Watson Farley & Williams opens Seoul office


Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) is delighted to announce the opening of its 18th international office in Seoul, South Korea with the arrival of new Partners Eugene Chang and Philip Kim who join the firm from K&L Gates and Herbert Smith Freehills respectively.

WFW Seoul will offer services across the firm’s core sectors with a particular focus on maritime, aviation, energy and disputes work and will expand the firm’s offering across Asia and worldwide. Having a dedicated office in South Korea will also enable the firm to develop its existing South Korean-based relationships and will provide an excellent launchpad for establishing a strong presence in the country.

Eugene Chang’s practice focuses on cross-border energy and infrastructure project developments, structured and project finances, and mergers and acquisitions. His expertise includes both conventional and renewable power projects and he has significant experience in representing both lenders and borrowers in relation to a variety of cross-border financings.

Both California-qualified and a Registered Foreign Legal Consultant in Korea, Eugene has notably represented a number of major Korean developers and sponsors including Korea Development Bank, KEPCO, POSCO, SK, Hanwha and Hyundai Heavy Industry in connection with their outbound energy projects. Eugene will split his time between WFW’s Seoul and New York offices.

Philip Kim is an international arbitration practitioner with expertise in post M&A, technology and public international law disputes. Based in Korea, Philip has established a thriving disputes and technology practice and has developed strong relationships with several major Korean companies, with key clients in the energy, insurance and technology sectors.

WFW Senior Partner George Paleokrassas commented: “We are excited to be opening an office in Seoul with such a dynamic team of talented lawyers. Having an office in Seoul is crucial to maintaining and growing our Korean business and is key for boosting integration across our other offices in Asia.

“With South Korea having one of the strongest economies in Asia and being one of the largest shipbuilding nations in the world, as well as having a renewed focus on energy transition, there has never been a better time for WFW to open in Seoul.”

WFW Asia Projects and Corporate Group Head Linh Doan said: “Our new Seoul office represents a real game-changer for our Asia Pacific projects practice, giving us a presence on the ground in one of the region’s most dynamic and active markets in sector. I’m also delighted to be working once again with Eugene, who was a colleague for many years at a previous firm.”

Eugene added: “I am delighted to be joining WFW. The firm has an excellent international reputation and I look forward to cementing existing relationships with clients that we already share and to undertaking new and exciting challenges with my colleagues to help the firm continue to grow and build on its existing successes.”

Philip said: “I look forward to helping WFW build a substantial and sustainable international commercial arbitration practice. The firm’s market-leading practices in arbitration, insurance, energy and shipping complement my existing practice wonderfully given the high and consistent demand for legal services in these areas in South Korea.”