South Korea licenses three foreign firms

July 16, 2012 The South Korean Ministry of Justice has granted licenses to practice to three international law firms: the British firm Clifford Chance, and two US firms - Sheppard Mullin and Ropes & Gray. The three branches will be headed by William Yongkyun Kim of Ropes & Gray, Seth Kim of Sheppard Mullin and Brian Cassidy of Clifford Chance.

After registration with the Korean Bar Association the firms will be able to advise on foreign laws and international affairs. By July 2013 European firms ― and U.S. firms by March 2014 ― will be able to jointly handle cases and share profits with Korean law firms.

The move to license the firms was part of Korea’s new trade agreements with the EU and the US, and a number of firms are still undergoing screening and assessment by the authorities.

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