A good number of our placements over the last six years have been of Korean-speaking attorneys, most of whom are Korean natives who were educated in the United States after a preliminary legal education in Korea. There are very few UK-trained Korean transactional lawyers interested in practicing in Asia. [If there are any out there we don’t know yet, we hope you will get in touch.]
In the earlier years of our practice involving placement of these lawyers, we had a large contingent of junior to mid-level candidates who had little interest in Korea as a place to lateral to, although some moved to Korea to work in Korea firms, for family reasons, or because it was easier for them to land positions in Korean firms than in US or UK firms. Some of our more senior Korean US associate candidates over the years have been making strategic career moves to Korean law firms, as well as moves there for family reasons.
Many Korean US associates based in US have long realized that if they wanted to work on deals where their Korean cultural and language skills would provide a head start over others, they needed to do this from overseas in Hong Kong or Tokyo (most likely in Hong Kong, where most Korea practices are based). Increasingly, though, the question has changed from, “What firms in Hong Kong or Tokyo have the best Korean practices?” to, “How soon is it going to be possible for my firm to open in Seoul?” In this post we will attempt to describe in very basic detail the legal framework under which firms who wish to be in Korea as soon as possible can be there. We will also discuss the reasons why the expected boom of Korean US associate hiring in Hong Kong and Seoul, at UK and US firms, in 2011 has been thus far beendelayed for 6+ months.
Historical View of Korean Legal Market for Foreign Legal Consultants
By necessity, due to the closed nature of the legal market in Korea, lawyers admitted in the United States have historically had two choices: these attorneys could either be based in other jurisdictions around Asia (Hong Kong and Tokyo predominately) but fly into Seoul on a regular basis for transactions (and Karaoke), or they could move to Korea to work in a Korean law firm as a foreign legal consultant (“FLC’s”). Some of the most well known transactional firms who have employed FLC’s include: Kim & Chang; Bae, Kim & Lee; Lee & Ko; Shin & Kim; Yulchon; Hwang Mok Park; and Kim, Chang & Lee; Lee & Ko (just to name a few of the best known such firms). For years these firms and others like them have held sway over the indigenous Korean legal market. By virtue of their power to block international competition, they have done very well in the hiring market and some of the more senior partners have earned US top-firm money.More >>
Mongolia boasts history’s largest contiguous empire on earth, which, during the 13th century, stretched from Korea to Eastern Europe, and from Siberia to the Middle East. Factoring in non-contiguous empires such as the British and the Spanish empires, the Mongol empire still stacks up impressively, coming in second overall to the British Empire by a scant 700,000 square kilometers, or an area about the size of Texas. Today, Mongolia is poised for some empire-building of its own. Mongolia is one of the world’s most resource-rich democracies as well as one of its fastest growing economies. Positioned strategically between China and Russia, Mongolia is in an advantageous position to supply raw materials and resources to those two megaconsumer nations.
Mongolia is already attracting the attention of investment funds; just this month, Khan Investment Management launched the Khan Mongolia Equity Fund which was created to capitalize on the growth opportunities in Mongolia and give investors an opportunity to gain exposure to a rapidly growing country which harbors some of the world's largest coal, copper, gold and uranium deposits. Travis Hamilton, the director of Khan, predicts for Mongolia “to have the fastest growing economy in the world over the next decade”, with growth driven by the nation’s mining sector.
I’ll raise a glass of vodka to that! But you can keep the fermented mare’s milk. More >>
The partnerships of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP and Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP are pleased to announce that the firms will merge on October 1, 2011. The new firm, with 13 offices and 650 lawyers, will be known as Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP.
Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP will offer integrated services across a core group of disciplines in which the legacy firms have long enjoyed premier reputations: corporate and financial transactions, complex litigation, insurance and reinsurance, and intellectual property. The client base will consist of Fortune 500 companies, government, non-profit institutions and other private businesses.
International law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) today (15 August 2011) announced that Richard Davies is joining its growing Abu Dhabi-based Middle East and North Africa (MENA) team. This partner appointment reflects the office’s distinctive focus on the built environment and strengthens BLP’s existing construction capabilities.More >>
Eido joins from Simmons & Simmons where he headed up their financial markets practice in the Middle East.More >>
Sedgwick LLP has announced the August 15th opening of Sedgwick Washington, D.C., the firm’s 15th office globally and second new office this summer. Less than two months after opening Sedgwick Seattle, Sedgwick has expanded into the nation’s capital. The 14 attorneys joining Sedgwick from Wallace Partners, PLLC will be led by managing partner Rick Wallace, a seasoned litigator specializing in product liability defense and environmental matters.
“Sedgwick Washington, D.C., like Sedgwick Seattle, represents the ongoing implementation of our strategy to leverage growth opportunities to benefit our clients,” said Firm Chair Michael Tanenbaum. “The attorneys joining the Sedgwick family in Washington, D.C. are exceptional trial attorneys who strengthen the trial bench Sedgwick offers its clients across the globe. Sedgwick Washington, D.C. enables us to broaden our reach and the seamless service we provide our clients through the United States and beyond.”More >>
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP today announced that Jeffrey P. Crandall, a leading ERISA lawyer, is joining the firm in New York as a partner in its Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits practice. The addition of Mr. Crandall provides Davis Polk with another seasoned expert with deep experience in executive compensation and employee benefits, both in the transactional context and in day-to-day matters involving the design, implementation and disclosure of senior executive compensation and benefit arrangements. Mr. Crandall also has particular expertise in compensation and ERISA matters relating to financial institution, private equity and hedge fund clients. He has extensive experience in structuring carry plans and other forms of manager and investment professional participation in private funds and in the ERISA aspects of the investment and management of pension plan assets under private funds and various other products and arrangements.More >>
Chadbourne & Parke LLP is representing CoaLogix Inc. in connection with the sale of the company for $101 million. The sale, announced on July 29th, was to funds managed by Energy Capital Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm focused on the energy infrastructure industry.More >>
Joining Akerman in Salt Lake City are shareholders Robert Scott and Chandler Thompson. Both are additions to Akerman's consumer finance team, which has added 50 lawyers during the past 12 months. The practice group's total of 78 lawyers across 19 offices represents one of the largest teams in the nation of lawyers dedicated to consumer finance litigation and compliance matters.
Frost Brown Todd is proud to announce attorney Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III has been named president of the American Bar Association (ABA).
“I am extremely honored and enthusiastically accept the responsibilities of representing you as your next president,” Robinson said in remarks to the ABA’s House of Delegates. “I am determined to lead this great association with commitment, clarity and continuity, as we work together to guide the future of our profession.”
Robinson will focus on issues he believes will make the ABA stronger and more relevant to the nation: the state court funding crisis, volunteerism, membership, and diversity in the profession.More >>
Cooley LLP announced today that Bill Christiansen, Ph.D., Emily Wagner and Carol Laherty, Ph.D., have joined the firm's Seattle office as partners in the firmwide Intellectual Property practice group. All three were previously partners in Seed Intellectual Property Law Group PLLC in Seattle.
"We are proud to welcome such a dynamic team of intellectual property attorneys to the firm," said Joe Conroy, Cooley's chief executive officer. "Their arrival further broadens our capabilities in Seattle and strengthens our national IP practice."
Chadbourne & Parke represented the shareholders of ООО AnviLab in the sale of 100% of the company to Protek Group for $60 million.
AnviLab owns the rights for such pharmaceutical brands as Antigrippin-Maximum, Gepaguard, Influnet and is the legal owner of the ANVI Laboratory brand. The assets acquired under the transaction will pass into management of Protek Group whose key company in the production segment is CJSC Farmfirma Sotex.More >>
In its biggest leveraged buyout (LBO) since 2009, Blackstone Capital Partners VI L.P., has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Paul, Weiss client Emdeon, a publicly traded medical billing provider, for approximately $3 billion. Blackstone will acquire a controlling interest in Emdeon, taking the company private.The transaction was noted today in The New York Times "Dealbook."More >>
Global law firm White & Case LLP is representing Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) on its joint venture with The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) to build and operate a US$20 billion world-scale integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco and its predecessor company, the Arabian American Oil Company, has been a White & Case client for more than half a century.More >>
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