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Sean Hayes

Sean Hayes

  • Firm: IPG Legal
  • Practice Area: Franchise
  • Country: Korea (South)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Korea, Rua Barão de Azevedo Machado, São Paulo, São Paulo 04649, Brazil

About Sean Hayes

Sean Hayes is the first non-Korean employed as an attorney by the Korean Court System (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a full-time regular member of a Korean law faculty. Sean and IPG are retained when proactive, non-conflicted and aggressive representation is essential for success.
Sean works with a wide range of clients that includes Fortune 500 companies, franchisors, defense companies, chemical companies, industrials, startups, entrepreneurs and individuals on contentious and non-contentious matters.
He has been rated a leading attorney by numerous legal publications for his ability to provide nuanced street-smart advice.
New York/International Attorney Sean Hayes grew up in Connecticut and New York to an Irish-immigrant father and an Italian mother. He is a U.S. and Irish National who is a permanent resident of Korea. He received his legal education in Korea, the U.S. and the U.K.
Sean is known, over his 15+ years in Asia, for his aggressive advocacy and candid NY-style street-smart advice. Sean is also one of the few attorneys with significant experience managing non-consulting companies. He worked as an interim General Manager/Director for Oil & Gas, New Tech, Pharmaceutical, Franchise and Manufacturing companies.
Sean works with a cadre of experienced and connected retired judges, prosecutors, in-house attorneys, government officers and former international law firm attorneys.
Sean has been recognized by numerous legal publications and rating agencies for outstanding service to clients. Recently, he was recognized by AsiaLaw as one of only two non-Korean attorneys as a Top Attorney in Korea.
Sean and IPG has successfully assisted in bringing into Asia and North America a variety of companies including leading brands, oil & gas companies, manufacturers, real estate companies, franchises, entertainment companies and new-tech companies.
Sean and IPG are engaged in some of the most noteworthy contentious matters via arbitration and litigation and some of the leading transactional matters in Asia.
Franchise and Distribution
Franchisors, Distributors, Franchisees, Entrepreneurs work with IPG to help in assisting companies to succeed in business in Korea, China, the United States and Southeast Asia.
IPG’s attorneys, often, find that to succeed in Asia, proactive, connected, non-conflicted and nuanced street-smart attorneys are necessary for success.  Thus, when doing business in Asia it is necessary to have proactive and street-smart local guides with significant experience and connections.
IPG has one of the leading attorneys working on Franchise & Distribution matters in Asia.
IPG legal is a leading  group of international lawyers and business professionals with  expertise in working on Franchising & Distribution matters including:
Cancellation/termination of franchise agreements.
Development of compliant franchise systems.
Dispute Resolution between franchisees and franchisors.
Drafting of distribution and license agreements for international distributors and franchises.
Drafting of franchise agreements and disclosure documents.
Vetting of franchisees & franchisors.
Franchise registrations.
Registration and dissolution of companies.
Registration of and Disputes concerning Intellectual Property; Termination of Franchises; and Franchise System Compliance Issues.
Representative Cases
  • Successful registration of a franchise disclosure document with the Fair Trade Commission of Korea for an international bakery franchise.
  • Successful resolution of a dispute between an international F & B franchise and a Korean company concerning franchising in Korea.
  • Resolution of numerous franchise disputes and Korean FTC actions.
  • Drafted numerous agent, distribution and license agreements for international distributors and franchises.
  • Successful completion of the retention of an international fast casual food franchise for a Master.
  • Review and Revise Franchise Agreement Based on NY Law for an international franchisor entering the NY market.
  • Successful resolution of a franchise dispute for a leading international Master and a NY franchise.
  • Draft and registration of numerous disclosure documents for franchisors.  Registration of a leading bakery franchise in Korea.  Numerous franchise registrations conducted for franchisors.
  • Successful entry of a leading e-commerce site into the Korean market.
  • Consultation services related to licensing, joint ventures and regulatory compliance issues for an American real estate developer’s shopping mall projects in Korea.
  • Enforcement and monitoring of trademarks for numerous clients in Korea and China.
  • Successful challenge of a registered trademark for an international fashion brand.
Other Cases
  • Local counsel for a leading international law firm’s Fortune 500 client in a trade dispute leading to a tariff being placed on the products of a local Korean conglomerate.
  • Successful windup of a foreign capital-invested company in a disputed insolvency matter.
  • Successful resolution of a labor action by employees of a leading international shipping/transportation company.
  • Litigation of the termination of a distribution agreement by a major global beverage company.
  • Complete restructuring of the HR compliance for an international retailer.
  • Arbitration between an international construction company and a Korean conglomerate.  Retained for arbitrations throughout Asia.
  • Localization and enforcement of an eight-figure commercial debt in Korea.
  • Successful resolution of a Korean Customs and Tax Audit for an international chemical company.
  • U.S. Political Question Defined, American Journal of Constitutional Law (2015).
  • U.S.Political Question Document Application to Korean Constitutional Law, Korean Const. Court Journal (2014).
  • Korean Franchising, A Global Guide, Practical Law, Thomson Reuters (2018).
  • Korean Employment & Labor Law, Global Legal Insights 6th Edition, Global Legal Group (2018)
  • The Korean Labor Market under the Moon Administration, 2018 Discovering Business, Allurentis (2018).
  • Korean Business in the Global Economy, Chapter in Book (2014).
  • Over 100 Op-Ed in various international publications.
  • Quoted by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Korea Times, Korean Herald and various other publications.
  • Taught law classes for Santa Clara University; Seoul National University; Kookmin University; University for Peace; and the Supreme Court of Korea.
  • One of only two non-Koreans rated a Top Attorney by LawAsia.
  • Who’s Who in Franchise Law.
  • Who’s Who in the World.
  • Rated Excellent (10) by AVVO.
  • Best Advice Blog, K-Blog Awards.
  • Top 25 Blog by LexisNexis.
  • Top Blog in AVVO’s listing of blogs.
  • Who’s Who in Entertainment Law.
  • The A List in Korea’s top 100 lawyers 2018 by Asia Business Law Journal.


Q&A With Sean Hayes


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