Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin Approved to Open Seoul Office

July 16, 2012

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP announced today that the Korean Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has approved the Firm's application to establish an office in Seoul.  A ceremony was held at the MoJ's office on July 16 (Seoul time) at which time Sheppard Mullin officially received its approval.

Sheppard Mullin is among the first three law firms in the United States and the European Union to receive this approval.  The firm has now applied for registration with the Korean Bar Association, which is the final step needed before the firm may open its office in Seoul.

Partner Seth (Byoung Soo) Kim, previously based in Sheppard Mullin's New York and Los Angeles offices and chair of the firm's Korea practice, will lead the new office. Partners Gary Halling and Ken Carl will be integral members of the Korea team and will anchor the U.S.-side of the firm's practice from their offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively.

"We are extremely pleased that our application to open an office in Seoul has been successful and honored to be among the first firms approved.  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 Guy Halgren, chairman of Sheppard Mullin.  "Opening an office in Korea marks a natural expansion of our greater Asia practice."

"I thank the Ministry of Justice for its assistance during the process and look forward to cooperating with the Korean Bar Association on the final approval we need to open.  I am very excited about my return to Korea and leading the Seoul office," Kim commented.  "I look forward to growing the new office and working more closely with my Korean clients."

Sheppard Mullin's Korea-based clients include Samsung, Hyundai Motor, Korea Development Bank, Kookmin Bank, Hana Bank, Woori Bank and Shinhan Bank.

Kim is a member of Sheppard Mullin's Finance and Bankruptcy practice group.  He specializes in entertainment law, commercial law, bankruptcy, bank regulatory matters, and bank acquisition transactions. Kim is a graduate of Seoul National University.

Halling is Sheppard Mullin's Antitrust and Trade Regulation practice group leader. He specializes in international antitrust and unfair competition matters, and has extensive experience in civil and criminal antitrust proceedings involving both federal and state enforcement agencies.  Halling is a former Trial Attorney at the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division in Washington, D.C.

Carl is a member of the Finance and Bankruptcy practice group. He specializes in banking law and corporate finance, advising lenders and borrowers in financing transactions and bank clients in regulatory matters.  Carl represents a number of major Korean and U.S. financial institutions and companies, including several S&P 500 members.