Ropes & Gray, a leading global law firm in Asia, the U.S. and the U.K.—and the first international law firm to open an office in Korea 10 years ago—announced today that private equity partner Jaewoo Lee has been named the managing partner of the firm’s Seoul office, effective August 1.
William Yongkyun Kim, who has served as Seoul managing partner since the establishment of the office in 2012, will remain at the firm in an advisory capacity as senior counsel. Mr. Kim led the firm’s efforts to establish an office in Korea a decade ago, and was the first Foreign Legal Consultant approved by the Korean Bar Association. Today, Ropes & Gray is recognized as a leading international law firm in the region and the appointment of Mr. Lee reflects the firm’s long-term commitment to the Korean market.
Mr. Lee guides sophisticated investors, companies and financial institutions in cross-border private equity and M&A transactions with a connection to Korea. He regularly works with the world’s premier private equity sponsors on their inbound investments, and advises Korean clients on key outbound M&A and other transactions.
For successive years, Mr. Lee has been ranked in Band One by both Chambers Global and Chambers Asia-Pacific, named a Leading Individual by Legal 500 Asia-Pacific, and is Highly Regarded by IFLR1000 for his Corporate and M&A advisory in Korea. He has been noted by clients as “one of the best M&A lawyers in the Korean market” and “a remarkable M&A deal attorney.”
“Clients turn to Ropes & Gray to seize on exciting growth opportunities. Our Korea team helps international clients achieve their key business objectives, which have increasingly included opportunities in Korea’s dynamic market. For Korea-based clients, we help them grow abroad, and especially in the U.S.,” said David Djaha, managing partner. He continued: “Korea has one of the world’s most dynamic economies. We thank our Korean and international clients for entrusting us with their most complex legal and business challenges.”
“I am honored to be leading the Seoul office as we celebrate 10 years in Korea. I would like to express the firm’s appreciation for the support we have received from our clients, as well as our local law firm partners,” Jaewoo Lee said. “We are dedicated to being the leading international law firm for private equity, M&A and intellectual property in this market.”
In 2012, Ropes & Gray was the first international law firm to open a Foreign Legal Consultant Office in Korea. The firm’s Seoul-based team focuses on private equity transactions and cross-border M&A, and intellectual property litigation and license negotiations. Ropes & Gray clients include global and regional private equity sponsors, as well as Korean multinational companies and their U.S. subsidiaries, and major Korean technology firms. The firm is also known across Asia for sophisticated counsel within the life sciences and asset management industries.
“We are deeply appreciative of Bill’s work to found and lead our Seoul office. We thank him for his leadership. We also congratulate Jaewoo on his new role. He is an accomplished lawyer and a strong leader, who understands how to help clients grow their business in Korea and around the world,” said Julie Jones, chair.
An illustration of the firm’s global approach to the Korean market can be found in partner Jackie Kahng, a finance partner based in the firm’s Hong Kong office. Jackie is fluent in Korean and provides key counsel to global and local clients on Asia finance matters, adding to our Seoul office’s capabilities.
Ropes & Gray is home to over 50 lawyers with Korean heritage worldwide. They bring an understanding of Korea and its business environment to our clients. The firm’s global team of fully bilingual Korean-speaking attorneys is consistently recognized for delivering premier legal advice and client service. Our Korea-focused IP litigation practice has maintained a Band One ranking in Chambers Asia-Pacific for ten consecutive years. For transactional work, our Korea-focused deal team has placed within the top Bands of Chambers Asia-Pacific, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific, Asian Legal Business for Corporate M&A for the past five years.
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