“To share the legal knowledge necessary for small dental clinics”
[Dental Newspaper_Reporter Shin Jong-hak firstname.lastname@example.org] “My next legal column will focus on aiding the dentists in developing the legal mind.” The managing partner, Yong-beom Kim (of OhKims Law), a former dentist, said he is planning to share his legal knowledge that will be helpful when managing a medical institution, inform and predict the impact of amendments to the medical or health insurance law, and introduce various meaningful court precedents.
Q. Why did you decide on your career as a legal profession, instead of following your major as a dentist?
Since my years at dental college, I had a lot of interest in social issues outside the clinic and wanted to work more directly for society. One day I was recommended to work for the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and began serving in public health, and was able to take part in the process of establishing and implementing oral health-related policies. During my work experience at the Ministry of Health and Welfare, I realized that the basis of the policy came from law, and that triggered me to become a lawyer.
Q. Does having the title of a dentist help you in your career as a lawyer? or does your history of majoring in such a specific field rather act as a prejudice?
It is true that it acts as a preconceived notion. I even met dentists with the prejudice that I could only file dental lawsuits because I’m a dentist. However, I’ve successfully expanded my work area by making good use of these preconceived notions and is playing a role as a professional attorney in the medical, pharmaceutical, and bio f now.
To add to that, the fact that I was a lawyer with a dentist's license made me stand out from the crowd and was able to start my legal career as a lawyer in the legal office of Dong-A Socio Holdings (Dong-A Pharmaceutical Group), one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Korea. There, I accumulated significant experiences as a legal advisory in corporate law, fair trade law, and licensing while working exclusively in their legal office, growth strategy office, and R&D. In the process of starting a law firm, thanks to the uniqueness of a lawyer with a dentist's license, I was able to take on various litigation and advisory cases from many dental and other medical clinics. Currently, I am providing legal advice to a number of listed and unlisted pharmaceutical and bio companies and investment companies.
Q.What do you think you specialize in as a lawyer?
Basically, I’m a lawyer specialized in the healthcare industry, such as medical, pharmaceutical, and in bio. Since I believe that a good litigation lawyer can also provide good corporate advice, I’m conducting civil, criminal, and administrative litigation as well as constitutional litigation. Currently, I’m a lawyer specializing in medical and criminal law certified by the Korean Bar Association.
Based on this experience, various corporate consultations related to pharmaceutical, bio, and medical device companies are conducted, such as advice on everyday corporate legal affairs, preparation of due diligence, investment contracts, and legal review opinions in the case of mergers and acquisitions and corporate investments. Class action suits for consumers wrongly affected by medical devices and/or drugs are also part of my specialty. By utilizing the expertise of class action suits, I’ve recently been representing small business owners who have been damaged by Coupang's "Item Winner" policy.
Q. What message do you ultimately want to convey to the readers through this column series?
Basically, I would like to inform the readers about the correct countermeasures for legal disputes or legal risks that may arise in the course of the operation of dental medical institutions. In other words, I would like to share my knowledge on the guidance and implications related to the amendment of the Medical Act or National Health Insurance Act, measures to cope with medical disputes, the Commercial Lease Protection Act, and criminal issues and countermeasures that may affect the license of medical personnel.
In addition, although it is not directly related to the management of medical institutions, I’d like to share my common knowledge about the law on how to invest in unlisted companies or venture companies related to corporate finance, points to keep in mind when writing an investment contract, and about tax incentives. Through my articles, I would like to convey to readers that if a dentist has the legal knowledge, they can be more actively engaged in various economic activities such as investment and business, including stably operating his or her own medical institution.
Q. Recently, there’s been a lot of legal disputes in the dental industry. What are your views on this as a legal professional?
In order to raise the socio-economic status and reputation of all dentists, it is necessary for everyone to work together. I'm a lawyer, but I don't think litigation is the ultimate solution. I would like to mention that the failure to resolve internal issues smoothly from within and entrusting them to an external agency, in this case, the court, will result in negative effects that lower the social reputation and status of the dentist. It can be said that it may give a negative image to both parties.
As a legal professional, I hope that the means such as legal knowledge and legal procedures are properly used for the development of the dental industry and the rights and interests of all members, and in the future, I hope that lawsuits in the dental world will be filed only for the good of all members. I hope that true leaders with tolerance and good influence will also appear in the dental world.
Anything else you’d like to add?
The first thing I studied as an adult was dentistry, and I took my first steps as a dentist in society. All of the seniors and entrepreneurs that I admire most are dentists. Based on this deep affection, I would like to share my experiences as a lawyer and the knowledge I have gained through a series of columns with my fellow dentist colleagues.