Ropes & Gray to Open Office in Seoul, Korea
“When I speak with clients, they tell me that it’s not just the outstanding results we achieve that distinguishes Ropes & Gray, but also the collaborative manner in which we work with them,” said the firm’s chairman, R. Bradford Malt. “We are transparent in how we’re working, and we make key decisions jointly. This requires open and easy communication. So being in geographic proximity to our Korean clients, as soon as regulations allow, is something we are eager to do.”
Ropes & Gray has been consistently recognized for its performance and client service. The American Lawyer named Ropes & Gray to its “A-List” in 2011, recognizing the firm as a top U.S. law firm based on performance, pro bono work, diversity and workplace satisfaction. The influential legal directories U.S. News and Chambers rank Ropes & Gray as one of the world’s preeminent firms for intellectual property, litigation (including white collar criminal defense and securities), antitrust, life sciences, M&A, private equity and investment management.
With more than 1,100 lawyers and professionals in 10 offices around the world, Ropes & Gray has a rich history of achieving success for the world’s leading businesses, educational institutions and technology innovators. Ropes & Gray also has established a decade of service to Korean clients, working with companies such as LG, Hitachi-LG Data Storage (HLDS), a major Korean electronics company, Daewoo, Hyundai Motors and Hanjin.
The firm that handled patents for innovators like Henry Ford also has played a pivotal role in the handset technology wars, and the firm represents titans of the technology world such as Motorola and leaders of the biotech industry such as Genzyme. From its Seoul office, the firm will focus on intellectual property, antitrust, corporate transactions, life sciences and government investigations and anti-corruption regulations.
Ropes & Gray’s Seoul office will be headed by two partners who have been working with Korean clients for many years: William Yongkyun Kim, who chairs the firm’s Korea practice, and David Chun, an IP litigator.
Over his nearly 30-year career, Mr. Kim has worked in law firms, as general counsel of a major Korean conglomerate and for the U.S. government. He has tried cases for the United States as a federal government attorney and, from 1993 to 1997, served as general counsel and managing director of the Daewoo Group of Companies in Korea. At Ropes & Gray he has advised U.S., European and Korean companies and their U.S. subsidiaries in cross-border corporate transactions, financings, licensing, project development and financings and pre-litigation negotiations.
Mr. Chun, who focuses on patent infringement and trade secrets cases, has handled litigations involving a broad range of technologies, including semiconductors, flash memory, cellular telephones, digital signal processing for hearing aid devices, on-line gaming, hard disk drives and consumer products.
“From our Seoul office, we will be better able to serve Korean clients on a real-time basis,” said Mr. Kim. “Ropes & Gray has a fully functioning Korea team, with more than 30 lawyers who have worked with Korean clients on their transactions and in litigation. We have been eagerly anticipating the day when we could combine on-the-ground service with the extensive resources of the firm around the world.”
The firm will file its application for a preliminary review to practice in Korea on March 6, the first day that international firms and lawyers can officially file documentation with the Korean Ministry of Justice.
The move to Seoul also reinforces Ropes & Gray's commitment to its clients in Asia, where the firm has well-established offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. Founded in 1865, the firm also has offices in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Silicon Valley, San Francisco and London.
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