Yoon & Yang hires crime buster as managing partner

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Cho Sungwook

South Korean law firm Yoon & Yang’s new managing partner, former chief prosecutor of Daejeon High Prosecutors’ Office Cho Sungwook, plans to use his investigational skills to tackle white collar crime investigation work for the firm.

Cho’s arrival is also expected to strengthen the expertise of the firm’s government relations and legislative consulting practice.

“First, I will strengthen the high-level expertise of criminal cases, especially white collar crime practices at Yoon & Yang in response to the recent markets becoming more segmented and specialized,” he told Asia Business Law Journal.

“Second, I will expand the work scope of the attorneys at the firm’s criminal case practices. I will help team members practising for more advisory services for preemptive prevention of legal disputes as well as the criminal case defenses during the prosecutorial investigations and litigations. This will eventually assist lawyers in other practice areas such as general corporate works and litigation works.

“I will combine my experience as a prosecutor leading investigations on white collar crimes, tax, food, drug and labour-related crimes and a unique background of working outside of the Prosecution Service at Korean governmental bodies such as the Korea Independent Commission Against Corruption and the National Assembly etc.”

Cho said his immediate biggest challenge in the new role was adjusting to local legal markets that have changed because of a sharp increase in Korean
lawyers, meaning law firms are now focusing on not only expanding in size but also specializing in their work areas.

“I believe the most important goal during my tenure will be developing new areas of business and building more relationships with existing clients,” he said. “I will put my best effort into developing Yoon & Yang’s unique value and demonstrating it in the market.”

Cho, an experienced prosecutor with a stellar reputation, joined the firm’s corporate criminal investigations and white collar criminal defence team in Seoul after serving at various prosecutors’ offices in Korea for 25 years, eventually reaching the position of Chief Prosecutor of Daejeon High Prosecutors’ Office.

During his tenure, Cho oversaw criminal investigations and litigations in many of the biggest and high-profile cases in Korea. Notable cases include: (1) trade secrets misappropriation of Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor technology case; (2) indictment of crime boss Kim Yong-nam, who orchestrated the “Yongpal Incident” which involved disruption of the Reunification Democratic Party’s inauguration ceremony by criminal gangs in 1987; and (3) investigations into the KRW6 trillion tax scam using VAT-free gold bullion, one of the largest tax evasion cases ever in Korea, which caused revolutionary changes in the taxation field.

Cho also has a broad background and experience working in government and legislative bodies in Korea.