10/21/2010

American Law Firms in Korea

Things may be changing soon. Presently there are no U.S. law firms in Korea, but things will change if the Korea-U.S. FTA is passed. Presently numerous American law firms are interested in access to the market. I have been contacted by a few firms interested in building alliances. The doors will also open to British firms with the Korea-EU FTA.

The Korea Herald had an interesting interview with Gregory Nitzkowski the managing partner of Paul Hastings.

Gregory Nitzkowski noted in the article that:
"It is not the dominance in the Korean legal market that we seek, but rather a firmer connection to our global clients, many of whom are Korean-based international companies such as the Samsung or SK Group.   A market is usually in favor of the staus quo and changes for the unknown many come as a threat.  It is natural for Korean law firms to feel a certain degree of alarm and change themselves accordingly, but the global precedents show that they need not be intimidated by the upcoming challenges."
I have wrote numerous articles on how the introduction of competition will likely create better services for clients.  I assume, for business clients, fees may also be reduced and more transparent billing practices will be implemented by these firms.  Here are a few articles that appeared in the Korea Times and on this blog that may be of interest.



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SeanHayes@ipglegal.com