South Korea’s top law firm Kim & Chang posted record revenue of 1.01 trillion won ($933.4 million) last year, becoming the country’s first law firm to set a revenue milestone of 1 trillion won.
According to Kim & Chang’s 2017 financial report obtained by Maeil Business Newspaper through tax authority and other sources on Monday, the law firm’s revenue grew 6.5 percent to a record high of 1.01 trillion won from a year earlier. It also is the first time for a single law firm to register revenue of more than 1 trillion won since 1970s when the country’s legal service market got on a growth track.
Kim & Chang has been the country’s leading law firm since its inception in 1973 as it continuously has strived to expand legal services. As of last year, there were 654 Korean lawyers working at Kim & Chang, more than double from 279 in 2007. Revenue also more than doubled to 1.01 trillion won from 447.9 billion won over the last decade. Kim & Chang took the lion’s share of 49.9 percent in the legal service market in terms of 2017 revenue among the country’s six largest law firms with annual revenue of 100 billion won last year.
Kim & Chang was followed by Bae, Kim & Lee whose revenue hit 276.1 billion won last year, Lee & Ko with 263.7 billion won, Yulchon with 191.1 billion won, Shin & Kim with 167.6 billion won and Yoon & Yang with 120.5 billion won.
Kim & Chang’s revenue milestone of 1 trillion won is more meaningful as the achievement was made amid looming challenges such as language and market size on top of global legal giants that are rapidly expanding their presence in the local legal service market, said a legal service industry source.
In October 2016, Kim & Chang was included in the world’s top 100 law firms announced by the U.S. law magazine The American Lawyer. The magazine drew up the list based on global law firms’ 2015 revenue and Kim & Chang ranked 59th with $686 million. It was the first time for a Korean law firm to join the world’s top 100 list.
By Lee Hyun-jung and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]