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Asia-Pacific: Taylor Wessing launches in South Korea with local tie-up

Taylor Wessing has become the latest of in a procession of international firms to set up in South Korea, establishing an association with South Korean full service firm DR & AJU International Law Group.

Founded in 1994 and one of the region’s ten largest law firms, DR & AJU will add 120 lawyers, including 18 partners, to Taylor Wessing’s international reach. The Seoul-headquartered firm also provides offices across Russia, Kazakhstan and Singapore and provides services in M&A, litigation, and various corporate matters.

Taylor Wessing UK managing partner Tim Eyles said: ‘Asia as a whole is one of the world’s most dynamic regions, and Korea is an increasingly important jurisdiction with a mature economy that is only going to grow. It has a global reputation for being at the forefront of thriving sectors such as technology and knowledge-based industries, which align with our own focus on the industries of tomorrow.

‘DR & AJU International Law Group is a leading law firm with an excellent track record, and the addition of this new office will enable us to provide a seamless service to clients with interests in Asia.’

Taylor Wessing’s ongoing bid to increase regional growth in the Asian market has intensified since last summer, when the 1,000-lawyer firm announced its Singapore office – known locally as RHT Law Taylor Wessing – would spearhead a regional network through the forming of alliances with local firms across the ASEAN region. The objective was to offer clients access to more than 950 legal professionals across 23 offices in the EMEA jurisdiction.

The plans began to bear fruit through an exclusive tie-up with PBC Partners in Vietnam in February, which currently has offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The arrangement gave RHTLaw access to 22 legal professionals in the region.

Taylor Wessing also established its presence in Jakarta in October via a co-operation agreement with local law firm Hanafiah Ponggawa & Partners (HPRP); a first-tier Legal 500 firm in real estate and second-tier in restructuring and insolvency. The firm had been a close partner of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing in Singapore for over two years.

The firm’s latest venture follows that of Bird & Bird, which enhanced its global footprint with a co-operation agreement with South Korean firm Hwang Mok Park in late February.

Other firms to launch in South Korea in recent years include Linklaters, Clifford Chance, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.