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Seoul, South Korea, left, and Tokyo, Japan, right.

The Korean and Japanese legal markets have both struggled for years to find a balance between supporting strong domestic players and opening up to global firms. Lately, however, the two neighbors have gone in opposite directions in the liberalization of their legal sectors.

In Japan, a market that foreign law firms entered more than 30 years ago, the government is considering further relaxing the rules to attract more foreign lawyers. But in Korea, the legal market liberalization process, which was largely modeled after the Japanese experience, has been put on hold.

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John Kang, The Asian Lawyer

John Kang covers the business of law in Asia and Australia from Hong Kong. Email him at [email protected]

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