IPG Legal’s Korean Criminal Defense Practice

IPG Legal is one of the only law firms in Korea that obtained dozens of not guilty, dismissals and suspension of indictments in Korea. We handled hundreds of cases for foreigners in Korea and believe that we are the most experienced law firm in Korea handling criminal defense cases for expats, business executives, U.S. government employees and senior enlisted soldiers and airmen working in Korea. Our criminal defense attorneys have worked with expats on criminal matters in Korea for over

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Definition of “Ordinary Wage” in Korea: Korean Employment & Labor Law Basics

The courts of the Republic of Korea, for years, has struggled to find a consistent interpretation of an “Ordinary Wage.” The definition of Ordinary Wage, under Korean Law, was clarified by the Korean Supreme Court in two decisions handed down on December 18, 2013. The calculation of Ordinary Wages is important, since the calculation is utilized to calculate statutory entitlements, and thus has an impact on the aggregate amount of contributions necessary to be paid to employees. For example, according

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How to Retain an English-Speaking Attorney in Korea by Tom Coyner

There are excellent and ethical attorneys in every country; this is certainly also the case in Korea with Korean attorneys and international attorneys working in Korea. While all are no doubt intelligent and highly educated, the manner in which many approach their clients’ needs harkens more to the early 20th century than the cusp of the 21st century. Unfortunately, most Korean attorneys fail to appreciate or care to consider the commercial context of their counsel. Based on what one reads

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Top Law Firms in Seoul, Korea for English-Speaking Clients 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 in Korea. IPG is listed under the title Large/International Law Firms.  Thanks for the mention 10 Magazine. We love your work.  IPG Legal and many of our lawyers were listed as top attorneys by numerous legal rating services and magazines. The article by 10 Magazine on the law firms in Korea notes: The lawyers of IPG focus on business law,

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Sailing into the winds of change: Sailing in Korea

My Yacht/Sailing Club was featured in the Joongang Daily. Sailing into the winds of change Joong ang Ilbo (February 23, 2007) Harold Shim, right, aboard a 21-foot trimaran on the Han River in Seoul with members and guests of the 700 Yacht Club. In 1965, as an 11-year-old immigrant to the United States, Harold Shim found himself with his brother and sister living with an adoptive family on Wrangell Island in southeastern Alaska. His adoptive parents were teachers, who did

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Korea emerges as an Arbitration Hub in East Asia

With several major international companies now calling Seoul home and many international construction contracts choosing Seoul as the venue for arbitration, international arbitration matters are on the rise in Korea. American, Australian, British, Chinese, Indian, German have expanded their interest in the growing Korean market. International conglomerates in Korea have long understood the value of the arbitration process. Regrettably, few Korean attorneys are capable of handling international arbitration cases in the English language, because of the lack of experience in

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International Arbitrations in Korea under the IBA Rules

Procedural Arbitration rules are key to the efficient and effective adjudication of arbitration disputes in Korea and, also, worldwide.  These arbitration rules govern and set out the framework for the arbitration process. Evidence gathering and presentation are important aspects of the above procedure, and yet, institutional and ad hoc rules that provide arbitration guidelines on other matters such as the appointment of arbitrators and the nature of award and costs are, usually, silent on this point. Advantages of such a

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Koreans Hold Unique View on Foreign Firms by Tom Coyner

For many years, the Korean market has been synonymous with protectionism in many foreign marketers’ minds. However, with the advent of a strong middle class and its successful struggle to gain a genuine democracy during the past two decades, many of the trade barriers have fallen. As more foreign products and services have become integrated into the Korean economy, a wider acceptance of foreign corporations has taken place. However, it would be a mistake to say this is a trend.

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Content Opportunities for Int’l Entertainment Companies in Korea

The global success of BTS hasn’t gone unnoticed in the US, as Korea remains an excellent market for foreign companies actively pursuing content partnerships in Asia. Over the last decade, IPG Legal has built significant relationships with major entertainment companies in Korea and abroad and worked on several international collaborations. British singer Ed Sheeran is the latest foreign entertainer to collaborate with a K-Pop band. Sheeran co-wrote the lyrics for the BTS single “Permission to Dance.” International content and entertainment

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Proposed Korean Law Aims to Break In-App Purchase Monopolies of Apple and Google

In an article that appeared in The Register, it was reported that legislators in Korea are proposing a law that aims to break the monopolies of App Stores such as Google and Apple. In-app purchase (IAP) is defined by Real Simple as “any fee (beyond the initial cost of downloading the app, if there is one) an app may ask for.” Currently Google and Apple require their app developers to use their in-app payment services when someone wishes to make

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Filing a Complaint to the Merit System Protection Board from within Korea

The Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) is a U.S. government agency protecting the rights of US employees. US Federal employees in South Korea are entitled to the same protections, under U.S. Law as employees based in the United States. The United States attorneys at IPG Legal have extensive experience handling appeal matters at the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), grievances under the Negotiated Grievance Procedure and complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). We have worked with GS and

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Constitutional Court Upholds Cellphone Ban While Driving

Long term foreign residents will note that the Korean Constitutional Court has upheld the rule banning the use of cellphones while driving. The court ruling stipulates that the ban isn’t a violation of the Korean Constitution. Using cellphones while driving increases the risk of traffic accident and should be banned to protect the life, body, and property of the people. The law allows certain exceptions that permit the use of cellphones in emergency situations, minimizing unecessary inconvenience. Korean Constitutional Court’s

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Immigration updates for Foreigners In Korea: Expiration of Visas

The Korean Ministry for Justice (MOJ) announced it is relaxing passport restrictions for foreign residents in South Korea. Under the new guidelines from the MOJ, long-term foreign residents shall be allowed to stay in the country after their passport expires. The MOJ announced it was giving foreign nationals in Korea an amnesty period until June 2022. Foreign nationals shall be allowed to stay in Korea for up to 12 months, even if their passport has expired. Once the amnesty period has expired,

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International Child Abduction in Korea: Removing a Child Back to the Country of Residence of the Custodial Parent via the Korean Courts Explained

On March 1, 2013, South Korea adopted and ratified The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (concluded 25 October 1980). The main goal of the Hague Child Abduction Treaty is to protect children under the age of 16 from being illegally removed or wrongfully retained in a signatory state. The Hague Child Abduction Treaty, in short, empowers courts and government to allow a parent to return an abducted child to the nation the child was abducted

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South Korean Gambling Laws Explained

Casinos and sports betting remain a risky venture within South Korea for locals and foreigners wanting to gamble online. Gambling is still strictly taboo amongst South Koreans, as the majority of land-based casinos cater to tourists and long-term expatriates residents. South Koreans are subject to strict gambling regulations. Koreans are limited to visiting Kangwon Land Casino on the outskirts of Seoul for legalised gambling. The Special Act on the Assistance to Development of Abandoned Mines, protects locals playing at Kangwon

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Online Immigration Visit Reservation System to be Implemented in All Immigration Offices starting April 1, 2021

On March 8, 2021, Minister Park Beom Kye of the Ministry of Justice made an announcement that the online visit reservation system shall be implemented in all Immigration Offices starting April 1, 2021. We believe this system shall expedite the visa processing system. According to the Ministry of Justice, this system shall not, only, reduce long lines and waiting time of visitors, it will also ensure proper social distancing in compliance with COVID-19 regulations. The online visit reservation system shall

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Minimum Wage Increased in South Korea for 2021: Employment Law Update

The Ministry of Employment and Labor of South Korea has increased the minimum hourly wage by 1.5% for 2021 to KRW 8,720.00 compared to the 2020 minimum hourly wage of KRW 8,590.00. This new minimum hourly wage took effect on January 01, 2021. Moreover, in accordance with the hourly wage increase, the new minimum monthly wage, based on 209 working hours per month, will now be KRW 1,822,480.00 per month. The new minimum hourly wage also applies to both local

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Whistleblower Protections and Laws in South Korea

South Korea has various legislations that protect and give rewards to whistleblowers: Act on the Prevention of Corruption, Tax Whistleblower Reward Program, and Act on the Protection of Public Interest Whistleblowers. But for this article, we are going to focus on Act on the Protection of Public Interest Whistleblowers (“Act”) which took effect on September 30, 2011. The main purpose of this Act is to make sure that whistleblowers who are reporting public interest violations either in private sector or

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South Korea to Impose Taxes on Cryptocurrency in 2022

The Ministry of Economy and Finance confirmed that on the 1st of January 2022, profit from cryptocurrencies shall be subject to a 20% tax. And gifts and inheritance in the form of cryptocurrencies shall be taxed by the same rate of 20%. Exempted from Cryptocurrency Tax Any profit, gift and/or inheritance worth 2.5 million won and below will be exempted from the cryptocurrency tax. And only the profit, gift or inheritance in excess of 2.5 million won will be covered

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Tips for Start-up Success in Korea: Korean Business Basics

Despite the economic challenges presented by the COVID pandemic, there are still plenty of opportunities for start-up companies in South Korea. Many of the long-term foreign attorneys in Korea shall advise that South Korea remains a perfect testbed for foreign companies in the East Asian marketplace. Local and national governments remain committed to fostering long-term partnerships with foreign start-ups within Korea. The attorneys at IPG Legal have put together a list of their top tips to help your start-up succeed

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