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Abstract

Core legal principles of U.S. corporate law are often met with perplexity in foreign jurisdictions. This is especially true for legal principles that are controversial even in the U.S. This Article takes the corporate opportunity doctrine and examines how it has been exported to the civil law regime in Korea. Korean conglomerates such as Samsung Group and Hyundai Motor Group have become major players in the global market, but corporate law and practice in Korea have had a difficult time keeping up with developments in the business sector. The Hyundai Motor Case demonstrates an ambitious, but ill-fated, attempt at the adoption of U.S. doctrine in Korea. This Article explains and analyzes the case and the new codified corporate opportunity doctrine rule in the Korean Commercial Code from a comparative perspective, and suggests that the dialogue surrounding the corporate opportunity doctrine in Korean legal and business communities is oriented in the wrong direction and that the new rule needs substantial refinement.

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