K&L Gates to open Seoul office

By James Barnes

15 November 2012 at 12:07 BST

Pittsburgh-based K&L Gates has become the latest firm to clear the last regulatory hurdle before opening an office in the South Korean capital of Seoul.

Korea: outward looking enterprises

Korea: outward looking enterprises

The office – K&L’s 42nd worldwide and seventh in Asia -- is expected to open for business in January after it received the nod from the country’s justice ministry, but still  pending registration with the Korean Bar Association.

Export-fuelled growth

Commenting on the move, Peter Kalis, K&L Gates chairman and global managing partner, said: ‘Korea’s economy is one of the largest both in Asia and throughout the world. The country’s export-fuelled growth of the past decades has led to the more recent, and increasingly robust, trend of foreign investments overseas by its companies and financial institutions.

‘Our Seoul office will provide these outward-looking Korean business enterprises, wherever their destinations may be, with ready access to the resources of a single law firm that is both global and local at the same time.’

Long queue

Eric Yoon, a K&L Gates partner currently operating in New York, will relocate to serve as the Seoul office’s chief.

Reports last month suggested 15 other law firms had applied to open South Korean offices – or are rumoured to have done so: Clifford Chance, Cohen & Grasser, Paul Hastings, Ropes & Gray, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, DLA Piper, H Park & Associates, McDermott Will & Emery, McKenna Long & Aldridge, O’Melveny & Myers, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Squire Sanders, Herbert Smith and Linklaters.


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