December 2020. Yoon & Yang’s managing partner, Hoil Yoon, has received the prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Global Competition Review (GCR).

At the GCR Awards Ceremony 2020, GCR announced that it was honoring Hoil Yoon with this year’s GCR Lifetime Achievement Award in celebration of his “outstanding and illustrious career in competition law.”

GCR, a prestigious legal publication with a primary focus on the antitrust and competition area, annually selects the best law firms, outstanding lawyers and noteworthy cases globally in the antitrust and competition area. GCR honors them at its GCR Annual Awards Ceremony. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, this year GCR held its awards ceremony virtually on November 10, 2020.

At the virtual ceremony, Changho Kum, Yoon & Yang’s competition partner and Hoil Yoon’s colleague, introduced Hoil Yoon praising his leadership and antitrust expertise. Changho Kum commented, “I observed how he led the firm, with his insight and devotion, to become a world-class leading law firm based in Korea. He also consistently encouraged and guided his colleagues to pursue making the firm comply with highest-level ethical rules, provide highest-quality legal services, and promote democratic interpersonal relationships.” Changho Kum also added, “I also have observed, and have been amazed by, what he had contributed to enhancing the rule of law in the field of antitrust law, both as a practitioner and as a leader of various antitrust communities in Korea, the United States and East Asia. Such tremendous contribution explains why he is greatly respected by the legal society as well as his clients all around the world.”

In his acceptance speech, Hoil Yoon remarked how Korea’s antitrust law regime has developed and how he has participated in the development of antitrust law during his legal career over 50 years in Korea, in the US and then in Korea. Hoil Yoon explained, “During the last 40 years, Korea has developed a fairly sophisticated and effective antitrust law regime, thanks largely to the KFTC’s active enforcement and the active review of KFTC decisions by the Seoul High Court and the Supreme Court.” He also added, “The private sector also has performed an equally important role, by assisting and guiding the KFTC and the courts. In addition, … Korean lawyers began to participate in activities of international antitrust communities.” He further added, “I am pleased to have participated in the development of antitrust law and the expansion and enhancement of competition culture, in Korea, in Asia and globally.”

He closed his acceptance speech with his hope for sustainable economic development and democratization in Korea, Asia and all over the world: “Looking ahead, I hope that our local, regional and global antitrust communities will continue to contribute to the development of antitrust law and the expansion and enhancement of competition culture, thereby furthering sustainable economic development and democratization, locally, regionally and globally.”

The GCR Lifetime Achievement Award is a prestigious award presented each year usually to one or two outstanding competition lawyers, academics, economists, enforcers and judges who have contributed to the development of competition law throughout their career. The honorees are chosen by the GCR editors reflecting the views of the peers within the global competition law community.

After being qualified as a Korean attorney in 1967, Hoil Yoon briefly served as a district court judge in Seoul, Korea. Thereafter, he went to the United States to study at the University of Notre Dame Law School and practiced law at Baker McKenzie for 16 years in the United States, during which he accumulated extensive knowledge and experience in cross-border transactions, international dispute resolution and antitrust matters. Hoil Yoon returned to Korea in 1989 and established Yoon & Partners, which later merged with Roh & Yang to become Yoon & Yang LLC of which he has been a managing partner.

During his active years in Korea since 1989, Hoil Yoon has been considered as the country’s most renowned competition lawyer. In addition to leading the Antitrust Practice Group of Yoon & Yang (or Yoon & Partners), he has contributed to enhancing competition culture as a leader of the competition community. He co-founded the Asia Competition Association (ACA), which is an organization for competition law experts from Asia including, in particular, China, Japan and Korea, and has served as its first chairman from 2010 to 2014. He was also a member of the competition policy advisory board of the KFTC until 2013. He is a member of the ABA’s section of antitrust law where he was a member of the international cartel task force from 2007 to 2009 and of the international task force from 2008 to 2012. From 2005 to 2009, he was the first chairman of the Korea Competition Forum. From 2002 to 2011, he served as a non-governmental adviser to the International Competition Network. From 1996 to 1998, he served as a non-standing Commissioner of the KFTC.

In April 2006 he received a national camellia medal from the Korean government for his contributions to the advancement of antitrust law. In 2007 he was chosen by the Chosun Daily Newspaper as best competition law practitioner in Korea. Also he has repeatedly been named by international legal journals as a global leader, senior statesman, market leader, best lawyer, elite lawyer or leading lawyer. He has written numerous articles on antitrust and corporate law, including the Korea chapter he co-authored in the ABA's Competition Laws Outside the United States (2d ed 2011) and in the ABA's Antitrust Issues in Intellectual Property Licensing Transactions (2012). In addition, he has spoken at numerous international competition conferences organized by the ABA, IBA, ICN, ACA, or the like.

Yoon & Yang’s Antitrust Practice Group, which has been led by Hoil Yoon, has advised and represented numerous major Korean companies and numerous multinational companies such as Microsoft, Qualcomm, Merck, UBS, MAN and Panasonic with respect to competition law matters. Yoon & Yang’s antitrust practice has been a standout among international legal publications. For example, the firm has been recognized by the Global Competition Review (GCR) as an “Elite” antitrust practice in Korea for thirteen consecutive years. The firm also earned GCR Awards previously such as “Regional Firm of the Year - Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa (2018)” and “Merger control matter of the Year - Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa (2016).” In addition, the firm was awarded as a “South Korea Law Firm of the Year 2015, 2018 and 2019” by the Asian-Mena Counsel’s In-House Community Survey. Yoon & Yang’s antitrust practice has 15 partners and 30 associates.