Skip to Main Content Skip to main navigation

All Areas

HOME > Practice Areas > All Areas


Bae, Kim & Lee LLC regularly advises its clients on the framework of environmental regulations affecting business in Korea, across a wide variety of industries.

While for decades the country’s industrial base grew at a very brisk pace, Korea steadily adopted an array of environmental controls, which have come to reach virtually all aspects of the natural environment. Key laws in this context include, for example, a Basic Law on Environmental Policy (the “Basic Law”), Environmental Dispute Adjustment Act, Clean Air Conservation Act, Water Quality Conservation Act, Soil Environment Conservation Act, Waste Control Act, Toxic Chemicals Control Act, Industry Safety and Health Act, and noise and lighting regulations.

For a variety of development and construction projects, the Basic Law will often require an advance environmental impact assessment, together with a public review process. For many manufacturing, chemicals and other businesses in Korea, the network of laws demands careful attention to requirements such as registrations, reports, special treatment and disposal arrangements, inspections, and measurements, and appointment of specialized supervisors. BKL is able to provide expert assistance in negotiating all such regulatory constraints and requirements.

In the course of investments and acquisitions in Korea, as well, clients often rely on BKL for highly focused advice on environmental compliance. The due diligence review that we perform for the buyer side will, as a rule, include careful attention to potential exposure due to environmental issues.

Among other issues of particular concern, it is important to be aware of potential successor liability in Korea. For example, under soil-related regulations, the acquirer of an industrial site may be liable for clean-up of prior contamination that is discovered only later, unless the acquirer took reasonable steps (particularly by means of a soil analysis) to try to verify the state of the site. We offer our clients an acute understanding of the issues arising in this type of context, geared toward practical and particularized assistance for each enterprise.

As one of the largest litigation firms in Korea, BKL offers a group of litigators highly versed in the many facets of environmental lawsuits, involving injunctive or damage remedies. Such disputes, which are often complex, multi-party disputes, call for a grasp of both social interests and commercial and development needs, which our experienced litigators bring to each case.