Professionals


Partners

  • Namkyu Kang

    Managing Partner / CFA

    Mr. Namkyu Kang started his law practice at Yulchon LLC in 2005 as an associate in Yulchon’s Tax Group and eventually became a partner there. In 2017 he founded the GAON LAW GROUP.

    Mr. Kang is especially renowned for his very successful client representations in tax dispute matters, both in administrative appeals as well as in litigation before the courts. Representative tax appeal cases include a Tax Tribunal case for Samsung Electronics MCP / DDP, a Tax Tribunal case on eBay-Gmarket discount coupon value-added tax, an appeal on the imposition of additional taxes despite the reduced/exempt tax ruling for high-tech status for Hyundai Motor Company, a pre-assessment review of corporate tax on STX Heavy Industries, a Tax Tribunal case of LG Chem transfer pricing taxation, and a Mastercard royalty withholding tax audit and tax appeal case. The litigation cases that he won ran the spectrum of tax issues, including a Samsung SDS bonds with warrant gift tax case, a case of securities transaction tax for City Group’s acquisition of Hanmi Bank’s DR, an Aekyung Group owner family’s local tax case, Shinhan Bank and Korea Exchange Bank’s JPY swap deposit cases, Kookmin Bank and others’ education tax cases, a Tower Palace capital gain tax case, and a gold bullion value-added tax case. In particular, Mr. Kang has an impressive roster of tax cases he won before the Supreme Court of Korea: in 2014, Mr. Kang won a leading case concerning comprehensive gift through a profitable corporation; from 2015 through 2016, he won four cases that the clients had lost at the administrative court and appellate court levels (two international tax cases, one value-added tax case and another inheritance and gift tax case), consecutively getting each of the four cases reversed and remanded by the Supreme Court.

    In addition to his experience in dispute resolution, Mr. Kang has provided tax-related legal advice on a wide range of areas, including requests for rulings, tax planning and other tax matters. He also holds expertise in personal international tax issues based on his work experience in the U.S. Mr. Kang is a leader in the tax legal industry for his active participation in various academic and tax policy think tanks and associations.

    In addition to his law practice, Mr. Kang is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.

    Education / Qualification

    Seoul National University, Graduate School of Law, S.J.D. in Tax Law (Completed Coursework, 2022)
    Northwestern Pritzker School of Law (U.S.), LL.M. (cum laude, 2009)
    Seoul National University, Graduate School of Law, M.A. in Administrative Law (2004)
    Judicial Research and Training Institute of the Supreme Court of Korea (31st Class, 2002)
    Seoul National University, Department of Private Law, LL.B. (summa cum laude, 1999)
    Admitted to the Korean Bar (40th Korean Bar Exam, 1998)

    Career

    GAON LAW GROUP, Managing Partner (2017 - Present)
    SEHAN LLC, Partner (2015 - 2016)
    HYUN Law, Partner (2011 - 2014)
    Yulchon LLC, Partner & Associate (2005 - 2011)

    Ministry of Economy and Finance, National Tax Ruling Review Committee Member (2018 - 2020)
    Ministry of Economy and Finance, Tax Development Review Committee Member (2018 - 2020)
    National Tax Service, Tax Accountant Qualification Review Committee Member (2019 - 2020)
    National Tax Service, Legal Advisor (2015 - 2018)
    National Tax Service, Property Assessment Review Committee Member (2013 - 2015)
    NTS Seoul Regional Office, Legal Advisor (2013 - 2014; 2019 - 2021)
    NTS Seoul Regional Office, Tax Offense Investigation Review Committee Member (2019 - 2021)
    NTS Seoul Regional Office, Seocho Tax Office, National Tax Review Committee Member (2014 - 2016)
    NTS Jungbu Regional Office, Bundang Tax Office, National Tax Review Committee Member (2012 - 2014)
    National Tax Officials Training Institute, Litigation Expert Training Course, Education Board Member (2012 - Present)
    Korea Customs Service, Legal Advisor (2013 - 2021)
    Korea Customs Service, Customs Law Interpretation Review Committee Member (2017 - 2019)
    Seoul Main Customs, Legal Advisor (2018 - 2020)
    Seoul Main Customs, Regular Disciplinary Committee Civil Member (2015 - 2021)
    Gyeonggi-do Administrative Appeals Commission Member (2018 - Present)
    Korea Housing & Urban Guarantee Corporation, Legal Advisor (2020 - Present)
    Korea Housing & Urban Guarantee Corporation, Claim Write-Off Committee Advisor (2018 - Present)
    Korea Housing & Urban Guarantee Corporation, Fund Investment Review Committee Expert Advisor (2018 - 2020)
    Korea Housing & Urban Guarantee Corporation, Management Renovation Advisory Committee Member (2018 - 2019)
    Tax Law Association, Legal Director (2022 - Present)
    International Fiscal Association Korea, Academic Director (2016 - Present)
    The Korean Taxpayers Union, Advisor (2016 - Present)
    Korean Tax Study Forum, Aduit (2021 - Present)
    Korean Local Tax Association, Vice President (2021 - Present)
    Korean Bar Association, Tax System Committee Member (2014 - 2018)
    Financial Services Commission, Capital Gain Tax Imposition TF Expert Advisor (2012)
    CFA Society Korea, Vice President and Advocacy Committee Chairman (2010 - 2015)
    FPSB KOREA, Member (2006 - 2016)

    Field of Practice

    Tax Advice / Dispute, Tax Investigation, International Tax, Customs Duties, Local Tax
    Sports / Entertainment

    Awards / Recognition

    Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Economy and Finance (concurrent positions), Certificate of Award (2016)
    Commissioner of the Korea Customs Service, Certificate of Award (2016)

    Thesis / Publication

    Review of 2017 Income Tax Act Cases, Tax Law Study (2018)
    Legal Limitations on Comprehensive Gift Taxation on Increase of Property Value by Contribution, Tax Law Study (2015)
    Request for Rectification by Non-Resident Withholding Obligor and Burden of Proof, Tax Law Study (2014)
    Review of 2013 International Tax Cases, Journal of IFA Korea (2014)
    Review of 2010 Inheritance Tax and Gift Tax Act, Tax Law Study (2011)
    Acknowledgement of Notice of Income Change as Administrative Disposition and Follow-Up Measures, Quarterly Tax Accountants (2007)
    How to Reform the Current Withholding Tax System – Focusing on Alleviating the Burden on Withholding Obligors, Tax Law Study (2007)

  • Kyuhyuk Kim

    Partner, Head of Corporate Law Practice

    Mr. Kyuhyuk Kim started his law practice in 2005 and since then has provided legal advice on various transactions, including M&A, PEF and JV. He participated in the foundation of GAON LAW GROUP in 2017. He advises on the entire process of corporate control battles (including hostile takeovers) from the takeover/defense strategy planning, to preliminary injunction and litigation in the course of such takeover/defense as well as the closing, and represents clients in court for preliminary injunction and litigation in such battles. His areas of practice also include providing legal advice on general corporate matters.

    Education / Qualification

    Columbia Law School (U.S.), LL.M. (2012)
    Seoul National University, Graduate School of Law, Tax Law (Completed Coursework, 2003)
    Judicial Research and Training Institute of the Supreme Court of Korea (31st Class, 2002)
    Admitted to the Korean Bar (41st Korean Bar Exam, 1999)
    Seoul National University, Department of Law, LL.B in Public Law (1999)

    Career

    GAON LAW GROUP, Head of Corporate Law Practice (2020.10.- Present)
    GAON LAW GROUP, Partner (2017)
    Sehan LLC, Partner (2015 - 2016)
    HYUN Law, Partner (2014)
    KIM, CHOI & LIM, Associate (2005 - 2014)
    Ministry of Justice, Public Service Advocate (2002 - 2005)

    Field of Practice

    M&A / Minority Investment / Joint Venture
    Hostile M&A / Corporate Control
    Corporate Governance
    General Corporate Matters

    Key Experiences

    M&A / Investment / Corporate Finance
    Business transfer of Pacific Pharm’s pharmaceutical business to Handok (Counsel for the transferor)
    Business transfer of Fine Korea, a bankrupt affiliate of Sajo Group (Counsel for the transferee)
    Transfer of Webzen controlling stockholder’s stocks and corporate control to NHN Games (former name) (Counsel for the transferee)
    Equity investment in CAP by IMM Investment and others (Counsel for the investor)
    Equity investment in Celltrion by IMM PE and others (Counsel for the investor)
    Equity investment in Midas by IMM Investment and others (Counsel for the investor)
    JV between Handok and TEVA (Counsel for Handok)
    Handok’s equity investment in Genexine (Counsel for the investor)
    Equity sale and purchase between Handok and Sanofi-aventis (Counsel for Handok)
    Acquisition by NHN (formerly, NHN Entertainment) of NHN Bugs (formerly, Neowiz Internet) (Counsel for the transferee)
    SM Entertainment’s equity investment in ESteem Model (Counsel for the investor)
    SM Entertainment’s equity investment in IB Worldwide (Counsel for the investor)
    GS Home Shopping’s equity investment in NHNPAYCO (Counsel for NHNPAYCO)
    M&A of KOSDAQ-listed I Company (Counsel for the transferor (the largest stockholder))
    Specialized investment-type PEF’s investment in CB issued by KOSDAQ-listed Y Company (Counsel for the investor)
    Specialized investment-type PEF’s investment in RCPS issued by unlisted P Company (Counsel for the investor)
    New Technology Business Investment Association’s investment in CB issued by KOSDAQ-listed V Company (Counsel for the investor)
    S Fund’s investment in RCPS issued by unlisted D Company (Counsel for D Company)
    Korea Development Bank’s investment in RCPS issued by an early stage bio company (Counsel for the bio company)
    Equity investment in unlisted F Company by KOSPI-listed N Company (Counsel for the investor)
    Acquisition of unlisted M Company (Counsel for the acquirer)

    Hostile Takeover / Corporate Control
    Sajo Group’s hostile takeover of Oyang Fisheries (currently, Sajo Oyang) (Counsel for Sajo Group)
    Countermeasures against an attempt to take over the control of Webzen by Neowave and others (Counsel for Webzen)
    Hostile takeover of M Asset Management Company (Counsel for the acquirer)
    S Industries Company’s Battle for Corporate Control (Counsel for the minority stockholder)
    Dispute between unlisted A Company’s largest stockholder and investor (Counsel for the largest stockholder)
    Dispute between unlisted B Company’s largest stockholder and investor (Counsel for the investor)
    Other various corporate control litigation cases

    Other Areas
    General corporate matters
    Corporate governance

  • Woojoon Kang

    Partner

    Mr. Woojoon Kang started his legal practice at Kim & Chang in 2009 as an associate in its Corporate Group. He joined GAON LAW GROUP as a partner in July, 2018. Mr. Kang has accumulated experiences and know-how over a decade in the area of fair trade and antitrust (e.g., unfair transactions, subcontracting, franchise, and labeling and advertising) and has been involved in relevant dispute-related cases (including civil, criminal and administration lawsuits) and compliance cases (internal inspections and audits). Further, he has provided legal advice and handled litigation in healthcare (pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food, and cosmetics), franchise and sports industries as well as providing solutions for such industries’ various legal issues.

    Education / Qualification

    Georgetown Law Center (U.S.), Visiting Researcher (2015)
    Fair Competition Federation, Research Training Course (2013)
    Seoul National University, Graduate School of Public Administration (2008)
    Judicial Research and Training Institute of the Supreme Court of Korea (35th Class, 2006)
    Admitted to the Korean Bar (45th Korean Bar Exam, 2003)
    Seoul National University, Department of Law, LL.B. (2003)

    Career

    GAON LAW GROUP, Partner (2018 - Present)
    Kim & Chang, Associate (2009 - 2018)
    Arnold & Porter LLP (D.C.), Foreign Attorney (2014 - 2015)

    Korean Bar Association, Member of Legislative Committee (2021 - Present)
    Korean Sport & Olympic Committee, Member of Regulation Review Committee (2021 - Present)
    Korea Entertainment Law Society, Director (2020 - Present)
    Fair Trade Commission, Litigation Counsel (2019 - Present)
    Korean In-Vitro Diagnostic Medical Device Association, Auditor (2019 - Present)
    STASSETS Investment (Bio & Healthcare Investment Company), Auditor (2018 - Present)
    Korean Pharmaceutical Association, Korea Pharmaceutical Association News, Legal Advisor (2018 - Present)
    Korean Sport & Olympic Committee, Regulation Organization Task Force Member (2019 - 2020)
    Korean Sport & Olympic Committee, Member of Candidate Recommendation Committee for Sports Fair Committee (2019)
    Korean Sport & Olympic Committee, Legislation and Disciplinary Committee Member (2013 - 2014)
    KBO (Korea Baseball Organization) certified Agent (2018 - Present)
    Korea Army, Judge Advocate General (Captain) (2006 - 2009)

    Field of Practice

    Antitrust Audit / Reporting / Dispute / Mediation
    Healthcare (Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Food and Drugs) / Franchise / Direct Sales
    Sports / Entertainment
    Compliance and Internal Audit
    General Corporate / M&A

  • Sorim Lee

    Partner

    Before joining GAON LAW GROUP as partner in 2022, Ms. Sorim Lee’s legal career started with CJ Holdings in 2007, where she pioneered the field of entertainment law as the company’s in-house counsel. Having accumulated a decade of experience in all sectors of the industry, from films and TV series to broadcasting, music and live events, her strength lies in the fact that her expertise includes both legal and business aspects of the field.
    Ms. Lee has spent the past 15 years of her career supporting major companies, professionals and institutions that paved the way for the development of Korea’s entertainment industry, consulting clients to identify and resolve various risks, as well as drawing up optimal solutions to help them navigate complex issues posed by rapidly changing environments. She has also had the opportunity to head investment planning and strategy planning at CJ ENM’s Film Business Division, during which she endeavored into territories such as expanding the foundation for entertainment industry investments and aiding policymakers in the creation of a virtuous cycle to power the growth of Korea’s content industry.

    Education / Qualification

    Judicial Research and Training Institute of the Supreme Court of Korea (36th Class, 2007)
    Admitted to the Korean Bar (46th Korean Bar Exam, 2004)
    Pusan National University, College of Law (1999)

    Career

    GAON LAW GROUP, Partner (2022 - Present)
    Lee Sorim Legal Office, Founder (2019 - 2021)
    CJ HOLDINGS, Counsel (2016)
    CJ ENM, Head of Film Strategic Planning Team (2013 - 2016)
    CJ ENM, Head of Film Investment Planning Team (2012 - 2013)
    CJ ENM, Counsel (2011 - 2012)
    CJ ENTERTAINMENT, Manager of Strategic Planning Team (2009 - 2011)
    CJ HOLDINGS, Counsel (E&M Division) (2007 - 2009)
    Korea Animation Promotion Committee, Member (2020 - Present)
    Korea content dispute resolution committee, Member (2017 - Present)

    Field of Practice

    Film financing and distribution
    Film and TV series production
    Legal risk assessment and management for entertainment industry companies, professionals and projects
    IP strategy
    Content financing
    M&A involving content companies and studios

19F, Keungil-Tower,
223 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu,
Seoul, 06142
Tel 82-2-3446-5410
Fax 82-2-3446-5700