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Southeast Asia

Since the 2000s, BKL has been providing legal services in practice areas including among many others foreign direct investment, construction, project financing and international arbitration, to Korean companies making inroads into the Southeast Asian market.
In 2015, with a view to becoming more specialized in providing legal services in Southeast Asia, BKL made its presence in Vietnam by opening offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In addition, BKL has dispatched its attorneys to Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos, and has built a cooperative relationship with major law firms in those countries, thereby being capable of providing comprehensive legal service across the entire region.

BKL’s Vietnam office is directed and managed by Mr. Eric Yang, the head of BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group, Mr. Cheolhyo Ahn,a partner and New York-licensed attorney at BKL, and Mr. Yonggeun Bae, the representative of the Vietnam office. Using the Vietnam office as a foothold, BKL has provided legal services to Korean companies all over Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia and Malaysia, in relation to M&A, construction, real estate, financial transactions and dispute resolution.

Mr. Yang is the first among the Korean attorneys to have become dedicated to Vietnam practice since as early as 2007. He is widely recognized as one of the most professional and seasoned Korean lawyers in Vietnam practice and widely praised for his extensive advisory experience in enabling Korean companies to successfully handle their businesses in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam.

Mr. Ahn holds a B.A. in Economics from Seoul National University, an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan School of Business, and a J.D. from Emory University School of Law. He has advised many Korean companies on their entry into the Southeast Asian market. Currently, he serves as a consultant for KOTRA’s Research Promotion Council for the “Myantra Master Plan” Support Project.

Mr. Bae, who is currently based in Hanoi and leads the Vietnam office, has more than ten-years of experience and expertise in practicing law in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam. His practice area ranges from M&A, foreign direct investment, foreign finance, real estate development, SOC business, labor, tax and international disputes in foreign countries. He is also vigorously engaged in various activities by serving as legal advisor for the Korean Embassy in Vietnam, director of Hanoi Korean International School Foundation and legal advisor for Korean Construction Association in Vietnam. In addition, by using the close network he has built with the Vietnamese government organizations, Mr. Bae provides effective on-site legal service.

Furthermore, BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group has highly qualified and distinguished local experts in Korean company-related cases—which is why the group has been able to provide Korean companies with prompt and accurate legal advice.

Among them, Mr. Tran Ahn Dung has advised Korean companies since 2003 on various issues and major projects related to M&A, litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution in Vietnam. He holds a B.A. in Law from Hanoi National University in Vietnam and an LL.M. degree from the University of the West England in the U.K.

Mr. Samuel Vu (licensed in the state of Washington) has extensive experience in advising Korean companies on their entry into the Vietnamese market since 2011. He has an excellent command of both English and Korean language. His fluency in Korean in particular is attributed to his having lived in Korea for seven years during which he obtained a B.A. in International Law from Handong Global University and graduated from the same university’s law school.

Mr. Htet Zaw Kaung (licensed in Myanmar) holds a LL.B from Dagon University and an LL.M from Yangon University in Myanmar. He worked as consultant at The Law Chambers in Myanmar starting 2008 and thereafter studied International Law at the Transactional Law and Business University in Korea. Since 2012, he has advised Korean companies on their investemnts in Myanmar.

BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group handles various cases, through its efficient, collaborative system using a team consisting of attorneys from the eleven specialized departments of the Seoul Headquarters and attorneys dispatched and placed on site in the relevant local country, depending on the type of case and the needs of the client concerned. By utilizing this system, BKL Southeast Asia Team attorneys will continue to provide prompt and accurate legal advice to all investors who make inroads into the Southeast Asian market—including Vietnam.

Corporate / M&A
"One-stop legal service provider, ranging from due diligence, contract drafting, negotiation, application for license and so on"
BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group has advised many companies in Southeast Asia on various major M&A deals, providing comprehensive, one-stop legal services ranging from negotiation, due diligence, contract drafting, application for license and corporate management. Based on their rich experiences and expertise on the Southeast Asian market, BKL’s Southeast Asia Team attorneys have provided legal services to successfully consummate M&A transactions by thoroughly analyzing legal risks from such transactions and devising countermeasures.

Construction & Projects
"Accurate analyzer of legal risks from large-size projects”
Korean companies have made remarkable achievements in large-size construction projects and public-private partnership projects in Southeast Asian countries. BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group has advised Korean companies on major construction and development projects, including Keangnam Enterprise’s construction of the highest building in Vietnam, the Hanoi Landmark Tower 72, Lotte Group’s Lotte Center Hanoi Project, and Keumho E&C’s Keumho Asiana Building in Ho Chi Minh City. Based on their rich experiences, BKL Southeast Asia Team attorneys have provided satisfactory legal services by accurately analyzing legal risks arising from large-size projects.

Investment & License
"Prompt service provider having close, cooperative relationship with legal practice-related government organizations”
Since the 2000s, BKL has advised Korean companies desiring to make inroads into the Southeast Asian market on their foreign direct investments and license acquisition in such a country. Based on its extensive experience, BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group has established a close, mutually-cooperative relationship with government agencies in the region—which is why the group has been able to promptly and efficiently handle the obtainment of approvals and permits from relevant government agencies, an inevitable process for any foreign investment.

Tax / Transfer Pricing
"Countermeasure designer effectively responding to tax-related risks"
The more increasingly important issues on taxation have become, the bigger the Korean companies have grown in the Southeastern region. Particularly, due to the changes in taxation conditions in the region and more tightened regulation of transfer pricing, it has become even more necessary to better manage tax-related risks. In response, BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group has provided effective countermeasures to tax-related risks by organically cooperating with accountants and customs brokers in the Seoul office.

Banking & Financing
"Reliable consultant providing accurate legal advice based on many and rich experiences in advising many financial institutions"
Having noticed the Southeast Asian financial market as a new engine for growth, a number of Korean financial institutions entered the market. BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group has advised multiple Korean banks, including Shinhan Bank, Kookmin Bank, Hana Bank and Woori Bank, on the start of business in the market, the operation of a local branch, project financing and other legal issues in Southeast Asia—thereby contributing to those clients’ successful business management.

Dispute Resolution
"Best solution provider for resolving disputes"
While the increasing number of Korean companies investing in Southeast Asia has been caught up in legal disputes, many of them are still having difficulty in handling such troubles due to the uncertainty in the judicial system in the region. In contrast, however, clients advised by the excellent local attorneys belonging to BKL’s Southeast Asia Practice Group have enjoyed successful results in multiple litigations or arbitrations in the region.
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