Latham & Watkins plan Seoul office
Latham & Watkins has submitted an application to open a foreign legal consultant office in Seoul, South Korea. The firm has signed a lease for office space in the financial district of Yeouido.
Latham has a South Korea practice that is overseen by Tokyo office managing partner Joseph Bevash. The practice focuses on banking, finance and projects. In its Hong Kong office, several lawyers are native Korean, such as corporate counsel Helena Kim and banking and finance counsel Sungjin Kang.
Reportedly, the firm will not enter into local law matters. However, South Korea's legal services market is undergoing a liberalization, a result of its free trade agreements with the United States and the European Union. As part of those agreements, it will soon be possible for foreign lawyers to partner with and hire South Korean lawyers.