M&A / Corporate Group

At the beginning of the year, it had been expected that 2022 would continue 2021’s general trend of growing M&A transactions due to increased liquidity, especially in areas such as ESG-friendly M&As, investments, and exits in new businesses led by private equities. However, following the convergence of a multitude of factors such as inflation pressure, rising interest rates and the resulting difficulty of obtaining funding, the need to re-evaluate the values of companies due to falling share prices, and domestic and foreign instability caused by the War in Ukraine, the number and scale of M&A transactions had in fact sharply declined during 2022. The situation worsened during the second half of 2022 and, as a result, there have been numerous instances where deals fell through (even after contracts had been signed) because of the failure to secure funding for such transactions.

For the year 2023, it is anticipated that there will be an increased number of M&A transactions involving companies at risk of insolvency. Continued re-evaluation of company value will also work to narrow the gap between the respective expectations of buyers and sellers, which would likely result in increased number of M&A transactions involving mid-sized companies and tech companies. more

Corporate & Financial Disputes Group

Building on unparalleled experience and expertise amassed over more than 20 years, JIPYONG’s Corporate & Financial Disputes Group expanded its diverse clientele comprising investment firms, banks, specialized credit finance business companies, insurance companies, and asset management companies, and also enjoyed great success in related large-scale disputes. The Group is able to offer services tailored to specific areas by having dedicated teams such as the Maritime & Aviation Team, Insurance Team, and Corporate Governance Dispute Team. By having talented professionals in various fields, the Group is able to offer dispute resolution services for both financial institutions and commercial businesses alike.

Due to a severe global recession the likes of which have not been observed for more than a decade, 2023 is projected to be a particularly challenging year for businesses with reduced outlooks and arising disputes. JIPYONG’s Corporate & Financial Disputes Group is equipped to advise and assist its corporate clients through these difficult times. more

Capital Markets Group

The IPO landscape in 2022 had been greatly reduced due to the repeated benchmark interest rate increases by the U.S. Federal Reserve, disruptions to supply chain and increase in uncertainty due to the War in Ukraine, as well as the significant rises in interest rates, exchange rates, and inflation. As such, many of the most anticipated and large-scale IPOs fell through, with the notable exception of LG Energy Solution.

Nonetheless, there have been a steady source of material, parts, and equipment businesses relating to secondary cell batteries, semiconductors, and energy that went public via KOSDAQ IPO in contrast to the general trend. JIPYONG’s Capital Markets Group advised the IPOs and listings of 19 companies (including DaeMyoung Energy, Laserssel, WCP, and QRT) even in such difficult circumstances, and retained the title of the law firm with the greatest number of IPOs in Korea for the fourth consecutive year (2019-2022). JIPYONG’s Capital Markets Group will strive to continue this trend in 2023 as well. more

Private Equity Group

Due to the general economic downturn and especially the dramatic rise in interest rates during the latter half of the year, both the number and the size of private equity transactions were reduced during 2022. That said, the regulatory reform of the private equity industry that came into effect in October 2021 and the related amendments to the Capital Markets Act appear to have settled into the PE markets without much incident. JIPYONG’s Private Equity Group continued to advise and assist its clients and participated in various PE deals even during these difficult times. more

Construction & Real Estate Group

JIPYONG’s Construction & Real Estate Group have maintained their exceptional success rate in litigations in 2022 as well. Of particular note this year was the Group’s significant wins at the Supreme Court level, successfully securing 2 “reversed & remanded” verdicts on cases involving the Act on the Improvement of Urban Areas and Residential Environments. The Group has also won several important cases concerning trusts, the National Land Planning and Utilization Act, and serious accidents in construction sites. more

Antitrust & Competition Group

JIPYONG’s Antitrust & Competition Group was involved in some of the most significant cases of 2022, including those involving regulation of conglomerates, online platforms, providing unfair advantage to specially related persons, abuse of market-dominant position, cartels, and merger control of foreign companies. more

IP / IT Group

JIPYONG’s IP / IT Group provided its customers with a comprehensive array of services and solutions spanning areas as diverse as patent, utility model, trademark, design, unfair competition, trade secret, media contents, entertainment, abuse of intellectual property rights, customs and border measures, IP due diligence, and strategy consulting. As the world entered the era of convergence and hyper-connectivity in 2022, demand for legal advice in new industries that saw explosive growth during the global pandemic – such as big data, AI, blockchain, NFT, and metaverse – significantly increased. New media companies in fields such as tech, online platforms, and OTT often operate in uncharted territories and require legal advice on issues in which the law is still evolving. JIPYONG’s IP / IT Group possesses unparalleled expertise in such emerging areas and is able to meet the client’s needs for all situations, be it designing new business models or dealing with regulations. more

Global Dispute Resolution Team

Following a brief letup caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, global disputes have been on an upward trend amidst the global economic and political instability of 2022. International contract disputes in particular have seen a steady increase throughout the year. These general trends are expected to continue in 2023 as well. more

Labor & Employment Group

JIPYONG’s Labor & Employment Group was involved in some of the most important cases of 2022 relating to illegal dispatches, ordinary wages, and collective bargaining. The Group also advised various clients on issues such as internal subcontracting, responding to the Serious Accidents Punishment Act, and ESG topics.

One of the most significant rulings of 2022 was the Supreme Court’s decision outlawing the so-called “peak wage system” (a wage system that limited the wages of senior workers over the age of 55) that had been prevalent among Korean companies. Since the ruling, a plethora of subsequent litigation followed suit and this trend is expected to continue in 2023 as well. Other labor and employment law issues that may also increase in 2023 are business performance-based incentives of private companies, illegal dispatches, and labor union disputes. more

Criminal Defense Group

2022 saw major overhauls to Korea’s criminal procedure, with amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code that limited the probative force of the interrogation of the suspect, amendments to the Enforcement Decree of the Criminal Procedure Code that greatly expanded the scope of investigation of the Prosecutors’ Office, and the establishment of joint investigation teams for crimes relating to financial securities and national finances.

In light of such significant changes, JIPYONG’s Criminal Defense Group recruited some of the top experts in the field of criminal law, including JIPYONG’s Managing Partner Jung Sik Park who is a former Chief Prosecutor for Seoul High Prosecutors’ Office and has worked for nearly 30 years as a prosecutor. The Group also established centers dedicated to specialized areas of criminal defense, such as the Financial Securities Investigation Response Center, Serious Accidents Response Center, and Public Finance Criminal Response Center. more