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Leading global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills last night (7 November) received the prestigious Award for Social Contribution – CSR at the inaugural Seoul Foreign Invested Companies Awards. 

The firm was one of only three companies to receive the awards from the Mayor of Seoul, Park Won Soon, who personally championed the new initiative.

Organised by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the awards were open to all foreign companies in Korea. The other winners were Grevin Wax Museum, for investment in Seoul, and ICBC Bank, for its contribution to employment in Seoul.   

"We're honoured and delighted to receive this award," said Lewis McDonald, Herbert Smith Freehills' managing partner in Seoul, who received the award on behalf of his team.

"It reflects three years of hard work since we opened in Seoul, not just building our business and team but also contributing to the community with our time and money."

"Our team is also humbled to receive the award, as we are just one of a number of foreign companies that work together to make Seoul a better place to live and to help the disadvantaged in Korea."

  • Herbert Smith Freehills has been working with the Australia and New Zealand Association of Korea (ANZA) since opening in Seoul in 2013 to provide a donation to Anna's House, a shelter for the homeless and underprivileged south of Seoul, amounting to a contribution of over US$20,000 over this three-year period.
  • The firm's funding also supports the hosting of the annual ANZA charity ball.  ANZA has raised over US$250,000 for Korean charities over the past three years via its annual charity ball, with support from a range of foreign and Korean companies and individuals.
  • The Seoul team helps at the homeless persons' soup kitchen run by Anna's House and supports a Love North Korean Children charity fundraiser, as well as donating their time to other fundraising events.
  • The Seoul office has also contributed legal research pro bono for the Korean component of two projects on diversity and human rights issues for regional charitable organisations.
  • The firm has also made a significant contribution to the wider Australia-Korea business relationship, taking roles with the peak business representative bodies for Australian business in Korea and Korean business in Australia.

Notes for editors

  1. Herbert Smith Freehills' Seoul office has grown rapidly and successfully since opening in 2013, attracting South Korean and international clients alike. The firm was one of the very first international firms to open in South Korea and now has 16 lawyers and staff (12 of whom are Korean nationals) in Seoul. This year the firm promoted its first Korean national to its global partnership, corporate partner Dongho Lee.
  2. Anna's House opened in Seoul in 1998 and cares for the homeless, elderly people, jobless people and street children, with practical and emotional support.
  3. The Australia and New Zealand Association, Korea (ANZA Korea) is a non-profit association which gives generously to the local community in Seoul and is actively involved with a number of Korean charities, including Anna's House.
  4. Seoul was one of 11 Herbert Smith Freehills offices in Asia Pacific that contributed with other law firms to a pro bono research report into legal gender recognition in 41 jurisdictions in the region for an Australian human rights foundation earlier this year. 

About Herbert Smith Freehills

Operating from over 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. We provide many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including energy, natural resources, infrastructure, technology and financial services.

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Media contact

For further information on this article please contact

Sally Greig

Head of Communications, Asia

Hong Kong