Has Samsung elevated the role of Asian general counsel?

“The role of in-house lawyers has generally been less pronounced in large Asian corporations than their American and European counterparts. Relatively few companies have full fledged General Counsel, with the top legal role frequently filled by a vice president or director instead of a senior-level executive.”

Corp. Counsel, Vol. 16, June 2009 at 35, honors Kim Hyun-Chong as “what may be the most senior in-house legal position to date at a major Asian Corporation.” Samsung Group, the world’s largest electronics company, appointed Kim as its president and chief legal officer, reporting directly to the CEO.

Few and far between are the posts here about legal departments of Asian companies; perhaps the dragon will start to roar (See my post of June 13, 2006: Haier of China; April 27, 2008: growth of Haier’s department to 40 lawyers; May 5, 2008: NEC’s North American legal team; Dec. 11, 2008: Synnex of China; Feb. 12, 2009: Samsung’s GC in Europe; Jan. 23, 2008: ITOCHU of Japan and secondee; and April 2, 2009: HSBC in Japan.).

Several posts, however, refer to law departments generally in Asia (See my post of July 30, 2005: metrics on spending of Chinese law departments; Oct. 25, 2005: estimate of 50,000 in-house counsel in China; Oct. 19, 2005 #2: in-house lawyers in China; June 15, 2005: compensation of GCs in Asia; and April 27, 2008: law departments of Chinese companies.).

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