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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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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Data Protection in Korea is set to take on new importance in 2021

Koreans have been forced into the realm of digital deliveries and contactless payment options due to the global pandemic. The change in conditions shall, likely, lead to more criminals looking to take advantage of this situation. Foreigners and international companies potentially could be exposed to significant risks from data and identity theft in Korea as the risks increase over the next 12 months. A recent report by the Police Science Institute in Korea predicts that white-collar crimes such as fraud

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Navigating Korea’s Inheritance Law: Korean Inheritance Laws Basics Explained

Sean C. Hayes and the team at IPG Legal field many inquiries from international clients for assistance with inheritance issues in South Korea. Many clients that we talk with are children of Korean descendants who have passed away without a will. This week we saw another ruling on inheritance issues with the surviving family of K-pop star Goo Hara. After a nine-month battle, the Gwanju Family Court ruled that the inheritance be split, with the singer’s brother getting 60% of

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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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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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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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