Sale and Purchase of Commercial Buildings
Lee & Ko has handled cases involving a broad range of matters relating to the sale and purchase of large-scale commercial and residential buildings, leasing, regulatory and compliance issues applicable to real property transactions, including city planning, zoning, building permit applications and regulatory supervision of construction projects and procedures. In each case, Lee & Ko has provided the best possible service to clients to ensure optimal results in the relevant real estate transactions.
Domestic Real Estate Development and Construction
Lee & Ko has acted as legal advisor to a considerable number of major construction companies in Korea as well as major financial institutions in connection with a variety of real estate development projects, including various major residential and commercial development construction projects, bridge and other infrastructure construction projects.
Overseas Real Estate Development and Construction
Lee & Ko has also been at the forefront in advising clients on overseas real estate development and construction projects in which Korean construction companies, investors or other Korean entities are involved. Lee & Ko made inroads into the overseas real estate and construction market as legal advisors before any other Korean law firm. For the past several years, Lee & Ko has continued its lead in the Korean legal market, handling most of the major Korea-related real estate development projects that have been carried out abroad including, among others, major projects in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Vietnam.
Reconstruction/ Redevelopment Projects & Its Related Disputes
Lee & Ko has unsurpassed experience and expertise in advising clients in the area of reconstruction/redevelopment of real estate—an area which has become important in the Korean real estate market during the past ten years. Acting as legal advisors to leading construction companies in Korea engaged in such projects, Lee & Ko has handled virtually all types of legal issues arising in the context of large-scale reconstruction / redevelopment projects (including the formation of the promoter committee, various regulatory compliance issues, permits and approval procedures, construction related issues, settlements with owners of the underlying land and the existing buildings and various disputes). Moreover, in the past ten years disputes arising from the reconstruction / redevelopment projects have become the largest caseload for the Korean Courts and Lee & Ko has successfully represented its clients in the majority of those cases.
REITS / Fund
For transactions involving real estate investment trust (REIT) structures, Lee & Ko has provided legal advice to each of the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, Korea Land Corporation, Korea National Housing Corporation, Macquarie, etc. On a broad range of issues including establishment of the most appropriate investment vehicles and investment structures, such as REITS, PFV, etc. for use in connection with real estate investment and development projects, and setting up of model rules to govern the establishment of real estate funds and the conduct of related asset management business activities, Lee & Ko has provided efficient advice and services while maintaining constructive relations with the clients.
Recently, investors have often used collective investment vehicles for investments in real estate properties. Having advised a number of clients with respect to their investments in both domestic and overseas real estate properties through funds (both domestic funds established under the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act and overseas funds), Lee & Ko has represented numerous clients in this type of investment.
Real Estate Trusts
Lee & Ko has established an unrivalled reputation in the real estate trust area. One of the leading partners in the Firm’s Real Estate Trust Team has been appointed as a member of the Trust Act Amendment Committee, which has been established to advise the legislature and to preparing draft amendments to the Trust Act in line with the government’s recently announced intention to amend the Trust Act. Lee & Ko has been directly involved in the legislative amendment process in this regard. Since 2001, Lee & Ko has also been handling major transactions involving sales and purchases of real property held in real estate trust structures in Korea, further evidencing the level of its accumulated experience, expertise, efficiency and reliability.
In addition to the disputes for the reconstruction / redevelopment projects handled by Lee & Ko, Lee & Ko’s Litigation Practice Group has long specialized in (1) litigation and arbitration related to the acquisition of various construction-related government permits, urban planning and urban area reconstruction, (2) litigation and arbitration arising out of construction contracts, (3) compensation for damages relating to noise, commotion, waste and right-to-sunlight claims, (4) settlement of construction fees, (5) disputes relating to government contracts, and (6) criminal cases including white collar crimes, and others. Lee & Ko’s Litigation Practice Group consists of, among others, former Justices of the Supreme Court, former judges who served in various lower courts and former prosecutors, all of whom are fully equipped to render precise and practical insights and services in handling cases relating to construction and real estate matters.