Failed Korean Corporate Compliance and the Role of Attorneys in Korea

The following article appeared in the Korea Times on May 6, 2011. The National Assembly of Korea, recently, voted in favor of a bill that requires listed companies with large market capitalizations to establish independent compliance support offices. Business organizations strongly opposed the bill. The details of the system are not yet known, since many key aspects of the bill have been delegated to the president through an enforcement ordinance. The surface purpose of the bill is to improve companies compliance with Korean law, thus, upgrading the image of Korean companies domestically and abroad. Some scholars have noted that transparency and other corporate governance issues, within Korean companies, have led to the “Korea discount” and that the discount may be overcome with more active compliance departments. Additionally, fear has spread that an Enron-type scandal may hit Korea in the future and that the implementation of this system may contribute to

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