Yoon & Yang

South Korea

Review

Dispute resolution

Yoon & Yang moves up a tier in the construction and employment tables this year. The disputes team offers expertise across a variety of practice areas, with its core litigation practice focused on complex corporate, construction, finance, employment and securities matters. The team’s sector expertise includes manufacturing, construction, finance and technology. It has strong and well-regarded competition, employment, white-collar crime and product liability teams. The corporate litigation team comprises 70 former judges, 20 former prosecutors, two former Supreme Court Justices and one former Prosecutor General.

Key contacts of the firm’s commercial disputes team include Seung Ryong Yoo, Keon Joo Cho, Donghoon Shin, Sang-Pil Lee and Sue Yeon Woo. Hoil Yoon, Seong-Sig Kim, Jae Young Kim, Chul Ho Kim and Paul Rhee are prominent figures in the competition and antitrust space. The contentious construction experts are Seung Ryong Yoo, Don Eok Choi, Young Kang Eo, Kyung In Jung and Soo Hyeon Park.

For product liability and recall matters, the main lawyers are Seung Ryong Yoo, Young Kang Eo and Chulgun Lim. Notable intellectual property partners include Wonil Kim, Dongju Kwon and Jeong Gyu Kim. Sang Hoon Park, Tae Hwan Oh, Seong Hong and Chan-Keun Park are the senior partners in the labour and employment practice. Partners Junsang Lee and Myung-Ahn Kim co-head the international arbitration group.

In a precedent-setting case, the team was instructed by multiple Taekwang Group affiliates for its fight against the Korea Fair Trade Commission in an administrative lawsuit seeking the annulment of administrative surcharges. This is the first case where the KFTC had regulated the undue benefit of a related party by dealing in greater volume than when dealing with outside suppliers, instead of dealing at a lowered price. The standard for determination of unlawfulness has not yet been established for regulation so the pending court decision is expected to establish a blueprint on the standards for determining unlawfulness of assisting affiliated companies by dealing greater volume.

The construction litigators successfully acted for Korea Land & Housing Corporation in a revocation of disposition charging costs of the construction of a sewage system in relation to a land development project in Gwacheon. Another highlight in this sector saw the team win for HDC Hyundai Development, Daewoo E&C and Poongli Industrion in a litigation seeking payment for indirect construction costs caused by a delay in the construction period for roadbed facilities in a zone of the Ulsan-Pohang double-track railway.

The firm mounted a successful criminal defence for Samsung Electronics Service after it was indicted for alleged illegal dismissals of temporary workers. It also assisted SKF Korea in a Supreme Court win in a lawsuit filed by the National Labor Relations Commission alleging unfair labour practice.

On the product liability front, the team was successful for Hanwha Aerospace in defending it against liability related to a fire at the emergency generator and exhaust chimney of a data centre. Similarly, the team also successfully defended Dongil Compressor in relation to lawsuits filed over an air compressor fire. The IP litigation team helped SK Innovation in its longstanding patent dispute with LG Chem over electric vehicle battery technology, with both parties successfully reaching a settlement in May 2021.

The product liability and recall team was bolstered by the joining of five senior practitioners from the bench: counsels Sung-Ho Lee and Chang-Ho Ahn, and partners Min Kul Lee, Sang Jae Park and Su Yeol Lee. Senior IP lawyer Seung-Kook Synn joined from SK Group and the white-collar crime practice welcomed partners Sungkyu Lee and Young Hyun Kim.

Key corporate clients of the firm include Audi Volkswagen Korea, British America Tobacco Korea, GE Healthcare, Keystone Food and MAN Truck Bus Korea. Core construction clients include Daehan Real Estate Investment Trust, GS Engineering & Construction, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Korea Teal Estate Investment & Trust and POSCO Engineering & Construction. Intellectual property clients include some of the world’s best-known brands such as Amazon, BMW, Intel, L’Oréal, Merck, Microsoft, Nike and SK Hynix.

Client feedback

“Lawyers with expertise participated and thoroughly prepared for pleading for the trial.” – Commercial and transactions

“Even if the overall understanding of the case is high and there is a lack of evidence, they do their best to go to trial and always respond kindly to customers.” – Commercial and transactions

“I think that Yoon & Yang is one of the best law firms in litigation matters. They have plenty of former judges and prosecutors and their experience on the bench quite well work on the litigations and advice on pre-litigation issues. They bring the most proficient and favourable results in the litigations and disputes that our company faced over the last 12 months. I believe that they are the best litigation firm in Korea.” – Commercial and transactions

“They give us fast feedback whenever we ask urgent requests.” – Construction

“Responsive, zealous representation, flexible with fee arrangement.” – Construction

“First of all, with respect to advising on the major issues of the case, we think that their strengths are: (i) accurate understanding of our needs; and (ii) best solution offerings based on good understanding of our business operations.” – International arbitration

“This is one of the top international arbitration law firms in Korea. They are bilingual and can handle all complex cross-border disputes.” – International arbitration

“The briefs prepared by Yoon & Yang attorneys are persuasive as the team collects evidence and conducts related research very thoroughly. Given the employment issues are hinging upon the public attention, they handle various media coverage and other unexpected situations very well during oral proceedings (trials) as they diligently prepare their oral arguments and hold thorough meetings for prior briefing.” – Labour and employment

“Yoon & Yang has strengths in civil/criminal litigations and legal advice.” – Product liability and recall

“Yoon & Yang's lawyers well understood our issue with the local corporate tax and relevant precedent cases to develop legal principles to make a persuasive argument at the court.” – Tax

Young Kang Eo

“He has always been humble and sincere when dealing with customers, has always been active in issues of the case, has a good response plan and has a personality and character that can be respected enough as a human being.”

Jong Hwa Jung

“We feel that Jong Hwa really cares about his client with hard work. He has advised us for the tax litigation case and during the course of the dispute, he quickly organised key issues and developed legal principles to defend our position.”

Kyung In Jung

“We mainly work with Kyung In Jung on overall business management matters. As an outside counsel for our company, Mr Jung provides insight on key legal issues. In particular, he is a problem solver by getting legal professionals from Yoon & Yang ready considering with the necessary background and qualifications to handle various legal problems that tend to occur by nature for large entities.”

Sam Kim

“Sam is one of the best international arbitration lawyers in Korea. He has extensive experience in actual arbitrations and all of the prehearing briefing. He is also fully bilingual so he can try any case in English. There is no one I would rather work with in Seoul.”

Sung Ho Kim

“He provides professional services and is very capable of understanding what clients need.”

Chan Ken Park

“Mr Park always holds a meeting for briefing the case before every hearing and prepares for oral arguments (trials) very thoroughly, which is why his oral arguments are very persuasive. In addition to making preparations in advance as mentioned above, Mr Park prepares his briefs based on an exhaustive collection of evidence, which includes interviews of related people and on-site inspections. Thus, his briefs are of high quality in terms of their content.”

Dae Sagong

“Dae is very responsive, reliable and proactive. He escalates any potential issues quickly and efficiently while not overly communicating mundane updates. I can fully trust him to zealously represent our interest even though I do not closely oversee or follow up on his work on our projects.”

Kim Sangman

“Smooth communication.”

Sue Yeon Woo

“Ms Woo is a prominent litigator and she is very talented in spotting the legal issues on the claims and counter-claims.”

Hyun Dong Yeo

“They are talented lawyers who majored in not only law but engineering. Based on experience at corporations and related knowledge (hydrogen, facilities, etc.), they have a high understanding of our issues and draw appropriate legal solutions.”