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Southeast Asia

Since the 2000s, BKL has been providing legal services in practice areas including among many others foreign direct investment, construction, project financing and international arbitration, to Korean companies making inroads into the Southeast Asian market.
In 2015, with a view to becoming more specialized in providing legal services in Southeast Asia, BKL made its presence in Vietnam by opening offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In addition, BKL has dispatched its attorneys to Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos, and has built a cooperative relationship with major law firms in those countries, thereby being capable of providing comprehensive legal service across the entire region.

BKL’s Vietnam office is directed and managed by Mr. Eric Yang, the head of BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group, Mr. Cheolhyo Ahn,a partner and New York-licensed attorney at BKL, and Mr. Yonggeun Bae, the representative of the Vietnam office. Using the Vietnam office as a foothold, BKL has provided legal services to Korean companies all over Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia and Malaysia, in relation to M&A, construction, real estate, financial transactions and dispute resolution.

Mr. Yang is the first among the Korean attorneys to have become dedicated to Vietnam practice since as early as 2007. He is widely recognized as one of the most professional and seasoned Korean lawyers in Vietnam practice and widely praised for his extensive advisory experience in enabling Korean companies to successfully handle their businesses in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam.

Mr. Ahn holds a B.A. in Economics from Seoul National University, an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan School of Business, and a J.D. from Emory University School of Law. He has advised many Korean companies on their entry into the Southeast Asian market. Currently, he serves as a consultant for KOTRA’s Research Promotion Council for the “Myantra Master Plan” Support Project.

Mr. Bae, who is currently based in Hanoi and leads the Vietnam office, has more than ten-years of experience and expertise in practicing law in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam. His practice area ranges from M&A, foreign direct investment, foreign finance, real estate development, SOC business, labor, tax and international disputes in foreign countries. He is also vigorously engaged in various activities by serving as legal advisor for the Korean Embassy in Vietnam, director of Hanoi Korean International School Foundation and legal advisor for Korean Construction Association in Vietnam. In addition, by using the close network he has built with the Vietnamese government organizations, Mr. Bae provides effective on-site legal service.

Furthermore, BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group has highly qualified and distinguished local experts in Korean company-related cases—which is why the group has been able to provide Korean companies with prompt and accurate legal advice.

Among them, Mr. Tran Ahn Dung has advised Korean companies since 2003 on various issues and major projects related to M&A, litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution in Vietnam. He holds a B.A. in Law from Hanoi National University in Vietnam and an LL.M. degree from the University of the West England in the U.K.

Mr. Samuel Vu (licensed in the state of Washington) has extensive experience in advising Korean companies on their entry into the Vietnamese market since 2011. He has an excellent command of both English and Korean language. His fluency in Korean in particular is attributed to his having lived in Korea for seven years during which he obtained a B.A. in International Law from Handong Global University and graduated from the same university’s law school.

Mr. Htet Zaw Kaung (licensed in Myanmar) holds a LL.B from Dagon University and an LL.M from Yangon University in Myanmar. He worked as consultant at The Law Chambers in Myanmar starting 2008 and thereafter studied International Law at the Transactional Law and Business University in Korea. Since 2012, he has advised Korean companies on their investemnts in Myanmar.

BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group handles various cases, through its efficient, collaborative system using a team consisting of attorneys from the eleven specialized departments of the Seoul Headquarters and attorneys dispatched and placed on site in the relevant local country, depending on the type of case and the needs of the client concerned. By utilizing this system, BKL Southeast Asia Team attorneys will continue to provide prompt and accurate legal advice to all investors who make inroads into the Southeast Asian market—including Vietnam.

Corporate / M&A
"One-stop legal service provider, ranging from due diligence, contract drafting, negotiation, application for license and so on"
BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group has advised many companies in Southeast Asia on various major M&A deals, providing comprehensive, one-stop legal services ranging from negotiation, due diligence, contract drafting, application for license and corporate management. Based on their rich experiences and expertise on the Southeast Asian market, BKL’s Southeast Asia Team attorneys have provided legal services to successfully consummate M&A transactions by thoroughly analyzing legal risks from such transactions and devising countermeasures.

Construction & Projects
"Accurate analyzer of legal risks from large-size projects”
Korean companies have made remarkable achievements in large-size construction projects and public-private partnership projects in Southeast Asian countries. BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group has advised Korean companies on major construction and development projects, including Keangnam Enterprise’s construction of the highest building in Vietnam, the Hanoi Landmark Tower 72, Lotte Group’s Lotte Center Hanoi Project, and Keumho E&C’s Keumho Asiana Building in Ho Chi Minh City. Based on their rich experiences, BKL Southeast Asia Team attorneys have provided satisfactory legal services by accurately analyzing legal risks arising from large-size projects.

Investment & License
"Prompt service provider having close, cooperative relationship with legal practice-related government organizations”
Since the 2000s, BKL has advised Korean companies desiring to make inroads into the Southeast Asian market on their foreign direct investments and license acquisition in such a country. Based on its extensive experience, BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group has established a close, mutually-cooperative relationship with government agencies in the region—which is why the group has been able to promptly and efficiently handle the obtainment of approvals and permits from relevant government agencies, an inevitable process for any foreign investment.

Tax / Transfer Pricing
"Countermeasure designer effectively responding to tax-related risks"
The more increasingly important issues on taxation have become, the bigger the Korean companies have grown in the Southeastern region. Particularly, due to the changes in taxation conditions in the region and more tightened regulation of transfer pricing, it has become even more necessary to better manage tax-related risks. In response, BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group has provided effective countermeasures to tax-related risks by organically cooperating with accountants and customs brokers in the Seoul office.

Banking & Financing
"Reliable consultant providing accurate legal advice based on many and rich experiences in advising many financial institutions"
Having noticed the Southeast Asian financial market as a new engine for growth, a number of Korean financial institutions entered the market. BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group has advised multiple Korean banks, including Shinhan Bank, Kookmin Bank, Hana Bank and Woori Bank, on the start of business in the market, the operation of a local branch, project financing and other legal issues in Southeast Asia—thereby contributing to those clients’ successful business management.

Dispute Resolution
"Best solution provider for resolving disputes"
While the increasing number of Korean companies investing in Southeast Asia has been caught up in legal disputes, many of them are still having difficulty in handling such troubles due to the uncertainty in the judicial system in the region. In contrast, however, clients advised by the excellent local attorneys belonging to BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group have enjoyed successful results in multiple litigations or arbitrations in the region.
Major Cases
    Vietnam

    • Advised an Asian private equity fund on the acquisition of Vietnam’s largest wire manufacturer

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate on the acquisition of companies listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate on the incorporation of a factory and a local subsidiary in Vietnam

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate on the acquisition of a Vietnamese insurer and conducted a due diligence review of the same

    • Advised a Korean investment management company on the acquisition of investment interests in a mine lot in Vietnam

    • Reviewed a Korean construction company’s Ho Chi Minh Metro E&M project

    • Advised a Korean financial institution on the refinancing for a Vietnam landmark tower construction project

    • Advised a Korean government-funded insurance corporation on the project financing of a power plant in Mong Duong, Vietnam

    • Reviewed whether the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act is violated by transactions between a Korean conglomerate’s domestic affiliates or foreign subsidiaries (including ones in Vietnam)

    • Advised a Korean insurer on the purchase of its company building in Vietnam



    Philippines

    • Advised a Korean insurer on the financing for a photovoltaic power generation project in the Philippines

    • Advised a Korean transportation company on the incorporation of local branches in eight countries including the Philippines and on a business transfer project

    • Advised a Korean IT company on the incorporation of a JV in the Philippines

    • Advised a Korean large home shopping company on the incorporation of a JV in the Philippines

    • Advised a Korean large trading company on a biomass project in the Philippines

    • Reviewed tax matters related to a real estate investment fund operated by a Korean investment management company

    • Advised a Korean armature company on a hydraulic power plant project in the Philippines



    Myanmar

    • Advised a Korean large construction company on a residential/commercial complex development project in Myanmar

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate’s consortium on a hotel BOT project in Myanmar

    • Advised a Korean consortium on a Combined Cycle Power Plant project in Takeda, Myanmar

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate on the acquisition of a real estate in Myanmar

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate on the Myanmar Trademark Act

    • Advised the National Tariff Information Network Management Association on a KSP project in Myanmar

    • Advised a Korean manufacturer on an electric power transmission and transformation project



    Thailand

    • Advised a Korean company on a dispute with a Thailand company regarding a share acquisition agreement

    • Advised a Korean company on the ways of obtaining a compulsory execution order on shares held by a Thailand company

    • Advised a corporate judicial person on the antidumping application and expire review in respect of particle boards

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate on Thailand’s tax law and foreign exchange transaction law

    • Advised a Korean large telecommunication company on business development and investment in Thailand

    • Advised a Korean large home shopping company on the incorporation of a JV to carry out the home shopping business in Thailand

    • Advised a Korean large pharmaceutical company on the construction of a factory with Thailand Red Cross

    • Advised a Korean entertainment company on contract drafting

    • Advised a Korean construction company on a Phuket Thalang development project



    Malaysia

    • Advised a Korean semiconductor manufacturer on the investment by incorporating a JV

    • Advised a Korean large home shopping company on the incorporation of a JV in Malaysia

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate on the investment through a JV to produce elevators

    • Reviewed an investment project contemplated by a Korean telecommunication company

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate’s local branch on the financing following the methods of the Islamic Finance

    • Advised a Korean large distribution company on the acquisition of Carrefour Malaysia

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate on tax matters related to its local JV



    Cambodia

    • Advised a Korean company on the acquisition of a local commercial bank in Cambodia

    • Drafted and reviewed a project financing contract for a Korean company and advised the client on the financing and the relevant process

    • Advised a Korean investment management company on its real estate fund’s countermeasures in case of the constructor’s workout

    • Advised a Korean financial institution on the preservation of its claims on real properties, etc. in Cambodia

    • Advised the Korea Consultants International on a road construction project in Cambodia

    • Advised a Korean large construction company on the Daesan Project in Cambodia

    • Reviewed a racetrack business plan contemplated by a Korean company

    • Reviewed Asia Development Bank’s legislation project in Cambodia and advised the bank on the enactment of an E-Commerce law



    Indonesia

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate on the incorporation of a local company in Indonesia

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate on the incorporation of a design company in Indonesia

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate on the incorporation of a factory and a local subsidiary in Indonesia

    • Advised a Korean financial institution on the merger of a local bank in Indonesia

    • Advised a Korean financial institution on its entry into the Indonesian credit card market

    • Advised a Korean conglomerate on the EPC for a coal mine project in Indonesia

    • Advised a Korean large construction company on a PPP project in Indonesia