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Sojong Partners was founded as Sojong Law Offices at a time when Korea was in crisis. During the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s Korea’s financial institutions were in disarray, burdened with hundreds of billions of dollars of non-performing loans (NPLs) in their asset portfolios. Many of the leading banks were closed and mergers and consolidations ensued. Under the terms of the IMF emergency loan to Korea, the banks were required to dispose of the NPLs and transferred their NPLs en masse to Korea Asset Management Corporation (KAMCO). James Jeon and Benjamin Kim, the two founding members of Sojong Partners, worked with Stephan Kim, a New York lawyer, to assist Lone Star Funds in Korea’s first successful disposition of real estate-backed NPL portfolios from KAMCO through competitive bidding. (James Jeon and Benjamin Kim are both CPAs, members of the Korean bar, and top graduates of the National Institute of Judicial Training, and Stephan Kim is a Wharton graduate and an experienced New York lawyer recruited by Samjong Consulting Group, which later became the KPMG member firm in Korea.) Starting with Lone Star, global financial giants such as Morgan Stanley, GE Capital, Cerberus, and Merrill Lynch, eager to participate in the Korean NPL portfolio market, became Sojong Partners’ primary clients in all phases of the corporate restructuring and NPL resolution process. Sojong went on to represent KAMCO in the next several rounds of NPL auctions involving tens of billions of dollars, overseeing the bidding process and providing documentation for the transactions. From the outset, the combination of keen business sense and legal expertise set Sojong Partners apart from other law firms in providing practical and creative solutions for clients.

In 2001, with the addition of a patent practice, Sojong Law Office became Sojong Law Firm and moved to the present location in the Gangnam Finance Center. Sojong added top talent to its roster quickly; Jin Nyeom, former Minister of the Ministry of Finance and Economics and former Deputy Prime Minister joined the firm as an advisor in 2002. He was followed by Kim Dae-Woong, former Chief Prosecutor of Gwangju, who entered the role of co-Managing Partner in 2003 and Park Man-Ho, former Justice of the Supreme Court, who also began his affiliation with the firm as Of Counsel in 2004. Two research institutions, the Sojong Economic Research Institute and the Sojong Tax Research Institute were founded in the course of the next two years, and Sohn Young-Rae, former head of the National Tax Service joined the firm. In 2006, Lee Heung-Bok, former Presiding Judge of numerous courts, joined as co-Managing Partner. That same year, Sojong Law Firm was incorporated and reborn in its current form as Sojong Partners.