The Atlanta-based law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP announced on March 5 that the Korean government has approved the firm’s application to open a legal consultant office in Seoul, Korea’s capital.
Andrew Park, who joined McKenna Long in 2001 after working for seven years at Kim & Chang, Korea’s largest law firm where he served as foreign counsel for major American, Asian and European companies in connection with intellectual property matters and commercial transactions.
Jeff Haidet, McKenna Long’s chairman, said in a press release that the government’s approval marks “a natural evolution for the firm to expand our capabilities in order to meet clients’ needs.”
Mr. Haidet pointed to the firm’s 50 years of experience in government contracts and regulatory matters often involved in international transactions.
“We’re looking forward to leveraging new opportunities for our clients throughout the United States and Korea,” he said.
Song Jung, McKenna Long’s intellectual property and technology practice chair and a member of the board of directors of the Korea Society in New York said that the firm’s ties in the Korean business community create opportunities for U.S. and Korean companies seeking to take full advantage of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
The agreement, which was implemented a year ago, eases the entry of U.S. service providers into Korea including law firms that once approved may advise Korean individuals and companies on U.S. and international law.
Under the agreement, U.S. firms are to be able to form alliances with Korean firms or enter into cooperative agreements to provide advice on Korean law in 2014. By 2017, they are to be able to hire native Korean attorneys.
McKenna Long joins approximately a dozen U.S. law firms that have received similar approvals from Korea’s Ministry of Justice.
While at Kim & Chang, Mr. Park served as chair of the Intellectual Property Rights Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Seoul during which time he advised officials from the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office and the U.S. Embassy in Korea.
Mr. Park received his bachelor's of arts degree from the University of Virginia and his law degree from Rutgers School of Law.
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