William Y. Kim
William Kim is a partner in the corporate department of Ropes & Gray, chairs the firm’s Korea practice, and is a member of the firm’s office managing partners committee. He also co-chairs the firm’s international practice group.
Bill is the first foreign lawyer to be registered in Korea to practice as “foreign legal consultant” and heads our firm’s Seoul office (known under Korean rules as “Foreign Legal Consultant Office”).
Bill represents and advises Korean multi-national companies and their U.S. subsidiaries in matters related to corporations, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, cross-border transactions, project development and project finance. More recently, Bill has been counseling clients on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses. Bill also represents and advises many technology-oriented Korean companies in technology transfers, complex licensing arrangements and intellectual property litigations. Bill is a frequent guest lecturer at universities, corporations and trade associations on subjects related to international negotiations and cross-border transactions. He is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.
In 2017, Bill was honored with an Appreciation Award by the Korean Bar Association (KBA) in recognition of his significant contributions to the Korean legal profession. He is the first and only Foreign Legal Consultant to receive an award from the KBA.
Bill's recent assignments for Korean clients include a sale of a $2.2 billion company in the electronics industry; purchases of U.S. high-tech companies; forming strategic alliances with U.S. high-tech companies; $1.62 billion project development and project financing for oil refineries project in Mexico; $1.522 billion project development and project financing for oil refineries project in Mexico; $350 million project development and project financing for oil refineries project in Mexico; $300 million import and inventory financing; introduction of Korean automobiles in the U.S.; and establishment and obtaining broker-dealer licenses for securities firms.
Bill also represents many technology-oriented Korean clients in technology transfers and complex licensing arrangements. He represents many of the largest companies in Korea, including Samsung Electronics, Samsung Display, Samsung C&T, LG Electronics, LG Display, LG Chem, Hyundai Motor, Kia Motor, CJ CheilJedang, Hyundai Heavy Industries, POSCO, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction and other Korea-based multinational conglomerates. Bill also oversees complex business litigation, antitrust, mediation and arbitration cases as they relate to Korean clients.
From 1993 to 1997, Bill served as general counsel and managing director of the Daewoo Group of Companies in its Chairman's Office in Seoul Korea and, in that capacity, participated in numerous projects, transactions and cases around the world.
From 2008 to 2013, Bill served on the Board of Directors of one of the world’s largest display manufacturers and was a member of its Audit and Remuneration Committees. As a member of these committees, Bill took an active part in the development and implementation of various compliance programs for the company, including antitrust, U.S. Federal Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-bribery, unfair competition, unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment.
Bill is currently the Vice Chairman of the World Intellectual Property Association of Korean Practitioners.
- Quoted, “Amid Rising Security Concern, Foreign Lawyers in Seoul Stay Calm,” The Asian Lawyer (October 13, 2017)
- MBA (marketing and finance), University of Michigan, 1987
- JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1983
- BS (biology), The Catholic University of America, 1979
Admissions / Qualifications
- Korea, Registered Foreign Legal Consultant for U.S. Law, 2012
- New York, 1989
- District of Columbia, 1989
- Chambers Asia-Pacific: Leading Individual for Intellectual Property in South Korea (2014-2019)
- Chambers Global: Leading Individual for Intellectual Property in South Korea (2014-2020)
- Korean Bar Association, Appreciation Award for contributions to the Korean legal profession (2017)
- Asian Legal Business: Finalist for Managing Partner of the Year (2013-2019)