Ashurst to launch in – Korea new joint venture with HwaHyun signals growth ambitions in Asia

Global law firm Ashurst today announces it will be establishing a joint venture with Korean law firm HwaHyun.

Ashurst Korea JV, will significantly expand Ashurst’s existing outbound Korean practice by building a local presence. In a market first, through the JV, Ashurst becomes the first global firm permitted to practice Korean law since the legal market opened in 2011.

The JV was approved by the Korean Ministry of Justice on 29 November 2022.

“This is the first JV between a Korean firm and an international firm in South Korea, which is an exciting development both for our Asia offering and the global firm. Asia is a critically important part of Ashurst’s strategy and throughout the last year we have continued to make focused and strategic investments in the region. The JV reflects our ambitions in the market,” said Paul Jenkins, Global CEO of Ashurst.

“Over the last 12 months we have seen strong performance in Asia which we expect to continue. By combining Ashurst’s global strength with HwaHyun’s local expertise, the joint venture will help us service our clients with their inbound and outbound business opportunities. I am confident that this partnership will be a great success for our people and our clients.”

Jini Lee, Ashurst’s Head of Region for Asia, noted that Ashurst has a well-established and successful outbound Korean practice, which advises a wide range of leading Korean corporates on high profile and complex cross-border transactions. “HwaHyun’s significant expertise and deep understanding of the Korean market is a perfect complement to our existing offering. The joint venture will allow us to provide exceptional service to our clients and to further develop our capability and drive forward our success in the market.”

Kyung-Shik Shin, Managing Partner of HwaHyun, said: “Ashurst has impressive credentials and a clear vision and strategy for what it wants to achieve in Asia and globally. HwaHyun is a solid mid-sized law firm in Korea with very strong local capabilities and continuing aspirations for international practices. This significant development is a key step in both firms delivering on their ambitions.”

Currently led by John Kim and Huiyeon Kim, Ashurst’s outbound Korean practice operates across a number of offices. Clients of the practice include Hyundai Motor Group, Samsung Group, SK Group, POSCO and Hanwha Group.

HwaHyun is a full-service law firm in Korea, specialising in corporate, intellectual property & technology, and dispute resolution, led by Co-Managing Partners Kyung-Shik Shin and Nak Song Sung. Kyung-Shik Shin spent 27 years in public service, including as the Chief Prosecutor of the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office, while Nak Song Sung served as a judge for more than 30 years.

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