Bae, Kim & Lee LLC (“BKL”) emerged from the ALB Korea Law Awards 2016 as one of the two biggest winners on the night, receiving highly coveted awards for “Deal Firm of the Year,” “Litigation Law Firm of the Year,” and “Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year.” In addition, the firm’s reputation as advisor of choice on the biggest and most complex deals in the market was confirmed by wins for “Deal of the Year” in nearly all of the awarded categories, while BKL M&A partner Ri Bong HAN was honored as “Dealmaker of the Year” for the second consecutive year.
At the awards ceremony for the fourth annual ALB Korea Law Awards held on November 17 at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, BKL received 10 awards, a total surpassed only by Platinum Sponsor Kim & Chang, which received a total of 13 awards. Other winners included Lee & Ko (3 awards), Shin & Kim (3 awards) and Yulchon (3 awards). Winners were selected in a total of 30 categories by an esteemed panel of judges drawn from the ranks of law firm partners, in-house lawyers, law professors, legal associations and business leagues.
BKL’s selection as “Deal Firm of the Year” was an acknowledgment of the firm’s leading role advising on mega deals worth trillions of won, such as Tesco’s sale of Homeplus (in which Dealmaker of the Year Ribong Han played a leading role), the merger between Hana Bank and Korea Exchange Bank, and Visteon’s sale of Halla Visteon Climate Control, among others. The firm’s reputation as a litigation powerhouse was similarly confirmed by its award for “Litigation Law Firm of the Year.” BKL’s win in this category was based on its representation of clients involved in some of the largest and most legally significant litigations in the market, including Korail in regard to the suspension of the Yongsan International Business District Project, Hyundai Oilbank in its claims for damages against Hanwha Energy, and a group of underwriters pursuing claims for damages against Deutsche Bank for option price manipulation. Meanwhile, BKL’s selection as “Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year” underscores the firm’s rise to a position of market leadership in that practice area following the recruitment of leading practitioner Taeck Soo Kwon, a former High Court judge specializing in IP matters, in 2014.
Commenting on the firm’s achievements in the ALB Korea Law Awards 2016, Managing Partner Sungjin Kim observed that “we are deeply honored to receive these awards and gratified at the market’s recognition of the impressive skill, expertise and dedication of our professionals specializing in M&A, litigation, securities and financial services, intellectual property and other key areas. At the same time, we are very humbled by that recognition, and will redouble our efforts to achieve maximum client satisfaction in all we do.”
[List of Awards]
▲ Deal Firm of the Year
▲ Dealmaker of the Year – Ri Bong HAN
▲ Litigation Law Firm of the Year
▲ Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year
▲ Korea Deal of the Year – Tesco’s sale of Homeplus
▲ M&A Deal of the Year (tie between two mega deals in which BKL played a central role)
- Premium: 1) Tesco’s sale of Homeplus, and 2) Merger between Hana Bank and Korea Exchange Bank
- Midsize: Sale of 57.95% Equity in KUMHO Industrial Co.
▲ Debt Market Deal of the Year
- Premium: Refinancing of Incheon International Airport Railway’s private investment project
- Midsize: The Republic of Korea’s issuance of renminbi-denominated foreign exchange equalization bonds (panda bonds) in the People’s Republic of China
Founded in 1980, Bae, Kim & Lee LLC is one of the leading law firms in Korea and in Asia with over 500 professionals and supporting specialists. As the first Korean law firm to set up offices in China and the UAE, BKL maintains seven overseas offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Dubai, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Yangon. With over 20 practice groups specialized in virtually every area of interest for business clients, including corporate, M&A, securities and financial services, international arbitration, tax, litigation and intellectual property, BKL is the second largest law firm in Korea by size and revenue. BKL established the Pro Bono Committee in 2002 for the first time among Korean law firms and has devoted itself to fulfilling its corporate social responsibilities since its inception. BKL received the Best CSR Practices Award at the 1st Korea Bar Association Awards and the Human Rights Award of Korea by the National Human rights Commission in 2014, and was recognized in the ALB CSR List 2016.