About Author

Sean, and his law firm,  is often chosen over the ubiquitous Korean-based law firms when non-conflicted and aggressive representation is essential for success. Sean is the first non-Korean to work for the Korean Court System. He was, recently, rated a Top 100 lawyer working in Korea. The articles in this blog are brought to you by Sean Hayes, retired judges, senior Korean attorneys and other attorneys at IPG.

New York Attorney Sean Hayes grew up in Connecticut and New York to an Irish-immigrant father and an Italian mother. He is a U.S. and Irish National who is a permanent resident of Korea. He received his legal education in Korea, the United States and in the U.K.

Sean Hayes is the first non-Korean employed by the Korean Court System (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a full-time regular member of a Korean law faculty.  Sean is known, over his 16+ years practicing law, for his aggressive advocacy and candid NY-style street-smart advice.

Sean works with a cadre of experienced and connected retired judges, prosecutors, in-house attorneys, government officers and former international law firm attorneys.  

Sean is recognized by numerous legal publications and rating agencies for outstanding service to clients both large and small. Recently, he was recognized by AsiaLaw as one of only two non-Korean attorneys as a Top Attorney in Korea. 

Sean and IPG have successfully brought into Asia and North America numerous brands, oil & gas, manufacturers, real estate companies, franchises, entertainment companies and new-tech companies. Sean and IPG have also been involved in some of the most noteworthy contentious matters via arbitration and litigation in New York, Korea, China, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Philippines and throughout the United States.


  • Registration of a leading bakery franchise in Korea.  Numerous franchise registrations conducted for franchisors.
  • Numerous estate, family, general civil law and criminal law services for individuals.
  • International Arbitration between an international construction company and a Korean conglomerate.
  • Localization and enforcement of an eight-figure commercial debt in Korea.
  • Not guilty verdict for the president of a major foreign defense company.
  • Successful resolution of a Korean Customs and Tax Audit for a leading international chemical company.
  • Local counsel for a leading international law firm’s Fortune 500 client in a trade dispute leading to a tariff  on the products of a local Korean conglomerate.
  • Successful entry of a leading e-commerce site into the Korean market.
  • FTC corporate compliance advisory services for a major online e-commerce site.
  • Consultation services related to licensing, joint ventures and regulatory compliance issues for an American real estate developer’s shopping mall projects in Korea.
  • Successful resolution of a dispute between a F & B Franchise and a Korean franchisee.
  • Enforcement and monitoring of trademarks for numerous clients.
  • Successful challenge of a registered trademark for an international fashion brand.
  • Complete restructuring of the HR compliance for an international retailer.
  • Numerous successful terminations of employees of companies.


  • Constitutional Court of Korea, Research Officer
  • Ahnse Law Firm, Foreign Attorney
  • Associate Professor, Kookmin University College of Law
  • Adj. Professor, Seoul National University, Graduate School of Public Administration
  • Columnist & Ombudsman, Korea Times


  • Seoul National University, Ph.D. Cand.
  • University of London, International Law
  • QU School of Law, J.D.
  • Fordham University/Fairfield University, BA
  • Notre Dame High School, West Haven, CT


  • Admitted to the New York State Bar
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member, NY Bar Association
  • Member, NY City Bar Association


  • English & Korean