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Young Jae Cho

Young Jae Cho

Lee & KoHanjin Building63 Namdaemun-ro, Jung-guSeoulKorea04532

National Leader

Korea - Trade & Customs

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Young Jae Cho is described as “truly one of the best experts on trade issues in Korea” by sources who endorse his “strong legal expertise” and “great command of the subject matter”.


Young Jae Cho is a partner in charge of the international trade practice at Lee & Ko. He is a salient figure well known for his in-depth expertise and extensive work experience in the area of international economic law and policy. His work focuses on matters relating to, among other matters, the WTO, FTAs, BITs, trade remedy and export control. For six consecutive years, he has been selected as one of the global top 30 practitioners in Expert Guides’ Best of the Best (2014 to 2019). In addition, he has been recognised as a leading lawyer in both Chambers Global and Chambers Asia for eight consecutive years (2012–2019).

Notably, his practice areas go far beyond traditional trade cases, such as trade remedies and disputes; he handles comprehensive regulatory matters involving foreign investment, product safety, energy and natural resources, etc. This is made possible by his interdisciplinary background and varied experience covering such areas as law, policy and business, and such entities as government agencies and corporations.

He received his BBA and MPP degrees respectively from SNU and began his career as deputy director of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE). After seven years in this role, he studied abroad under an official training programme and received a JD from SUNY at Buffalo, graduating with honours. Over 14 years, he has accumulated experience working in director/deputy director roles not only at MOTIE but also at the Korea Trade Commission (KTC) and the National Economic Advisory Council to the President (NEAC). For around two years, he also worked as a group leader for trade and customs at a multinational company with more than 80 subsidiaries internationally. During this time, he also earned a PhD in international law from CAU.

His clients range from companies in highly regulated industries to the regulating authorities, and are based both locally and internationally. In handling complex, precedent-setting legal and regulatory cases, his clients benefit from his extensive experience and solid network.

He is a panellist on the Korea-US FTA dispute panel; an arbitrator on the Korea-EU FTA Arbitration Panel (cultural cooperation); an arbitrator of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB); a director of the Korean Arbitrators’ Association; and a non-executive board member of the Korean Institute of Product Safety (KIPS). He is also a member of the KTC advisory committee, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency foreign investment advisory committee, and various MOTIE committees, including the foreign investment zone committee; the regulatory reform committee; and the advisory committee for strategic trade control.

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