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Court expedites main case against Namyang Dairy chairman Court fixes 30-day time limit to submit answer and sets next hearing date for Jan 13

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2021-12-06 07:39:20

이 기사는 2021년 12월 06일 07:37 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

The main case between private equity firm Hahn & Company and Namyang Dairy Products owner and chairman Hong Won-sik got underway, with an attempt by Hong’s lawyers to postpone the trial ending unsuccessfully.

The Seoul Central District Court on Thursday held the first hearing of the case filed by Hahn & Co on August 23 against Hong and his family members, who refused to fulfill a share purchase agreement signed between the two sides in May.

The hearing, attended by their lawyers, came three weeks after law firm Yoon & Yang representing Hahn & Co filed a request with the court on November 12 to set a hearing date, which was promptly accepted by the court.

A delay in the first hearing was because Hong and other defendants have not yet filed a written answer to Hahn & Co’s complaint. When asked by a judge when the defendants can submit their answer, LKB& Partners lawyers representing them said the filing of an answer will be completed by the next hearing date, citing the defendants’ search for additional legal counsel for the case as the reason for the delay.

In response, Hahn & Co’s lawyers pointed out that the case was filed more than three months ago and yet the defendant answer has yet to be submitted, claiming that the defendants are clearly trying to postpone the case. They asked the judge to set a time limit for the answer and take punitive action in case of non-compliance.

Hahn & Co’s lawyers also argued the need for speedy proceedings of the case so as to get the South Korean dairy company’s business operations back to normal as soon as possible. They raised concerns that Hong’s unpredictable behaviors could have a negative impact on the company, citing the recent conditional deal between Hong and Dayou Winia Group that was struck in the middle of the legal dispute with the private equity firm.

The defense lawyers refuted that there was no intention to postpone the case. However, the judge accepted the argument of the plaintiff, asking the defendants to submit a written answer within 30 days after the first hearing date.

The second hearing date was also moved up. The judge suggested January 27 for the next hearing to give the plaintiff’s lawyers enough time for a review of the defendant answer. But Hahn & Co's lawyers said they don’t need additional time as their position and strategy are clear and disputed issues have also been narrowed in separate injunction hearings.

After hearing lawyers for both sides, the judge decided to hold the next hearing on January 13. (Reporting by Gyoung-tae Kim)
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