About the Founder
Michael Hay


Before founding multidisciplinary practice HAY, KALB & ASSOCIATES ("HK&A"), Michael Hay, a dual British-French citizen raised and educated in Scotland and the United States, first worked as a member of the New York bar in private legal practice in New York City. He came to Korea in 1990, where he specialized in international business transactions, international dispute resolution and, since 1997, North Korean law and business practice. He holds an LL.B. with Honours and Ph.D. in comparative law from the University of Edinburgh Law School in Scotland, U.K., and an LL.M. with a concentration in antitrust and competition law from Northwestern University Law School in Chicago.

He brings twenty years of experience with Korea (North and South), and an intimate understanding of the numerous cross-cultural and linguistic factors that can come to play in business ventures involving Korean and non-Korean businesses, including the special characteristics (corporate, institutional and individual) of Korean culture.

Located in Pyongyang's Central Business District, HK&A specializes in one-on-one advisory services, for foreign corporations and other foreign entities, on 'doing business' - in its various forms - with the DPRK, commonly referred to as North Korea.

Michael has accumulated extensive experience in business negotiations with the DPRK in a wide variety of fields, ranging from power and energy to aviation, IT, transportation and infrastructure, the food & drink industry and tourism, among others.

In addition, he has given, at the invitation of the DPRK authorities, ground-breaking training to senior government officials in international business transactions and dispute resolution, in an entirely independent capacity. He has presided both as an accredited chief arbitrator in international arbitrations and also served as counsel in arbitral proceedings in both Asia and Europe.

Voted one of Asia's Leading Lawyers three years consecutively by the readers of Asialaw Magazine, in 1999, 2000 and 2001 (immediately prior to establishing his own consultancy), Michael Hay has also written extensively on the legal and business aspects of dealing with the DPRK, and is a regular contributor to a number of legal and professional journals on the subject. His work has appeared in, or otherwise been covered by, among others, the BBC, The Financial Times, The New York Times, Reuters, The International Herald Tribune, Agence France Presse; Asian Legal Briefing; PBS TV (Public Broadcasting Service -USA), Asia Law; Finance Asia; In-House Briefing Asia-Pacific; Asia-Pacific Legal 500, Asia Law & Practice; The International Financial Law Review and Lawmoney.com, the Asia Society (NY), the Korea Society (NY); the Legal Gazette (London); Asian broadcast and other media outlets; and others. A frequent speaker on the subject of doing business on the Korean Peninsula, he was the sole Western adviser for a U.S. public television documentary on Korea.

He was recently asked to advise as an expert witness on North Korean law and practice in major proceedings before the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Michael Hay speaks English, French and Korean.


Sampling of Industries/Specialties in North Korea

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 .   

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