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 the issues the client is handling.  The situation seems to stem, primarily, from the high cost of top-notch legal services in the Korea and the lack of many top-notch Korean lawyers working in business space for expat businesses.  Additionally, many lawyers, in Korea, are plagued with conflicts. Finding a Lawyer for the Needs of your Business in Korea Consider the following when hiring an Korean Lawyer or Law Firm in

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Distribution Agreement in Korea: Factors to Always Keep in Mind

Prior to going into any relationship with a distributor/agent in Korea, please read my post entitled: Finding a Korean Distributor: The Top 10 Things to Know Before Going to Bed with a Distributor in Korea. Please read that post in combination with this post, prior to engaging a distributor. We see too many distribution agreements that are mere spun U.S. distribution or agent agreements. Please have your distribution agreement and all agreements you have in Korea drafted by an experienced and proactive attorney that has on-the-ground experience in Korea. We see too many issues that could have been easily resolved by a carefully drafted agreement and a little due diligence. Issues to consider for your Korean Distribution Agreement: Will your distributor in Korea be your agent? If the distributor is an agent, generally, you will, only, be paying your agent a commission and you will be directly invoicing the client.

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Terminate/Layoff an Employee in Korea: Terminating an Employee in Korea

The Korean Labor Standards Act mandates that employees under “contract” or “regular employees” may only be terminated for “justifiable reason attributable” to the employee or “urgent managerial necessity” after the completion of the employee’s probationary period. Both Korean employment law standards are, often, difficult for an employer to meet without the professional structuring of HR policies and procedures and a nuanced approach to termination of employees in Korea. We strongly recommend, prior to even considering firing or laying off Korean workers, to put a system of internal controls/systems in place that provides evidence to substantiate Korean employment terminations decisions.  We see too many companies in Korea that lack the systems necessary to substantiate termination.  Modest changes can, often, be refreshing for managers. FYI – Company executives/directors are, normally, not considered company “employees” and thus are not benefited by most of the protections afforded by the Korean Labor Standards Act.  However,

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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 local Korean corporate entity. One of the most significant risks of foreign companies doing business in Korea without a local entity is being deemed a local corporation subject to tax on worldwide income.  A domestic corporation under the Corporate Tax Act of Korea is a company with its “actual business

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[News] Ex-governor Found Guilty and Sentenced for Rape

The Supreme Court reached a consensus for former South Chungcheong Province Governor An Hee-jung’s sentence for raping his female assistant, in the nation’s most noteworthy profile #Metoo movement scandal. The Supreme Court on September 9, 2019 confirmed that An Hee-Jung should serve a 3 ½ year prison sentence for his crime against his secretary. The Supreme Court stated that “The victim’s testimony is deemed credible given that it is consistent and very detailed without parts that are inconsistent.” The Supreme Court also said that An had abused his high position in order to intimidate Kim whom at the time was his aide and subordinate. He repeatedly assaulted her over and over again from August 2017 to February last year. Appealing the Lower Court’s prior verdict of not guilty, the Seoul High Court sentenced An to 3 ½ years in prison and also ordered him to participate in a sexual violence

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