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DLA Piper to create lawyer jobs in Korea

Posted by: Laurence Simons 08/01/13

International law firm DLA Piper is to create jobs for lawyers in South Korea by opening a new office in the country, having gained approval from the ministry of justice to practice law there.

The site is to be based in Seoul and will be led by country managing partner Daniel Lee, who has a great deal of experience in Asia and currently works in the company's well-regarded Tokyo office.

According to DLA Piper, this marks a significant step towards its ambition of becoming the world's leading business law firm, as well as giving it a major opportunity to expand into the growing Asian market and take advantage of the possibilities for growth it contains.

Sir Nigel Knowles, the company's co-chief executive officer, suggested that the new office will help it act as a "conduit" for clients who want to do business in Korea as well as for Korean firms that want to connect with the rest of the world.

"Collectively we will aim to maximise the opportunities for businesses in this diverse, dynamic and growing economic environment," he added.

South Korea is the world's 12th largest economy and has formed a number of trade links with the UK. It has also performed better than many of its counterparts in recent years, with the country's economy growing by 3.6 per cent in 2011.

The introduction of the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement ensured that businesses will continue to invest in the region, while many Korean consumers are keen on goods from the UK and Europe.

"As the fourth largest economy in Asia, Korea will play a central role in DLA Piper's continued growth across Asia Pacific," said managing director for the region Bob Charlton.

Managing partner Daniel Lee concluded that the firm's global expertise and experience in Korea will ensure that the new office can strengthen existing relationships while creating new ones across Asia. There is no doubt that the company is staking a claim to be one of the world's most cosmopolitan legal organisations, with 4,200 legal professionals across 30 different countries.

However, it is not the only legal company to look towards exotic shores in an attempt to escape the bleak economic climate facing many developed countries.

Indeed, rival firm Baker & McKenzie recently opened its own Seoul office and is hoping to focus on the potentially lucrative energy, mining and infrastructure sectors, which look set to grow over the coming years as Korea becomes a major global player.