What Makes HAY, KALB & ASSOCIATES Special ?

Over two decades of experience with Korea ...

Thousands of hours experience in international business transactions ...

Korean language skills ...and

Thousands of hours in direct business negotiations, in English and Korean, with the DPRK ...

A pool of fellow lawyers and other colleagues offering unparalleled skills in DPRK law and business, and ...

... contacts - on the ground and worldwide.




The Background

Before establishing the company, the founder of HAY, KALB & ASSOCIATES, Michael Hay, was an international attorney, specializing in foreign investment, international business transactions and dispute resolution. A major component of his work in Korea involved helping companies bridge the cultural and linguistic gaps inherent in many international business deals. Voted one of Asia's leading lawyers three years in a row (1999-2001) immediately before he set up a DPRK-oriented business consultancy for foreign companies, he left private practice after developing a specialization in North Korean business law and practice over many years. 

A frequent speaker and writer on the DPRK, Michael Hay has, over the years, contributed to many magazines and journals on North Korean business law covering legal issues in Asia and worldwide. He has contributed to, or appeared in, numerous others journals and news sources, such as Finance Asia, International Financial Law Review, Asia Pacific Legal 500, the BBC, AsiaLaw, Asian Legal Briefing, PBS (Public Broadcasting Service),, Law Business Review, Legal Media Group, and numerous others. For more informationn, please click here Michael Hay

No other consultancy specializing in North Korea brings to the table the same combination of legal background and business experience, linguistic ability and cultural understanding, backed up by a solid understanding of the realities of the client's bottom line - a lawyer who knows that lawyers can (and often do) kill a deal as well as close it. Someone with extensive experience of the cultural differences in approaches to contracts and negotiations; the difference between "business" and the "law", and between what the law says and its practical application on the ground.

The Skills

Linguistic abilities ...

HAY, KALB & ASSOCIATES uses English, French and Korean, with English as its principal working language. Negotiations are normally conducted on behalf of clients in both English and Korean.

Proven track record in negotiations ...

HK&A'S founder and Principal, Michael Hay, knows how to close deals. ... But that is not enough. 

He knows how to do it with the DPRK - with hundreds of hours of negotiating experience with the DPRK. 

Wide international background ...

With dual British-French citizenship, extensive studies and research in several countries in Europe as well as the United States, and as a member of the New York bar who worked both in the United States and Korea, Michael Hay brings to bear a unique set of skills, unmatched in any comparable practice or organization, including a familiarity with numerous cultures. 

Experience of international business disputes and dispute resolution ...

In legal practice he worked not only as an attorney specializing in international business transactions and dispute resolution, but also as an impartial, independent chairman arbitrator in a number of international arbitrations, assisting in the resolution of international business disputes. 

He therefore brings to the table extensive experience of the different aspects of "mastering the deal" as well as how a deal can go wrong. As a specialist in dispute resolution he has particular expertise in identifying how "deals gone wrong" often have their origins in the very early stages of the business relationship, be it a cultural misunderstanding or mismatched expectations. 

Prevention being better than cure, he is able to assist clients in identifying potential weak points in the relationship, so that they can assess and address these early on.

Also, by being on the ground in the country, HK&A's founder and foreign principal was well-placed to see that behind the headlines lay - and still lie -- considerable opportunities for the international business community, notwithstanding the current international tensions, and especially for those willing to get up before the competition, as has happened in many other Asia-Pacific countries. Indeed such opportunities are currently being exploited, in the form of both wholly-foreign owned and joint-venture partnerships with North Korean counterparts, by companies from such countries as Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, France, Italy, China, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Hong Kong, Thailand, and many others. Fields of activity include heavy industry, infrastructure and transportation, finance, banking & insurance, coal-mining, gold-mining, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, mineral extraction, high-quality cosmetics, glass, cement, telecommunications, hotel, leisure & sports resorts and complexes, oil & gas, tobacco processing and car and SUV production.


Bottom-line approach ...

In private practice as an attorney, working with lawyers worldwide, Michael Hay noted:

-- how lawyers the world over have the ability to kill a deal -- often unwittingly;

-- how they frequently have great difficulty in conveying a message in simple terms understandable to the client;


-- and how in many cases they simply do not understand the client's bottom-line.

HAY, KALB & ASSOCIATES conducts extensive research -- but it is not a think tank. It participates in discussions, seminars and negotiations -- but it is not a talking shop. It will walk you through a deal -- but at the end of the day it knows who is the client. 

When you engage the services of HAY, KALB & ASSOCIATES, you engage experience of deals in Korea, of how some work, some don't, and the common reasons that make up the difference between success and failure.

Knowledge that some clients are more "hands on" than others. Knowledge that while there are recognizable styles common to many clients, no two clients are the same. 

And most of all, perhaps, when you are going into a potential deal, you get one thing all too often missing from professional advice

... straight talk. 

Experience on the ground ...

When you engage the services of HAY, KALB & ASSOCIATES, you engage a company whose founder has not just visted visited the DPRK numerous times with clear business and practical objectives in mind, but is, together with attorneys and staff on the ground. Someone who has negotiated countless times, has successfully concluded deals, and taken companies in and back out. 

Track record in presentations ...

Having specialized, as a lawyer, in international litigation and arbitration, HK&A's founder knows all too well the Golden Rule for success in these fields: preparation, preparation and preparation. This too is the key to any successful enterprise. It is key to HK&A's success. 

The same experience and emphasis on presentation is brought to bear in both the Corporate In-house Briefings and Business Seminars offered by HAY, KALB & ASSOCIATES, based on a track-record of successful presentations on Korea to audiences which need to be informed, stimulated, and at times entertained - in order to get a serious, practical message across. 

You will see the same emphasis on preparation and detail in all the services offered by HAY, KALB & ASSOCIATES, and in particular in the briefings you will receive prior to, during and after any visit you decide to make to the DPRK, all of which have one purpose - to help you and your company get the most out of your investment of time and money.

Sampling of Industries/Specialties

Aviation, Civil Energy, Hotel & Hospitality Industry, Mining, Minerals & Other Natural Resources, Alternative Energy and Energy-Saving Projects, Transportation and Infrastructure, Commercial Retail Projects, Regulatory & Compliance, Insurance, Due Diligence, Alternative Dispute Resolution including Arbitration and Mediation, Trademark Claims, Infrastructure Projects, Telecommunications . 

To find out whether HAY, KALB & ASSOCIATES is right for you, and about the type of clients it serves, please click here.

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