Soon-Yub Samuel Kwon is “an extremely good practitioner” who has considerable experience and expertise in a range of Korean regulatory matters pertaining to the telecommunications sector.
Soon-Yub (Samuel) Kwon is a senior partner at Lee & Ko, and is currently serving as chair of the firm’s international practice group. Mr Kwon also heads up the firm’s TMT practice group, and, in that capacity, he represents international and domestic companies extensively on a wide variety of transactional and regulatory issues under Korea’s telecommunications and data protection laws.
Prior to joining Lee & Ko in 2010, Mr Kwon served as executive vice president of information and telecoms at SK Holdings in Korea, overseeing the performance of the SK Group’s information/telecoms services companies, during which time he also served as the SK Group’s chief privacy officer (CPO). As the SK Group’s CPO, Mr Kwon established SK Group’s compliance programme based on then-effective personal information protection laws and regulations of Korea, and also devised and implemented education/training programmes for relevant officers of SK Group companies.
Since he joined Lee & Ko, Mr Kwon has maintained a strong track record of advising foreign clients on various high-stake issues under Korea’s evolving privacy/data protection regulations. In particular, Mr Kwon has assisted with his clients’ target marketing plans for Korea using customer information, and advised in connection with the Korean government’s investigations relating to data breach incidents. In select cases, Mr Kwon is also assisting clients in devising legislative solutions in the data protection area. For example, he is currently working with several interested parties (including a leading research and teaching hospital) in Korea to prepare legislation designed to promote the development of Korea’s own medical big data/AI industry.
Mr Kwon has also advised the the chairman of the Korean Communications Commission (KCC) on the development of personal information protection policies, and often undertakes government relations projects involving privacy protection issues on behalf of clients. Based on his prior experience working at a major international law firm in the United States, dealing with corporate matters including mergers and acquisitions, Mr Kwon has been also representing a number of Lee & Ko’s international and domestic clients in their M&A transactions, and routinely provides advice to clients with respect to various regulatory and transactional matters.
Prior to returning to Korea in 2000, Mr Kwon worked at the Washington, DC office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison for 13 years from 1987, where he was elected international trade counsel in January 1996. At Paul, Weiss, Mr Kwon specialised in international trade and investment issues, and was extensively involved in a number of investment projects in the United States, Canada and Mexico. He also served as outside counsel for the Embassy of Korea in Washington, DC, and negotiated several strategic alliance arrangements between Asian and non-Asian firms.
Mr Kwon received the Presidential Award in 1997 and the National Medal of Merit in 2005 from the Korean government in recognition of his significant contributions to the development of the Korean telecommunications industry. Mr Kwon is currently serving as a member of the Presidential Committee on Economic Cooperation with Northern Region Countries, and advises the president regarding Korea’s policy initiatives to promote Korea’s economic cooperation with countries such as China and Russia, and CIS countries.
He studied at Columbia Law School (JD,1987), the University of Pennsylvania Law School (LLM, 1984) and Seoul National University (LLB, 1980).