DLA Piper opens for business in Seoul after Korea licence approval

DLA Piper has opened for business in Korea today (8 January) after receiving approval to launch in the country last month.

The firm is launching a base in the capital of Seoul after getting the go-ahead from the country’s Ministry of Justice in December last year.

Corporate partner and Korea practice head Daniel Lee has been appointed as country managing partner. Lee, who has led the Korean practice in Tokyo for the last four years, has relocated to Seoul and will be based at the firm’s new, recently fitted-out offices in the legal district of Suha-dong, Jung-gu.

He has a track record of advising clients on foreign direct investment matters, cross-border M&A, private equity transactions and joint ventures, as well as general corporate issues.

The firm is also relocating litigation partner Michael Kim to Korea from London as well as of counsel Ted Yi, who is relocating from Tokyo.

“Opening an office in Korea brings us a step closer to a full business service offering in every major economic hub across Asia Pacific,” said Bob Charlton, DLA Piper’s managing director for Asia-Pacific. “As the fourth largest economy in Asia, Korea will play a central role in DLA Piper’s continued growth.”

DLA Piper now has 4,200 lawyers located in more than 30 countries, including key Asia-Pacific markets such as Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai, Japan, Thailand, Singapore and Australia.

Other major law firms targeting the Korea market include Clifford Chance, which last July became the first UK firm to gain approval to open a local office, as well as Herbert Smith Freehills and Baker & McKenzie.