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Awards Report 2023: South Korea


Legal awards acknowledge the market recognition of a law firm and lawyer’s success, ability, effort and, above all, excellence.

While rankings consider the accumulation of a firm or lawyer’s efforts year-on-year, awards represent the achievements of firms or lawyers during the past 12 months. Awards can be viewed as being more significant than rankings because being shortlisted or winning an award means a firm or lawyer is one of a very select number of parties considered to be “the best”.

Legal Media 360’s Awards Reports consolidate the nominations and winners of the most reputable international and regional awards, showcasing the top performers by jurisdiction.


Atomic awards data is categorized, and naming conventions standardized. This highlights which firms, lawyers, cases and deals are receiving the greatest recognition via a nomination/win ratio.

Awards data from the following sources are used in our research:

Asian Legal Business, ALM, asialaw, Benchmark Litigation, China Business Law Journal, Chambers and Partners, China Law and Practice, India Business Law Journal, International Financial Law Review, In-house Community, Legal 500, Managing IP.

The awards period used for our research is January to December 2022.

Legal Media 360’s awards analysis splits firm awards into two distinct categories: Firm awards and Case/deal awards.

Award Categories

Firm Awards

Firm awards include categories such as practice area specific awards, practice management, diversity and inclusion and firm-wide awards (such as firm of the year).

The following data for South Korea is for domestic firms only.

Table 1: Top firms by highest number of firm award nominations

Commentary: Lee & Ko had the most firm award nominations by a slight margin, however Kim & Chang who has the second highest number has the most superior winning average of all the firms. Kudos should be given to Bae Kim & Lee, while they had only the fourth highest number of nominations, they one 1 in four awards which they were nominated.

Case/Deal Awards

Case/deal awards recognise the firms working on the most significant matters in the past 12 months.

Table 2: Top firms by highest number of case/deal award nominations

Commentary: Kim & Chang was nominated the greatest number case/deal awards nominations however Bae, Kim & Lee with the second highest number of nominations has a slightly better winning average. Shin & Kim has the lowest nomination to win conversion rate of all the firms.

Lawyer Awards

In the 12 publications examined, a total of 48 lawyers in South Korea were nominated for awards. 34 male lawyers were nominated, compared with 14 female lawyers. The gender ratio of male-female lawyer nominations is 71 to 29 percent.

Eight out of the 48 lawyers won awards. Six were male and two were female.

Nomination Statistics

Table 3: Firms with the highest number of lawyer award nominations

Table 4: Lawyers with the highest number of award nominations

Winner Statistics

Table 5: Firms with the highest number of lawyer award wins

Table 6: Lawyer award winners 

Commentary: Eight firms had lawyers nominated for awards in 2022. The eight lawyers that won awards were from five firms, Lee & Ko, Kim and Chang and Peter & Kim all had two winning lawyers.

Download report in PDF format.