF, that I spoke with a few years back, also were very keen on this type of bill. They believed that this Bill will help foster SMEs and new entrant’s potential for innovation

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Proposed Amendment to Real Estate Development Business Act of Korea: Rating of Real Estate Development Projects

In an attempt to avoid additional failures in the Korean real estate market, the Korean government at the end of July 2013, proposed revisions to the  Real Estate Development Business Act of Korea. The revisions would, inter alia,: 1.  Give authority to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (“MLIT”) to select a agency of real estate experts (“Agency of Experts”) to verify private ratings.  The specifics of this Agency of Experts scheme would be designated by a President Decree. 

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Korean Tourism Infrastructure Improving: Special Act for the Expansion of Tourism Accommodation

The Korean Tourism Organization under the leadership of a German-born non-ethnic Korean is the greatest reason for the increase in the number of tourists in Korea.  The KTO has been transformed from a government black hole into a vibrant organization with a bold vision. One of the most significant issues for tourists visiting Korea, because of the drastic increase in tourism over the past few years, has been the lack of adequate accommodation. Seoul is notorious for having, during peak

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Korean Home Prices Too Low? A big NO WAY by Tom Coyner

It will soon be that dreaded time again for me – the renegotiation of my apartment lease. Thankfully, it happens just once every two years, but it is a real pain. The silver lining to this biannual cloud is that it forces me to look more closely at the Korean housing market, an important factor in most economic considerations. At first brush, Korean real estate is as loopy as any foreigner may surmise about anything in the Korean economy. First

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Environmental Impact Statements in Korea: New Korean Environmental Impact Assessment Regime

In the third quarter of 2012, the amended Environmental Impact Assessment Act (“EIAA”) was implemented.  After the enactment, environmental impact assessments are no longer governed by both the Framework Act on Environmental Policy and the EIAA, thus, eliminating a great deal of confusion caused by inconsistencies in the acts. Major revisions include: 1.  Implementation of Strategic Environmental Impact Assessments and Small-Scale Environmental Impact Assessment over Prior Environmental Review under Framework Act on Environmental Policy The EIAA has abandoned the use

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Incheon to Turn an Island into the New Macau: I will believe it when I see it

The Korea Times has reported that Incheon City government has plans to transform two islands into a gambling, leisure and entertainment park larger in size than Macau.  The Korea Times note, in part, that: The large-scale development project, designed to turn two islands inside the Incheon free economic zone into a world-class leisure hub, is expected to cost 317 trillion won ($288 billion) and take about 20 years to complete. Incheon city unveiled a blueprint for the envisioned leisure complex,

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Korail vs.Lotte: Lesson for Investors in Korea

A promising development project may be scrapped because of a peculiar battle for control between a Korean conglomerate and a Korean government-controlled enterprise.  The feud is a lesson for investors who believe that investing in a project with the involvement of the Korean government will assist in guaranteeing success.  Often the involvement of Korean government enterprises overly complicates matters and leads to power struggles between the “experts” and the government.  Because of Korean government realities, however, often the involvement of

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