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Recent Developments


Lee & Ko News

Awards Ranking
‘Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific 2024’ ranks Lee & Ko in the top tier in every 10 practice areas for the second year in a row
Lee & Ko was selected as Tier 1 law firm in Korea for the every 10 categories by ‘Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2024’ for two successive years. All categories are listed below. 

Commercial and Transactions
Intellectual Property
International Arbitration
Labor and Employment
Product Liability and Recall
White Collar Crime

Also, 58 attorneys were chosen as ‘Litigation Star’ and ‘Future Star’. As Lee & Ko attorneys were selected more than any other domestic law firms, they were recognized for their achievements in their respective fields.

- Litigation Star
Competition/antitrust: Jangwoo Park, Jeong-Ho Sun, Pyoung Keun Song, Mi Ji Lee, Hwan Jeong
Commercial and transactions: Won Seok Ko, Jae Heon Park, Dajoo Jung, Jin Soo Han
Construction: Myung Jong Kim, Seon Tae Kim, Chanik Jang
Intellectual Property: Un Ho Kim, Jae Hoon Kim, Julie Shin, Choong Jin Oh, Keum Nang Park, Hayoun Chun
International arbitration: Robert Wachter, Sunyoung Kim, Sean (Sungwoo) Lim, Sang Hoon Han
Insolvency: Wan Shik Lee, Jung Hyun Lee, Jiwoong Lim
Labor and employment: Hyunseok Song, Sang Hoon Lee, Chang Soo Jin
Product liability and recall: Bomsok Ko, Dajoo Jung
Tax: Jay Shim, Sung Hwan Kim, Ok Hyun Ma, Byeong Jun Son, Kyung Tae Kim
White collar crime: Yong Seok Park, Jae Deog Bae, Jin So, Tae Yop Lee, Young Sub Jang

 - Future Star
Competition/antitrust: Ji Hoon Kim, Byong Ki Chung
Construction: Janghee Yoon, Joo Hye Hong
Intellectual Property: Hyeon Gil Ryoo
International arbitration: Saemee Kim
Labor and employment: William Kim
Product liability and recall: Yangsuk Han
Tax: Soo Hyuk Yim
Future Star(Practice Not Stated): Se young Kang, Jaewoo Kwak, Ki Jung Sung, Soo Yeon Oh, Jung Ho Ryu, Kyeong-Seop Yoon, Grace Yoon, Kiri Yi, Gang Cheol Chu

Benchmark Litigation is a world-renowned publication which highlights the fields of dispute resolution and litigation and publishes rankings based on in-depth analysis of submissions by law firm and interviews with lawyers, clients, and litigation experts every year.
Seminar on ‘Response & Strategies for Trade Secret Disputes and Technology Theft’
On April 26, 2024, Lee & Ko jointly held the seminar titled ‘Response & Strategies for Trade Secret Disputes and Technology Theft’ with a globally renowned U.S. law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. In this Seminar, experts from both firms provided practical guidelines for in-house counsels on how a company can properly handle trade secrets and prevent technology theft. In the first session, Ms. Nicole (JungEun) Lee of Gibson Dunn presented on topics related to managing trade secrets and preventing misappropriation (titled U.S. Trade Secrets Litigation Updates and Takeaways for In-house Professionals) and Ms. Angelique Kaounis of Gibson Dunn answered questions afterward. In the second session, Mr. Heon Lee and Mr. Hong Seon Kim of Lee & Ko presented on latest trends in trade secret misappropriation suit decisions and response strategies for in-house counsels. 

Lee & Ko IP Group boasts over 120 professionals with expertise in various aspects of IP. In particular, former IP High Court judges and IPTAB examiners can provide invaluable advice to stakeholders, and most of the Group’s professionals has advanced degrees in science and technology to provide the most effective and prompt legal services in global IP disputes and advisory works alike.
Lee & Ko People
Prominent M&A Partner Joins Lee & Ko
Lee & Ko is pleased to announce that Allen Ryu has joined the firm as a partner in the Corporate / M&A Practice Groups.  Mr. Ryu represents global companies and private equity firms in mergers and acquisitions and other complex corporate transactions.  

“Allen has a breadth of experience and is a highly regarded lawyer with longstanding relationships with major companies globally, and we are thrilled to welcome him,” said Sang Gon Kim, Managing Partner of Lee & Ko.  “Allen’s experience will bring additional depth to our top-tier capabilities, and our recruitment of Allen is aligned with Lee & Ko’s commitment to strengthen our cross-border M&A practice.” 

Mr. Ryu is widely recognized for his expertise in advising complex corporate M&A and private equity transactions.  Some of his recent notable transactions include eBay’s sale of eBay Korea, Hyundai Motor Group’s JV transaction with Aptiv, Hyundai Motor Group’s majority investment in Boston Dynamics and Centroid Investment Partner’s acquisition of TaylorMade.  Drawing from his prior experience, Mr. Ryu’s practice at Lee & Ko will focus on facilitating outbound investments for Korean companies and managing inbound investments for global private equity firms.
“I am excited to join Lee & Ko and work alongside some of the most respected lawyers in the corporate practice,” said Ryu.  “With the incredible resources at Lee & Ko, I look forward to continue assisting clients on their important transactions and contribute to the firm’s continued growth and success.”
2024 Seminar for Customs Regulatory Discussions hosted by Lee & Ko
Amidst keen interest and participation, the Customs Practice Group of Lee & Ko hosted the ‘2024 Seminar for Customs Regulatory Discussions’ on Friday, 29th March, 2024.

Miscellaneous domestic and global corporate clients involved in the export, import, and trade sectors attended the seminar. The customs experts of Lee & Ko were met with an array of questions, comments, discussions raised by the participants on a broad range of topic, including 2024 customs/trade law updates, preferential tariff system, Korea Customs Service (“KCS”) trend/practice.

Among the tripartite seminar, the first session covered ‘Noteworthy Amendments to Customs, Trade, Foreign Exchange laws’, presented by Marvin. Marvin, with working experience a licensed customs broker before being admitted to the Korean Bar and joining Lee & Ko, is a up-and-coming customs attorney. He covered the complex web of customs related laws and regulations with ease, making ample use of key cases and easy-to-understand explanations.

The second session covered ‘Utilization & Fresh Issues of the Preferential Tariff System(Quota, FTA, etc.)’, presented by JW Cho. JW is a partner, with expertise in the customs profession thanks to multiple years of service in KCS(Seoul, Incheon Customs Offices) and Lee & Ko Customs Practice Group. Based on his experience within the public and private sectors, he elaborated on practical checkpoints (and, not to speak of, red flags) which should be noted for export and import business enterprises to ameliorate their trade compliance scheme and reduce customs-related concerns.

The third and final session covered ‘Recent Korea Customs Service’s administrative trends and implications’, jointly presented by Seung-Hak Shin and Young-Gee Park. Prior to joining Lee & Ko as an expert customs consultant, Mr. Shin had accumulated much practical knowledge working in KCS and multiple regional customs offices. Drawing from his knowledge, he shared highly practical points on the recent customs audit trend. As the lead partner of Lee & Ko Customs Practice Group and a former senior ranking officer in KCS, Mr. Park delineated essential parts of the recent customs criminal investigation trend for multinational & Korean businesses.

At the end of the line, the seminar wrapped up after a Q&A session with the Lee & Ko speakers and participants.

Young-Gee Park, the lead partner of Lee & Ko Customs Practice Group, commented that Lee & Ko “sincerely wishes that this seminar would be a beneficial reference point for customs and trade operations, for both domestic and global corporations”, and JW Cho voiced thoughts “to provide continuous updates for clients doing business in Korea, considering the ever-changing landscape of the Korean customs/FX/trade areas and pertinent KCS trends”.
Awards Ranking
Lee & Ko wins Specialist Award – Pro Bono at the 2024 IFLR Asia Pacific Awards
Lee & Ko has been selected as the winner of the Specialist award – Pro Bono at the 2024 IFLR Asia Pacific Awards. 

Lee & Ko won the lawsuit against the Incheon International Airport Immigration Bureau for cancellation of the determination not to refer to the refugee status screening on behalf of the refugees Mali and Angola. This case has become a landmark precedent for the South Korean government to conduct the refugee screening in accordance with due process. As a result of the collaboration and exercise of expertise by various attorneys in Lee & Ko, the firm was awarded the Specialist award – Pro bono in recognition of these activities. Lee & Ko plans to continue its vigorous efforts to provide legal support to the underprivileged. 

The IFLR (International Financial Law Review) is a global legal magazine specializing in finance. Annually at the IFLR Asia Pacific Awards, it selects and presents winners from various practice areas such as outstanding law firms, attorneys, deals, in-house counsels and specialist awards in Asia based on extensive research results, including submission by law firms and interviews with attorneys, in-house lawyers and corporate finance professionals.
Awards Ranking
Tong Keun Seol and Jin Young Jung Awarded “ESG Lawyer of the Year” and “Transport Lawyer of the Year” at The Asia Legal Awards 2024
Lee & Ko attorneys Tong Keun Seol and Jin Young Jung won the “ESG Lawyer of the Year” and “Transport Lawyer of the Year” respectively at the awards ceremony of The Asia Legal Awards 2024. 

As an expert in environment and labor issues, attorney Tong Keun Seol particularly focuses his practice on climate change matters and disputes arising from environmental pollution such as establishment of corporate compliance system, emissions trading and CBAM etc., and labor law such as occupational safety and serious accidents. Recently, Mr. Seol has engaged in various cases in ESG sector such as research on CBAM policies, advice on supply chain due diligence, representation of greenwashing case related to green labels, human rights impact assessment and consultation on response to the Serious Accidents Punishment Act. 

Attorney Jin Young Jung has been engaging in various tasks in the practices areas of maritime and insurance as an expert in maritime, aviation, insurance and international trade. Recently, he succeeded in winning the large-scale fleet by professionally drafting and reviewing the contract and bid documents for a consortium consisting of three Korean shipping companies and negotiating with the owner in a large-scale international bid conducted by Qatar Energy, a state-owned company in Qatar to select a shipping company using new LNG vessels. In addition, Mr. Jung won the monumental arbitral award and court judgment on the legal substance of the exclusive shipping contract for the transport of LNG and the application of short-term exclusion period to the exclusive shipping contract through the arbitration process with the largest gas wholesale company in Korea. 

The Asia Legal Awards is an annual awards ceremony hosted by The Asian Lawyer, a sister magazine of the renowned American legal media “The American Lawyer (ALM),” which recognizes the best Asian lawyers and law firms, deals and in-house counsel teams across the entire field of business.

Press & Releases

[Maeil Business Newspaper] Lee & Ko’s dream team of all versatility, including accounting, interpretation, and legal spaces, successfully scored wins in fund redemption and cryptocurrencies lawsuits
On April 22, 2024, Lee & Ko Criminal Defense (Litigation) Team was introduced in Maeil Business Newspaper. Maeil Business Newspaper stated, “Lee & Ko Criminal Defense (Litigation) Team has led several landmark cases with huge reverberations in the legal field. The key to such achievements lies in the talented practitioners at Lee & Ko. This year, Lee & Ko recruited high-profile laterals, such as Donghyuk Kang, who previously served as Deputy Director General  for criminal trials at the National Court Administration and Head of the Sentencing Committee Support Team, as well as elite judges, including former Chief Judge Joonah Jang, Kisang Jung." Lee & Ko Criminal Defense (Litigation) Team is led by Pyoungkeun Song, the managing partner. He noted, "Due to the complexity of corporate criminal cases and the high level of expertise required, we are continuously striving to recruit and nurture outstanding individuals to maintain the highest level of competence in our Criminal Defense (Litigation) team. We also ensure meticulous management throughout the process, considering the significant impact of case results on each and every companies, and stay focused without losing attention to every minute details."
[Chosun Biz] Lee & Ko Launches South Korea’s Largest Tech & AI Team
On April 22, 2024, Chosun Biz reported that Lee & Ko has established the largest Tech & AI team in South Korea, comprised of over 100 specialists, including lawyers and former regulatory officials. Chosun Biz stated, “The Lee & Ko Tech & AI team aims to provide comprehensive one-stop legal services that cover every aspect of utilizing AI and new technologies, from liaising with regulatory authorities, offering legislative consulting, and handling investigations and sanctions.” The team is led by Attorney Hwan-kyoung KO, who specializes in personal information, data, IT, and digital finance sectors.
[Korea Economic Daily] Law Firm Lee & Ko Expands Environmental Team in Response to Rising Climate Litigation
As reported by the Korea Economic Daily on April 21, 2024, law firm Lee & Ko has been bolstering its Environmental Team. Established in 2016 with around 20 members, the team now boasts 32 specialists. Attorney Tong Keun Seol, who has served as a legal advisor to the Ministry of Environment, is leading the team. Additionally, attorney Hongkyun Kim, who has been teaching environmental law at Hanyang University for over 22 years, joined the team in 2022. This year, Younseob Lee, former Director General of the Planning and Coordination Bureau at the Ministry of Environment (who passed the National Higher Civil Service Examination in 1999), will be joining the firm to enhance its advisory capabilities in the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) field.
[Monthly Labor Law] The Serious Accidents Punishment Act, Ultimately to the Constitutional Court... ‘Expanding the Scope to Less Than 50 Employees', Will It Impact the Decision on unconstitutionality?
On April 19, 2024, Monthly Labor Law featured a comment from attorney Yoon Ryeong Eom at Lee Ko, regarding the referral of the constitutional appeal on the Serious Accidents Punishment Act to the full bench of the Constitutional Court. Representing the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business, Eom noted, "Although this constitutional appeal was made before its application to businesses with fewer than 50 employees, the appeal is significant because it involves workplaces that face practical difficulties in complying with the Serious Accidents Punishment Act." He added, "Even though small and medium-sized businesses make their utmost efforts to comply, they may still fall short of the required legal standards. Thus, we plan to emphasize that applying the same causality and punishment regulations to businesses with fewer than 50 employees is excessively burdensome."

Deals & Cases

Landmark Ruling: Supreme Court Overturns PIPC Sanctions Against E-commerce Platform Operators.
We are pleased to inform you of a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of Korea which has significant implications for e-commerce platform operators within the country. In a recent case, the Supreme Court has overturned the sanctions imposed by the Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) against major online marketplaces, Naver (South Korea’s leading internet platform company) and Gmarket (formerly eBay Korea). This pivotal case clarified that sellers on e-commerce intermediary platforms (the “E-commerce Seller”) are not considered ‘personal information managers’ of the platforms providing intermediary sales services (the “E-commerce Platform”) under the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). This ruling marks a transformative moment for privacy law enforcement related to E-commerce Platforms in South Korea.

We will delve into the details of the Supreme Court’s decision and discuss its broader impact on the e-commerce landscape.

1. Overview of the Case
First, operators of the E-commerce Platform provide a service that enables members (including both sellers and buyers) to trade goods online. During the provision of this service, seller members utilize the personal information of buyer members, provided by the E-commerce Platform operators, to deliver products and carry out various sales-related tasks. In this context, the PIPC has interpreted that E-commerce Platform operators are ‘data controllers’ under PIPA, and that seller members are ‘personal information managers’ who process personal information under the direction and supervision of the E-commerce Platform operators. Based on this presumption, the PIPC found that E-commerce Platform operators breached the necessary safety measures required under PIPA by allowing seller members access to the seller system using only an ID and password, without employing additional secure authentication methods. As a result, the PIPC issued an order to seven (7) major platform operators to implement secure authentication methods and conduct regular training for their seller members (the “PIPC Order”).

Among the E-commerce Platform operators subject to the PIPC Order, Naver and Gmarket filed lawsuit actions against the PIPC seeking to annul the PIPC Order. We, Lee & Ko, have represented Naver and Gmarket from the court of first instance to the final decision by the Supreme Court.

2. Summary of the Supreme Court’s Ruling
The main issue presented to the Supreme Court concerned whether E-commerce Sellers qualify as ‘personal information managers’ for E-commerce Platform operators under PIPA. This distinction was critical, as PIPA’s requirement for data controllers to implement secure authentication methods specifically applies to ‘personal information managers.’ Consequently, the legality of the PIPC Order depended on this determination.

In this regard, the Supreme Court annulled the PIPC Order for the following reasons, determining that E-commerce Sellers do not qualify as the ‘personal information managers’ of the E-commerce Platform operators:

   - a ‘personal information manager’ is not limited to those who have an employment contract with a data controller. It includes any person who, under laws or contractual terms, acts under the direction and supervision of a data controller to carry out certain tasks;  
   - “third parties,” who receive personal information from data controllers and utilize it for their own business purposes and benefits, are distinct from and cannot coexist with personal information managers; and
   - the E-commerce Sellers receive personal information of buyer members from the E-commerce Platform operators and process that information according to their own discretion for their business operations. They are thus ‘data controllers’ and ‘third parties’ themselves rather than ‘personal information managers’ of the E-commerce Platform operators.

3. Significance of the Supreme Court’s Ruling
The significance of this case lies in the fact that it provided the first specific judicial interpretation of PIPA regarding the definition and scope of a ‘personal information manager,’ and the critical distinction between a ‘personal information manager’ and ‘third party.’ This ruling is pivotal not only for the e-commerce platform industry but also establishes a benchmark for future cases across various sectors involving the determination of who qualifies as a ‘personal information manager’ and who is subject to security measures requirements as per PIPA.

Prior to this ruling, the PIPC had used its guidelines as the legal basis to interpret E-commerce Sellers as ‘personal information managers’ for E-commerce Platform operators. However, this ruling clearly established that the PIPC’s guidelines cannot serve as grounds for enforcement actions. Nonetheless, it should be noted that independent of the Supreme Court’s decision, major E-commerce Platform operators such as Naver and Gmarket have proactively enhanced their security measures through self-regulatory efforts to safeguard the personal information of buyer members.

Furthermore, this ruling is also significant as it clearly delineates the responsibilities related to personal information processing between E-commerce Platform operators and their seller members. This provides critical guidance for E-commerce Platform operators on how to structure their compliance and governance frameworks to protect personal information effectively.

This ruling marks the first decision issued by the PIPC has been overturned since it became a central administrative agency in 2020. Lee & Ko features a Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Group comprised of the largest team of personal information protection and information security experts in Korea. Our comprehensive legal services encompass consultations, legal investigation responses, and litigation representation concerning personal information matters. If you require advice or assistance concerning privacy-related matters, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.
Brain Asset Management and KY Private Equity’s Acquisition of Preferred Shares of SK Pharmteco
On October 20, 2023, Lee & Ko successfully represented Brain Asset Management Co., Ltd. and KY Private Equity Co., Ltd. in their acquisition of approximately 9.21% of the preferred shares of SK Pharmteco Inc., originally a wholly-owned subsidiary of SK Inc. prior to the acquisition, based in Delaware, USA (the “Target”) through (i) Opus 1st Inc., a special purpose company established by an institutional PEF with Brain Asset Management and Korea Development Bank as its general partners, (ii) Brain SP Generalized Private Investment Trust No. 45 and Brain SP Generalized Private Investment Trust No. 46, each an investment trust established and managed by Brain Asset Management, and (iii) Opus 4th Inc., a special purpose company established by institutional PEFs with KY Private Equity as their general partner ((i) through (iii) collectively, the “Investors”) (collectively, this “Transaction”). 

This Transaction was a pre-IPO transaction in anticipation of a public listing of the Target shares on the Nasdaq market, and aside from the high deal value of USD 300,210,071 as the aggregate purchase price, the deal structure itself was quite complicated as it involved issues such as the establishment of multiple investment trusts and special purpose companies as investment vehicles. This Transaction also involved the execution of a shareholders agreement to coordinate the commercial understandings between the Investors and SK Inc., the original shareholder, and there were further complex issues to be resolved in light of the regulations and procedures under the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act, the Monopoly Regulations and Fair Trade Act and the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act, as well as tax issues both in and out of Korea and antitrust filing issues in the US and EU. Despite these complexities, Lee & Ko was able to provide effective advice to reach a successful consummation of this Transaction within a short period of time. Lee & Ko was involved in the Transaction and served as transaction counsel in all aspects of this Transaction, from the selection of preferred bidders at the auction stage through the review of transaction structure, establishment of PEFs and special purpose companies, foreign exchange report filings, tax review, antitrust filing review, preparation/negotiation of the share subscription agreement and shareholders agreement, execution and closing.
Release by the U.S. Government of IRA Guidance on FEOC
Lee & Ko has advised the Korean Government and global battery businesses on the proposed guidance on the interpretation of “foreign entity of concern” (FEOC) requirements for Section 30D clean vehicle credit of the Internal Revenue Code, released by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of the Treasury on December 1, 2023.

Considered one of major achievements of the Biden Administration, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has profound impacts on both exports to and investments in the United States by Korean battery manufacturers with competitive edges in the global market. Lee & Ko’s prompt advices help Korean companies considering cooperation with Chinese counterparts, who may fall within the definition of FEOCs, to develop and operate strategies that can satisfy IRA requirements.
Review of S Insurance’s Co-Insurance
In the context of the introduction of the IFRS17 and the K-ICS and the consequential emphasis on sound management of insurance capital, the exploration of co-insurance has emerged as a strategic avenue. Subsequently, around 2020, regulatory foundations for co-insurance transactions were incorporated into insurance supervisory regulations. In March 2023, the financial regulatory authorities further supplemented this framework by formulating comprehensive guidelines for the handling of co-insurance operations.

Distinguished by asset transfer and asset retention models, insurance companies have traditionally favored the simplicity of the 'asset transfer' structure in their co-insurance transactions. However, “S Insurance” has recently engaged Lee & Ko to explore the initiation of co-insurance policies employing a relatively intricate yet less liquidity-burdening 'asset retention' structure, distinguishing itself from prevailing practices with foreign reinsurers.

Lee & Ko played a pivotal role in providing legal counsel, meticulously reviewing transactional conditions, and advising the client in a direction that aligns with the compliance parameters of the fundamental asset retention co-insurance structure and the aforementioned operational guidelines. This signifies a noteworthy contemplation of the less conventional asset retention co-insurance structure within the South Korean landscape.
Advising on the legislation of laws regulating actuaries
Despite the pivotal role actuaries play in shaping insurance terms, premiums, and ensuring accounting transparency, there is currently no distinct and independent legal framework governing the actuarial profession in South Korea. Instead, pertinent regulations are integrated into the Insurance Business Act and its subordinate statutes. Notably, a regulatory vacuum exists concerning actuaries associated with public pension institutions and other financial entities beyond insurance companies.

The Insurance and Reinsurance Practice Group at Lee & Ko has collaboratively engaged with the firm's legislative consulting team to amalgamate the collective expertise of accomplished attorneys and professionals in representing the Institute of Actuaries of Korea. The firm conducted an exhaustive analysis of legislative precedents, delving into legislative intentions, aiming to deliver optimal advice tailored to the client's needs throughout the legislative process. Consequently, in November 2023, Ms. Joo Kyung Yoon of the People Power Party, a member of the 21st National Assembly, submitted the draft of the Actuary Law, marking the initiation of the legislative process.
Lee & Ko wins all 10 cases for domestic blockbuster drug Dukarb®
Lee&Ko successfully defeated the generics’ challenge against Boryong’s patent covering Dukarb®, which is a domestic blockbuster drug, before the IPTAB and subsequently the IP High Court. On November 30, 2023, the IP High Court ruled in favor of the patentee in all 10 cases, including both scope confirmation actions and invalidation actions, filed by dozens of generic companies, including Arlico pharmaceuticals, against the Dukarb® combination product patent. 

Dukarb tablet, as a combination of Kanarb® (fimasartan) with amlodipine, is a blockbuster drug that has shown excellent antihypertensive effects and generated sales of KRW 40 billion in 2022. In 2021, more than 45 domestic generic companies filed scope confirmation actions and invalidation actions to assert non-infringement and invalidity of the Dukarb® patent, but the patentee prevailed in all cases. The generic companies subsequently filed 10 appeal cases to the IP High Court, but the IP High Court upheld the decisions of the IPTAB on November 30, 2023.

The generic companies alleged invalidity of the patent at issue on various grounds such as novelty, inventiveness, lack of the description requirement, and incomplete invention, while simultaneously claiming non-infringement on the grounds of compound differentiation and salt change. Therefore, it was essential for the patentee to present a consistent and strategic response to the various claims made by different generic companies. Despite unfavorable case precedents on combination drug patents, Lee & Ko successfully argued for inventiveness of the patent at issue by focusing on the synergistic effects of the combination product. Likewise, in the negative scope confirmation action cases, Lee & Ko presented persuasive claim construction and equivalent infringement based not only on the claim language but also on the specification and the common technical knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry. Ultimately, Lee & Ko prevailed in all 10 cases, again demonstrating the team’s expertise in healthcare and IP.
Lee & Ko’s Antitrust and Competition Practice Group conducts mock dawn raid on multinational corporate group
Lee & Ko’s Antitrust and Competition Practice Group conducted a mock dawn raid and comprehensive antitrust risk assessment of a multinational corporate group (“Group A”) under the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (“MRFTA”). 

During the mock dawn raid, Lee & Ko’s Antitrust and Competition Practice Group used the same methods and procedures as the Korea Fair Trade Commission (“KFTC”) in its investigations and offered additional solutions for deficiencies that were discovered during Group A’s response to the mock dawn raid.

In addition, Lee & Ko’s Antitrust and Competition Practice Group collected materials and conducted interviews with key executives and employees of Group A’s three affiliate companies. Using the information gathered during the mock dawn raid, Lee & Ko’s Antitrust and Competition Practice Group confirmed the compliance of the companies with the MRFTA and provided measures for improving compliance in necessary areas. 

The mock dawn raid conducted by Lee & Ko’s Antitrust and Competition Practice Group is invaluable as it helps to prevent executives and employees with limited knowledge and experience on the MRFTA from committing acts during a dawn raid that could be considered obstruction and providing guidance on cooperating with a KFTC investigation while protecting the right to defense. Group A utilized the mock dawn as an opportunity to check and strengthen compliance management in all areas of its business. 

Following the recent reorganization of the KFTC in separating its investigation and policy divisions, establishing proper procedures for responding to KFTC dawn raids is of the utmost importance as the investigative function of the KFTC has been strengthened through the reorganization and led to an increase in the number of dawn raids. 

Lee & Ko’s Antitrust and Competition Practice Group actively utilizes its extensive expertise in responding to large-scale dawn raids to ensure companies are prepared for dawn raids, and more importantly, thoroughly and comprehensively managing MRFTA related risks.