K&L Gates opened an office in Milan in February, a location in South Carolina in December 2011 and in Sao Paulo a month before that.
K&L Gates isn't the first U.S. firm to launch in Seoul. As The Legal Intelligencer affiliate The American Lawyer reported earlier this month, O'Melveny & Myers and Paul Hastings recently opened in South Korea, following on the heels of Covington & Burling's expansion into the market. Ropes & Gray and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton opened in the summer. There were a total of 16 U.S. firms that applied for a license from the South Korean Ministry of Justice and the Korean Bar Association to start offices in the country, The American Lawyer reported.