About Authors

The articles in this blog are brought to you by SJ Law Firm, Int’l Practice Group (IPG Legal), SJ Kook, Sean Hayes, retired judges, senior Korean attorneys and other attorneys/professionals at IPG and from associated law firms and consulting companies.

Sean Hayes (NY Attorney-at-Law)

Sean’s is working, in Korea, for SJ Law Firm, Int’l Practice Group (IPG Legal).

Sean was, recently, rated a Top 100 lawyer and IPG was, recently, rated a top Dispute Resolution Law Firm in Korea. Sean is, often, quoted by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and other leading new sources on matters facing Korea, China and the United States.

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 taught justices at the Constitutional Court of Korea, judges at courts throughout Korea and government officials international contract law, constitutional law and criminal procedure.

Sean is known, over his 16+ years working in the legal industry for his aggressive advocacy and candid NY-style street-smart advice.   

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 working for a law firm in Korea and IPG was, recently, recognized as the Dispute Resolution Law Firm of 2020. 

Sean Hayes is a member of the NY York Bar.

SJ KOOK (Korea Attorney-at-Law)

Judge Kook is a retired Korean court judge who leads the Dispute Resolution Team at IPG and he is the managing partner for SJ Law Firm, Int’l Practice Group (IPG Legal).  Judge Kook was a top graduate from Seoul National University College of Law and received an LL.M. from Columbia University.  
Judge Kook served for a variety of courts and as a research judge for the Constitutional Court of Korea.  He retired from the bench after serving as a presiding judge for the Incheon District Court. 

Judge Kook is a renowned litigator who has successfully obtained over 50 not guilty verdicts for clients in a broad range of individual and corporate criminal matters.  Judge Kook has, also, successfully litigated and arbitrated a broad range of civil matters for domestic and international clients.  

Judge Kook is known for his approachable manner, ability to explain complex legal matters to clients and his passion to prevail in all cases that he handles.

IPG has successfully brought into Asia and North America numerous brands, oil & gas, manufacturers, real estate companies, franchises, entertainment companies and new-tech companies. IPG have is involved in some of the most noteworthy contentious matters via arbitration and litigation.


  • Arbitration: International Arbitration between an international construction company and a Korean conglomerate.
  • Arbitration: International Arbitration between multinational defense contractor for work performed in U.S. military installations in Korea.
  • Administrative Law/Commercial Litigation: Successful resolution of a Korean Customs and Tax Audit for a leading international chemical company.
  • Commercial Litigation/Franchise Law: Successful resolution of a dispute between a F & B Franchise and a Korean franchisee.
  • Commercial Litigation/IP Law: Enforcement and monitoring of trademarks for numerous clients.
  • Commercial Litigation/Localization of Foreign Judgment: Localization and enforcement of an eight-figure commercial debt in Korea.
  • Corporate Law: Successful entry of a leading e-commerce site into the Korean market.
  • Corporate Law: Successful entry of defense, manufacturing, technology, new tech and fintech companies into the Korean market.
  • Corporate Law/Market Entry: Successful entry of a leading e-commerce site into the Korean market.
  • Corporate Law/IP: Consultation services related to licensing, joint ventures and regulatory compliance issues for an American real estate developer’s shopping mall projects in Korea.
  • Criminal Defense: Not guilty verdict for the president of a major foreign defense company.
  • Criminal Defense: In coordination with Judge SJ Kook, over 50 not guilty verdicts.
  • Distribution/Corporate Law: Drafting of agency and distribution agreements for leading multinational corporations doing business in Korea, China and North America.
  • Distribution/Corporate Law: Successful termination of a multi-year exclusive distributor agreement without compensation to the distributor for termination for a major international technology company.
  • Employment Law: Complete restructuring of the HR compliance for an international retailer.
  • Employment Law: Numerous successful terminations of employees of companies.
  • Employment Law: Drafting of employment rules, employment agreements and compliance handbooks for companies doing business in Korea.
  • Estate & Probate Law: Protection of assets of individuals and disclaimer of estates.
  • Franchise Law: Registration of a leading New York bakery franchise in Korea.  
  • Franchise Law: Registration of a leading international educational franchise in Korea.
  • General Practice: Numerous estate, family, general civil law and criminal law services for individuals.
  • IP Law: Successful challenge of a registered trademark for an international fashion brand.
  • Labor Law: Successful challenge of the termination of an expat executive of a leading Korean conglomerate.
  • Tax Law: Successful challenge to a large portion of a tax imposition by the Korean National Tax Service against a defense company.
  • Tax Law/Corporate Law: Review, yearly, of the end-of-year tax audit and closing statement for clients.
  • Trade Law: 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.

Top 100 Lawyers, Asia Business Law Journal
Korea’s Dispute Resolution Law Firm of the Year, Corp. Intl.
Who’s Who in Franchise Law.
Who’s Who in the World.
Excellent Rating (10/10), AVVO.
Best Advice Blog, K-Blog Awards.
Top 25 International Law Blog, LexisNexis.
Top Blogs, AVVO’s Listing of Blogs.
Who’s Who in Entertainment Law.

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Int’l Practice Group (IPG Legal)