Watson Farley & Williams adds two Partners as it opens its Seoul office Watson Farley & Williams, a UK law firm, has opened an office in Seoul, South Korea. The firm has hired partners Eugene Chang and Philip Kim, from K&L Gates and Herbert Smith Freehills respectively, to run the office. The office will focus on maritime, aviation, energy, and disputes work and is being seen as...
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Watson Farley & Williams adds two Partners as it opens its Seoul office
Watson Farley & Williams, a UK law firm, has opened an office in Seoul, South Korea. The firm has hired partners Eugene Chang and Philip Kim, from K&L Gates and Herbert Smith Freehills respectively, to run the office. The office will focus on maritime, aviation, energy, and disputes work and is being seen as a "game-changer" for the firm's Asia Pacific projects practice.
This is the fifth office of the firm in Asia. The move would enable it to expand its offering across the region and also allow the firm to develop its existing South Korea-based relationships and establish a strong presence in the country.
"Having an office in Seoul is crucial to maintaining and growing our Korean business and is key for boosting integration across our other offices in Asia," Watson Farley & Williams senior partner George Paleokrassas said.
"With South Korea having one of the strongest economies in Asia and being one of the largest shipbuilding nations in the world, as well as a renewed focus on energy transition, there has never been a better time for WFW to open in Seoul," Paleokrassas added.
Eugene Chang was previously with K&L Gates in Seoul. He joined K&L Gates in 2018 as a partner from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. Chang has a focus on cross-border energy and infrastructure project development, structured and project finance, and M&A. Throughout his career, he has represented major Korean companies such as Korea Development Bank, KEPCO, POSCO, SK, Hanwha, and Hyundai Heavy Industry, advising them on their outbound energy projects. He will split his time between the firm's Seoul and New York offices.
Chang expressed his excitement about joining Watson Farley & Williams, saying, "I look forward to cementing existing relationships with clients that we already share and to undertaking new and exciting challenges with my colleagues to help the firm continue to grow and build on its existing successes."
Philip Kim spent six years with Herbert Smith Freehills in Korea before joining Watson Farley & Williams last November as a partner. He initially worked in the London office before relocating for the launch of the Seoul office. Kim is an international arbitration practitioner with expertise in post-M&A, technology, and public international law disputes. He has established a strong reputation in Korea for his disputes and technology practice.
"Our new Seoul office represents a real game-changer for our Asia Pacific projects practice, giving us a presence on the ground in one of the region's most dynamic and active markets in sector," said Watson Farley & Williams Asia projects and corporate group head, Linh Doan.
"I look forward to helping WFW build a substantial and sustainable international commercial arbitration practice. The firm's practices in arbitration, insurance, energy and shipping complement my existing practice wonderfully given the high and consistent demand for legal services in these areas in South Korea," Kim added.