Morning Briefing: International firm opens Korea office

International firm opens Korea office… First international law firm moves into Cameroon… Osborne Clarke formalises Hong Kong relationship… Law Society calls for change to employment tribunals…

International firm opens Korea office
International law firm Allen & Overy has opened a new office in Seoul with immediate effect. The firm has been working with South Korean companies and institutions for three decades and says that the country’s economic growth makes it an important location. The office is being led by energy and projects partner Matthias Voss who is joined by energy and projects partner Jean Lee and counsel Kyu Bang. The new office is not able to provide domestic legal advice for which Allen & Overy will continue to work with local relationship firms.

First international law firm moves into Cameroon
Centurion Law Group is to become the first international law firm to move into Cameroon. The group will open its office in Douala later this month as part of a plan to expand across Africa. The new office will be staffed by lawyers from the UK, France, Nigeria and the US as well as local lawyers. The country’s resurgent gas and oil industry is one of the reasons why the jurisdiction is an important part of Centurion’s strategy. The group, which is headquartered in Equatorial Guinea has affiliate and partner offices in Chad, Gabon, South Africa, Ghana and South Sudan together with Dubai and Toronto. 

Osborne Clarke formalises Hong Kong relationship
Osborne Clarke has launched its formal Association with Hong Kong-based firm Koh Vass & Co, a key part of OC’s expansion plans in Asia Pacific. Koh Vass will provide clients with specialist PRC advice, led by registered foreign lawyer, Guohua Zhang who has been seconded as a Consultant to Koh Vass from a Chinese law firm. The two firms will be able to apply for approval to merge in three years according to Hong Kong regulations.
Law Society calls for change to employment tribunals
The Law Society in England & Wales wants the process of employment tribunals to be reformed to ensure that poor working practice does not go unchallenged. The society says that a full overhaul would be of benefit to employers and the administration of justice as well as for employees. It believes that by changing the system and having tiers for cases would simplify the process, cut costs, and allow tribunal fees to be scrapped. The UK government is currently reviewing tribunal fees.

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