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South Korea: Foreign Legal Consultants Law

(May 1, 2009) The Foreign Legal Consultants Law was promulgated in South Korea on March 25, 2009 (Act No. 9524). Under the Law, foreign legal professionals certified in countries with free trade agreements with South Korea or in World Trade Organization treaty countries, who have a minimum three years of experience, can transact business in South Korea as “foreign legal consultants.” They are licensed by the Ministry of Justice and registered with the Korean Bar Association. Foreign legal consultants can give advice on laws and treaties involving their home countries or international practice and can be proxies for clients in international cases.

Foreign legal consultants must stay in South Korea 180 days or more a year to remain qualified. They cannot employ or partner with local lawyers. They will not be allowed to represent clients or serve as legal counsel in cases before Korean courts. (James Lim, Korea Liberalizes Legal Services Market, Will Recognize 'Foreign Legal Consultants,' DAILY REPORT FOR EXECUTIVES (BNA), No. 72, at A-7 (Apr.17, 2009), available at