Firm Profile > KL Partners > Seoul, South Korea

KL Partners
17th floor, East Wing, Signature Tower
100 Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jung-gu
Seoul 04542
South Korea

Corporate and M&A: local firms Tier 3

The burgeoning practice at KL Partners is particularly known for advising on private equity matters across the full life cycle of a fund; the work ranges from fund formation and fundraising to classic leveraged buyouts. It also acts on other types of transactions, such as investments into and subsequent exits from all types of industries. The team was further strengthened by the arrival of Audrey Lee from biotechnology company Olipass in April 2020. Lee, who is a US-qualified attorney, also brings vast experience of the finance sector to the team. Other key practitioners include Eun Nyung (Ian) LeeSeonho Kim and Jisun HwangSeong Hoon (Sean) Yi is the head of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Kumho Buslines

Asiana Airlines

SK Telecom

Naver

Socar

Korea Kolmar Group

Cactus PE

Green Cross Holdings

Synaptic PE

KTB PE

Smilegate Holdings Co., Ltd.

Big Hit Entertainment Co., Ltd.

AAC Technologies Pte. Ltd.

City Storage Systems LLC.

Dispute resolution: local firms Tier 3

Boutique firm KL Partners specialises in acting for foreign and domestic clients in cross-border disputes; recent work spanned countries such as Sweden, Singapore, Germany and Israel. Another key area of expertise for the practice involves representing clients in politically sensitive, high-profile criminal investigations; managing partner Beomsu Kim is often instructed to act in such cases, and is also known for his expertise in handling corporate and M&A disputes. Dong-Seok (Johan) Oh, who heads up the dispute resolution group, has particular experience of construction and engineering disputes, as well as energy and project finance issues. Ki Seong Park, who chairs the litigation practice, handles all of the major Korean court litigation at the firm.

Key clients

Xangbo Global Markets

Cleanwrap

Aori F&B

Sik Gaek Chon

MTV TNI Company Limited

Sungrak Church

H&M

GEA Farm Technologies

Aequitas Investment Management Ltd.

Kim, Jung Nyeun

Kodaco Co., Ltd.

Winche (Kim, Hyung Jin)

Korea Carbon Management (Lee, Eun Woo)

JB Asset Management

International arbitration Tier 3

KL Partners has a stellar reputation in investor-state arbitration cases, as was demonstrated by it acting as lead counsel in the first-ever ISD proceedings brought against the Republic of Korea. It has since been retained by two additional investor claimants. In addition, the prior experience of its founding partners, including current managing partner Beomsu Kim, as corporate attorneys ensures that the practice remains a popular choice for complex post-M&A arbitration cases. Dispute resolution head Dong-Seok (Johan) Oh has particular expertise in the construction, engineering and project finance sectors. Eun Nyung (Ian) Lee acts as lead counsel on all arbitration cases which are governed by Korean law. Young Suk Park, who has been involved in investment treaty disputes under the ICSID Convention and NAFTA, is the current chair of the international arbitration group.

Key clients

Elliot Funds

Mason Capital Management LLC

Vogo Funds (VIG Partners)

Lone Star Funds

ChuanQi IP Co., Ltd.

Posco Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd.

Korea Resources Corporation

KL Partners was founded in 2015 by a team of leading specialists with common principle of providing services to clients in Korea and abroad based on the highest level of expertise and experience. Since then we have continued to expand and also grow our pool of professionals for even better services to our clients.  All of our partners and professionals have been recognized as top-level experts in each field.

We do not seek to be the largest firm in Korea. Rather, our goal is to be the firm of choice for clients facing difficult legal issues in challenging disputes and business dealings.  Thus, our firm focuses on establishing long-term relationships with clients based on personalized legal services and hands-on involvement by our partners.

Our core values are:

  • Dedicated client service with a keen understanding of the client’s needs and goals
  • Highest quality of service led by hands-on partners from the start to finish
  • Value-added service by lean teams comprised of experts in the relevant fields

Main areas of practice
International dispute resolution: KL Partners is the first firm of its kind in Korea to specialize specifically in cross-border litigation and international arbitration.

Commercial arbitration: Based on its partners’ experience and background as leading corporate/M&A attorneys in Korea, KL Partners is recognized as a market leader with unparalleled hands-on experience and expertise in post-M&A and corporate related disputes, including shareholder disputes, post-merger disputes, joint venture, earn-outs and commodity sales, etc.

As a result, KL Partners has been chosen by sophisticated M&A participants, who are able to recognize the difference between “general practitioners” and “industry specialists”, to handle the most complicated and high-profile post-M&A arbitration cases in Korea.

Investor-State Disputes (ISD): The firm’s partners are widely known and recognised as pioneers and front-runners in the emerging area of investor-state disputes (ISD) in Korea, having represented the investor in the first-ever ICSID proceeding brought against the Republic of Korea. The firm has also recently been selected to act in two additional ISD cases, further solidifying its position as the market leader in the area of investor-state disputes.

The firm’s international dispute resolution practice group is led by leading attorneys in the field who have acted as counsel in some of the most high-profile cases, including numerous cases before the Korean courts, ICSID, ICC, SIAC, HKIAC, KCAB, LCIA and ad-hoc arbitrations under the UNCITRAL rules.

Corporate/M&A: KL Partners advises on a broad range of corporate matters, including M&A, cross-border investments and private equity transactions. KL Partners’ Corporate/M&A team is led by partners who have consistently been recognized by foremost legal publications as ‘Leading Lawyers’ in the field of corporate/M&A in Korea.

Since its opening, KL Partners has been retained to handle some of the most high-profile domestic and cross-border M&A transactions and has consistently been ranked in the Korea M&A league tables as one of the top law firms in terms of deal size and volume.

Beomsu Kim (managing partner): Mr Kim, managing partner and chair of the international dispute resolution practice group, is widely recognised as a market leader in the area of cross-border dispute resolution, with particular expertise in ISDs and commercial arbitration. Prior to establishing KL Partners, Mr Kim led the international dispute resolution practice group at Shin & Kim and served as a judge at the district courts of Korea for nine years and as an arbitrator in numerous arbitration proceedings.

Dong-Seok (Johan) Oh (partner): Mr. Oh is a partner at KL Partners and Head of the Dispute Resolution Practice Group, which covers both international arbitration and cross-border litigation.  Mr. Oh has particular expertise and specialization in construction and engineering disputes, as well as energy, project finance and international litigation matters spanning across the globe. His recent move to KL Partners from Kim & Chang has sent shockwaves throughout the Korean legal market.

Seong Hoon (Sean) Yi (partner): Mr Yi is the chair of the corporate/M&A practice group. Mr Yi has worked on some of the most high-profile M&A transactions in Korea and has been regularly recognised as a leading attorney in the field of corporate/M&A in Korea. Mr Yi is also a professor at Yonsei University law school, which is one of the top law schools in Korea.

Eun Nyung (Ian) Lee (partner): Mr Lee focuses his practice on international arbitration as well as corporate/M&A and banking/finance matters. He has experience in cross-border and domestic M&A, private equity, acquisition financing and real estate transactions and financing. He is also highly specialized in commercial arbitration and is one of the leading partners in the firm’s international dispute resolution practice group.

Ki Seong Park (partner): Mr Park focuses on representing clients in disputes related to finance, securities, antitrust, commercial transactions and hostile M&A transactions based on his extensive litigation experience in Korean courts.

Department Name Email Telephone
International Dispute Resolution Beomsu Kim bkim@klpartners.com +82-2-6226-7701
International Dispute Resolution Young Suk Park yspark@klpartners.com +82-2-6226-7763
Corporate/M&A Seong Hoon (Sean) Yi shyi@klpartners.com +82-2-6226-7703
Corporate/M&A Audrey Lee alee@klpartners.com +82-2-6226-7775
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Jaewoong Bang  photo Mr Jaewoong Bang Attorney
Mr Jae Hyuk Chang  photo Mr Jae Hyuk Chang Attorney
Mr Han Gyeol Im  photo Mr Han Gyeol Im Attorney
Mr Jeong Cheol Kim  photo Mr Jeong Cheol Kim Attorney
Ms Jessika Kim  photo Ms Jessika Kim Attorney
Mr Seung Wook Kim  photo Mr Seung Wook Kim Attorney
Mr Byung Chul Kim  photo Mr Byung Chul Kim Attorney
Mr Keewoong Lee  photo Mr Keewoong Lee Attorney
Mr Dong-Seok (Johan) Oh  photo Mr Dong-Seok (Johan) Oh Partner
Mr Young Suk Park  photo Mr Young Suk Park Senior Attorney
Number of Lawyers : 26
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