Park Ho-won, a lawyer of Korean descent, assumed the position of non-executive chair of the Dentons Global Board on July 28, underscoring the significance of integrating members within Dentons, the world's largest global law firm.
Park emphasized the impact of having a chair from a smaller country, during a recent interview with The Korea Times.
"It fosters a sense of belonging, especially for relatively small nations, and contributes to creating an environment open to diverse voices and perspectives," he said.
Xuefeng Peng, the founder and head of the Chinese law firm Dacheng, previously held the position of Dentons' global chairman. However, Xuefeng Peng retired after 10 years of service, leading to the conclusion of the Dentons-Dacheng partnership in early August this year.
Park was subsequently elected by the Global Board and Global Advisory Committee of Dentons as Peng's replacement. The selection process for the new chair commenced in July before the Dentons-Dacheng partnership came to an end, according to Dentons.
"Despite being a small country, Korean companies perform exceptionally well internationally," Park said.
He sees his role as an opportunity to share Korea's know-how, passion and energy with the global legal community.
In terms of Dentons' global strategy, Park expressed a focus on countries with high growth rates.
He asserted that these nations, particularly in Southeast Asia and South America, experience rapid changes in their legal sectors, providing opportunities for Dentons to collaborate and contribute to enhancing their legal environments.
"While New York remains relatively unchanged from 30 years ago, cities with high growth rates offer a completely different experience when revisited just five years later," he said.
This accelerated growth rate has profound implications for the legal environment. Amid rapid change, companies grapple with numerous challenges, and the legal market experiences exponential growth as various countries heavily invest in companies in emerging economies.
The dynamic nature of these regions, as Park pointed out, underscores the need for adaptability and swift responses in the legal sector. In essence, he suggests that legal practitioners must stay attuned to the evolving demands of the global market, especially in high-growth regions, to effectively navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by the ever-changing legal landscape.
Emphasizing Dentons' strength in transnational collaboration, Park explained that Dentons does not establish branch offices but works within a cooperative network of law firms operating locally.
This approach allows Dentons to provide specialized legal services aligned with the local legal system, leveraging the firm's global database and network for more professional problem-solving.
For companies expanding overseas, legal services can be offered in collaboration with Dentons' law firms specializing in the local legal systems. Moreover, when a client faces a problematic situation in a particular country, Dentons leverages its comprehensive database and network to address the issue with enhanced professionalism.
He emphasized that Korean companies often face challenges when venturing into foreign markets, and there are instances where they struggle to identify ample opportunities.
He believes Dentons can assist in cases where companies may not have a clear understanding of the opportunities available in a particular country for their products or businesses, or if they lack the knowledge of where and how to establish contacts.
Describing the role of lawyers in Dentons as "problem solvers," Park underscored the challenges faced by Korean companies expanding abroad. He believes Dentons can play a crucial role in helping these companies navigate unfamiliar territories, identify opportunities, and establish connections.
Park expressed a commitment to furthering the integration of Dentons by incorporating diverse perspectives. As a lawyer of Korean descent, he aims to facilitate the growth of the Korean market and contribute to Dentons' global collaboration.
Park's term as the chairman of the global board of directors extends until Nov. 9, 2025.