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Recent Decision by the Tax Tribunal Regarding Application of the Flat Tax Rate to Foreign Employees

Application of the flat tax rate to “a foreign employee who worked in Korea for a period which ended before January 1, 2014, and recommenced working in Korea after January 1, 2014” Lee & Ko recently obtained a favorable decision from the Tax Tribunal regarding a foreign employee who: (1) worked in Korea for a period of time which ended prior to January 1, 2014; and then (2) returned to Korea and started working in Korea again after January 1, 2014.

Lee & Ko, Lee & Ko

March 11, 2020

legal

Brexit: The Imminent Crisis in the EU-UK Trade Negotiations and the Implications for Korea

It seems the UK is finally leaving the European Union (EU) – some six years after Prime Minister David Cameron promised a referendum on the UK's membership, and more than three years after the country voted to leave. As the House of Commons (the UK parliament) has finally approved the withdrawal agreement – after two failed attempts and two changes of government – Brexit has finally happened on January 31st. Or so we are led to believe.

Lee & Ko, Lee & Ko

March 4, 2020

legal

Legislative Development – Key Implications for Substantiating General Shareholders Meeting of Listed Companies

On January 29, 2020, the Enforcement Decree of the Korean Commercial Code (the Amended EDCA) was promulgated.¹

The Amended EDCA concerns improvements to corporate ownership and governance as a key challenge to be addressed as part of the plan for rapid achievement of a fair economy, which was announced by the ruling party and the Korean government after mutual consultation.

Shin & Kim, Shin and Kim

March 4, 2020

legal

Implementation of Pre-approval System for Cross-border M&A for Companies with National Core Technology

The Act on Prevention of Divulgence and Protection of Industrial Technology (the Act) provides for the protection of national core technologies held by Korean companies, research institutes, professional institutions and universities (each a Protected Entity) and prevention of their leakage.

Lee & Ko, Lee & Ko

Feb. 26, 2020

legal

Customs-Related Amendments to Tax Laws for 2020

The recent approval of tax amendments for 2020 by the National Assembly of Korea included the following customs-related changes:

Shin & Kim, Shin and Kim

Feb. 5, 2020

legal

New Supreme Court Decision Constrains Patentee's Strategic Use of Correction Petition in Pending Patent Case

On January 22, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled, en banc, that if a petition to correct a patent specification or drawings is granted after the conclusion of the appellate phase of a patent invalidation action, the decision granting such petition cannot be a ground for retrial under Article 451, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 8 of the Civil Procedure Act. In doing so, the Court reversed all prior Supreme Court decisions that remanded the case for a retrial based on the same ground (Supreme Court En Banc Decision No. 2016Hu2522).

Lee & Ko, Lee & Ko

Feb. 5, 2020

legal

Demystifying the Impact of the National Assembly's Passage of the Three Major Data Laws

On January 9, 2020, the National Assembly passed the amendments to the Three Major Data Laws, including the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), during the plenary session. We expect the Three Major Data Laws to become effective at the end of July 2020, or six months fr om the date of promulgation. As strict regulations have been one of the biggest barriers to data-driven businesses in Korea, the deregulatory measures provided by the passage of the Three Major Data Laws raise hope for a significant change for companies and institutions that use personal information.

Shin & Kim, Shin and Kim

Jan. 23, 2020

legal

IFRS17 and K-ICS – A Year in Review for 2019 and Proposed Amendments to the Insurance Business Act for Co-Insurance in 2020

In the ramp-up to 1 January 2022 with the implementation of the International Financial Accounting Standards 17 (IFRS17) as published by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) which replaces the earlier IFRS 4 accounting standards in conjunction with the roll-out of the Korean-Insurance Capital Standards (K-ICS) as announced by the Financial Supervisory Service of Korea (FSS), the insurance industry has faced many challenges including massive updates to their internal information technology to comply with both IFRS17 and K-ICS, modifications to actuarial methodologies, and changes to financial accounting. In this back-drop, it was alleged that most insurers in Korea faced a significant decrease in their Risk-Based Capital Ratio (RBC Ratio) with some insurers falling below the statutory minimum. The severity of the K-ICS accounting of liabilities led to K-ICS 2.0 (see below) which has alleviated some of the financial burdens to the insurers as they prepare for 2022. Pursuant to the Insurance Business Act and its subordinate regulations, the statutory RBC Ratio is set at a minimum of 100% while the recommended guideline by the FSS is 150% with a dire need of capital injection or other form of capital relief.

Lee & Ko, Lee & Ko

Jan. 23, 2020

legal

Korea Communications Commission Announces Guidelines on Fair Internet Network Use Agreement

On December 26, 2019, the Korea Communications Commission (the KCC) announced its Guidelines on Fair Internet Network Use Agreement (the Guidelines) to prevent unfair discrimination between large companies and SME's (small and medium-sized enterprises) in Korea and abroad, and to minimize risk of potential damage to users at the conclusion of Internet network use contracts. The Guidelines will become effective on January 27, 2020.

Shin & Kim, Shin and Kim

Jan. 15, 2020

legal

Seoul High Court Rules That Store Owners on Reseller Agreement May Not Be Considered as Workers under the Labor Standards Act

Recently, Shin & Kim's labor & employment attorneys won a case on behalf of its client against store owners, who executed a reseller agreement to carry out manufacturing and sales of clothing and leather products, among others, and subsequently sold those products in the department store. The store owners claimed that they should be deemed as workers protected under the Labor Standards Act (the LSA), and that accordingly, severance pay must be provided.

Shin & Kim, Shin and Kim

Jan. 15, 2020

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Items You Might Have Missed

Sanjo’s “Silent Spring”

Confucius saw music as a device for self-cultivation, a vehicle of self-expression, a force of social stability, a political tool, and a medium of communion between man, nature, and supernatural powers. Psy brings us “Hangover.”

June 9, 2016

Korea’s KFTC At the Crossroads Between Antitrust and Intellectual Property

The KFTC’s recent amendment of its IPR Guidelines is a signal to the world of its increasing sophistication and aggressiveness.

June 9, 2016

Like It Or Not, Korean Companies Face E-Discovery Issues Even In Arbitration

Though changes in the US Federal Discovery Rules as well as case law such as Zubulake have escalated the Electronically Stored Information ( ESI) costs as it relates to electronic discovery or discovery of ESI documents and information (E-Discovery) in the US, Korean companies have remained relatively complacent about it until the Dupont v Kolon case.

June 29, 2016

Longing for a Way of Life We Once Chose to Transform

Two years ago, the world’s biggest IKEA came to Seoul. Larger than the chain’s Stockholm store, its floor space rivals that of the Louvre Museum in Paris.

June 29, 2016

The Strange, Secret, Wondrous Life of Information

We all know information is important to doing business. It has always been so. It is said that the first use of the telescope was to see distant trade ships coming on the horizon and to, thereby, get an edge in negotiating with sellers who were still unaware that additional supply was soon to arrive. More information, better information, equaled business advantage then and it still does today. A good understanding of the nature and tendencies of information would seem to be very valuable in that case. So let’s examine some of the interesting things about information itself both for business in general, and in particular where it applies to predicting what is going to happen next.

June 29, 2016