South Korean firm Lee & Ko's international construction disputes head, David Kim, has taken his practice to Baker McKenzie and KL Partners' South Korean joint venture law firm, Baker McKenzie KLP JV.
The joint venture received regulatory approval about two months ago and currently has around 20 lawyers.
Kim, who joins as a partner in Seoul, advises multinational corporations, government entities and defence contractors on commercial disputes, particularly in the construction, shipping, military contracts, energy, telecommunications and investor-state dispute sectors.
His hire is in anticipation of a rise in volume of commercial disputes, said Won Lee, who heads Baker McKenzie's Korea practice. "With the economic cycle expected to drive up the volume of corporate disputes, David's arrival not only bolsters our ability to better support our Korean clients with their growing legal needs in cross-border disputes but also attests to our commitment to growing our Korea service offering."
Baker McKenzie was the second firm to receive approval for a JV in South Korea, a market that has been historically closed off to foreign law firms. Global rival Ashurst launched a JV last November with mid-sized Korean law firm HwaHyun.