Some 16 international firms have already applied to open in Korea or have publicly announced plans to do so. Still more are likely to go in. Is the market big enough for all of them?
The Los Angeles firm says it has applied to open a Seoul office with two counsels recruited from Korean law firm Shin & Kim.
Korean law firm Yoon & Yang has advised the Industrial Bank of Korea on the establishment of an $8 billion debt program. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton acted for the underwriters, while Shook Lin & Bok was Singapore listing agent.
Latham & Watkins and Freehills are advising on a Korean-Japanese consortium's $3.3 billion acquisition of a 30-percent stake in the Roy Hill project, an iron ore mine in Western Australia.
Covington & Burling has applied to open an office in Seoul. William Park, formerly of Korean law firm Apex, will join Covington as a partner. Of counsel Daniel Spiegel will relocate from Washington, D.C. to co-head the new office.
Squire Sanders has announced plans to open an office in Korea. The head of the firm's Korea practice, Joon Yong Kim, and partner Edward Kim will relocate from Tokyo to lead the new office in Seoul.
Paul Hastings and Ropes & Gray both said they today submitted applications to the Ministry of Justice of Korea to launch foreign legal consultant offices in Seoul, following the lifting of barriers to foreign law firms in Korea.
Clifford Chance has become the first U.K. firm to announce it has applied to open an office in Seoul. It will join several U.S. firms in entering the South Korean capital following the country's passage of free trade agreements with the EU and the U.S.
McDermott Will & Emery has unveiled plans to open an office in Seoul, following similar announcements by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; and Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton.
The national security review is the biggest single hurdle to many Chinese investments in the U.S., but many in China think the process is unfair.