Sheppard Mullin makes it three US firms into Seoul

Sheppard Mullin has become the third US firm that has publicly announced its plan to open a Seoul office in the first quarter of 2012 following the recent ratification of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement by both countries.

US-based Sheppard Mullin partner and chair of the firm’s Korea practice Seth Kim will relocate to Seoul to lead the new office. Partners Gary Halling and Ken Carl, based in San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively, will split time between their US office and Seoul.

“Many of our clients have operations in Korea and it makes sense for us to establish a presence in Seoul to provide the support and guidance that our clients require,” said chairman of Sheppard Mullin Guy Halgren in a statement.

The firm’s Korea-based clients include Samsung, Hyundai Motor, Korea Development Bank, Kookmin Bank, Hana Bank, Woori Bank and Shinhan Bank.

The Seoul office will be the firm’s third in Asia after Beijing and Shanghai. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Paul Hastings are the first two firms to have confirmed plans of a Seoul launch (28 November 2011).