The bill on the Act on the Punishment of Companies Responsible for Grave Industrial Accidents, Etc. (the “Act on Punishment of Grave Industrial Accidents”)—which passed the National Assembly in January 2020 and will come into effect next year—has regulations that hold companies more strongly accountable for serious industrial accidents and public safety disasters than the Occupational Safety and Health Act. In response, BKL has launched the TF for the Prevention and Response to Grave Industrial Accidents and Public Safety Disasters, expanding and reorganizing the Industrial Safety TF. BKL was the first large law firm to launch a task force handling industrial safety issues back in as early as 2015. Building on such long expertise in industrial accidents, BKL’s new task force is comprised of professionals specialized in, among others, human resources management, criminal law and applicable regulations, environment, and construction who cooperate with various experts on chemistry, electricity, electronics or machinery depending on the case. Accordingly, BKL is now capable of providing the best one-stop legal services for any client who needs to manage industrial accidents and prevent safety accidents.
We provide below our legal updates and selected links to the Korean government and public organization websites to provide you with the most up-to-date and essential insights on various legal challenges that you may be facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For any additional information (including translations) or questions, please reach out to the BKL COVID-19 Response Team or your BKL contact.
BKL team showed its overwhelming presence as the Tier 1 law firm in Vietnam by winning “The Best Investment and M&A Deal of the Year” for five consecutive years and “The Best Advisory Firm of the Year” for two consecutive years at the Vietnam M&A Forum 2020 held at the GEM Exhibition and Convention Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on the 24th of this month.
On April 20, 2022, the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) published a circular which states that the ‘music copyright fee participation claim’ which Musicow Inc. (“Musicow”) offers constitute ‘investment contract securities’ under the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act of Korea (“Capital Markets Act”).
Mr. Yoon Suk-yeol, the presidential candidate of the conservative People Power Party, won the presidential election on March 9.
Yoon Suk-yeol’s victory in South Korea’s presidential election on March 9, 2022 marks a rightward turn in the country’s leadership, to succeed the liberal administration of outgoing President Moon Jae-in. Yoon, a former chief prosecutor under Moon, had resigned in early 2021 under pressure for investigations into a key Moon ally. Mainly on the strength of his profile ensuing from that controversy, and despite zero political experience, he was named standard bearer of the main conservative opposition party, the “People Power Party”.
At the end of the long and often acrimonious contest, Yoon won with 48.6% of the vote, a razor-thin margin over his ruling Democratic Party candidate Lee Jae-myung. The result is seen as reflecting, among other things, broad discontent over sky-high housing costs and inflation all around. Evidently pivotal, also, was an endorsement of Yoon in the final week from a center-right candidate who had been running third. Yoon Suk-yeol, 61, lawyer and ex-prosecutor, newcomer to politics, will serve as President of Korea through 2026.
By reflecting the normative factors of ESG management, the Financial Services Commission (the “FSC”) amended the Corporate Governance Report Guidelines (“Guidelines”) on March 7, 2022. Based on such amendment, the FSC announced its plans to: (1) newly establish specific principles to ensure that companies describe their policies to protect shareholders in the event of a change in the ownership structure, such as through a split-off or merger, etc.; (2) strengthen the obligation to explain any insider trading such as with an affiliate or shareholders; and (3) ensure that the CEO succession policy is clearly described, including a plan for installation of an audit committee, if any, thereby enhancing the transparency of corporate management. The key amendments to the Guidelines, and the ripple effects and implications of such amendments are as follows:
Netflix suit filed in April 2020 had sought declaratory judgments confirming that Netflix (i) has no obligation to negotiate network usage fees with SKB and (ii) has no obligation to pay any network usage fees.
District Court decision of June 25, 2021 rejects Netflix arguments on both counts, ruling Netflix has an obligation to pay SKB for network usage (greatly expanding in recent years) – but stops short of delineating method or form of consideration.
On May 21, 2021, the Korean National Assembly passed partial amendments to the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, etc. (the “IT Network Act”). The amendments were promulgated on June 8, 2021 in the official legislative gazette and will take effect 6 month after the promulgation.
Korean government has named tentative group of six online content providers – Google, Facebook, Netflix, Naver, Kakao, Wavve – as required to implement measures for ensuring “convenient and stable service”, pursuant to amended Telecommunications Business Act.
Famous for its global mega-hit idol group BTS, Big Hit Entertainment (“Big Hit”) made its debut on the KOSPI Market of the Korea Exchange, with its shares starting to be traded on October 15, 2020 at the stock opening price of KRW 270,000 per share, being double the IPO price of KRW 135,000 per share. Big Hit’s IPO was the largest Korean IPO in the past three years having been 1,117 times oversubscribed by institutional investors and 607 times
BKL recently launched its Center for Law and Economics (CLE), through which it plans to provide clients with differentiated services based on joint and coordinated legal and economic analyses, applicable throughout all industries both domestic and abroad.
NeoImmuneTech, Inc. ("NeoImmuneTech"), a US Delaware corporation engaged in the biotech business, successfully consummated its Korean IPO and listing on the KOSDAQ market of depositary receipts (the “KDRs”) representing shares of its common stock on March 16, 2021. NeoImmuneTech is the second foreign company to be listed on the KRX through the technology growth company special listing track (“Special Tech Track Listing”), following US company Psomagen’s KOSDAQ listing in 2020.