SEOUL, Apr. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — With the number of Korean corporations entering the Vietnamese market on the rise, competition among Korean law firms eyeing the local legal market has become intense.
One such law firm, Sejong, formally opened an office in the capital city of Hanoi on Tuesday. This comes approximately one year after the company opened its Ho Chi Minh office in January of last year.
With this, all six of Korea’s largest law firms with the exception of Kim & Chang have initiated their legal services in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.
Yulchon established its Ho Chi Minh office in August of 2007 before opening a Hanoi branch in December of 2009. Bae, Kim and Lee opened branches in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh in 2015 while Lee & Ko did likewise in 2016.
Yoon & Yang started up shop in 2016, at first in Ho Chi Minh before opening a Hanoi branch in the following year. All in all, a total of eight Korean law firms have entered the Vietnamese legal services market.
Korea’s largest law firm, Kim & Chang, is said to be making preparations to enter the Vietnamese market via Ho Chi Minh first followed by Hanoi in order to expand its business overseas.
As Vietnam continues to see a high growth rate of 5 percent per year, more than 5,600 Korean firms have established subsidiaries in Vietnam. This means that there is a growing demand for legal services in the field of M&A, investment and accounting.
In addition, law firm insiders revealed that Vietnam acts as a bridge to other markets in Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.
One law firm employee said, “If the demand for legal services from Korean firms in Vietnam is unable to be met, this could mean losing existing clients,” adding, “The rush by Korean law firms to open up offices in Hanoi after Ho Chi Minh can be explained by efforts of Korean firms to expand their investments northward in Vietnam.”
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)