O’Melveny’s Seoul Office, Korea Practice Head Joseph Kim Featured in Daily Journal Report on US Firms’ Entry Into South Korea

January 10, 2013

O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s new office in Seoul, South Korea was referenced in the Daily Journal's January 10, 2013, report “California Law Firms Get a Slow But Steady Start in South Korea.” The article discusses some of the issues surrounding American firms’ entry into the Korean marketplace following the passage of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

The Daily Journal noted that while US firms are currently unable to advise clients on Korean law under the initial phase of the agreement, a Seoul presence is allowing firms like O'Melveny to "more efficiently represent a client such as Samsung in a matter in the United States and to better serve Korean companies."

Commenting on the Daily Journal’s observation that later phases of the agreement will make it possible for US firms to begin competing with more directly with Korean firms, Joseph Kim, head of O'Melveny's Korea practice, said: "We have very good relationships with many of the large Korean law firms. We collaborate now and while it may shift a bit in the future, it's a market where relationships count a lot. We would continue to work with the big Korean firms."

The report also touched upon the importance of reaching out to the Korean community to gain the trust of both clients and Korean attorneys. Kim noted that O'Melveny has already begun a program that will sponsor students in a North Korea refugee school to visit the US, and that firm Chair Bradley J. Butwin recently spoke about the importance of pro bono work at Seoul National University Law School.