Sungho Choi tells us how VEAT provides practical assistance to its clients in preventing and resolving problems and disputes that they will inevitably experience in their growth phase.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Sungho Choi: The Coronavirus pandemic has finally begun to fade last year, and now, we are preparing for the post-COVID-19 era by following the public health instructions.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded VEAT.
Sungho Choi: Originally, my dream was to become a venture businessman. Since I majored in computer science engineering, there were a lot of founders around me. So, we talked together, and it became a reality.
In October 2015, I established the legal office, VEAT, by myself. It’s been seven years since its establishment. We have steadily developed, and now, we have become a law firm that provides comprehensive legal services to a variety of companies, with 13 attorneys, 1 advisory attorney, 1 consultant accountant, and 2 technical advisors.
Personally, I was awarded the 8th Outstanding Attorney Award in recognition of his legal advice for startups by the Korean Bar Association, and we were also introduced to the ‘2020 Leading Lawyers in Korea’ selected by the Legal Times, which plays in major areas of corporate law, such as M&A and company law. In the 2022 Annual Bloomberg League Table, we ranked 4 legal advisory areas in M&A and investment.
How does VEAT innovate?
Sungho Choi: We mainly provide legal advice on M&A, investment, Venture Capital, corporate, startup, game business, software, and intellectual property rights. We have extensive experience in advising Venture Capitalists and Startup Accelerators. In particular, our law firm’s attorneys understand both ‘IT/Technology’ and ‘Law’ based on their major in science and engineering and practical experience, so we quickly and accurately understand the customer’s requirements and work as corporate advisory lawyers base on this.
How does your company market its product/services online?
Sungho Choi: We’ve been advertising VEAT through our website and social networks. And also, we have utilized our rich knowledge and experience to host webinars about startup contracts, software development contract disputes, and many other subjects.
VEAT hosted a webinar about “Crypto Regulations in Korea” in English last year.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Sungho Choi: COVID-19 is still evolving around the world. More importantly, the virus is threatening both our health and the economy.
As a specialized law firm in the Information Technology field, VEAT provides video conferences, conference calls, and a remote business support system. If we need to hold a conference in person, we try our best to create the safest environment for our clients by wearing masks, keeping the minimum number of people in a conference room, and sanitizing all the electronics that belong to VEAT.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Sungho Choi: Our firm has been utilizing the video conference platforms like ZOOM and Google meetings to substitute physical meetings. We also provide teleconference and remote work systems. We are open to any form of communication as long as our clients feel comfortable.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Sungho Choi: Due to the recent surge in Corona 19 in Korea, in the past three months, more than five people have not gathered, and I have not seen my relatives. Individuals are also practicing distancing themselves as part of self-defense. Vaccination started in Korea last week, and we are waiting for the order of the vaccine, and it is expected to get the vaccine around November. It’s a difficult time for everyone with Corona 19, but we are trying to overcome them together.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Sungho Choi: I believe that our competitor is the old VEAT. As a boutique law firm, VEAT always has been growing through challenges, and we still are. As VEAT’s motto is to be a growing legal partner with customers, if we put the customer’s growth first from the customers’ perspective, we think that our goals will be achieved naturally by growing with customers from startups to unicorns.
Your final thoughts?
Sungho Choi: There have been many changes in my personal life in the field of business during the COVID-19 outbreak. As non-face-to-face and online businesses receive more attention than face-to-face businesses in these days, the businesses related to the metaverse, big data, artificial intelligence, cloud, and the Internet of Things are expected to be developed further in the future.
The VEAT Law firm will make every effort to provide legal assistance by responding faster than any other firm in the business field.
There will be many difficulties due to COVID-19. But I believe that a better world will come if we endure this time together. We see the crisis as an opportunity to grow.