GCR 100 - 10th Edition

Yulchon

02 March 2010

Since our last Korea country survey in early 2008, some competition practitioners in Seoul say the team at Yulchon has slipped a notch from their former position in the hierarchy of Korean competition practices. The loss of former competition head Youngjin Jung to rival Kim & Chang doesn't help.

But that opinion may be more appearance than reality, as Yulchon continued to do solid work for its international and local competition clients. The firm also continued to grow. More of a boutique than a full-service firm - it would prefer comparisons to specialists like Howrey LLP, rather than all-rounder Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer - the practice features 31 competition lawyers with decades of experience between them. Those lawyers include 2009 hires John KJ Kim, formerly of Kim & Chang, former Seoul Administrative Court justice Kum Ju Son, and Soon Sik Ju, a former KFTC standing commissioner and one of the most senior officials at the agency. The firm also promoted associate Kyoung Yeon Kim to partner. Partner Sai Ree Yun is a Who's Who nominee.

Yulchon has had a hand in most of the country's major abuse of dominance cases - typically for the complainant. For example, the firm represented AMD in the Korean part of its battle with Intel, and several complainants, including Broadcom, Texas Instruments and Sony Ericsson, in the KFTC's antitrust case against Qualcomm.

Still, the firm says about half of its billed hours are spent handling cartel cases - far more than any other area. The firm is advising clients involved in some the most complex cartel investigations, including air cargo, a paper cartel and more. Other clients include Bridgestone, Lufthansa and Samsung SDI.

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