Baker & McKenzie has added its name to the list of firms looking to enter Korea.
The Chicago-based firm announced Tuesday it had applied to the Korean Ministry of Justice for approval to open an office in Seoul. Baker & McKenzie joins almost 20 other international firms that have also applied or stated their intention to do so.
Several, including Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Ropes & Gray, and Clifford Chance, have already been approved and have officially opened their offices in Seoul.
Baker & McKenzie said Nam Hung Paik will lead the office once the application is granted. Paik’s current position at the firm is unclear. Though once a Chicago partner at the firm, Paik was described in the firm’s announcement only as a “veteran lawyer” and has no profile on the Baker & McKenzie website.
Neither a firm spokesperson nor Hong Kong-based Korea practice head Won Lee responded to requests for comment.
In a statement, the firm said its Seoul office would be focusing primarily on cross-border matters for Korean companies, including mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and intellectual property litigation.
The office will be Baker & McKenzie’s 73rd worldwide, and its 15th in the Asia-Pacific region.