Cleary Gottlieb Opens Office in Seoul

October 15, 2012

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP announced today that it has opened a foreign legal consultant office in Seoul, Korea, following the receipt of necessary approvals from the Korean regulatory authorities. The office is the firm’s sixteenth office worldwide and its third in East Asia and follows the opening of the firm’s office in Abu Dhabi last month.

Partner Yong Guk Lee and counsel Jay Hoon Choi have relocated to Seoul from Hong Kong to head the office. In addition, several Korean-speaking associates from the firm’s Korea practice are in the process of relocating to Seoul. Cleary Gottlieb lawyers in Seoul will continue to be fully integrated with the firm’s larger Asia practice.

“We are extremely pleased to be among the first international law firms to open an office in Korea,” said Cleary Gottlieb managing partner Mark Leddy. “Our Korea practice has grown over the years to become the leading international practice covering Korea, and having Cleary Gottlieb lawyers in Seoul will allow us to more efficiently and effectively serve both our locally-based clients as well as clients from outside the region doing business there.”

Cleary Gottlieb has had a vibrant Korea practice for more than two decades. With over 30 lawyers worldwide fluent in Korean (including five partners, two counsel, one senior attorney, and 10 associates based in Asia), the firm offers a talented and deep team of native Korean-speaking U.S. lawyers.

The firm also has an extensive network of relationships with leading Korean law firms with whom it works closely to ensure that clients receive exceptional Korean law advice.

Cleary Gottlieb opened offices in Hong Kong in 1980 and in Beijing in 2006. It has operated continuously in Asia through times of extraordinary changes in the economies of many Asian countries. The firm has developed a thorough understanding of the region and an unmatched ability to work for clients based in Asia and for those based outside of Asia doing business there. Today, the firm has over 50 lawyers resident in Asia serving the needs of those clients.

About Cleary Gottlieb’s Korea Practice

Cleary Gottlieb has extensive experience and expertise in a wide variety of public and private sector transactions, as well as litigation, arbitration and enforcement matters, involving Korea. The firm assists Korean clients with their capital raising, overseas investment and other activities and assists non-Korean clients in direct investment in Korea. These transactions often require advice with respect to a variety of issues, including finance, corporate governance, tax and disclosure of information. In addition, Cleary Gottlieb has extensive experience and has enjoyed great success in litigating and arbitrating important cross-border disputes on behalf of Korean clients and in matters involving Korea. The firm also handles sensitive criminal and regulatory matters, including conducting internal investigations, for Korean clients.

Highlights of the firm’s unparalleled track record of advising on a wide variety of cross-border corporate transactions involving Korean entities include:

  • Counsel in three of the five largest Korea/U.S. completed cross-border M&A transactions since 2001

  • Counsel in well over 200 offerings of an aggregate of more than $124 billion of securities of Korean issuers since the early 1990s

  • Counsel in over $15 billion in IPOs of Korean companies, including the largest IPO by a Korean company, the first SEC-registered public equity issuance and NYSE listing by a Korean company, and the first IPO and listing on the Korea Exchange by a Korean company in which an international tranche was sold to foreign investors under Rule 144A/Regulation S

  • Counsel to the Korean government in the restructuring of the external debt of the Korean banking sector following the Asian financial crisis, as well as in its sovereign debt offerings

About Cleary Gottlieb

Founded in 1946 by lawyers committed to legal excellence, internationalism and diversity, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is a leading international law firm with approximately 1,200 lawyers around the world.