The second edition of WWL: Korea features a total of 40 firms ranging from full-service outfits to specialised boutiques. However, over 75 per cent of the total listings are achieved by five standout firms. We profile the leading firms here.
Top-tier full-service firm Bae Kim & Lee performs well in our research into the Korean legal market this year. Its breadth of expertise is showcased in this edition as it achieves 27 listings across 13 practice areas.
The firm performs exceedingly well in the dispute resolution field, with five listings for its excellence in both arbitration and litigation. The set has a cemented presence in competition law, with four leading lawyers commended for their knowledge and experience in cartel investigations, merger review and abuse of dominance cases, among others.
Real estate and construction is a further area in which the firm excels, with three top-tier lawyers listed for their superb work in transactions, investments, contracts and disputes across the sector. The IP team at Bae Kim & Lee are also renowned market specialists, thanks to their impressive work handling IP litigations and advising high-profile pharmaceutical and technology clients.
Standout practitioners at the firm include John Bang, who excels in both the dispute resolution, and construction and real estate chapters. David MacArthur is a renowned figure in international arbitration, while Seong Un Yun and Sang Hoon Shin draw praise for their stellar reputation in the Korean antitrust market. Kijoong Kang and Junghi Park are both IP specialists drawing commendation for their top-tier practices.
Top-tier firm Kim & Chang is one of the leading legal offerings in the Korean market. In our guide this year, it illustrates the great breadth and depth of its expertise by achieving 100 listings across 22 practice areas.
The firm dominates the competition market with 19 lawyers distinguished for their brilliance in cartel matters and competition investigations, as well as complex merger filings. Their experience in corporate transactions is also renowned, with seven leading practitioners listed for their top-quality handling of high-value M&A deals.
The firm also demonstrates its leading capital markets and corporate tax practices, with a combined total of 15 listings across the two chapters. The team is well regarded for handling IPOs, hybrid bonds, transfer pricing and an array of tax issues.
Dispute resolution is a further area in which the firm truly excels, with seven arbitration and three mediation experts listed this year for their excellent work in contentious proceedings on a domestic and international level.
Key figures at the firm include Youngjin Jung, who is highlighted for his market-leading practice in competition law. Young Man Huh and Jong-Hyun Park are recognised for their standout M&A expertise, while BC Yoon and Matthew Christensen are top-tier names at the firm for their established arbitration practices. Bo-Yong Ahn is a prominent figure in capital markets, while Tae-Yeon Nam comes highly recommended for her deep expertise in tax and transfer pricing.
Top-tier Korean law firm Lee & Ko performs excellently in our research this year, achieving an impressive 58 listings across 22 practice areas in this edition, which demonstrates the strength of their full-service firm in the market.
The intellectual property chapter sees a notable seven practitioners ranked for the strength of their expertise in trademarks and patents, which spans the pharmaceutical, chemical and technology industries. The firm also offers a strong dispute resolution practice, with practitioners achieving eight listings across our arbitration and litigation chapters this year.
Competition is another strong area for the firm, which sees eight practitioners and economists listed across our respective chapters. Their extensive expertise includes, cartel investigations, abuse of dominance claims and merger review.
Key figures at the firm include Robert Wachter, a leading international arbitration counsel and arbitrator. Hwan Sung Park and Sun Chang are recognised for their intellectual property expertise. Yong Seok Ahn is distinguished for his stellar competition practice, while Kichang Chung is ranked for his excellent trade and customs law knowledge.
Prominent law firm Shin & Kim enjoys a strong presence in the Korean market. The set confirms its place among the leading law firms in the country with 16 total listings in our guide this year, across 11 practice areas.
The firm showcases its dispute resolution expertise across our arbitration, litigation and product liability defence chapters with five leading individuals listed. Its lawyers are adept at advising clients on a wide array of contentious matters, from intellectual property to labour disputes.
Capital markets is another area in which the firm ranks highly, with three top-tier individuals commended for their expertise in handling debt and equity transactions, structured financing and bond issuances.
The firm also sees two of its leading antitrust and competition specialists listed this year for their experience and knowledge of abuse of dominance and cartel-related matters.
Key figures at the firm include Bo Kyung Lim, Ghyo Sun Park and Philippe Shin for their dispute resolution expertise. Sang Man Kim comes highly recommended for his impressive ability in capital markets, while John Choi excels in competition law.
Yulchon is a prominent full-service firm in the Korean market. This year it performs exceedingly well in our research with a total of 21 practitioners listed across 10 chapters.
The firm showcases its top-tier competition offering in this edition, with four outstanding lawyers recognised for their expertise in abuse of dominance, cartel investigations and merger reviews. The firm also excels in corporate finance including private funds, capital markets, and M&A and governance. A total of six lawyers achieve listings in the respective practice area chapters. /p>
Labour and employment is another strong area for the firm, which sees three lawyers listed in our corresponding chapter for their expert advice and knowledge of the latest developments in the market, including sexual harassment, compliance and M&A-related employment matters.
Key individuals at the firm include Sang Wook Cho, a market-leading labour and employment specialist, and Hee Woong Yoon, who is acclaimed for his capital markets and private funds expertise. Christopher JoonTae Cho is recognised as a leading light for banking and finance matters.