Recently, Mr. Wonil Chung, a partner at Chung & Partners, has successfully represented NHS, Inc., an internationally renowned U.S. company which sells skateboards, apparel under various trademarked brand worldwide, in policing their trademark in South Korea. NHS, Inc. and its Korean distributor had found that counterfeits of SantaCruz, one of the NHS, Inc.’s premium brand, had been made and sold in numerous online shopping mall sites in Korea. They requested Mr. Wonil Chung to stop them from selling the counterfeits. Mr. Wonil Chung sent cease and desist letters to the online shopping sites which sold the counterfeits, notifying Continue reading
We’ve been asked about this issue from U.S. lawyers or U.S. law school students quite often. As reported earlier this month, the Foreign Legal Consultant Act was approved by the National Assembly. The Act allows law firms from the United States and countries which have free trade agreements with Korea to set up local branches to provide legal consulting services.
However, in order to qualify as local consultants, foreign firms will not be allowed to hire locally qualified lawyers. Foreign lawyers cannot be self-employed consultants, Continue reading
Recently there are so many lawsuits being filed against domestic and foreign banks in Korea with regard to the bank’s irresponsible fund sale. The Korean fund buyers are alleging the losses in the funds which are still on-going were caused by the fund-sellers’ not informing sufficient information on the risk and possibilities of losses when they put the money to the funds.
As a matter of law, Korean court has ruled that the banks have legal duties to inform the customer sufficiently of the structure of the investment such as fund or option transaction and the risk of possible losses when they solicit the customers for investments. If they neglect that obligation, it constitutes a breach of contract and Continue reading
Last September, Supreme Porsecutors Office(SPO) investigated the ex-head of Military Mutual Aid Association(MMAA) and his son as they had received 30,000 stocks of Kenertec, a Korean Energy company, from its representative in response to securing investments from the MMAA.
Mr. Wonil Chung, a partner of Chung & Partners, represented the son and succeeded in making the SPO drop the charge and not prosecuting him.
Afterward, the SPO prosecuted only the ex-head of MMAA to the court, but last Friday, Seoul Central District Court sentenced not guilty stating there is no evidence that supports there had happened any illegal activities.
Under Korean Criminal Law, a person who, administering other’s business, receives property or obtains advantage from a 3rd party in response to an illegal solicitation concerning his duty, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 yeard or by a fine not exceeding 10 million won.
Established in 1984 as a special organization under the Ministry of National Defense, the MMAA administers assistance for military personnel and veterans. It has 160,000 members and its assets are valued at 7.8 trillion won ($5.94 billion). The organization has seven businesses and recorded a total profit of 153.7 billion won last year.
This case had drawn big attentions within Korean society because of the MMAA’s powerful position in Korea’s financing & investment market and new government and SPO’s attempt to scrape out public enterprises’ corruption. But at least in this case, Continue reading
In January 31, the Seoul Central District Court ordered the Samsung Group to repay more than 2.33 trillion won ($2.46 billion) to the 14 creditors of its defunct Samsung Motors, which was the country’s biggest-ever financial civil lawsuit. Samsung Group said yesterday that it will appeal that court ruling.
Samsung Motors applied for a court-administered debt restructuring program in June 1999, and Chairman Lee Kun Hee announced his plan to inject private money. Two months later, Samsung signed a deal with the creditors to cover a 2.45 trillion won debt by the end of 2000. Under the agreement, Lee handed over his 3.5 million shares of the unlisted Samsung Life Insurance Co. to the creditors and promised to list the company. However the insurance firm never went public, and creditors were unable to convert all their share to cash due to the large volume. Creditors filed a lawsuit in December 2005, claiming 5 trillion won including penalties.
One of the biggest issues on this trial was the validity of the agreement between Samsung Group and the creditors. Samsung Group alleged that the agreement is void because it was entered under duress. However the court rejected it.
As I’m a lawyer, it was very interesting who would represent Samsung Group and the creditors. There Continue reading