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South Korea > Projects and energy > 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
    • Stephen Le Vesconte - Linklaters
    • Matthias Voss - Allen & Overy LLP Foreign Legal Consultant Office

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Joo Hee Lee - Linklaters
    • Ken Nam - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
    • Brian Youn - Milbank

Allen & Overy LLP Foreign Legal Consultant Office advises financial institutions, multilateral agencies, sponsors and construction firms on outbound transactions and investments in the most prominent international energy and infrastructure projects. The practice is noted for its strength in cross-border Korean outbound projects and its close ties with domestic export credit agencies. Practice co-head Matthias Voss acted for a group of lenders, as international and Vietnamese counsel on the $5bn financing of the Nghi Son Refinery Project in Vietnam. Co-head Jean Lee and Voss are also advising export credit agencies and lenders in relation to the development of a floating liquified natural gas facility in Mozambique. Henry Sohn has relocated to the Seoul office from London.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a strong offering, particularly within the renewable energy sector and projects in emerging markets. Significant cases include advising KOGAS on its interest in the Area 4 Rovuma Basin LNG development in Mozambique, including an onshore LNG liquefaction project, offshore Coral FLNG Project and related upstream and downstream projects. McDonald and Dongho Lee lead the team and have ‘very good client management and communication skills’. Senior associate Ken Nam is active in numerous significant cases and is a key member of the team. Elsewhere, Tokyo-based head of corporate practice Lewis McDonald continues to assist Samsung C&T in relation to sub-contracting and management of the Roy Hill iron ore mine.

Linklaters is well known for advising Korean export credit agencies, sponsors and international lenders on high-profile projects, including oil and gas exploration in the Middle East and on a $10n financing Coral FLNG project in Mozambique. Managing partner Stephen Le Vesconte is a respected figure in the outbound transactions space; he and recently promoted partner Joo Hee Lee are assisting KEXIM in a proposed $9bn framework lending arrangement with 12 Iranian commercial banks to fund development projects in partnership with Korean developers. The team is also advising a Korean consortium on its bid for the development and project financing of the Kerawalapitiya power plant in Sri Lanka.

Latham & Watkins LLP's recently opened its Seoul office attracts international blue-chip financial sector clients who regularly instruct the ‘exceptional and client-focused’ team on project development and financial transactions.  Wonsuk (Steve) Kang has joined the practice from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. In recent highlights, co-heads Joseph Bevash and Sungjin Kang are advising a group of Korean lenders in connection with the Duqm Refinery Project in Oman. Bevash and Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi are working on project development and financing on the Cirebon 2 Power Project, an expansion of the Cirebon fired power plant in Indonesia.

Milbank's practice head Young Joon Kim is regularly instructed by leading Korean blue-chip clients on the most significant energy and infrastructure projects and transactional mandates. In a recent key case, a cross-border team advised a group of senior lenders on their $1.7bn financial commitment in the expansion of the Cirebon coal-fired power plant in West Java, Indonesia. Senior associate Brian Youn is also highly experienced in assisting financial institutions, investors and sponsors in project finance matters.

Drawing on its network of offices from London, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo, the team at Norton Rose Fulbright acts for leading corporates, as well as international lenders, on project development and financing mandates. John Kim is widely experienced in transactions, M&A and investment structuring in the oil and gas and engineering space. Singapore-based Nick Merritt is the firm's global head of infrastructure, mining and commodities. London-based Charles Whitney primary works with multilateral financing institutions and export credit agencies on complex multi-sourced project financing. George Gibson, based in Tokyo, is another project finance specialist of note.

Shearman & Sterling has confirmed it will open an office in Seoul by the end of 2018. The team’s cross-border practice stands out for its key strength in transactional and project finance matters. Key contacts include John Inglis and Bill McCormack, as well as the Singapore-based Anna Chung and Ben Shorten who collectively are highly knowledgeable and experienced in advising financial institutions and sponsors on transactions in the power, renewable energy, and oil and gas space across multiple jurisdictions. The team is acting as international counsel for several export credit agencies on the development and financing of the Balkhash coal-fired thermal power plant in Kazakhstan. It is also advising a consortium in relation to a Jawa 1 power plant in West Java, Indonesia.

White & Case LLP (Foreign Legal Consultant Office) has a strong focus on transactional matters and is regularly called upon by blue-chip corporations and financial institutions to lend its expertise in the project finance space. Arthur Scavone, global practice head, is a highly experienced project finance specialist; he is representing KEXIM as well as other lenders in relation to the ongoing construction of the Kelar power plant in Chile. Saul Daniel and Mark Castillo-Bernaus are also names to note.

The team at Baker McKenzie LLP, Foreign Legal Consultant Office is experienced in advising Korean companies on international transactions and investments in the energy, power and infrastructure space. Won Lee’s advises Korean clients on investments and acquisitions in developed jurisdictions and emerging markets. Foreign attorney Winton Kim is also experienced in investment and joint ventures, particularly in the energy, telecoms and social infrastructure sectors.

King & Spalding's Rupert Lewi is advising Korean Gas Corporation on its participation and joint ventures in a proposed LNG project in Canada. Managing partner John McClenahan recently assisted Posco Daewoo on the negotiation of FEED and contracts for construction of a sub-sea expansion project for the Shwe Gas Project in Myanmar. The Tokyo-based practice has been strengthened with the recruitment of project finance partner Ryuichi Kaga, the former head of PPP at the Asian Development Bank.

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