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Aerospace & Defense "The firm has plenty of resources and trustworthy professionals.
The service is top quality."
- Chambers Asia-Pacific 2017


Our Aerospace & Defense Practice brings together the firm’s expertise in regulatory matters, government procurement, investigations and disputes including arbitration and litigation to meet the complex needs of our clients in the aerospace and defense industry.

We offer a comprehensive package of legal support to defense companies seeking to effectively navigate the shifting regulatory landscape in the defense procurement market, including matters concerning the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (“DAPA”).

The capabilities of our attorneys, advisors and specialists in the Aerospace & Defense Practice range from providing advice on how to prepare responses to Requests for Proposal, relationships with agents and intermediaries, maintenance of appropriate procedures for handling of military classified information, negotiating the terms and conditions of system supply contracts, advising on various aspects of offset programs as well as representing clients in dispute resolution procedures (including litigation and arbitration).

We also have significant experience representing companies in connection with investigations by the relevant authorities, including civilian and/or military prosecution authorities. We have also provided guidance to clients on the laws concerning compliance issues relating to both civilian and military laws.

Our firm has been a respected leader in the Korean legal market for over four decades, offering clients a full array of legal services in diverse areas of practice.  Our attorneys are widely respected practitioners in their respective areas of expertise in Korea, and they bring an insider’s understanding of the legal and policy framework in which government contract issues arise, as well as the processes in which decisions in these areas are made. 

Key Servicesshow

General Advisory & Compliance

Since its inception, our firm has extensively supported the business activities of foreign investors in the Korean market across different industries.  Leveraging the expertise of our lawyers who have experience assisting multinational companies in various industries, we have applied the knowhow and expertise developed in our broader corporate and regulatory practice to assist clients in the aerospace and defense industry.  Under the heading of General Advisory Services, we provide not only guidance on applicable local laws and regulations, but also assist project teams with various applicable procedures in defense procurement projects including bidding, negotiation and execution; and provide appropriate solutions to any problems that aerospace and defense companies may face at each stage of the process.  The insights of our advisors and specialists who have extensive experience in the industry and the relevant authorities, serve the interests of our clients in that regard.  Another major focus area is addressing compliance issues, including domestic and foreign anti-bribery regulations, contact with public officials, maintenance of confidentiality and treatment of classified documents.  In addition, we can also respond to issues concerning corporate law and visa related issues to assist project teams that are in-country for purposes of project negotiation or project execution.


Government Procurement

Over the course of the last 10 to 15 years, alongside the growing size and sophistication of the defense procurement market in Korea, there has been a concurrent shift in bidding and contracting procedures aimed toward more sophisticated contracting, ever more detailed regulations of various subject areas as well as a greater number of legal disputes between government agencies and suppliers.  Additionally, in the last few years, pronounced efforts to encourage local participation by Korean Industry Partners have been observed.


Concurrent with these trends, we have recognized an expanded role for local counsel to assist defense contractors with detailed and day-to-day issues in specific government procurement projects with DAPA, other related defense agencies, as well as with other government procurement agencies such as the Public Procurement Service and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute.  Our expanded role in supporting ongoing projects also includes advising on issues pertaining to contracts with local partners, which have been the subject of keen focus by DAPA, bidding procedures, government contracting, procurement, tax, and other relevant laws.  We also assist our clients in various other aspects of government procurement projects, such as dealing with contractual relationships with Korean counter parties and agents.


While the bulk of our Practice Group’s endeavors historically focused on inbound transactions assisting foreign defense companies supplying to DAPA, developments abroad have provided an opportunity for Korean defense companies to expand exports at an unprecedented scale.  Our firm has been active in assisting many Korean defense companies to expand their sales and operations beyond Korea.


Investigations & Disputes

The Aerospace & Defense Practice is an inter-disciplinary grouping of our attorneys which includes professionals with backgrounds in criminal prosecution and enforcement, as well as in litigation and arbitration.


Along with the emphasis on greater transparency in the industry, we have witnessed in recent years an ever-growing focus on enforcement of generally applicable criminal and administrative laws, as well as special laws which have particular importance in the industry including laws relating to protected technology and classified information.  A major portion of the work of the Group includes representing companies in connection with investigations by the Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Defense Prosecutors Office, the Military Police, the Defense Security Command and other relevant investigation or prosecution authorities.  


Especially in the case of foreign nationals or foreign companies doing business here in Korea, we understand that being subject to an investigation process is a difficult experience.  Many of our attorneys have experience in working with foreign clients in navigating this difficult course and arriving at a successful outcome. 


Our litigators and arbitration experts have experience working on matters in the defense industry and representing companies in disputes that arise in connection with the award or performance of defense government contracts — from the perspective of enforcing a contractor’s rights under the contract and defending against government claims of nonperformance or fraud – in the form of arbitration or litigation. 


Part of our work in this area also addresses complying with and submitting objections in connection with debarment sanctions which are actually or potentially threatened against a defense company.

Key Experienceshow

General Advisory & Compliance

Laws and Regulations related to DAPA

  • Advised multiple foreign defense companies concerning provisions of the Defense Acquisition Program Act and the Defense Acquisition Program Management Regulations.

  • Advised multiple foreign defense companies concerning laws and regulations on the use of commission agents, trade representatives and intermediaries.

  • Advised multiple foreign defense companies concerning the Offset Program Guidelines issued by DAPA.


Procedures Relating to Bids issued by DAPA and the Ministry of National Defense

  • Advised a major European defense company on bid requirements and negotiation of terms and conditions (2023).

  • Advised a major Latin American aerospace and defense company in navigating the bid process and negotiations with DAPA (2022-2023).

  • Advised a pharmaceutical company on supply of products to DAPA (2022).

  • Advised a major US aerospace and defense company on updated form supply agreement used by DAPA (2016).

  • Advised multiple foreign defense companies regarding compliance with new registration rules for suppliers to DAPA pursuant to the DAPA regulations (2015-2016).


Other Compliance Issues

  • Provided advice to foreign defense companies on compliance and corruption issues in connection with Korea-based operations, including matters related to the hiring of former public officials, the Anti-Graft Law, and regulations concerning lobbying activities (2013-2023).

  • Advised a major European defense company in dealing with a workplace harassment incident (2022).

  • Conducted “dawn raid” training for a European aerospace company in order to prepare the firm for potential searches by criminal investigation authorities (2019).

  • Assisted in conduct of supplier and intermediary due diligence with respect to Korea Industrial Partners and commission agents in Korea for a major US defense company (2013-2016).

  • Provided guidance to a major US defense company on compliance with newly enacted legislation regarding payments to government officials (2015).


Government Procurement

DAPA Contracts

  • Advised a US defense company regarding liquidated damage exemptions in connection with a missile program (2022).

  • Advised a US defense company regarding pilot training and other services for the ROKAF in connection with a UAV program (2018).

  • Advised a US defense company on potential dispute and settlement negotiations in connection with damaged goods during delivery (2018).

  • Advised various US and European defense companies in connection with the interpretation and negotiation of DAPA’s standard terms & conditions for defense weapon systems (2013-2016).

  • Advised in negotiations concerning intellectual property and disputes resolutions provisions for a major US aerospace and defense company for advanced electronics airborne systems (2014-2015).

  • Advised a major US aerospace and defense company in relation to bidding procedure for advanced navigation related pods for ROKAF aircraft (2015).

  • Advised a major European defense company on attempts by the DAPA to set off payments due to the company recouping alleged DAPA losses under a radar contract with the same company (2013).


Public Procurement Service (“PPS”)

  • Advised multiple major US defense companies on responding to assessments of liquidated damages (2023).

  • Advised a major European defense company on overhaul of PPS and DAPA registration requirements (2018).


Korea Aerospace Research Institute (“KARI”)

  • Advised on issues relating to bidding procedure and contract terms and conditions in a development and supply agreement concerning a European manufacturer of launchers (2016).

  • Advised a US defense company on due diligence, internal review and remedial measures concerning remedial measures related to unauthorized access to non-public documents issued by the KARI provided by a commission agent (2015).


Offset Program 

  • Advised a major European defense company on obligations under offset guidelines (2023).

  • Advised a UK company on offset rules in connection with R&D contract in connection with submarine construction (2018).

  • Advised a US aerospace and defense company in connection with obligations under major offset program including potential risks and liabilities associated with non-performance and/or delay (2015-2016).

  • Provided general advice to US and European defense companies where performance bonds were drawn by DAPA for alleged failure to satisfy offset obligations (2014, 2015).


Issues Concerning Korean Counterparties

  • Advised a US defense company on force majeure certification in a subcontract with a Korean prime contractor (2021).

  • Assisted a US defense company on compliance issues related to a major Korean subcontractor (2017).

  • Advised on technical assistance and manufacturing agreement between a domestic and a foreign defense company in relation to submarines (2012).

  • Advised a UK company on general Korean laws and regulations in connection with supply contracts with local subcontractors.


Other Issues

  • Assisted a US defense company on immigration and visa related matters in connection with mobilization of executives and engineers (2017).

  • Assisted German standards and testing company with efforts to address improper bidding qualification which discriminated against foreign bidders in procurement by the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corp. (2016).


Investigations & Disputes

Criminal Investigation

  • Assisted a major US company in an investigation by the Prosecutors Office for possible involvement in embezzlement of military items (2022).

  • Assisted European aerospace company in an investigation by the Prosecutors Office of domestic carriers (2019-2021).

  • Defended and provided advice to a major US and a European defense company in an investigation by the Civil Prosecutors’ Office and the Defense Security Command for possible involvement in disclosure of military classified information (2014-2016).

  • Defended several U S and European companies subject to inquiry or investigation by the Defense Industry Joint Investigation Team relating to issues of bribery, misappropriation, expropriation of classified information, fraudulent practices relating to testing and evaluation (2014-2016).

  • Defended a major UK marine engine company in potential investigation concerning alleged bribery, access to military classified information, and interactions with DAPA and MND officials through commission agent (2014-2016).

  • Defended a textile company in criminal investigation involving consultant who was a former senior MND official (2015-2016).


Commercial Disputes

  • Defended a major US defense company in a civil claim before the Seoul District Court in relation to an action to collect under a bid bond for a radar contract (2014-2020).

  • Advise a major US aerospace and defense company in potential dispute with the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning regarding satellite maintenance contract (2013-2014).

  • Advised a major US defense company in potential contract issue with DAPA concerning bid bond payments relating to revision of contract price (2014).


Debarments imposed by DAPA 

  • Acted as counsel for several domestic defense companies in debarment proceedings instituted by DAPA and in subsequent lawsuits in Korean courts (2010-2021).

  • Assisted as counsel to a European defense company when debarment proceedings were threatened by DAPA which ultimately resulted in amicable settlement (2011, 2012).


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