Thursday, November 01, 2012
Covington & Burling opens its Seoul office today after securing final approval from the Korean Ministry of Justice and the Korean Bar Association.
The new office will be located in the Meritz Tower, at 825-2, Yeoksamdong in the heart of Seoul’s Gangnam business district.
“We are honored to be among the first U.S. law firms to open an office in Seoul,” said Timothy Hester, chair of the firm’s management committee. “While our work with companies based in Korea has been an important part of our practice for many years, our Seoul office opening is an important step in our efforts to deliver the highest possible level of service to our client base in Seoul and throughout the world. We are grateful to the Ministry of Justice and the Korean Bar Association for their efforts in reviewing and approving our application.”
Covington has tapped partner William H.Y. Park*, a veteran corporate lawyer based in Korea, to oversee the office of five lawyers. Mr. Park will work closely with former Ambassador to the United Nations Daniel Spiegel, who is the new office’s Foreign Legal Consultant.
With five offices in the United States and four offices in Europe and Asia, with an office in Shanghai expected to open by year end, Covington maintains a wide international footprint. Simultaneously, Covington has expanded its abilities to assist clients with challenging legal and policy matters throughout Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and India.
“This is an important step for Covington to deepen its relationships with clients in Korea,” Mr. Park said. “I expect that we will substantially expand Covington’s base of Korean clients over the next few years. I believe Covington has unique capabilities that will tremendously benefit Korean clients in the future and expect it to be a leader among international firms based here.”
Mr. Spiegel added: “Korea offers Covington many new opportunities to offer its unique and high quality legal services to Korean companies as they engage in business around the globe. Opening in Seoul is a very important milestone in the firm’s rapidly expanding Pacific Rim practice.”
The initial focus of Covington’s office will include advising Korean companies on U.S. and European laws in the areas of intellectual property, antitrust and competition law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, international trade compliance and policy issues, and a wide range of regulatory matters. In addition, Covington lawyers and policy professionals will advise Korean companies on Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) matters in connection with Korean companies’ investments and acquisitions in the United States.
These practices are all widely recognized. Covington’s competition and antitrust practice has been ranked by Global Competition Review as being among the world’s top 20 antitrust practices. In 2012, the National Law Journal named Covington to its inaugural “Intellectual Property Hot List,” citing our intellectual property litigation efforts in federal courts around the country and before the International Trade Commission.
Covington has regularly been recognized by The American Lawyer as one of the 20 “A-List” law firms based in the U.S. and by Corporate Board Member as one of the top 25 firms in the corporate arena. Highly regarded for its international work, Covington won the Chambers USA Award for Excellence in International Trade in 2011. In recognizing Covington with top honors in its International Trade rankings, Chambers noted that the firm’s “comprehensive team covers the complete spectrum of international trade matters and clients benefit from the close-knit and interdisciplinary approach of the department’s various subgroups.”
*FLC approval pending.
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