BKL acted as Korean counsel for Hana Alternative Asset Management Co., Ltd. (“Hana”) on a project for the acquisition of an office building located in London, U.K., known as the Sanctuary Building. In Korea, the acquisition was structured as a master-feeder fund to cater for multiple professional investors, and offshore, through the use of a Jersey property unit trust (the “JPUT”) to minimize tax leakage.
Working closely with a U.K. law firm acting as the main counsel, as well as tax and financial advisers for tax effective structuring, BKL advised and assisted on all aspects of the transaction, making a significant contribution to the formulation and implementation of a tax efficient investment structure, the review and negotiation of key transaction documents, the resolution of due diligence issues and concerns, the formation of the JPUT and other entities required to give effect to the structure, as well as advising on all Korean legal and regulatory matters and issues affecting the transaction.
Notably, this project marks the first of many out-bound investments into Europe made by Korean investors in recent times, which was devised to deal with the various challenges presented by the recent U.K. tax reform (announced in 2017) aimed at broadening the U.K.’s tax base to include disposals of all forms of U.K. land made by non-residents including both direct disposals of U.K. land and indirect disposals of entities that predominantly derive their value from U.K. land.
BKL team including Attorneys Hyeon KANG, Seung Il HONG, Hae In JIN, Jong Woo KIM (California, Washington D.C.) and Accountant Seung-Wan CHAE contributed significantly to the success of this project.