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Recent Developments

Prominent M&A Partner Joins Lee & Ko
Lee & Ko is pleased to announce that Allen Ryu has joined the firm as a partner in the Corporate / M&A Practice Groups.  Mr. Ryu represents global companies and private equity firms in mergers and acquisitions and other complex corporate transactions.  

“Allen has a breadth of experience and is a highly regarded lawyer with longstanding relationships with major companies globally, and we are thrilled to welcome him,” said Sang Gon Kim, Managing Partner of Lee & Ko.  “Allen’s experience will bring additional depth to our top-tier capabilities, and our recruitment of Allen is aligned with Lee & Ko’s commitment to strengthen our cross-border M&A practice.” 

Mr. Ryu is widely recognized for his expertise in advising complex corporate M&A and private equity transactions.  Some of his recent notable transactions include eBay’s sale of eBay Korea, Hyundai Motor Group’s JV transaction with Aptiv, Hyundai Motor Group’s majority investment in Boston Dynamics and Centroid Investment Partner’s acquisition of TaylorMade.  Drawing from his prior experience, Mr. Ryu’s practice at Lee & Ko will focus on facilitating outbound investments for Korean companies and managing inbound investments for global private equity firms.
“I am excited to join Lee & Ko and work alongside some of the most respected lawyers in the corporate practice,” said Ryu.  “With the incredible resources at Lee & Ko, I look forward to continue assisting clients on their important transactions and contribute to the firm’s continued growth and success.”
[Law Times] Lee & Ko Scouts Senior Judge Dong Hyeok Kang and High Court Judge Jun A Chang and Gi Sang Chung.
On February 15, 2024, Law Times reported that Lee & Ko has scouted lawyers who worked as a judge. The firm recruited Dong Hyeok Kang, formal senior judge at Seoul Administrative Court, Jun A Chang, formal judge at Seoul High Court and Gi Sang Chung, formal judge at Suwon High Court. Mr. Kang has great expertise in criminal affairs as he has been in charge of the court in several important criminal cases. Mr. Chang is one of the most elite judges in the court who has served several times as the Chief Justice of important courts several times, and is well-versed in corporate litigations. Mr. Chung has been in charge of administrative trials for many years in important courts, and has particularly excellent practical skills in construction and real estate affairs as he wrote a number of dissertations on tax, construction and real estate. 
Attorney Sang Gon Kim Appointed as the New Executive Managing Director of Lee & Ko

Lee & Ko’s attorney Sang Gon Kim (aged 53) was appointed as its new executive managing director.
On February 25th, the managing committee held a meeting to appoint Mr. Kim as its executive managing director. 

This newly inaugurated executive managing director joined Lee & Ko in 1994 after graduating from Seoul National University College of Law and being admitted to the Korean bar in 1994 (a member of 23rd Judicial Research and Training Institute). Mr. Kim has established his position as a leading lawyer in the field of M&A and corporate restructuring. He has handled a wide variety of M&A transactions, whereby some of his more notable cases include a big deal between Samsung and Hanhwa, the Karl Icahn’s takeover attempt of KT&G, and the representation of major conglomerates including LG Group, SK Group and CJ Group in their restructuring into a holding company structure through share transfers. 

For the last thirty years, Mr. Kim spearheaded the firm’s growth by serving as a managing committee member since 2018, and in his role as the managing partner from 2021. His outstanding work capability and leadership has been highly applauded from other members of the committee, and this led to Mr. Kim being named the new executive managing director of the firm.
After the announcement of his appointment, Mr. Kim stated that, “I feel overwhelmed having to take on such an important role, but I will do my utmost best to keep Lee & Ko on the right path and compete with proficiency, as we have always done in the past.”
As one of the largest law firms in Korea, Lee & Ko employs about 780 professionals, including domestic and foreign lawyers, accountants, and patent attorneys, and maintains eight legal practice groups such as corporate, finance, dispute resolution, intellectual property rights, tax, fair trade, labor and criminal defense areas, as well as 80 legal professional teams providing legal advice. Earlier this month, Lee & Ko opened its Pangyo office, where Pangyo is considered home to many IT companies. 
Lee & Ko Opens PanGyo Office

We are pleased to announce the opening of our new PanGyo Office on February 14.  

PangGyo Office will be our first regional office to be set up within Korea.  We have already established our global footprint with offices in Beijing, Hanoi and Ho Chin Minh City, and our PanGyo Office will further take us closer to our clients and provide on-the-ground support to our clients doing business in this dynamic and ever-growing Korean market.

Dong Eun Kim, Managing Partner, will head up the PanGyo Office and Taejoo Kim will manage the office.  Other resident members will be Taejoo Kim (TMT), Jinku Kang (Corporate/M&A), Tae Jung Kim (Corporate/M&A), Hwan Sung Park (IP), Wooyoung Choi (IP), Junghwan (Justin) Maeng (IP), Seung Wan Hahm (Labor), Huijin Chae (Disputes), Tom Shin (Banking and Finance) and You Chull Jung (Financial Disputes).  They are a dedicated team of sector specialists known for their expertise and will provide comprehensive and focused response to our clients’ legal needs.

PanGyo Office will be supported by 780+ professionals in the firm’s Seoul Office to provide a seamless, one-office system service to our clients on corporate, M&A, banking and finance, capital markets, tax, fair competition, government regulations, healthcare, serious accidents, disputes and corporate criminal matters.

Lee & Ko has achieved a spectacular growth of 14.2% from last year and posted a revenue of KRW 365.8 billion for 2021.  We have firmly positioned ourselves as the second largest law firm in Korea thanks in large part to the trust and support from our clients.  

We have started 2022 with our representation in two of the major cases to make news in Korea this year: the Osstem Implant embezzlement case (one of the largest employee embezzlement case in history) and Sampyo quarry accident case, which is anticipated to be the first prosecuted case under the new Serious Accidents Punishment Act.   We have assigned a strong team of specialists to provide on-the-ground and expert advice to assist our clients to respond in a timely and efficient manner in these controversial cases.  Lee & Ko will continue to work closely with our clients and provide prompt and responsive advice that can be trusted. 
New Year Address by Yong-Seok Ahn, Lee & Ko’s Managing Partner


As we welcome 2022 together, I would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a new year filled with hope and happiness.


Even though the past year was filled with various challenges and hardships due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed people from all walks of life pulling together as a community and doing their utmost to pursue the well-being and development of our community. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to these people, who have shown us the courage and strength to face 2022 with renewed optimism.


2021 was a very busy year for Lee & Ko, with highly capable professionals from more than 80 teams actively engaged in various matters. Last year, we saw an appreciable increase in the number of cases handled by our firm, both in terms of advisory matters including M&A, financial transactions, and compliance consulting, as well as dispute-related cases including litigation, arbitration, adjudication, and criminal cases.


This year, we will continue to provide quality legal services at home and abroad as your trusted partners. In 2022, we will especially focus on further enhancing the level of professionalism, specialization and efficiency of our services so that we can provide the best value not only to our clients, but to members of our firm as well. To this end, we are opening our Pangyo Office in February to enhance operational efficiency and convenience for both our clients and lawyers.


We at Lee & Ko firmly believe that our goals for growth should be guided by the fundamental principle of justice. In the Year of the Black Tiger, my hope is that we can all make courageous advances like brave tigers while remaining steadfast with our values and keeping to the right path forward. With our core values always in mind, we vow to fulfill our roles and responsibilities as a leading law firm in Korea and to dedicate our services to facilitate greater development in the legal services industry.  


Thank you again for your continued support, trust and partnership over the past 44 years. We wish this year will be a wonderful year full of health and peace for everyone.


Yong Seok Ahn

Managing Partner, Lee & Ko 

Lee & Ko Welcomes Chaemin Jung, Former Head of the National Police Agency’s Security Crime Analysis Division
The addition of Mr. Jung, the former head of the National Police Agency’s Security Crime Analysis Division, is aimed at strengthening its corporate criminal defense team.

In his 16 years of police service, Mr. Jung (34th Judicial Research & Training Institute) encompassed a wide range of intelligence, economy, and cybercrime investigation-related experiences in his career as the head of the investigation department at Seoul Jongro and Bangbae Police Stations, the head of criminal affairs department at Seoul Songpa and Dongdaemun Police Stations, the Head of Scientific Investigation Department at Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. Also, after the launch of the National Office of Investigation of the National Policy Agency, Mr. Jung, in his capacity as the head of its Security Crime Analysis Division, played an active role in strengthening the division’s ability to investigate industrial technology leaks and defense-related corruptions.

Lee & Ko expects that the recruitment of Mr. Jung will enhance the capabilities of our corporate criminal defense team.