We Are Different
One of the many reasons the founders of SEUM decided to leave established law firms was a desire to create a new law firm culture and break-free from the problems that continue to plague the traditional Korean law firm. At SEUM, some of the reasons we are “different” are as follows:
Whether the client is a bootstrapping entrepreneur just starting a new business, a mature company on the verge of an IPO, or a huge conglomerate with offices all over the world, SEUM provides the same amount of focus, professional care and dedication. SEUM’s desire to provide legal services stems from an enjoyment and personal satisfaction obtained when a client’s objectives are achieved or obstacles to their business goals are resolved, and not from the perceived name value or fee potential of a client.
In contrast to traditional Korean law firms, SEUM is not anchored to the traditional billable hour model, which can often create an incentive for wastefulness and increased fees. This freedom and flexibility with respect to billing allows SEUM to enter into fee arrangements that align incentives between SEUM and our client, and therefore create a more effective work dynamic. Also, when we internally evaluate associate performance, the billable hour is only one of several factors evaluated so our attorneys do not feel pressure to “pad hours” as at other firms.
SEUM’s forward-thinking partners actively participate in all matters and interact and provide guidance regularly to our associates to avoid wasted time that often results from the traditional rigid bureaucracy commonly associated with Korean working culture. Moreover, our partners strongly promote a working style that focuses on results and not form. For example, when communicating with clients, SEUM prefers short and concise email communication directly answering client questions over the long memos simply reciting the law that is a common at many traditional firms.
SEUM believes in keeping clients updated and informed about the progress of our work, and we always aim to respond to client communications promptly. If we are unable to provide a complete response for a query, we will let you know as soon as possible that your request has been received and that we are working on a response. We do not stubbornly adhere to outdated traditional Korean law firm practices that lead to communication delays and inefficiency such as only allowing partners to send out emails to clients or requiring senior attorney approval for any outgoing email. Our attorneys are encouraged to proactively respond to clients and develop professional relationships.
Startups, Technology, Venture Capital
Although Korea has emerged as a recognized startup hub in Asia and the Korean government has pledged billions of dollars in support of this growing sector, this was not always the case and many traditional Korean firms still show little interest in this area. SEUM’s founders recognized this trend early on and from our inception the firm has embraced this community and desired to help it develop and succeed. The pace of change and the hunger with which local founders are embracing the challenge and opportunity presented by entrepreneurship is blistering, and SEUM relishes the challenge of keeping up with our clients.