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  1. South Korea – Leading tax law firms
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South Korea - TDH500

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Kim & Chang advises household-name clients on issues such as transfer pricing, international taxation and VAT. Byung Moon Jung, who jointly heads the team with Woo Hyun Baik, successfully represented OCI in High Court proceedings pertaining to tax exemptions and a spin-off company, securing a refund of ₩470bn. Other clients include leading names in the technology and financial services sectors, and major chaebols. Jin Hwan Lee heads the customs practice.

Lee & Ko handles the full spectrum of tax advice, with particular strengths in tax litigation, the taxation aspects of real estate investment trusts, and inheritance tax. Practice head Jay Shim led a team in a case in which the Korean courts recognised a non-Korean intermediary company as a beneficial owner. Other clients include Samsung SRA. Duk Won Suh, who previously led Yulchon’s transfer pricing team, is a new hire.

Yulchon’s team ‘provides useful recommendations as opposed to simply setting out the law’ and is, for some, ‘the best Korean law firm for overseas transactions’. The firm has a particular strength in private equity-related tax matters, having secured Visteon a $427m capital gains tax refund following the sale of part of its business to a Korean investor. Kyung Geun Lee, who heads the transfer pricing team, ‘consistently provides prompt and practical advice’. Sai Ree Yun, Soon Moo Soh, Seok Hoon Kang and Dong Soo Kim jointly head the team.

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s Il Young Cho and Wu Cheol Song successfully represented KT Corporation in Supreme Court litigation regarding the applicability of VAT to mobile phone subsidies.Cho jointly heads the practice with Cheol Hyung Yu and Dong Hyun Kim. Other clients include UBS Securities, which the firm is advising on the tax effect of losses created by equity-linked warrant trading.

Shin & Kim’s Choon Cho represented Hana Bank in VAT litigation pertaining to credit card interchange fees. Cho jointly heads the team with Hyeon-Jin Kim, who represented Asiana Airlines in a customs dispute. Clients also recommend In-Hwa Chung and Kyung Don Lee. Other mandates relate to inheritance tax, corporate income tax and pensions.

Yoon & Yang LLC is praised for tax disputes and has a strong international practice. Seung Soon Lim, Wan Kyu Jeon and practice head Oh-Young Jeon represented KT Corporation in a cross-border corporate tax matter concerning the Korea-Malaysia tax treaty, with 53.2bn at stake. Other matters relate to inheritance tax, VAT and customs duties.

Lee International IP & Law Group’s experience in tax disputes spans tax-related criminal offences, cross-border matters and VAT. Sung-Eun Stephan Kim is ‘well versed in US tax laws’.

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