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TEL
+82-2-772-4751
E-mail
samuel.kwon@leeko.com

Samuel (Soon-Yub) Kwon

Senior Foreign Attorney
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Expertise

Corporate, Data Privacy & Cybersecurity, Healthcare, Mergers & Acquisitions, Environment, Health & Safety, TMT, Start-ups, Foreign Investment, Medical Institutions, North Korea · Unification Laws

Languages

Korean and English

Introduction

Samuel (Soon-Yub) Kwon is currently serving as Chair of the firm’s International Practice Group and also heads up the firm’s TMT Practice Group and North Korea team.  As a senior foreign attorney, Mr. Kwon has extensive experience in advising both domestic and international clients over a broad range of transactional and regulatory matters in TMT, healthcare, data protection, and corporate sectors.  Among clients, Mr. Kwon is well recognized for his solution-oriented advice with respect to their legal and regulatory issues, which is derived from his wealth of relevant work experience.  His prior experience also includes serving as a senior corporate officer at several major Korean telecom companies, working for more than a decade at a major international law firm in the U.S., and advising the Korean government on various national policies.

Prior to joining Lee & Ko in 2010, Mr. Kwon served as Executive Vice President of Information and Telecom at SK Holdings, Co., Ltd. in Korea, overseeing the performance of the SK Group’s information/telecom services companies, during which time he also served as the SK Group’s Chief Privacy Officer (CPO).  As the SK Group’s CPO, Mr. Kwon established SK Group’s compliance program based on personal information protection laws and regulations of Korea, and also devised and implemented education/training programs for relevant officers of SK Group companies.  Since he joined Lee & Ko, Mr. Kwon has maintained a strong track record of successfully advising foreign clients on various high-profile issues under Korea’s stringent privacy/data protection regulations.  In particular, Mr. Kwon provided assistance for the clients’ successful launching of focused marketing plans for Korea utilizing customer information, and represented clients in connection with the Korean government’s investigations with respect to their data breach incidents. 

Mr. Kwon’s expertise also encompasses the healthcare industry.  His recent work includes representing Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) in connection with its negotiation and implementation of a hospital operation contract, in which SNUH would operate a UAE Government-owned specialty hospital, advising Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital on the establishment and operation of an advanced medical diagnostic center in Abu Dhabi, and advising Samsung Medical Center (SMC) in connection with a joint project involving Singaporean healthcare service providers, in which the SMC teams up with five major Singaporean educational and medical institutions for the commercialization of certain advanced cancer treatment solutions developed by the SMC.  Mr. Kwon was also extensively involved in a leading Korean hospital’s negotiation of a hospital operation contract with the Kuwait Government, in which the hospital would operate one of the largest hospitals owned by the Kuwait Government.  He is currently serving as a senior advisor to Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare regarding the exportation of Korea’s health care delivery system into foreign countries, and is an active member of the Korean Government’s “Committee for Reviewing Policies in Support of the Overseas Expansion of the Korean Healthcare System and Attraction of International Patients” since 2016.  In addition, Mr. Kwon is currently undertaking a major legislative project on behalf of a group of international and domestic clients for use of Korea’s extensive clinical data for the launching of Korea’s own medical big data services.  

Mr. Kwon has been also representing a number of Lee & Ko’s international and domestic clients in their M&A transactions.  Most recently, he represented a wholly-owned Korean subsidiary of a major global financial services company in the acquisition of several waste-to-energy management companies in Korea, and also successfully represented a major global asset management company in devising and implementing an exit strategy with respect to their extensive assets in the Korean industry. 

Prior to returning to Korea in 2000, Mr. Kwon worked at the Washington, D.C. office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison for thirteen years since 1987, where he was elected International Trade Counsel in January 1996.  In Washington, Mr. Kwon specialized in international trade and investment issues, and was a major player in a number of mergers & acquisitions, and investment projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  He also served as outside counsel for the Embassy of Korea in Washington, D.C., and negotiated several strategic alliance arrangements between Asian and non-Asian firms. 

Education

1987 Columbia Law School, J.D.
1984 University of Pennsylvania Law School, LL.M.
1980 Seoul National University, LL.B.

Work Experience

2010-Present Lee & Ko
2018-Present Member of the Presidential Committee on Economic Cooperation with Northern Region Countries
2018-Present Advisory committee member of Internet Win-win Development Committee
2016-Present Civilian committee member for the Ministry of Health and Welfare Biohealth industry
2016-Present Committee member for Ministry of Health and Welfare for foreign expansion of healthcare
2015-2017 Director of Korea Communications Agency
2014-2017 Nonexecutive director of Ezcaretech ( IT subsidiary of SNUH)
2012-Present Advisory committee member of Seoul National University Hospital
2010-Present Director of EMK Korea and affiliates (Vinotec, Emk-sk, Dana energy, Shindaehan)
2008-2009 Executive Vice President for Telecommunications and Information, SK Holdings
                  Executive Vice President, SK Research Institute
2003-2006 Representative Director, Hanaro Telecom
                 Representative Director, Thrunet
2000-2002 Executive Vice President, Hansol M.com and Representative Director, Hansol iGlobe
1987-1999 International Trade Counsel, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind,, Wharton & Garrison

Admissions

Admitted to Bar, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.: 1988; State of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.: 1987

Awards and Recognitions
• TMT, M&A – Leaders in their Field(Chambers Asia Pacific) (2014) -
• National Medal of Merit by the Government of the Republic of Korea. (2005) -
• Presidential Award by Government of the Republic of Korea (1997) -
• Minister’s Award by the Ministry of Information and Communications - Recognition of the significant contributions - to the successful resolution of market access issues between Korea and the