Korea’s Class Action Law Proposed by Moon Administration

Class action lawsuits in South Korea are currently available in two types of civil cases: (1) under the Securities-Related Class Action Act of Korea (derivative/shareholder suits); and (2) in certain limited product liability matters under the Consumer Act of Korea. A bill that seeks to expand the scope of class actions into other areas, aside from the two instances above, has languished for years in the Korean National Assembly. However, in a statement made by the Ministry of Justice last

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Japan is Ordered to Pay Damages to former “Comfort Women”

In a historic ruling made by a South Korean court on January 8, 2021, it awarded 100 million won or around US$90,000 damages to each 12 plaintiffs. The plaintiffs are a group of former 12 Korean “comfort women” who were employed as sex workers in brothels during the Japanese occupation that spans from 1910 until 1945. The Seoul Central District Court also issued the compensation order accompanied by a provisional execution which means that any assets of the Japanese government

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Happy New Year to all our clients, family, and friends!

2020 has been a tough year and we look forward to working with you in 2021 to celebrate your success. Happy New Year!

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Changes to the Korean Immigration System means more Opportunities for Single Parents to Work in Korea

The Korean Times, recently, reported that the Ministry of Justice is looking at changes to the Immigration System to allow single parents to remain in South Korea with their adult children. The proposed changes are significant as it allows the provision for foreign residents to remain in the country provided they meet specific benchmarks for the resident F-2 visa. Migrants who were previously married to a Korean citizen will now be eligible for this visa, in the event of divorce

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Deportation after COVID-19 Quarantine Violations in Korea

This week a bill was submitted by Korean politicians to make the deportation process easier for the Korean government to deport foreign nationals accused of submitting false testing information for COVID-19. The COVID pandemic remains an emotive issue in Korea as cases have been steadily rising domestically over this Winter season. Political leaders, within Korea, have had a long history of using the foreign population as an easy target to win the hearts and minds of the public when times

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SsangYong Motors files for Bankruptcy in Korea

It isn’t just foreign companies that have a robust history with Korea’s militant labor unions. The troubles of GM Korea and SsangYong Motors have been well documented over the last decade. This week SsangYong Motors finally succumbed to the pressures of the Korean market. The company filed for bankruptcy after defaulting on loan repayments of 60 billion won ($54.4m USD). SsangYong is unlikely to receive further government support, with the national government unlikely to step in to provide aid for

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Filing for a Patent in Korea: Basics of Korean Patent Law

Over the next couple of months, lawyers here at IPG Legal shall provide detailed insight and analysis of the Patent Laws of Korea. The following post details the basics of filing for a patent in South Korea. Individuals or companies can register for patents through the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). The application and registration of patents is governed by the Korean Patent Act (“the Act”). In most cases, patents may be filed in English, but extra specific measures should

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Can Foreigners buy Real Property in Korea? Korean Real Estate Law for Non-Korean Residents and Non-Residents

Unlike some Asian countries that do not allow or strictly limit foreign ownership of real properties, South Korea has a buoyant market that permits foreigners to purchase real estate and even land in Korea.  The major restrictions on ownership of real estate for non-Koreans was lifted during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis based on the advice of the IMF.  The lifting of these restrictions, led, in part, to a commercial and residential real estate boom.  The major benefit to Korea

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Korea’s Legal Measures to Reduce Fine Dust Pollution

The Korean Special Act on Fine Dust Abatement and Management (hereinafter as “Special Act on Fine Dust”) entered into force on February 15, 2019. The law, primarily, focus is restricting producers of fine dust to reduce the fine dust level in Korea. The Special Act on Fine Dust defines different types of dust and enables officials to set certain fine dust reduction measures. Legal Definitions of Fine Dust The Special Act on Fine Dust provides definitions of “fine dust,” “micro-fine

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Calculation of Korean Hourly Wage Rate under the Minimum Wage Act of Korea

Korea’s minimum wage as per the Korean Minimum Wage Act in 2019 is determined by the Minister of Employment & Labor as KRW 8,350 per hour. The latest decisions of the Supreme Court developed a calculation standard/method for determining an hourly wage rate that is not in line with the opinion of the Ministry of Employment & Labor. In many such cases, a Ministry, simply, pushes to amend the law. This matter is important, since the standard hourly wage rate

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Korean Intestate Succession Law: Inheriting Property from your Korean-National Parents

We assist numerous clients concerning intestate succession issues in Korea. Many of these clients are foreigners who are children of a Korean decedent who passed away without a will. Typically, the clients are in need of an asset scrub and assistance in the transfer of the assets to the name of the client and forwarding of the funds overseas. Please note this present article deals, solely, with Interstate Succession under Korean Law. If your parent was, solely, a national of

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Finding a Korean Lawyer/Law Firm for your Business in Korea

We obtain numerous emails and calls from potential clients in search of a great Korean lawyer for companies doing business in Korea.  The majority of these intakes come from referrals from present clients, referrals from other lawyers and a couple trickle in via this blog. From our contacts, we believe that many businesses in Korea are having a difficult finding attorneys in Korea that have business savvy, the ability to efficiently work for the client and/or an inability to handle

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Korea Due Diligence for Joint Ventures, Licensing, OEMs and Buying a Korean Company

Intending to execute a joint venture agreement with a Korean company? Buying a Korean company? Licensing technology to a Korean company? OEM with a Korean supplier? Selling to a Korean company?Before going to bed with a Korean company (or individual) do a little due diligence.  The motivation for this article is an article by my friends over at the China Law Blog. Due diligence in Korea is not much different than due diligence in China.  However, don’t forget what is

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Starting a Manufacturing Business in South Korea: Top 14 Things to Know Before you Start a Business in Korea

Korea, in most cases, is a much better choice for the manufacturing of chemical, petroleum, construction equipment, complex crafted metals, specialty steel, automotive parts, semi-conductor, medical and pharmaceutical equipment and goods than China and most nations in Asia, because of Korea’s skilled work force, government incentives and increasingly transparent business practices. In many cases, manufacturing in Korea will not, in the end, be more costly than manufacturing in China, because of the increased efficiency of Korean workers and the, often,

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EEOC Complaints in Korea at Yongsan Army Garrison, Camp Humpreys and Area I: EEO Korea Complaints

This law firm’s U.S. lawyers handle EEOC Korean complaints from our office in Korea; Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) appeals from Korea; grievances under the Negotiated Grievance Procedure from Korea; complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); lawsuits in U.S. federal court for federal employees working at Yongsan, Camp Humphreys, Area I and throughout the Korean peninsula.  We, also, on occasion handle matters stateside and throughout other parts of Asia.  These matters are all personally handled by Sean Hayes and

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How Foreign Importers Entering Korea May Prosper from the Korean Middle Class in Korea being Screwed by Inflation: Screwflation

This is an older article we posted nearly eight years ago.  However, we fear the same is occurring today. Inflation may be a serious issue for Korea in the next couple of years.  The Korea Times has reported that stagnant wages and food inflation is leading to “Screwflation” in Korea.  This phenomenon is a potential opportunity for importers with an eagerness to directly access the market.  The term Screwflation was coined by Wall Street guru Doug Kass.  Kass explains the

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Mergers & Acquisition Arbitration Matters under Korean Law at the KCAB

Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As) lead to disputes around the world, many of which are complex and involve money that may change substantially the future of a company, shareholders, employees and other stakeholders. Korea is no different in this respect. Korea witnessed the number of its cross-border transaction disputes explode during the 1997 IMF crisis and continue to steadily increase ever since. Many of these issues ended in arbitration and many others lead to criminal charges and into the Korean courts.

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English-Speaking Criminal Defense Lawyers in Korea: Defense Lawyers to Hire and Not to Hire?

In all cases, in Korea, where you are accused of a crime and you fear that you may be sentenced to time in jail, may be deported or the conviction may harm your future, hire, quickly, an experienced and proactive English-Fluent Korean criminal defense lawyers prior to any interrogations by the Korean police or prosecution.Sadly, few lawyers, in Korea, are useful for criminal matters, since few lawyers are proactive when it comes to matters concerning the Korean government, experienced in

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Provisional Attachments of Assets in Pending Litigation in Korea Courts

A party attempting to collect on a debt or potential liability based on breach of contract or torts in Korea may obtain a Provisional Attachment of an Asset. Another useful tool to expedite proceeding in a Korean civil matter is to Obtain a Payment Order from a Korean Court.  A provisional attachment is considered provisional, since the attachment is executed prior to the final judgement. The, facial, purpose of a provisional attachment is to secure assets necessary for enforcement in cases where

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Liquidated Damages v. Penalties in Korean contracts

As a NY attorney, it’s a bit strange for me to read a Korean contract and see how the word “penalty” is used.  In the United States (as well as other common law jurisdictions), when a contract contains a “penalty,” the clause is, often, invalidated. Korea, however, allows some “penalties” in contracts. Cutting to the chase, this is merely an issue of confusing and overlapping terminology.  But since its confusing, it is worth explaining. To start with, a bit of

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