Bae, Kim & Lee LLC (“BKL”) won a total of 11 awards at the ALB Korea Law Awards 2022 ceremony. Competing for the lead with Kim & Chang (14 awards), BKL surpassed other law firms by a wide margin.
For five consecutive years, Bae, Kim & Lee LLC (“BKL”) ranked among “The Global 200” law firms selected by the ALM Media (“ALM”) which publishes many leading legal publications including the American Lawyer. ALM publishes “The Global 200” every year by aggregating sales revenue and profit per equity partner from law firms around the world.
BKL was honored with “South Korea Firm of the Year” at the Women in Business Law APAC Awards 2022, in recognition of the firm’s women-friendly welfare system, including ▲ adjustment of commuting hours during pregnancy, ▲ reduction of working hours for pregnant women, and ▲ operation of a resting space exclusively for women. In addition, BKL has implemented the mentoring program and regularly holds the Women Professionals Forum to strengthen networking among women professionals and enhance their competitiveness. Jurisdiction awards recognize law firms that are outstanding role models in promoting initiatives and programs to support and encourage women and diversity within the industry.
On top of the firm’s accolade, BKL won the most awards among the Korean firms with three lawyers awarded prizes in their respective fields of practice.
Antitrust & Competition lawyer of the Year - HyunA Kim
Information Communications Technology Lawyer of the Year - Jiyeon Park
Arbitration Rising Star - Hangil Lee.
Euromoney, a global financial magazine, has been hosting the awards ceremony for law firms and women experts across Asia since 2011. The awards recognize the outstanding achievements of leading female lawyers in each field and honor law firms for their contribution to the promotion of women's rights and interests and development of women's capabilities across the world.
[Clink here for more information]
On April 6, 2023, the Goyang Branch of Uijeongbu District Court (the “Trial Court”) issued the first trial court decision (the “First Court Decision”) regarding alleged violation of the Serious Accidents Punishment Act (“SAPA”), sentencing a representative director of a construction company to a suspended imprisonment sentence for a fatal accident occurred in May 2022. In another case, a week earlier on March 31, 2023, the Uijeongbu District Public Prosecutor’s Office (the “PO”) filed a criminal indictment for SAPA violation not against the registered representative director but a “chairperson” of a group of companies (who had no official position in any company) regarding the first fatal accident triggering application of SAPA which occurred on January 29, 2022 (the “First SAPA Incident Indictment”).
In 2023, major drug pricing policy changes are expected to be made to reinforce the reimbursement coverage of innovative drugs and the drug prices follow-up management system. BKL Healthcare Team reviewed the relevant policy trends and changes in laws and regulations and analyzed the considerations for pharmaceutical companies. Below is a summary of the latest major changes and developments in this field.
On February 16, 2023, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (“KFTC”) announced its Enforcement System Reform Plan (“Enforcement Plan”) to enhance predictability in the KFTC’s investigation, ensure target subjects’ rights, and improve case management through amending its Investigation Procedure Rules and the Case Management Procedure Rules during the first half of 2023.
On February 27, 2023, the National Assembly passed proposed partial amendments to the Game Industry Promotion Act, which, inter alia, introduces a new set of clarifications and obligations concerning probability-based Random Items (defined below) (the “Amended GIPA”). The Amended GIPA is expected to take effect as early as the first half of the next year after a grace period of one year.
On 7 February 2023, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (the “MOEF”) announced the “Foreign Exchange Market Structure Improvement Plan” (the “Plan”) which aims to transform the existing foreign exchange market structure into a more liberal and competitive market. This is the first meaningful announcement in the FX area in over 20 years. The proposed regulatory changes are expected to improve foreign investors’ accessibility to the domestic foreign exchange market and present more opportunities for foreign financial institutions to participate in the foreign exchange market.
Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) as amended includes new rights of data portability and a right to refuse automated decision-making.
On December 23, 2022, proposed amendments to Korean tax laws for 2022 were finally adopted and implemented by the National Assembly (“Tax Reform”). As a follow-up measure, on January 18, 2023, the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Korea announced proposed amendments to the enforcement decree of Korean tax laws for 2022 (“Proposal”). The Proposal is expected to be promulgated in February 2023.
On January 13, 2023, the Seoul Administrative Court dismissed an appeal filed by SkyPeople Corporation (“SkyPeople”), which sought to cancel the Game Rating and Administration Committee’s (“GRAC”) decision not to rate its blockchain-based, play-to-earn (P2E) game entitled “Five Stars for Klaytn” (the “Game”).
On January 25, 2023, the Financial Services Commission (the “FSC”) released its proposed measures to significantly improve foreign investors’ access to Korean capital markets (the “Release”). More specifically, the proposed measures include the following key takeaways:
The Korea Fair Trade Commission (the “KFTC”) recently established a new division dedicated to reviewing merger cases involving foreign parties (“Foreign Mergers”), and is continuing to make various systematic reorganization efforts to effectively respond to the increasing need for more efficient merger reviews. In 2021, the KFTC reviewed approximately 1,100 merger cases, experiencing about a 150% increase compared to 2018. Korea’s current merger review system and the limited number of case handlers (eight in total), made it difficult to provide timely support for the innovative growth of the companies and effectively respond to large-scale Foreign Mergers. As a result, the KFTC expects to implement various systematic changes as follows: