Bae, Kim & Lee LLC (BKL), founded in December 1980, has become one of the largest law firms in Korea through rapid, goal-oriented development. As of October 2013, BKL has 317 Korean lawyers, 42 foreign lawyers, 9 Korean CPAs, 25 patent attorneys, 11 tax accountants, 2 customs agents, 17 advisers from chief or deputy chief levels at relevant governmental authorities, 11 expert consultants, and 434 staff members, amounting to more than 900 staff and professionals. BKL has adopted a system in which each practice group specializes in a specific legal practice area. As a Korean law firm that has long been at the leading edge of providing comprehensive international legal services, BKL has set up 18 practice groups, including civil law practice, criminal law practice, corporate practice, corporate restructuring, employment, fair trade, finance and securities, international arbitration, maritime and insurance, IT, international trade, real estate and construction, real estate finance, China practice and Japan practice, among others. Each practice group is well versed in its field and boasts lawyers who studied at prominent law schools abroad, enabling BKL to provide more systematic and high-quality legal services. Moreover, according to the nature of each specific project, we are a “one-stop” legal services provider which covers overall deal structuring, strategy, and negotiation expertise suited for each stage of the deal, as well as potential follow-up measures such as litigation and arbitration.
BKL received many “Deal of the Year” awards from the International Financial Law Review in addition to other awards within the financial industry. In areas such as banking, corporate/ M&A, and project financing, BKL is ranked among the top firms in Korea by International Financial Law Review and Chambers Global. In 2007, BKL was selected as the chief legal counsel for the negotiation of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement by the Ministry of Finance and Economy. The Korean government selected BKL as it believed in BKL’s capability and work quality, and as it recognized BKL’s abundant experience gained through international practice over anextended period of time, and its professional skills in key areas of free trade agreements including technical barriers to trade, finance, telecommunications, IP and governmental procurement. In April 2004, Chambers & Partners named BKL the Korean Law Firm of the Year at the Chambers Asia-Pacific Award Ceremony, which is known as the most prestigiousawardamong lawyers worldwide. In April 2013, the Asian-MENA Counsel Magazine awarded its 2012 “Deal of the Year”award to the Korean Hana Financial Group’s acquisition of Korea Exchange Bank, a deal in which BKL acted as counsel for Hana Financial Group.
In 2004, BKL was the first Korean law firm to open up an overseas office in Beijing, and BKL is the only Korean law firm that has established offices in two of China’s most prominent cities – Beijing and Shanghai. Although its headquartersare in Seoul, BKL’soffices in Beijing and Shanghai remain quite active.
BKL has been involved in most of M&A cases between Chinese and Korean corporations, including: BOE’s acquisition of SK Hynix’s TFT-LCD divisions (representing BOE), SinoChem’s acquisition of Inchoen Oil Refinery Co., Ltd(representing SinoChem), China Bluestar’s acquisition of Ssangyong Motors (representing China Bluestar), Changhong Group’s acquisition of Orion PDP and Orion OLED (representing Changhong), ICBC’s establishment of a Korean company (representing ICBC), Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical’s acquisition of a Koreanmedical devices company (representing Fosun), and ShanDa’s acquisition of a Korean online game company (representing ShanDa).