Foreign startups and companies looking to enter the Korean market often face complex legal requirements and regulations that can be challenging to navigate. It is crucial for these businesses to seek legal advice to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations, as well as to mitigate potential risks and liabilities.
English-speaking law firms can be particularly beneficial for foreign startups and companies, as they can provide legal services in a language that these businesses are more comfortable with. This can help to facilitate communication and ensure that the businesses fully understand the legal implications of their actions. Additionally, English-speaking law firms may have a better understanding of the legal systems and cultural nuances in both Korea and the businesses’ home countries, allowing for more effective representation and negotiation.
Overall, foreign startups and companies looking to enter Korea should seek legal advice from reputable English-speaking law firms to ensure a smooth and successful entry into the Korean market.
1. Kim& Chang: It is the largest law firm in Korea, with a team of over 1,300 law professionals belonging to various nationalities, including Korean, Chinese, US, French, British, and Europe. They specialize in European laws, patent trademark attorneys, and other subject experts. The firm has a dedicated team of English-speaking lawyers who can assist foreign clients with various legal matters. The firm has a broad client base that includes startups in multiple industries, and it provides legal services and advice to help these startups navigate the complex legal landscape in Korea.
As one of Korea’s largest and most prominent law firms, Kim & Chang has worked with leading Korean startups like Coupang, Woowa Brothers, Yanolja, Lunit, and Sendbird. The firm advises startups on various legal matters, including regulatory compliance, IP protection, M&A transactions, IPO, licensing agreements, financing, and international expansion.
2. Bae, Kim & Lee LLC: It is a full-service law firm providing legal services in Korea for over 35 years. The firm has a team of over 700 lawyers and other professionals, including English-speaking lawyers qualified in Korean and foreign jurisdictions, accountants, patent attorneys and other qualified specialists and advisors.
BKL offers expertise across a full range of practice areas, including corporate/M&A, foreign investment, finance, fair trade and competition, regulatory, labor and employment, tax, intellectual property, real estate and construction, criminal matters, litigation, dispute resolution and arbitration. BKL has offices in Seoul, Vietnam, China, Singapore and Indonesia.
3. Lee & Ko: The second-largest law firm in South Korea has about 500 attorneys, offering a wide range of legal services. In addition to their main office in Seoul, they have offices in China and Vietnam. Lee & Ko has a special division for Intellectual Property issues.
Some English-speaking clients that Lee & Ko has worked with include Apple, Google, Pfizer, and Marriott International. The law firm is committed to providing high-quality legal services to foreign clients and helping them navigate Korea’s complex legal and regulatory landscape.
Lee & Ko has worked with startups like Zigbang, a leading real estate platform that provides rental and sales listings. The law firm has advised Zigbang on various legal matters, including regulatory compliance and IPO. Another startup that Lee & Ko has worked with is Musinsa, a popular e-commerce platform selling Korean fashion brands. Lee & Ko has advised Musinsa on regulatory compliance, IP protection, and financing.
Additionally, Lee & Ko has worked with Viva Republica, the company behind Toss’s mobile payment app and Memebox, a Korean beauty startup. The law firm has provided legal services to these startups on various matters such as regulatory compliance, IP protection, financing, and M&A transactions.
4. Yulchon: It is a full-service law firm advising on a full range of specialized practice areas, including corporate & finance, antitrust, tax, real estate & construction, dispute resolution, intellectual property & technology, and labor & employment.
The firm was established in 1997 and had more than 600 professionals. In addition to our main offices in Seoul, Yulchon has six overseas offices in five jurisdictions and ten regional practice teams worldwide. The firm provides the highest quality of legal services to its clients around the globe, including their most complex legal matters.
5. SEUM: It is a boutique law firm, has emerged as a legal powerhouse founded by accomplished attorneys from Korea’s premier law practices. Specializing in general corporate and litigation services across diverse sectors, SEUM has become the foremost Korean law firm for startup companies, technology enterprises, and venture capital funds. Their commitment to providing comprehensive legal support reflects in their distinguished position as leaders in the legal landscape.
Operating on both a local and global scale, SEUM collaborates seamlessly with Korean and international clients. The firm’s prowess in handling a broad spectrum of local and cross-border matters demonstrates its dedication to delivering clear and practical legal advice. SEUM’s clientele includes notable investment funds such as 500 Startups, Legend Capital, and Mirae Asset, along with major corporations like Hanwha, Naver, WeMakePrice, and Kakao Mobility. The firm’s association with innovative startups such as Zipdoc, Fly & Company, MangoPlate, and Stradvision underscores its versatility in catering to a diverse range of legal needs.
SEUM’s accolades, including being featured in Asian Legal Business’s “Firms to Watch” list for 2017 and selected as one of the best boutique law firms in Korea for two consecutive years, affirm its status as a rising force and a stalwart in legal innovation. As SEUM continues to thrive, it remains an instrumental player in shaping the legal landscape for startups, technology companies, and venture capital funds in Korea.
6. IPG Legal: IPG Legal professionals are consistently ranked in legal and business publications as top lawyers and business professionals with global experience and local connections. The firm focuses on business laws, cross-border issues, civil litigation, franchise law, and criminal defense. The company has enough English-speaking client experience handling matters for companies and individuals in North America, most of Asia and the Middle East.
IPG Legal professionals contribute to The Korean Law Blog, The New York Law Blog, and The China Business Law Blog. Primary news sources quote them regularly and publish articles and treatises in legal and business journals.
7. Hwang Mok Park (HMP) Law: HMP Law offers legal skills in all international practice areas, focusing on cross-border transactions, general corporate affairs, M&A and healthcare. The law firm has recently extended service offerings to include IP protection and litigation, tax accounting, CPA and franchising.
The firm has a strong reputation for its expertise in advising startups and emerging growth companies. It has been recognized by various legal directories and publications for its work in this area.
HMP Law’s clients include Korean and foreign startups, venture capital firms, technology companies, and other businesses operating in various industries, including information technology, fintech, healthcare, and entertainment.
HMP Law has been involved in several high-profile cases and transactions, including advising on the merger between ride-hailing services Kakao Mobility and Tada, and representing South Korean esports team Gen.G in a copyright dispute with Chinese gaming company NetEase.
8. Tek & Law: Tek & Law litigates in particular areas, such as Intellectual Property Rights, Personal Information Protection, ICT Business Legal Consultation, Hacking / Infringement Accident, Game Business, Compliance Assistance. Tek& Law has expertise in the complex field of IP laws in Korea. Tek & Law has provided free legal advice in nearly 70 cases as a designated consultative law firm for Startup Alliance, a joint private and public sector network created to help startup companies. A number of these startups that were helped by Tek & Law, include 8 percent, Hankook NFC, OpenTrade, and Callbus Lab. As a pioneering law firm in the FinTech field, Tek & Law has also provided specialized legal services in ICT sectors including FinTech, IoT, O2O (Online to Offline business), big data, healthcare and new energy.
9. Jipyong: The Korean firm with over 300 professionals, provides top-rated services in all major areas of law, including litigation, corporate law, M&A, cross-border transactions, offshore investment, finance, securities, private equity, construction, real estate, antitrust & competition, labor & employment, bankruptcy, intellectual property, white collar crime, tax, constitutional law, public affairs, insurance, maritime law, international arbitration, and family law.
Jipyong has been a pioneer in overseas legal expertise and cross-border matters. Jipyong now has more overseas operations than any other Korean firm. It has provided investment, market entry, M&A, finance, real estate, energy, infrastructure and dispute resolution services to its clients located in Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, China, Russia, Central Asia, Japan, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the U.S. Jipyong also has the best experts on North Korea, who have long been pioneering legal practice involving North Korea issues.
10. Barun Law LLC: It is Korea’s fastest growing and most dynamic full-service law firm. Barun Law comprises over 200 attorneys who, together with highly qualified support staff, provide a full range of legal services.
The firm’s partners include some of the most prominent members of the Bar of the Republic of Korea, and highly experienced team of foreign lawyers, who can work with English-speaking international clients.
Barun Law LLC provides professional legal services to companies and individuals seeking to invest in Southeast Asia (Singapore, Vietnam, etc.) from Korea, and it also holds a proven track record of having successfully represented many Korean companies in various litigation and arbitration cases filed the region. Barun Law provides high quality legal service on Korean law to companies that are headquartered in Southeast Asia and do business in Korea by way of establishing subsidiaries, etc. in Korea. Barun Law established a representative office in Singapore, the business hub of Southeast Asia, in September 2020.
11. Yoon & Yang LLC: The firm offers a wide range of legal services, including corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, finance, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation and dispute resolution, and more. The firm represents clients from a variety of industries, including technology, finance, healthcare, and entertainment.
As a startup, if you are looking for legal assistance with English-speaking lawyers, Yoon & Yang LLC professionals can provide advice on issues such as company formation, fundraising, contracts, intellectual property protection, and regulatory compliance. The firm also has experience working with startups in various stages of growth, from early-stage companies to established enterprises.
The firm has opened two offices in Vietnam, in addition to its Tashkent office in Uzbekistan. The firm now has over 500 professionals with diverse expertise providing one-stop solutions that include both legal advice and practical solutions. The firm has a strong client base including large Korean corporations as well as numerous multinational businesses.