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South Korea > Projects and energy > Foreign firms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Projects and energy: foreign firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Young Joon Kim - Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
    • Stephen Le Vesconte - Linklaters
    • Daniel Lee - DLA Piper

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

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Allen & Overy LLP Foreign Legal Consultant Office’s ‘good, strong Seoul-based team’ is led by Matthias Voss and Jean Lee, who handle an even balance of sponsor and lender mandates. Recent highlights include advising the lenders, including K-Exim and K-Sure, on the development of a floating LNG facility in Mozambique, and acting for Korea Midland Power Company on the development of an independent power producer (IPP) project in Indonesia. Counsel Kyu Bang specialises in sponsor-side mandates, and associate David Rho regularly advises Korean export credit agencies (ECAs). Korea Water Resources and Kepco are also clients.

Linklaters leverages off its expertise in the banking sector to regularly advise international lenders on major energy projects, and the team also acts for a range of Korean ECAs and commercial banks including K-Exim and K-Sure. Recent work included advising on the $1.7bn financing of a petrochemicals complex in Louisiana, US, and assisting with the project financing of the development of the Morupule B Phase II Units 5 & 6 coal-fired power project in Botswana. The team also acts for sponsors and is advising a Korean consortium on its bid for a power plant project in South Asia. Head of practice Stephen Le Vesconte and managing associate Joo Hee Lee are the main contacts.

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, senior associate Ken Nam leads on projects and energy work following Lewis McDonald’s move to the firm’s Tokyo office. The practice is possibly most noteworthy for its corporate transactional capability (with new managing partner Dongho Lee also active in this space), although it also acts for sponsors and procurers of energy. McDonald and Nam advised Korea Gas on the development of an onshore LNG liquefaction project and an offshore floating LNG project, and related upstream and downstream projects in the Rovuma Basin LNG development in Mozambique. Other clients include Korea Midland Power, Samsung C&T and Daelim Energy.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP’s team is led by Young Joon Kim, who has a strong reputation in the market for lender-side finance work. In one highlight Kim advised a group of lenders including JBIC and DBS Bank on the $4.3bn financing of a 2,000 MW coal-fired power plant in Indonesia. Kim was also busy in the asset finance space, where his work takes in energy transport including ethane ships. K-Exim and K-Sure are key clients.

From its offices in London, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo, Norton Rose Fulbright acts for a range of Korean financial institutions and chaebols including Daewoo International, K-Exim and Samsung. Sydney-based Cameron Thomson continued to advise Posco Engineering & Construction on the delivery of a new strategic terminal at the port of Abbot Point in Queensland, and Singapore-based counsel Laurie Pearson assisted Daewoo International Corporation with its bid for the Shwe Taung 75 MW gas-fired IPP project in Myanmar. Project finance specialists Charles Whitney and George Gibson, who are based in London and Tokyo respectively, are additional contacts.

Shearman & Sterling is, according to one client, ‘one of the best law firms in the IPP industry (both sponsor and lender side)’, with Singapore-based William McCormack showing ‘great interaction and understanding of Korean clients’. McCormack advised a group of lenders, including K-Sure, on the financing of the $545m 200MW Kalsel coal-fired IPP project in Indonesia, and acted for a consortium, which included Posco Energy, on the development of a greenfield coal-fired combined heat and power plant in Mongolia. Other names to note include Singapore-based Ben Shorten and London-based John Inglis.

White & Case LLP (Foreign Legal Consultant Office) has a strong international presence in the energy industry, particularly regarding LNG projects. The firm regularly acts for Korean lenders and sponsors and further enhanced its capability in this respect with the hire of a number of project lawyers from Herbert Smith Freehills’ Sydney office. In one highlight the team is advising the lenders, including K-Sure and K-Exim, on the $5.6bn financing of the Oltin Yo’l GTL Plant in Uzbekistan. In the Seoul office Ji Hoon Hong is the main contact. London-based Saul Daniel and Mark Castillo-Bernaus are also noted.

DLA Piper represents Korea-based companies with overseas business interests across a variety of sectors, including infrastructure, oil and gas, power, and mining. The practice is particularly known for advising on the construction, operation and maintenance aspects of major projects, although it also handles investment work. Practice head Daniel Lee and directors Theresa Huh and DK Donghyun Kim are the names to note.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s opening of an office in Seoul in 2016 has helped to develop the firm’s share of the Korean market, including investment work for the likes of K-Exim. Joseph Bevash, who manages the Tokyo and Seoul offices, acted for Korea Midland Power, as sponsor and operations and maintenance services provider, on the $595m development and financing of the 660-MW Cirebon coal-fired power project in West Java; and for the same client Seoul-based Sungjin Kang advised on the development and financing of the Bangka-1 Coal Fired IPP in Indonesia.

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