Managing Partner: Beomsu Kim
Number of partners: 6
Number of lawyers: 23
Languages: English, Korean
KL Partners was founded in 2015 by a group of leading specialists in the fields of international dispute resolution and corporate/M&A. Led by partners who have consistently been recognised by foremost legal publications as leaders in their respective fields, KL Partners consistently finds itself at the forefront of Korea’s most significant disputes and high-profile M&A transactions.
KL Partners does not seek to be the largest firm in Korea. Rather, its goal is to be the firm of choice for clients facing difficult legal issues, challenging disputes and critical business dealings. KL Partners’ core values are providing dedicated client service based on a keen understanding of the client’s needs and goals, ensuring the highest quality of service led by hands-on partners from start to finish, and offering value-added service by lean teams comprised of specialists in the relevant fields.
Main Areas of Practice:
International Dispute Resolution:
KL Partners is the first firm of its kind in Korea to specialise specifically in cross-border litigation and international arbitration.
Based on its partners’ prior experience and background as leading corporate/M&A attorneys in Korea, KL Partners is recognised as a market leader with unparalleled hands-on experience and expertise in post-M&A and/ or corporate related disputes (e.g., shareholder disputes, post-merger disputes, joint venture, earn-outs, commodity sales, etc.). As a result, KL Partners has been chosen by sophisticated M&A participants, who are able to recognise the difference between ‘general practitioners’ and ‘industry specialists’, to handle the most complicated and high-profile post-M&A arbitration cases in Korea.
Investor-State Disputes (ISD):
The firm’s partners are widely known and recognised as pioneers and front-runners in the emerging area of investor-state disputes (ISD) in Korea, having represented the investor in the first-ever ICSID proceeding brought against the Republic of Korea. The firm has also recently been selected to act in two additional ISD cases, further solidifying its position as the market leader in the area of investor-state disputes.
KL Partners advises on a broad range of corporate matters, including M&A, cross-border investments and private equity transactions. KL Partners’ corporate/M&A team is led by partners who have consistently been recognised by foremost legal publications as ‘Leading Lawyers’ in the field of corporate/ M&A in Korea. Since its opening, KL Partners has been retained to handle some of the most high-profile domestic and cross-border M&A transactions and has consistently been ranked in the Korea M&A league tables as one of the top law firms in terms of deal size and volume.
International Dispute Resolution:
Recent international or cross-border cases include:
■ Representation of two US investors in separate ISD claims against the Republic of Korea, including the largest ISD claim to date under the KOR-US FTA
■ Representation of a Belgian investor in the first ever investor-state dispute (ISD) brought against the Republic of Korea
■ Representation of a leading Korean private equity fund in an ICC arbitration relating to its disposition of one of the largest insurance companies in Korea
■ Representation of a leading Korean private equity fund in an ICC arbitration relating to its investment in a global financial institution in Korea
■ Representation of a foreign private equity fund in an ICC arbitration seated in Singapore against one of the largest financial institutions in Korea