Shearman & Sterling has received approval from the South Korean Ministry of Justice to open a foreign legal consultant office in Seoul, according to official records.
Projects partner Anna Chung will relocate from Singapore to head the three-lawyer office. U.S.-qualified projects counsel Scott Baggett will also move from Singapore and serve as office representative in Seoul. The firm has hired a third lawyer for the new office, which will primarily focus on executing project financing transactions.
Last year, both Chung and Baggett, alongside Singapore-based Asia managing partner William McCormack, advised a group of Korean lenders and export credit agency Korea Trade Insurance Corp. on a $422 million debt financing for a coal power plant in Indonesia.
In addition to projects work, the Seoul team will also work closely with lawyers based in other offices on Korea-related arbitration, antitrust and funds matters, Chung told Law.com’s Asia publication, The Asian Lawyer, in September.
The office is in Kyobo Building, a landmark building in Seoul’s prime business district of Jongno. Fellow U.S. firm K&L Gates is also a tenant in the building. It is Shearman’s sixth outpost in Asia; the firm launched in Hong Kong in 1978, Tokyo in 1987, Beijing in 1993, Singapore in 1995 and Shanghai in 2007.
With the addition of Shearman, there are now 28 foreign firms in Seoul. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett recently closed its six-year-old Seoul office—the first global firm to do so since South Korea opened up its legal market in 2012.