Merit System Protection Board Appeal Lawyers in Korea

IPG is proud to announce that we retain lawyers that have experience handling appeals to the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB), grievance under the Negotiated Grievance Procedure and complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from our Korean office. A great deal of the work, in these matters, are necessary to be performed in Korea when actions of the U.S. government occur in Korea, thus, we have developed a team to handle these matters along with our NY-based associated firm. The majority of our clients are either facing discrimination, a hostile work environment or have been terminated from employment. For

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Doing Business in Korea: The Korea labor market under the Moon administration

The election of progressive President Jae-in Moon, after the impeachment and imprisonment of the conservative former President, led to, among other progressive proposals, pledges from the President Moon Administration of sweeping changes to Korea’s Labor & Employment Law.  The following appears in a publication supported by the Korean Government.  The complete publication may be found at: Discovering Business in Korea.  The following changes are the major changes proposed by the Moon Administration. The changes may have a significant affect on companies doing business in Korea and may lead to an increase in taxes as a percentage of GDP. 810,000 new jobs via

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Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from IPG

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years from IPG. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year. In this time of giving, IPG’s Korean Team has chosen, this year, to assist one orphanage and a foreign migrant woman’s group along with our regular Pro Bono and Bar Association initiatives.   Our attorneys regularly give, also, to a variety of charities of their individual choice. In this time of need for so many, we encourage researching charities via Charity Navigator and choosing an appropriate charity. Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays. IPG Legal

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Korean Tax Risk of Foreign Corporation Deemed “Actual Business Management Locale” within Korea: Korea Tax Law Basics

Foreign corporations, doing business in Korea, may be deemed local corporations subject to taxation on worldwide income if the foreign-incorporated company is deemed a Korean “domestic corporation” for Korean tax purposes.  This liaison-office Korean Tax Risk can, thus, lead to taxes on worldwide income, a tax audit and even criminal sanctions against those operating in Korea.  We have dealt with matters were employees, even, received exit bans. Thus, in most cases the establishment of a local Korean corporation is essential in assisting in shielding your foreign corporation from tax and other liabilities unless substantial reasons exist to not establish a

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Trade Dress Law in Korea. The Copycat May Catch the Mouse

A blog I just, recently, ran into posted an interesting post on Hermes trouble with copycats in Korea. The blog may be found at: Fashion Law Blog. Hermes lost, recently, a High Court case in Korea.  Hermes argued, in part, that: ” [Defendant’s] bags – which bear a striking resemblance to its famed Birkin and Kelly styles – run afoul of the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act, which prohibits, ‘causing confusion with another person’s goods by using signs identical or similar to another person’s name, trade name, trademark, container or package of goods or any other sign

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Fleeing Korea while under Police/Prosecutor Investigation: International Hold in Korea

From changes a couple of years ago in the computer system and policy of the Korean Immigration Services, even if the Korean prosecution/police have not requested that an accused be placed on an International Hold, some records of police investigations, indictments and proposed fines and sentences by the prosecution/police are being reported to the Korean Immigration Service at airports and ports of departure. An International Hold, in Korea, is an official procedure that flags passports and fingerprints & prevents one, under this International Hold, from departing Korea prior to the lifting of the International Hold. Even if you are not

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Korean Defense Policy under Korean President Moon Jae-in’s Administration

Because of the recent tensions on the Korean peninsula, caused by the actions of the Kim Regime in the North of the Korean Peninsular, the Korean government under the President Jae-in Moon Administration has vowed to, among other things, increase the defense budget and enhance the 3-Axis System.  Opportunities, thus, abound for proactive companies in the defense industry. Korea’s Major Defense Priorities Increase the Korean defense budget from 2.4% to around 3.0% of GDP; Maintain the strong relationship with the United States; Procure advance weapon systems domestically and from abroad; Enhance and further develop the 3-Axis System; Expedite the takeover

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Abuse of Market Dominance in Korea: Competition Law in Korea

The Seoul Central District Court ruled earlier this year that Namyang Dairy Products Co. (“Namyang”) was in violation of the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act of Korea by abusing its market dominance and “unfairly taking advantage” of retailers. For more Antitrust/Competition Law articles please click on the labels noted Antitrust Law on the right. Namyang, a major Korean dairy company, was accused by retailers of, among other things, forcing retailers to purchase expired or soon to expire products and purchase unpopular products.  The Seoul Central District Court in 2014GaHab592238 ruled the company was in violation of Article 23 of

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Korean Franchisors’ Obligations in Korea to File Annual Report to Korean FTC

Korea’s Franchise Law imposes an obligation to report to the Fair Trade Commission of Korea, yearly, specific information relating to your franchise business worldwide.  A franchisor’s disclosure document may be de-registered or a fine may be imposed if this Yearly Franchise Report is not accepted by the Korean Fair Trade Commission within 120 days of the closing of the year. The Yearly Franchise Report, in Korea, is intended to notify franchisees and prospective franchisees of changes in the operations of the franchisor.   Don’t forget – file the update yearly. Other articles on Franchise Law that may be of interest: Enforcement

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Guidelines on Rules of Employment & Guidelines on Fair Personnel Management Withdrawn by Korean Ministry of Employment

Inline with the labor union and employee-focused promises of the President Moon Administration, the Ministry of Employment & Labor has withdrawn the impeached President Park’s Guidelines on Rules of Employment & Guidelines on Fair Personnel Management to the regret of most of industry.  The withdraw of the Guidelines does not change the present state of Korean Labor & Employment Law. Ex-President Park’s Guidelines on Rules of Employment, inter alia, noted procedures to amend the rules of employment of a company even without the mandated consent of the employees and the Guidelines on Personnel Management noted a procedure and reasons to

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Enforcement of Arbitral Awards in Korean Courts

After an arbitration panel outside of Korea renders an arbitral award against a Korean company or individual, typically, if the non-prevailing party lacks assets outside of Korea or the prevailing party needs to enjoin acts in Korea, the prevailing party chooses to enforce the arbitration award in Korea.  Enforcement is not as easy as just giving arbitral awards to non-prevailing Korean parties.  For enforcement of foreign judgments in Korean courts please see: Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Korean Courts.  When enforcing foreign arbitral awards in Korea, Article 37(1) & (2) of the Arbitration Act of Korea comes into play, thus,

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Renouncing an Estate/Inheritance under Korean Law

A typical matter of a party renouncing an estate in Korea commences when a family member in Korea requests the waiver/disclaimer of the right to a Korean inheritance.  Sometimes the waiver is for a valid reason and sometimes the Korean-based family does not have a legitimate reason for the waiver other than self-interest. A, typical, situation involves an estate of a Korean national decadent with non-Korean family abroad.  The estate, often, includes assets in Korea and sometimes abroad. The Korean-based family, often, requests the non-Korean based family to sign a power of attorney or a document waiving the estate, thus,

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A “Tasty” Exclusive Agent Agreement for Artists & Entertainers in Korea: Entertainment Law Basics in Korea

The Fair Trade Commission of Korea (FTC) created a sample standard-form Exclusive Agent Agreement for Entertainment Agreements, in Korea, that was, recently, challenged by the Chinese Band Twin Duo “Tasty.” The Chinese band filed a lawsuit against the Korean entertainment company – SM C&C – in order to invalidate a 7-year exclusive agent agreement – claiming that because of major differences with the Korean entertainment company, the relationship between the parties was frustrated.  SM utilized a standard-form agency agreement that was developed by the FTC. In 2015GaHab19327, the Seoul Central District Court ruled, among other things, that: The FTCs standard-form

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Publicity Rights/Portrait Rights in Korea: Entertainment Law Basics in Korea

The Seoul Central District Court delivered, in mid 2016, a decision ruling that an individual’s publicity rights (portrait rights) were violated by a person sharing an image on a public social media site.  The violators were sharing the images for commercial purposes and shared the images without the publisher’s consent (Seoul Central District Court 2015GaDan5324874). FACTS Mr. A posted photos of himself on his Instagram Page.  Mr. B utilzed those photos on Naver’s Band without Mr. A’s consent. Band is a Korean social media site. C company, also, posted the photos on Facebook without Mr. A’s consent.  Thus, Mr. A’s

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Damages for Material Omissions in 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. Monetary damages may be obtained under Article 37(2) of the Franchise Act of Korea and Article 56(1) of the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act of Korea for “material omissions” within Franchise Disclosure Documents and other document presented to prospective franchisees. The damages

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Is a Bankruptcy in the U.S. “Effective” on Assets in Korea?: Korean Bankruptcy Law Basics

The following article on the interplay between Korean Bankruptcy Law and foreign bankruptcy laws was motivated by a question from a reader from the Korea Times.  The following is from a column I used to write for the Korea Times.  Please note the present Bankruptcy Law in Korea was amended and the present topic, while interesting, shall not apply to present bankruptcy proceedings.  However, take a read – very interesting matter.  I shall be posting some of my old articles from a prior weekly column over the next couple of weeks, since these articles no longer appear online. Legal Ease

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Korean Merger Control and the Korean FTC

The Monopoly Regulation & Fair Trade Act of Korea (Fair Trade Act of Korea) is the main regulation governing mergers and acquisitions in Korea.  In the majority of cases , reporting and approval is not required for a target company with a yearly turnover of less than KRW 20 billion.  The specific jurisdictional thresholds shall be addressed in a followup article.  This article is intended to, simply, provide a list of the main Merger Control issues .  A more substantive article shall follow. The following types of transactions are required to be reported and approved, in most cases, by the

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Korean Civil Litigation Pre-Judgment & Post-Judgment Interest Awarded by Korean Courts

So you are suing a defendant in a Korean Court or you won a judgment in a Korea court? How much interest shall you earn on this judgment?  Korea awards different interest rates based in if the judgment is rendered or the judgment is not rendered. Additionally, it is, usually, advisable to include Penalty Damages Clauses to most type of Korean Contractual Agreements. Pre-Judgment Interest in Korea Pre-Judgment interest accrues from the date the payment is due.   Unless otherwise agree upon by the parties, the applicable statutory interest rate is 6% per annum for commercial claims and 5% per

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Liquidated (Penalty) Damages Necessary in Most Korean NDA and Non-Compete Agreements

For any company engaged in negotiations, agreements, pre-M & A due diligence, OEM outsourcing or other activities with a Korean business or individuals that may lead to you disclosing your companies intellectual property, know-how or other proprietary information, always include in your no-competition, non-use, non-circumvention and non-compete agreements a liquidated damages (Penalty Damages) clause.  Without a Penalty Damages Clause – good luck in proving damages when a breach occurs. If the other party refuses to sign the clause, this is good sign that the party will breach. The clause is of course, only triggered when a breach occurs. I, recently, had

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Top 10 Law Firms in Seoul, Korea for English-Speaking Foreigners 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 .  We are listed under the title Large/International Law Firms.  Thanks for the mention 10 Magazine.  We love your work.  We have, also, been rated by other rating services. The article notes: The lawyers of IPG focus on business law, civil litigation, franchise law, and criminal defense. With affiliated offices around the world, they’re a good choice for cross-border issues. One of the partners there, Sean Hayes, runs one of the best English blogs on the Korean legal landscape, The Korean

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