Kim & Chang, South Korea’s largest law firm, has entered Vietnam by opening an office in Ho Chi Minh City.
The office, which is scheduled to officially launch in September, will have three partners and four associates. The new outpost will advise clients in a range of practice areas, such as corporate compliance, antitrust and competition, arbitration, banking and finance, construction, labor and employment, M&A and real estate.*
“For over 10 years, Kim & Chang has provided advisory services for the issues related to Vietnam by closely working with top-tier law firms in Vietnam,” the firm said in a statement. “Recently, we have enhanced our Vietnam capabilities by adding professionals with substantial experiences in Vietnam.”
With Kim & Chang in Vietnam, the so-called Big Six South Korean firms are all in the Southeast Asian country, which is a manufacturing hub for Korean companies such as LG Corp. and Samsung Group. Yulchon launched the first Vietnamese office among major Korean firms in Ho Chi Minh City in 2007; while Bae, Kim & Lee; Lee & Ko; Shin & Kim; and Yoon & Yang all opened their own offices within the past three years.
In addition to an office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s biggest city, all of the Big Six except Kim & Chang also have an office in the capital city of Hanoi. Kim & Chang said that a future Hanoi office is under consideration.
The opening in Vietnam represents a rare foreign office for the conservative Kim & Chang, whose only other office outside of the Korean peninsula is in Hong Kong, where the firm set up shop in 2012.
The Korean firm, which reported 860 lawyers and $815 million in gross revenue for 2016, placed 49th on last year’s Global 100 survey. Kim & Chang was the only non-verein Asian firm to make the list.
*Updated 6/11: A previous version of this story stated that Kim & Chang’s Ho Chi Minh City office would focus practices including corporate investigations, anti-corruption and white-collar defense due to an error in a statement sent to The Asian Lawyer by Kim & Chang. Kim & Chang’s Ho Chi Minh City office will in fact not practice in those three areas. The second paragraph of this story has been modified to reflect that.