Cleary Gottlieb has had a leading Korea practice since the early 1990s.

The firm has extensive experience in a wide variety of public and private sector transactions involving Korea, as well as in cross-border antitrust, litigation, arbitration, and enforcement matters, assisting Korean clients with their capital raising, overseas investment, and other activities, and assisting non-Korean clients in direct investments in Korea. 

In 2012, we opened our foreign legal consultant office in Seoul. With approximately 25 lawyers worldwide who are fluent in Korean, including three partners, one counsel, one senior attorney, and 10 associates based in Seoul, we offer a deep and uniquely talented team of native Korean-speaking U.S. lawyers.

We also have extensive expertise related to the Korean legal environment and have excellent relationships and experience with the leading Korean law firms, enabling us to serve all our clients’ needs in transactions in Korea in a seamless and cost-effective manner.

Notable Experience

Capital Markets Transactions

  • Since the early 1990s, we have served as counsel in over 350 offerings of an aggregate of more than $195 billion of securities of Korean issuers, including The Republic of Korea, Korea Development Bank and The Export-Import Bank of Korea.

  • Samsung Life Insurance, LINE Corporation, Cheil Industries, ING Life Insurance, Innocean, Lotte Shopping, Netmarble, Samsung BioLogics, POSCO, Samsung Card and STX Pan Ocean in initial public offerings.

  • Hynix Semiconductor, The Industrial Bank of Korea, KB Financial Group, KT&G, LG Chem, LG Electronics, Samsung SDI and Woori Finance Holdings in depositary receipt offerings and/or overseas listings. 

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Corporate, M&A and Restructurings

  • Overseas clients, such as Goldman Sachs, TPG, Temasek, ArcelorMittal and the Carlyle Group in their direct investments or dispositions in Korea.

  • Korean clients, such as MBK Partners, Korea Investment Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Hyosung Corporation, KB Financial Group, LS Cable, Fila Korea, Naver, POSCO, SK Networks and KT Corporation in dispositions of businesses or in overseas investments.

  • Korean entities, including SK Global, the Daewoo Group and the Korean banking sector, in large-scale international debt restructurings.

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