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Sheppard Mullin Plans Seoul Office Opening

Korea Native Seth (Byoung Soo) Kim To Lead New Office; Client Needs Drive Sheppard Mullin's Asian Expansion

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP today announced that it plans to open an office in Seoul, Korea in the first quarter of 2012.  The announcement follows the recent ratification of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement by both countries and the resulting opening in 2012 of the Korea legal services market to U.S.-based law firms.

Partner Seth (Byoung Soo) Kim, currently based in Sheppard Mullin's New York and Los Angeles offices and chair of the firm's Korea practice, will relocate back to Seoul to lead the 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, as well as splitting time between their U.S. offices 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 Guy Halgren, chairman of Sheppard Mullin.  "Opening an office in Korea marks a natural expansion of our greater Asia practice, which includes offices in Shanghai and Beijing."

"I am very excited about returning 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.   

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