BCLP adds Korean real estate veteran from Mayer Brown to head up Korea practice

Kwon Lee joins as a partner in the firm’s global real estate practice in New York
Portrait of Kwon Lee

Kwon Lee will be based in New York

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has hired veteran real estate lawyer Kwon Lee from Mayer Brown to head up its global Korea practice.
Lee joins as a partner in New York, and will practice in the firm’s global real estate group. He was previously co-head of Mayer Brown’s US Asia real estate practice and global head of its Korea practice. Lee brings with him more than 25 years of experience working on cross-border real estate transactions, advising clients such as pension funds, asset managers, construction companies and others on both the debt and equity financing of large-scale development projects.
Samant Narula, UK head of real estate, said: “We see tremendous synergies between Kwon’s experience with Korean outbound investments around the world and the work BCLP has done with Korean outbound investments in Europe. Outbound opportunities continue to grow and Kwon’s experience will be a huge asset for clients on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Lee joined Mayer Brown in 2015 from Lee International IP & Law Group in Seoul, where he was managing partner. Prior to that he was a senior member at South Korean firm Kim & Chang, where he led the cross-border real estate and construction practice group. That experience has seen him grow a client base of investors and funds in Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, the Middle East, Netherlands, Singapore and the US.
Andrew Auerbach, regional practice leader for US real estate at BCLP, said: “[Lee] has an exceptional reputation in the global real estate market, particularly as it concerns cross-border deals in Korea and the surrounding region. He brings to BCLP a deep level of legal and real estate industry experience that will benefit clients in the US and globally, and adds more strength to our deep global real estate practice and the broad platform we have created for future growth.”

Real estate is one of three primary groups created by BCLP as part of its Project Advance strategy, which was unveiled in October last year. The other groups are corporate and finance transactions and litigation and investigations.

Last year saw the firm build up its Paris office through a series of real estate-focused lateral hires. Conversely there have been a string departures from is private client group – notably to Taylor Wessing in London and US trust and estates boutique Harrison & Held in the US

Other firms have been seeking to strengthen their global real estate practices of late. Last month K&L Gates hired a team of nine real estate lawyers – including two partners – from Eversheds Sutherland to boost its German property coverage in Munich and Frankfurt. 

Earlier this week Mayer Brown unveiled a senior New York hire of its own, that of high-profile Skadden dealmaker Martha McGarry, who will co-lead its US M&A offering.

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