Building Systems Before JVs in Korea to Build Trust between Partners

A blog referred to me by the China Law Blog has a wonderful post on Developing Trust in China by Building Trustworthy Systems/Processes.  The same advice given in this blog post is relevant to work done in Korea, Southeast Asia, China and even the West.  We believe that the verification of the developing and implementation of these system is, often, necessary before building a joint venture relationship with a Korean company. The value of building systems is not to be underestimated in Korea.  Koreans, in most respects, are wonderful at performing tasks that are well dictated and explained. While in the West, we often appreciate more autonomy and, often, don’t strive when systems are too rigid. In the East, many strive on ordered guidance. My law firm often works with business consultants to assist client in implementing systems that reward following these systems/processes. These “systems” are, often, incorporated by reference

Continue reading

So you want to do business in Korea? Listen to my Mother. Korean Joint Venture/Partnership Basics

My wise mother once told me to: look both ways before crossing the street; carry an umbrella to school in the spring; and don’t go out alone at night. The advice can go along way when doing business in Korea or even in most parts of the world. Getting involved in business in Korea is unwise without due diligence (Look both ways before crossing the street), carefully drafted shareholder agreements (carry and umbrella in the spring) and some Korean know-how (don’t go out alone in the dark). Korean statutory law provides less protection to non-controlling shareholders than in Europe, States and in many other parts of the world. This article is not intended to discourage investors. Don’t avoid joint ventures in Korea; just enter them with understanding, care and a Korea-savvy guide. The horror stories about the pitfalls of doing business in Korea can fill a book. However, the same

Continue reading

Listen to My Mother: JVs in Asia

The following article was written for the Korean language Legal Times. My mother often told me, when I was much younger, to look both ways before crossing the street, carry an umbrella in the spring, and don’t go out alone in the dark. The advice can go a long way for Korean companies doing business outside Korea. and for expats doing business in Korea. As we all know, Korea companies and many foreign companies lament over the fact that it is near impossible for Korean companies, with the exception of the most savvy and cash flush mega-conglomerates, to enter the Chinese, Indian and Southeast Asian markets without local partners if they intend to attempt to penetrate the local markets. The common cry of Korean companies is to avoid JVs at all costs. In reality the issue is not the avoidance of JVs, but the procedure in choosing and dealing with

Continue reading