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Miller & Martin Taps Into Korean Market With New CounselMiller & Martin has brought on Isidor J.Y. Kim, a Korean-American business litigator recruited for his "tremendous contacts in the Korean community," according to the Tennessee-based firm. Korean companies are increasingly being drawn to Georgia because of state incentives and lower living costs, says Kim.
Daily Report2011-03-10 12:00:00 AM
Isidor J.Y. Kim has joined Miller & Martin to expand his practice serving Korean businesses.
Kim, a business litigator who joined the firm as counsel, previously had his own firm, Kim & Yang, in Duluth, Ga. His partner, David Y. Yang, has taken an in-house position with Doosan Infracore Co., a Korean construction equipment maker.
Kim said he can offer his clients more resources, such as patent expertise and a deeper litigation bench, at Miller & Martin than at his own small shop. The 200-lawyer firm is based in Chattanooga, Tenn., and has offices in Atlanta and Nashville.
Kim said his clients include Samsung LED America Inc. and Samsung Electro-Mechanics America Inc.
Miller & Martin's Atlanta managing partner, Daniel P. Griffin, said the firm recruited Kim because he has "tremendous contacts in the Korean community."
"He's only been here a couple of weeks, and he's already expanded the business he does," said Griffin, adding that Korea is a new area for the firm.
Kim started his legal career in 1999 at Powell Goldstein, now Bryan Cave, but left after four years to establish a practice representing the growing local Korean community. "There was a big Korean presence in Atlanta, and I didn't see many Korean attorneys," he said.
Although born in Korea, Kim grew up in Missouri. He learned Korean in college at Harvard University, then moved to Seoul, South Korea, for a position as an instructor and research assistant at Seoul National University's Language Education Research Institute, where he met his wife. He returned to the U.S. to attend law school at Boston University.
Kim started out representing individuals, then small companies and then larger ones as the local Korean business community developed.
"A lot of Korean companies with offices in New York, New Jersey and California now have Georgia offices," he said, both because of incentives from the state and because living costs are lower. For example, SKC Co., which makes polyester film, opened a U.S. branch in Covington, Ga.
Kim said Miller & Martin's membership in the World Law Group was part of the draw for him. He added that one of the firm's Atlanta lawyers, Charles H. Battle Jr., is advising South Korea in its bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. (Battle was part of the team that landed the Summer Olympics for Atlanta in 1996.) The firm's 50-lawyer Atlanta office also has two other lawyers of Korean descent, he said.
Kim is on the board of the Korean-American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia. He has been president of the Korean American Coalition's Atlanta chapter and an officer of the Korean American Association of Greater Atlanta.