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Insurance "Highly respected practice with extensive experience in insurance-related transactions,
including advising clients on insurance sector M&A as well as joint ventures and restructurings."
– Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019

Overview

As Korea’s most trusted insurance law advisors, Kim & Chang’s Insurance Practice offers first-class service to insurers, reinsurers and insurance brokers by utilizing its unrivaled expertise and resources. Our practice is well-known for its expertise and experience in securing licenses for new insurance businesses, providing insurance regulatory advice, assisting with mergers & acquisitions in the insurance industry, handling insurance disputes and providing HR and tax advice relating to insurance in Korea. 

Our Insurance Practice consists of lawyers, CPAs, certified tax accountants, actuaries and other experts, many of whom have focused their practice on insurance matters and accumulated experience in leading legal and tax practices. Drawing upon such wealth of expertise, our practice is able to provide effective and efficient counsel to our clients based on the understanding of the legal issues and the regulatory requirements, as well as an up-to-date knowledge of the industry trends and developments in Korea.  

We offer a full range of services to our clients, many of whom require a “one-stop” service for advice or assistance on legal matters which insurance and reinsurance companies may encounter, such as regulatory audits, labor and employment matters, real estate issues, asset management, competition law issues, tax matters and dispute resolution.  Moreover, we work closely with other practices within our firm, including experts in banking, securities, and investment management, to anticipate and address the diverse needs of our clients in the rapidly changing financial market environment in Korea.

Key Servicesshow

Regulatory
 

Establishment of Business Presence

Major American, European and Japanese insurance and reinsurance companies regularly seek our advice in connection with the establishment of subsidiaries or branches in Korea.  We provide assistance with respect to all aspects of the regulatory approval process for establishing such business presences in Korea, including preparing the regulatory filings to obtain the required licenses and registering the newly established subsidiary or branch. 

 

Compliance

The Korean insurance industry is a highly regulated industry, which is subject to regulatory supervision at all key phases of business operation, including product development, insurance solicitation, solvency and asset management/investment.  Accordingly, compliance with applicable laws and regulations is essential to the success of the business, and we help our clients identify and comply with such laws and regulations in the face of a continuously evolving regulatory framework.  Furthermore, we regularly advise clients on identifying gaps in their compliance programs and developing more robust compliance programs.  We also advise insurance brokers with respect to applicable regulations and compliance. 

 

Audit

Insurance companies and other entities engaged in insurance-related businesses are subject to strict regulatory audits by the Korean insurance regulatory bodies.  We advise clients in connection with issues identified during regulatory audits and help defend our clients from the imposition of sanctions and other governmental actions resulting from such audits. 

 
Transactional
 

Mergers & Acquisitions

We advise insurance and reinsurance companies, financial institutions and other industry participants on M&A, joint ventures and other corporate transactions in the Korean insurance industry.  Utilizing our firm’s market leading capabilities, we have assisted many of the world’s leading insurance companies to complete complex M&A and other corporate transactions in the Korean market.

 

Reinsurance/Cross-Border Sales

We advise insurance companies and reinsurance companies on reinsurance transactions.  In addition to providing structural and regulatory advice on reinsurance agreements, we provide legal advice on cross-border sales of non-admitted insurance products by foreign insurers in Korea.

 

Transactional Support

In connection with M&A transactions, we also perform insurance-related due diligence and draft and negotiate insurance provisions in the relevant transactional documents. 

 
Litigation and Disputes

In collaboration with our firm’s litigation and arbitration practices, we represent clients in litigation and arbitration proceedings involving insurance claims, subrogation and other insurance-related disputes. 

 
Tax and HR 

In collaboration with our firm’s Tax Practice and Labor & Employment Practice, we provide tax and HR advisory consulting for insurance businesses. 

Key Experienceshow

We have represented numerous domestic and foreign insurance companies, reinsurance companies, insurance agents and insurance brokers.

 
Regulatory
  • Approval of AIA Life Insurance’s conversion from a branch to a local subsidiary
  • Approval on non-life insurance business and establishment of a local branch for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
  • Approval of establishment of a reinsurance branch for Pacific Life Re and ACR
  • Approval of Chartis’ conversion from a branch to a local subsidiary
  • Establishment of an insurance branch for Genworth Mortgage Insurance
  • Establishment of a reinsurance branch for United Guaranty
  • Approval of Meritz Insurance’s financial holding company
  • Establishment of a reinsurance branch for Hanover Re
  • Acquisition of an insurance business license for the first digital non-life insurance company in Korea (Carrot Insurance)
  • Introducing co-insurance regulation
 
Transactional
  • Acquisition of Prudential Life by KB Financial
  • Sale of Orange Life Insurance to Shinhan Financial
  • Sale of PCA Life Insurance to Mirae Asset Life
  • Acquisition of Tong Yang Life by VOGO Fund
  • Approval for change of large shareholder for ING Life and KB Life
  • Acquisition of ERGO Daum Direct by AXA Group
  • Investment in Kyobo Life by Affinity Equity Partners and other investors
 
Litigation and Disputes
  • Obtained a partial payment of insurance proceeds through court mediation procedures in connection with a lawsuit involving an export insurance claim against the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation
  • Prevailed in a lawsuit involving a naval vessel assembly insurance claim.
  • Prevailed in a lawsuit regarding defense cost claims in a venture capital asset protection insurance
  • Prevailed in a claim case concerning an erection all risks (EAR) insurance contract regarding government-furnished equipment
  • Prevailed in a case against the Financial Supervisory Service’s sanction for alleged manipulation of loss ratio
  • Prevailed in a case against the Financial Supervisory Service’s sanction for an alleged false report of financial statements
  • Prevailed in a case against the Korea Fair Trade Commission’s corrective orders and fines imposed on life insurers for alleged collusion in variable life insurance products
 
Tax and HR 
  • Successfully filed a Korea-Singapore bilateral APA (advance pricing agreement) concerning intragroup services in the reinsurance sector
  • Successfully defended a life insurer in a tax tribunal case regarding timing of deductibility of suicide insurance claims
  • Prevailed in a lawsuit involving tax on executives term insurance
  • Successfully represented a life insurer by obtaining a court decision that a telemarketing insurance solicitor is not an employee

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