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Grace P. Fremlin

Fax +1.202.778.9100

Grace Parke Fremlin is a partner based in the Washington, D.C. office, and is a member of the corporate, finance and IP groups with extensive experience with regulatory and policy issues.

Ms. Fremlin often acts in the capacity of outside general counsel for NE Asian global companies investing and operating in the United States and in a similar capacity for US companies and financial institutions investing and operating in Greater China. Her specialty is cross-border Greenfields Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and M&A transactions, starting with the Japanese wave of inbound US investments in the 1980s, followed by the US wave of outbound investments into China in the 1990s, the Korean wave into the United States in the 2000s and the latest Chinese wave of investments into the United States in recent years.

From having followed the global investment flows, Ms. Fremlin’s legal experience encompasses and covers multiple and varied legal specialties and industries. Early in her career in California, Ms. Fremlin focused on commercial loans, corporate formations, and US inbound FDI from Japan in banking, manufacturing, construction and real estate. Then she focused on US outbound FDI into China in industrial, automotive and land development in China while residing and practicing from Hong Kong. After returning to New York and Washington DC, she focused on US inbound FDI from Korea in the automotive, technology and consumer goods industries.

Anchored as a commercial, corporate and real estate lawyer, Ms. Fremlin concurrently led and supervised finance, regulatory, and international trade and investment and IP matters and cases. For the automotive industry, she advised on IP asset utilization and protection strategies and global distribution, procurement, and supply contracts. For the construction, energy, tech sectors, she has dealt with corporate and tax structuring for market entry and exit, corporate governance, financing arrangements, and regulatory compliance. For sovereign governments and corporations, she has handled investment and trade policy and governmental relations.

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Ms. Fremlin was a partner in a Washington, D.C.-headquartered international AmLaw 100 law firm, where she was the founder and co-chair of the Korea Practice. Before that, she was a partner in another AmLaw 100 law firm where she was the chair of the firm’s Asia Practice.

Professional Background

Ms. Fremlin has practiced law in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, New York, and Washington, D.C., and her financial institutions, automotive, manufacturing, technology and sovereign clients have originated from the United States, Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Ms. Fremlin possesses exceptional breadth in her cross-border commercial, finance, Greenfields FDI, investment and trade policy, regulatory, M&A and IP experience. Clients and counsel alike are impressed by her keen legal and business insights. The in-house counsel of a Korean global auto company negotiating a US automotive supply contract valued at USD5.5 billion called her “the best of the best.” In a software launch and equity fund raising project, the US joint counsel on the project praised her as an “exceptionally gifted lawyer” with “laser beam focus on critical issues.” In yet another negotiation where Ms. Fremlin was representing the buyer, the general counsel of the US Company on the sell side remarked, “When I need a lawyer, I’m going to hire you.”

Ms. Fremlin acts for global companies as lead counsel on their US investments, operations, and IP matters and as coordinating counsel on US IP litigation and regulatory matters. She has also advised US companies on their China investments, helping them implement corporate legal structures and contractual and practical ways to protect their IP assets in China. She focuses on equity and debt financing arrangements, holding company structures, subsidiary formations, exit strategies, joint ventures (JVs), wholly foreign owned entities (WFOEs), China sourcing and procurement operations, technology transfers, licensing, contract manufacturing, supply contracts, and distribution, procurement and sales agreements.

In her work with NE Asian and US global companies, nonprofits, and sovereigns, Ms. Fremlin has worked on policies and regulations affecting financial services, banking, automotive, technology, cloud computing, construction, e-commerce, electronics, energy, internet, IP, IP litigation, and high speed rail and has provided legal and strategic advice on trade and investment policy, treaties and global economic competitiveness.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Women’s Bar Association Foundation, Board of Directors, June 2016
  • KABA - DC, Co-Chair, Women's Leadership Committee, 2013-present
  • KABA - DC, Advisory Board, 2012-present
  • NAPABA, International Committee Co-Chair, 2009-present
  • IAKL, Regional Governor, 2014-present
  • US Korea Business Council, member, 2006-present
  • AMCHAM, Seoul, Korea, 2006-present
  • Korea Economic Society, 2006-present
  • Global Strategy Advisory Center, Advisory Board, 2014-15
  • KABA - DC, Board of Directors, 2009-2012
  • Asia Society of Washington, DC, Advisory Board, 2003-2011
  • AMCHAM, Hong Kong, 1997-1999
  • Hong Kong Bar, Registered Foreign Lawyer, 1997-1999
  • Women's Bar Association Foundation of DC, Board of Directors, 1993-1996
  • Women’s Bar Association of DC, International Committee Co-Chair, 1990-1993

Speaking Engagements

  • The Impact of China Outbound Foreign Direct Investments on US National Security and Global IP Rights, 2016 Asia Pacific Law and Government Relations Conference, 13 April 2016
  • Litigating Trade Secrets at the US ITC, In House Counsel Forum, 12 Apr 2014
  • Creative Economy: IP Legal Strategies, US-Korea Business Council Conf, 4 Feb 2014
  • Lessons from the DuPont v. Kolon Trade Secret Litigation, NAPABA Conf, 8 Nov 2013
  • Cloud Computing – What Laws and Regulations Are Applicable and How They Are Relevant to You, NAPABA Conf, 7 Nov 2013
  • Class Actions: Trends, Tools, and Best Practices, In House Counsel Forum, 29 Jan 2013
  • What Lawyers Need to Know about Export Controls and US Economic Sanctions, NAPABA Conf, 17 Nov 2012
  • Developments in ITC Litigation, LG Group IP Retreat, Seoul, 25 October 2012
  • US-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Intl Assoc. of Korean Lawyers Conf, 15 Sept 2012
  • Managing Client Relations: Explaining the Cultural Aspects of the Internal Decision Making Process, NAPABA Intl Law Symposium, 19 Nov 2011
  • ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers) Launch of Generic Top Level Domains, Intl Assoc. of Korean Lawyers Conf, 1 October 2011
  • IP Contracts in China, USPTO China Road Show Conf, 7 April 2011
  • China IP Protection and Enforcement, CLE for State Bar of AZ, Feb 2007
FDI Greenfields Investments, M&A, and Supply Chain Transactions
  • Negotiating a USD5.5 billion long term supply agreement with Chrysler for a global Tier 1 auto component assembly supplier
  • Leading the legal team on the construction of an auto assembly plant, the land lease agreement, equipment financing agreements, the environmental regulatory due diligence and arranging financing
  • Advising on amendments and operational issues on long-term supply agreements
  • Representing the largest unsecured trade creditor in the Chrysler bankruptcy
  • Drafting international PO and domestic PO templates for a major US auto parts distribution company
  • Favorably resolving a Korean government procurement investigation of Harley Davidson
  • Conducting due diligence for a public offering of securities on the NYSE for a US company with contract manufacturing facilities in Shenzhen, China
  • Leading the purchase of a Sino-Australian agribusiness JV in Shanghai
  • Handling the acquisition of a US restaurant chain by a Japanese company
  • Restructuring equity JVs in China from direct US company ownership to indirect offshore holding company ownership
  • Establishing international procurement offices for a US medical supply company in China using China sourcing subsidiaries and representative offices
  • Forming manufacturing wholly foreign owned enterprises (WFOEs) and JVs in China 
Investment and Trade Policy, Trade Remedies and Government Investigations
  • Coordinating a WTO case for the Korean Government involving the imports of washers made by Samsung and LG to the United States
  • Advising the Korean Government on Korea-US Free Trade Agreement and Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations and subsequent FTAs
  • Representing the U.S. Postal Service on its proposed overseas operations in Korea requiring analyses of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and other treaty issues
  • Advising the Korean Government on trade remedies and multi-lateral, puri-lateral and bilateral trade agreements and their implications for the Korean economy
  • Coordinating antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of refrigerator imports from Korea for a Korean global company
  • Coordinating government investigations of a Korean global company for antitrust violations by enforcement authorities in Brussels and Washington DC
IP Litigation Management and IP, Energy and Tech Transactions
  • Overseeing patent litigation at the ITC and district courts for Korean conglomerates
  • Advising a Korean electronics component manufacturer on IP protection, confidentiality and indemnity matters in NDAs, joint development agreements, and supply agreements
  • Drafting television co-production agreements for distribution of TV shows in China
  • Negotiating a JV agreement and a trademark licensing agreement for market expansion into China of Kate Spade New York 
  • Structuring IP protection and enforcement safeguards for US companies in China
  • Drafting a private placement memorandum for investments into an IP holding company for a renewable energy  technology and power plant in Hawaii
  • Obtaining a security interest in Korea for a Japanese company for US$300 million advance on a purchase of wind turbine towers
  • Negotiating a Korean JV for a U.S. portable fuel cell company
  • Lead counsel on a private placement memorandum for the launch of a new software product developed by JP Morgan and fundraising negotiations with potential financiers for the software launch