RPC appoints Ashurst’s Korea co-head in Hong Kong, to set up country office

RPC appoints Ashurst’s Korea co-head in Hong Kong, to set up country office

As it targets work in the 12th largest economy in the world, a UK-based firm highlights a key strategic hire

RPC, an international law firm based in London, has hired Ashurst’s Hong Kong Korean practice co-head to lead its newly created Korea desk.

Peter Kwon has a significant amount of experience working with Korean financial institutions as well as industrial conglomerates and investment funds in international disputes and securities regulation matters.

According to RPC, Kwon’s established reputation in the Korean market will enable it to expand its presence further in the country. As head of the Korea desk, he will coordinate the work of joint partners in the country, including those in Hong Kong and Singapore.

“Peter has excellent relationships with the top Korean law firms”, commented Antony Sassi, RPC Managing Partner Asia. The addition of his services will expand our reach into the Korean market for our clients and will provide new referral opportunities for our law firms across Korea.”

James Miller, the Managing Partner, called Kwon, “an important strategic hire that will not only allow us to tap into the 12th largest economy in the world, but also set us up to respond to evolving market opportunities.”

Despite Kwon being the sole lawyer on the Korea desk, RPC said that it has established relationships with Korean law firms and will surround him with other experts familiar with the Korean market in Hong Kong and Singapore. According to the firm, it is planning on investing and growing internationally even more through its Korea desk.

Including Kwon, RPC has made a series of hires in Asia over the past few years, following the departure of a nine-strong disputes team from Singapore in 2019 and sixteen lawyers from Hong Kong over the year prior.

Across Hong Kong and Singapore, the firm now has 18 partners, nine of whom joined as lateral hires or internal promotions within the last 20 months. As part of the expansion, RPC has added Bird & Bird Disputes partners Boey Swee Siang, Navin Joseph Lobo and Lin Yuankai who joined the firm in Singapore in May 2020, along with five associates, as well as Andrea Randall who set up a local employment practice in January 2021 from the leading independent Gall.

“This is an exciting time to join RPC as we invest heavily in our growth and addition of quality lawyers,” Kwon said. He added that he is “elated to be part of the firm’s journey to bring its international platform to life and work with Korean clients and partner firms.”

Ashurst’s Securities and Structured Finance practice was launched in Hong Kong in 2009, with the help of a trio of associates. He was previously the head of DLA Piper’s Asian financial regulatory practice.

HFW, bolstering its disputes team in September 2021 with the hire of Karen Cheung from Hong Kong independent Li & Partners, is another UK firm that has added partners in Hong Kong recently. As part of the company’s hiring spree earlier in the year, Linklaters hired Alessandro Nolet from White & Case along with M&A lawyer Xiaoxi Lin from Kirkland & Ellis.

Additionally, Gaven Cheong left Simmons & Simmons in October to become head of investments at Tiang & Partners, an independent firm affiliated with PwC’s global legal services network.

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