Squire Sanders has announced plans to open an office in Korea.

Partner Joon Yong Kim, the head of the firm’s Korea practice, will relocate from Tokyo to lead the new office in Seoul. He will be joined by partner Edward Kim, who is also coming from Squire Sanders’ Tokyo office.

A corporate partner, Joon Yong Kim will focus mainly on mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures, though he has also advised Korean companies on U.S. intellectual property matters, including litigation. He joined Squire Sanders in 2010 as a partner from Sidley Austin, where he had been a partner since 2000. Kim had a brief earlier stint as a partner at Squire Sanders in Los Angeles after that firm acquired most of the offices of his former employer, Graham & James, in 2000 but he left soon after to join Sidley.

Edward Kim advises on project finance deals, focusing on the technology and logistics industries.

The announcement by 1,300-lawyer Squire Sanders follows those of fellow U.S. firms Paul Hastings and Ropes & Gray, both of which submitted their applications to the Korean Ministry of Justice yesterday. A number of other U.S. and U.K. firms have also recently announced plans to launch in Seoul.

Squire Sanders has over the past few months made a significant push for its Asia-Pacific practice. In February, the firm announced a Singapore opening, having hired new partners from St. Louis-based Bryan Cave. Last August, the firm opened an office in Perth with lawyers recruited from Australian firm Minter Ellison.

Email: jseah@alm.com