GCR 100 2024

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC

Professional notice

South Korea

Highly recommended

Hongki Kim recently took over from Seongun Yun to lead the antitrust practice at BAE KIM & LEE, which consists of 27 partners, eight counsel and 23 associates. The firm advised Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering on its €1.3 billion sale to Hanwha Group, which the KFTC cleared with conditions in April 2023 after the merging parties promised not to discriminate against rivals when supplying ship parts to the defence sector. In a major behavioural matter, the firm advised Kakao Mobility, which was fined 25.7 billion won (€18 million) in February 2023 for secretly manipulating the algorithm on its mobile application to give preferential treatment to its own affiliated drivers. The precedent-setting case was one of the first to address antitrust concerns in the digital economy.

FirmHead(s) of competitionSizeNo. WWL nomineesClients
Highly Recommended
Bae Kim & LeeHongki Kim27 partners, 8 counsel, 23 associates3Meta Platforms, Tesla, Marriott International, Amazon Web Services, LG Chem, Korea Development Bank, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Kakao Mobility, Samsung, Heung-A Line, Korea Marine Transport, Sinokor, Daewoong Pharmaceutical

Client First and Proven Excellence

BKL’s Antitrust and Competition Practice Group offers unmatched excellence across the full spectrum of antitrust matters ranging from international cartel investigations, merger control and antitrust compliance to administrative, civil and criminal litigation.

Drawing on the combined talents of our lawyers and advisors with a proven track record in successfully advising clients on complex antitrust matters, the Antitrust and Competition Practice Group is able to provide seamless and integrated services to efficiently and effectively address any crisis situation.

BKL also boasts its Center for Law and Economics (“CLE”) through which it provides clients with differentiated services based on joint and coordinated legal and economic analyses, applicable throughout all industries both domestic and abroad.  Headed by Dr. Richard Shin, Ph.D. economist with significant experience both at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and at the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, the CLE is comprised of other economists, renowned lawyers with extensive experience on fair trade practices, securities, TMT (technology, media and telecommunications), and criminal litigation, as well as certified public accountants (CPA) with experience in data analysis.  The economic analysis techniques and other tools utilized by the CLE are widely accepted in fair trade practices, securities litigation, and criminal litigation cases worldwide.

Additionally, our Antitrust Risk Assessment and Support Task Force, consisting of specialists in corporate litigation, criminal defense, and forensic investigations provide clients with cutting-edge expertise in successfully navigating the increasingly complex competition law environment by identifying potential risks areas and providing preventive solutions using forensic technology.

[Key Practice Area]

Merger Control

We advise clients on merger notification requirements and help file business combination reports for local transactions as well as foreign-to-foreign transaction that satisfy the Korea nexus test. We have extensive experience in antitrust strategy and advocacy and sophisticated economic analysis necessary to obtain clearance for transactions that raise competition concerns.

Cartel Investigation

We represent clients in investigative proceedings before the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the “KFTC”) on alleged domestic and international cartel activities and provide on-site assistance to clients in the KFTC dawn raids. We also provide comprehensive advice on leniency applications after considering important factors such as risk of follow-on damage claims and criminal prosecution.

Consumer Protection

We assist clients to carefully coordinate consumer law compliance strategies as well as advise clients in the full range of consumer protection issues, including standard-form contracts, advertising, e-commerce and multi-level sales. We also participate in the process to establish the KFTC’s enforcement policies in the consumer protection area.

Abuse of Market Dominance and Unfair Trade Practice

We are often called on to help clients in particularly difficult cases, involving points of law that require argument and analysis on various types of abuse of market dominance and unfair trade practices. We have been successful in seeking recourse against sanctions and corrective measures imposed by the KFTC due to refusals to deal, exclusive dealing, and other unfair practice allegations involving business relationship with subcontractors, franchise, or agencies.


Our exceptional litigation track record is a result of a specialized and integrated system combining the strengths of our multi-disciplinary practice groups from the initial investigation stage to the final appellate court decision. The team expertly engages in every stage of antitrust litigation including private damage suits and criminal proceedings.


An antitrust compliance program is essential to prevent or minimize the risk of antitrust violations. We help clients establish and implement antitrust compliance programs including practical guidance on the do’s and don’ts after conducting in-depth risk assessment of the client’s practices.

Website: www.bkl.co.kr


Seoul, Republic of Korea (Head Office)
Beijing, China
Shanghai, China
Hong Kong, China
Hanoi, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Yangon, Myanmar
Jakarta, Indonesia (Korea desk, in collaboration with Makarim & Taira. S.)

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