Hong Kong (March 6, 2012) - Paul Hastings, a leading global law firm, announced today that it has become the first U.S. law firm to submit preliminary applications to the Ministry of Justice of Korea in relation to the establishment of a foreign legal consultant office in Korea.
The Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (“FTA”) was ratified in November 2011 and, amongst its many provisions, allows for the opening of the Korean legal services market to U.S.-based law firms.
Paul Hastings has a dedicated Korea practice with over 25 years of experience advising both Korean and international clients in cross-border Korean transactions and litigation and has been involved in some of the most innovative and high-profile transactions and litigation. Following the office opening, Korea practice head Jong Han Kim and partner Daniel Kim, who are both currently based in Hong Kong, will relocate to Seoul. The firm plans to have 15-20 attorneys in the Seoul office within the next few years.
"Paul Hastings has a 25-year history of helping a wide-range of Korea-based clients with complex legal challenges," said Jong Han Kim, a partner at Paul Hastings who will serve as Korean Office Chair when the firm opens its' Seoul office. "We are looking forward to providing on the ground legal expertise to our existing clients and are excited by the growth opportunities our Korea office presents," he added.
Paul Hastings’ commitment to Asia is a long standing part of the firm’s history. The firm opened offices in Tokyo in 1988, in Beijing and Hong Kong in 2002 and in Shanghai in 2003. Investing in Asia and developing relationships with Asian companies is a central part of the firm’s growth and success.
Korea practice highlights include:
• Advising Samsung Electronics in the US$1.4 billion sale of its hard disk drive (HDD) business to Seagate Technology, a NASDAQ-listed manufacturer of HDD and storage solutions, and extending and enhancing the existing patent cross-license agreement between the companies. This transaction was awarded “M&A Deal of the Year 2011” by ASIAN-MENA COUNSEL and was one of the largest M&A deals in Korea last year.
• Advising Dong-A Pharmaceutical in its US$125 million equity investment, and in the structuring and organization of its strategic alliance, with GlaxoSmithKline. This transaction was one of the largest and most comprehensive collaborations in the history of the Korean pharmaceutical industry and was commended as one of the "Most Innovative M&A Deals 2010" by Financial Times US Innovative Lawyers Report 2010.
• Advising the joint bookrunners in the US$900 million dual-currency convertible bond offering by Lotte Shopping on the Singapore Exchange. This was one of the largest convertible bond issuance in Asia ex-Japan and was awarded "Best Equity-Linked Deal of the Year 2011" by FinanceAsia; "South Korea Capital Markets Deal of the Year 2011" and "Equity-Linked Deal of the Year 2011" by IFR Asia.
• Acting for Kolon in a trade secrets and anti-trust litigation in the U.S.
• Acting for Korean Airlines in U.S. passenger and cargo class action anti-trust litigation.
• Acting for LG Display in connection with U.S. TFT-LCD anti-trust litigation.
Paul Hastings is a leading global law firm with offices in Asia, Europe, and the United States. We provide innovative legal solutions to financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies. Please visit www.paulhastings.com for more information.