Former United Nations ambassador and South Korean trade minister Kim Hyan-Chong has been appointed as the president and chief legal office of Electronics company Samsung.
Kim will report directly to Samsung chief executive officer Lee Yoon-Woo, which places him in what may possibly be the most senior in-house legal position in any large Asian corporation. Kim's previous experience includes working at law firms Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in New York, as well as as a staff lawyer for the Word Trade Organisation in Geneva and for the Korean Foreign Ministry. Between 2007 and 2008 he served as Korea's representative to the UN in New York and as Korea's minister of trade from 2004 to 2007.
It's not hard to see why Samsung has brought in the big guns - Kim steps into the role in rather tremulous times for the company. Last year its former top lawyer blew the whistle on systematic corporate bribery of government officials, leading to the resignation and conviction of the company's chairman, Lee Kun-Hee.
Legalweek.com also reports that Samsung is currently facing a large number of intellectual property and anti-dumping cases internationally and Kim's key roles will be to develop an IP strategy and overseeing patent and trade litigation.
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