Our Seoul office gives clients ready access to over 35 years of Korean-market experience.
Local know-how, regional and international reach
Clifford Chance is committed to Korea. We've worked with Korean clients for more than 35 years and were one of the first international law firms to open an office in Seoul in 2012. Our clients include Korean and international corporations, banks and financial institutions, and regulatory bodies. We work with Korean businesses who are managing and building their overseas operations, and with international companies who are investing in Korean markets and enterprises.
Our Korea team includes lawyers fluent in Korean and English. We have hands-on experience of Korean and international deals and work closely with Korean-speaking colleagues in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo when clients need to access other markets. The team regularly draws on the firm’s expertise in the full range of practice areas and our global network.
Capability and connections that deliver for all our clients
Complex, international work demands teams who work together to obtain the best possible results and connect clients – both international and Korean – to the right skills and resources.
For example, we are advising Korean clients on several international financings and M&A projects; our Korean competition-law team is working with Korean clients across multiple jurisdictions; and we are advising Korean clients on EU Commission antitrust investigations.
We have been also representing Korean clients in ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL and SIAC arbitrations with our global international group. Legal 500 has ranked us as one of the leading international arbitration firms in Korea for 2016.
- Asia Pacifc Law Firm of the Year
Chambers Asia Pacific Awards 2020
- Advised Mizuho Bank on the financing of US$ 1.8billion acquisition of The Schwan’s Company by CJ CheilJedang
- Advised KEXIM, K-Sure and banks in connection with the project financing of the Canakkale suspension bridge PPP, Turkey, the world’s largest suspension bridge
Turkish Deal of the Year, PFI Award 2019
- Advised Shinhan Bank on the US$ 250 million financing to Bain Capital in its minority share acquisition of CJ Foods America
- Advised Hanwha Life Insurance Co., Ltd. on its issuance of US$ 1 billion 4.7% subordinated capital securities. Largest-scale hybrid security by Korean financial companies since the financial crisis in Korea
- Advised the dealers in connection with Korea Water Resources Corporation ("K-water")'s EMTN programme update and water bond drawdown (First water bond issuance in Asia) and with CHF GMTN program (K-Water's first CHF bond issuance)
- Advised KEXIM, JBIC and the other Lenders in relation to the financing of a 1200MW coal-fired IPP in Nghi Son, Vietnam, sponsored by KEPCO and Marubeni
Asia Pacific Power (Coal) Deal of the Year 2018, IJ Global
- Advised Unilever on its acquisition of Carver Korea, a leading skincare and cosmetics company in Korea, for US$ 2.7 billion
- Advised Citibank as international counsel in connection with Korean Air Lines' High Yield Bond offering, a first-time high yield bond issuance in almost a decade with little precedents in the market
- Advised JPM on 144/Reg S hybrid security offering by Kyobo Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (July 2017)
Debt & equity-linked Deal of the Year by IFLR Asia Awards 2018
- Advised the arranger for the GMTN's CHF takedown by Hyundai Capital Services.
Korea's Best Corporate Bond deal for 2018 by The Asset
- Advised the joint lead managers in connection with Reg S note issuance by Doosan Infracore guaranteed by The Korea Development Bank
- Advised Saudi Public Investment Fund, the investment arm of the Saudi Government, in its acquisition of a 38% stake consisting of new and existing shares in POSCO Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. for approximately USD 1.1 billion
- Advised the joint lead managers in connection with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.'s exchangeable bonds issuance
- Advised the Carlyle Group on its acquisition of ADT CAPS Co., Ltd. and other subsidiaries of Tyco Far East Holdings Ltd. for US$1.93 billion "the largest private equity buyout deal in US dollar value in Korea since 2008"
- Advised Samchully Asset Management Co., Ltd. in its acquisition of:
- a 34% stake in Cardinal Gas Service LLC from Total E&P USA, Inc., a midstream company operating in the Utica formation, and EV Energy Partners, L.P.
- one third undivided ownership interest (33 1/3%) in the Luna Energy Facility, a net, nominal 570 MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle electric generation facility located in Luna County, New Mexico, from Freeport-McMoRan Inc.
- Advised Advanced Petrochemical Company, a Saudi joint stock company, in connection with a joint venture with SK Gas Co., Ltd. for the production of propylene in Korea, valued at US$1 billion
- Advised Hanwha Chemical Corporation on the asset purchase agreement to acquire Q-Cells in Germany
- Advised Daelim Industrial Co., Ltd. in connection with its acquisition of a power station stake in Australia held by Marubeni
- Tier One in Capital Markets (Debt and Equity) (International Firms)
Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific, South Korea 2018, 2019, 2020
- Top rankings in Capital markets: Foreign firms; Corporate and M&A: Foreign firms, International arbitration
Legal 500 Asia Pacific, South Korea 2018, 2019, 2020
- "Clifford Chance is our go-to firm for non-standard, new types of deals," adding: "They go above and beyond our expectations to make things happen."
Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific, South Korea 2019 – Capital Markets (International firms)
- "very experienced and client-friendly; they are also prompt and proactive."
Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific, South Korea 2020 – Capital Markets (International firms)
- "Their strengths are high-quality professional services, a global network, and a lot of experience with both construction projects and international arbitration proceedings."
Chamers and Partners, Asia Pacific, South Korea 2020 – Dispute Resolution (International firms)
- "I have full trust in their capability to handle any complicated project."
Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific, South Korea 2019 – Projects & Infrastructure (International firms)
- "It was remarkable to close a project finance deal in so short a time. Without Clifford Chance's help, it would have been impossible."
Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific, South Korea 2020 – Projects & Infrastructure (International firms)