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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
The media market in South Korea is projected to reach USD38.60 billion in 2023, according to Statista, while the gaming market, one of the largest in the world, is expected to reach a value of USD20.93 billion.
Television and streaming services continue to show significant growth, with platform operators seeking to expand their market share. Disney and Apple are now major investors in Korean programming.
Netflix’s popularity increased in the past year following its strategic shift from licensing and co-producing to the production of originals.
Lawyers say the legal work has been dominated by corporate advice on industry mergers and acquisitions in the entertainment sector, as well as advice on related licensing procedures.
In other industry developments, media freedom concerns heightened over the past year, after popular South Korean broadcaster TBS received funding cuts.
TBS operates two radios stations and a television channel, and receives 70 per cent of its funding form the Yoon Suk-yeol government. In November, the Seoul city government passed a bill to abolish an ordinance for the government funding for TBS, effecting January 2024.
Changes in the legal market structure have led to a historic move in the rankings, with a solo position in Tier one held by Kim & Chang.
Media lawyers at Kim & Chang advise some of the country’s most prominent clients. The firm has an established TMT division with 20 years of sector specialisation. Lawyers act for foreign broadcasting companies, online game developers and e-commerce companies. In highlighted work, the team represented iHQ, a leading Korean entertainment company and CU Media, a broadcasting programme provider, in the largest domestic transaction involving an entertainment content producer and a broadcast channel programme provider.
The team at Bae, Kim & Lee has in-depth industry knowledge. The firm’s client base includes broadcast companies, advertising and event promotion firms, sports associations and individual performers such as actors and athletes. The practice represents several Korean cable television content providers, US networks and leading sports and animated programming channels. The team also advise on copyright, licensing and intellectual property transactions.
Lee & Ko has two decades of industry specialisation coupled with in-depth coverage of cases connected with satellite broadcasting, online gaming and e-commerce. The team has exceptional experience assisting clients with online regulatory issues such as privacy and advertisement. Mr Park is also an experienced litigator assisting with cases of ground-wave re-transmission between cable television companies and ground-wave broadcasting companies.
With a broadcasting focus, Shin & Kim routinely assists with approvals, operations and mergers and acquisitions of cable, terrestrial and satellite broadcasters. In highlighted work, the team advised on a joint venture between SBS and CNBC and represented Next Entertainment World on investment by China’s Huace Film & TV. The team also advises on privacy and copyright matters.
Yulchon acts for local and international clients from media and communications sectors. Lawyers advise on regulation and disputes regarding multi-channel pay-television platforms such as IPTV and satellite broadcasting. Other work relates to disputes and litigation between media and telecommunication corporations. The team routinely advices on mergers and acquisitions, data privacy and cyber security.
Copyright specialist Barun Law handles management and licensing of copyrights and related disputes. Lawyers act for entertainment and sports companies on diverse intellectual property matters. The practice brings together a range of service areas to provide extensive coverage of cases that involve antitrust, litigation and product liability.
HMP Law’s entertainment, e-commerce and communications division assists with regulatory matters, corporate transactions and litigation. Lawyers advise on sponsorship contracts in the sports and entertainment industry and negotiate copyright agreements. The firm is also involved in legislative amendments of the broadcasting act.
The TMT division at Yoon & Yang provides cross-practice advisory and regulatory services, working closely with the entertainment and sports practice. Lawyers provide advice on antitrust laws and intellectual property to domestic and foreign companies investing in the local media market.
Kim & Chang
Bae, Kim & Lee
Lee & Ko
Shin & Kim
Yoon & Yang
RANKING AND EDITORIALS
REGIONS WE COVER
Middle East and North Africa
Central and Eastern Europe