Prosecutors raid South Korea’s largest law firm

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South Korea’s largest law firm was raided by prosecutors last month over the alleged involvement of some of its lawyers in the intentional delay of Supreme Court rulings on forced-labour cases.

Authorities revealed last week that the offices of two Kim & Chang lawyers, Kwak Byung-hun and another surnamed Han, were searched in November, The Korea Times said. The raid was the first time the top firm was raided by prosecutors.

The lawyers are alleged to have coordinated delays in rulings of the Supreme Court of former justice Yang Sung-Tae, during the administration of disgraced former president Park Geun-hye, on cases of South Korean victims of forced labour by Japanese companies during the wartime occupation of the Korean Peninsula.

Kwak was presidential secretary for legal affairs at the time of the alleged coordination between 2015 and 2016. Han, who was a top court official before his move to Kim & Chang in 1998, is said to have close ties to Yang. They are said to have acted as the main conduit between the country’s executive and judicial branches.

Kim & Chang is said to be currently representing Japanese companies in 10 forced-labour cases.