Arnold & Porter opens office in Seoul

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Arnold & Porter has opened its doors in Seoul, hot on the heels of another US-headquartered firm launching an office in the South Korean capital.

The Washington, D.C.-headquartered firm confirmed that it has been granted a license by the South Korean Ministry of Justice to open the office. The announcement comes after the firm hired former White & Case partners James Lee and Kyungseok Kim.

“The new office will enhance the firm’s ability to serve its Korean clients, including with respect to cross-border intellectual property, M&A, export control, US litigation, antitrust, international arbitration, and international trade matters,” the firm said.

Lee has been tasked to lead the new Arnold & Porter office. He is an expert in complex cross-border business disputes, class-action defence, arbitrations, and business torts. He launched White & Case’s office in Seoul in 2015, relocating from Los Angeles, where he was the head of the firm’s Korea practice group.

Kim is known for his work in complex, cross-border transactions. He advises on M&A, private-equity investments, international joint ventures, financings, and general corporate matters.

Richard Alexander, Arnold & Porter chairman, explained why the firm opened the office.

“Korea is an important market for our firm. We have close ties to many clients who turn to us for advice on US and other international legal matters. The new office will enable us to better serve our clients with a team of lawyers providing on-the-ground support in real time and leveraging the expertise of other lawyers throughout the firm,” he said.

Shearman & Sterling recently opened a Seoul office, manned by two senior lawyers from Singapore.