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Overview

Introduction

Kobre & Kim is a global law firm focused exclusively on international disputes and investigations, often involving allegations of fraud or misconduct. Founded by two former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors in 2003, Kobre & Kim has organically grown to more than 400 employees who work out of offices in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the U.S., and the Caribbean. The firm has developed a strong reputation as a go-to firm for complex cross-border dispute resolution.

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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No. of Partners Named (2021)


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Featured Rankings

Top 150 Under 150...


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Base Salary

All offices...


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No. of U.S. Offices



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No. of International Offices

Vault Verdict

The hiring process at Kobre & Kim is very selective: No junior associates, and candidates must have strong litigation experience from either a top law firm or government position. The firm even requires a writing test before it will extend a job offer. The atmosphere at Kobre & Kim is collegial and friendly, and the firm encourages socializing by hosting events throughout the year. Associates work closely with partners on small teams, and as such, are treated as equals and given ample opportunity to partake in case strategy and management. The level of substantive work and responsibility is something associates appreciate, though demanding hours do come with the territory. Kobre & Kim’s training initiatives get great reviews, as the firm offers a broad vari...

About the Firm

Kobre & Kim is a global law firm focused exclusively on international disputes and investigations, often involving allegations of fraud or misconduct. Kobre & Kim has developed a reputation as a go-to firm for complex cross-border dispute resolution.

Organic Growth

Founded by two former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors in 2003, Kobre & Kim has organically grown to more than 400 employees who work out of offices in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the U.S., and the Caribbean. And with an added bonus: the firm boasts the fact that it generally avoids repeat client relationships and is therefore “conflict-free.” As such, it maintains a diverse client base—including Fortune 500 companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, top-level corporate executives, and for...

Associate Reviews


  • “Generally, attorneys are very collegial and team-oriented.”
  • “Generally, I enjoy the firm's culture. Attorneys work closely together on sophisticated matters and inspire each other to formulate creative solutions to client's problems. Thinking outside the box and adopting a problem-solving approach is greatly encouraged here, which is quite refreshing. The firm treats its attorneys at all levels as true professionals and trusts them with substantial responsibility. The firm also holds regular social events such as all-attorney lunches, after-work socials, and [an] annual retreat and holiday party.”
  • “With a smaller office, we don't social[ize] together very often, but the attorneys in the office are very friendly and close, so we often have informal chats in the hallway or each other's offices multiple times a week.”
  • “Lawyers often socialize. Firmwide or region-wide gatherings are held.”
  • “In my experience, associate/partner relations at the firm are very healthy. Attorneys at all levels respect each other, work collaboratively, and learn from each other. Partners here regularly provide feedback and their doors are usually open for questions and discussions about pending cases or potential new matters/clients. Reviews are conducted annually.”
  • “Associates are encouraged to take a lead on strategy and case management. The firm ensures that everybody working on a case has ownership of their tasks and team meetings are run so as to give every associate an opportunity to comment, give their views on strategy, and actively participate in how a case progresses.”
  • “Many partners are excellent with respect to mentoring, informal training, and sponsoring. If the firm could improve the transparency as to internal promotion and firm management, I think it would go a long way.”
  • “The work hours can be long, but in return associates get considerable responsibility and professional autonomy. Distribution of work is appropriate, and there is flexibility (to the extent possible) in terms of where and when work gets done.”
  • “The workload is heavy, but not unmanageable, and each case team is able to reallocate work as necessary. The firm monitors staff workloads to ensure that no individual is overburdened or under-utilized.”
  • “The target is 1,800 [billable] hours, which includes all pro bono. It's not a hard line, particularly if you are spending time doing other firm tasks like business development.”
  • “BigLaw standard market compensation and bonuses—very happy.”
  • “The firm pays Cravath-scale salaries and bonuses, on an essentially flat basis (i.e., no significant compensation over average for additional billables).”
  • “401(k) matching. Good benefits.”
  • “The bulk of my legal work is substantive. This includes trial work, extensive brief writing, strategic thinking and idea generation, and legal research. The firm also actively strives to give associates opportunities to argue in court.”
  • “My time is spent almost exclusively on substantive legal work or related business development and training efforts. Kobre & Kim is extremely strong in this respect.”
  • “Given that the firm does not hire junior associates, everyone is required to dig into the weeds. That said, as an associate you still get a seat at the strategy table.”
  • “The firm conducts regular trainings which are usually helpful. The firm also has a robust internal database dedicated to best practices concern various legal and non-legal issues that attorneys encounter at the firm. The firm also assigns each associate a partner-mentor and encourages regular contact with mentors over lunch or after work.”
  • “The mentoring program seems relatively new, and most of the partners are very accessible—but, the program isn't formalized and it tends to be on the associate to reach out to the mentor. The trainings are generally pretty good”
  • “There are a lot of trainings, both mandatory and just that are available to you if you want to peruse them at your leisure.”
  • “Kobre & Kim is very interested in training. There are formal trainings multiple times throughout the year, and there are also many informal training videos or materials available on the intranet. It is also very clear that partners care about associates engaging in this training.  I think this is one of the smartest training programs I have seen or heard of—they have thought of everything including how to talk to clients, how to think strategically about client-centered representation, etc.”
  • “Attorneys do get promoted to partner here. Apart from associates, the firm also hires attorneys for counsel and special counsel roles. In terms of exit opportunities, attorneys that leave K&K typically join other law firms and take jobs in the government sector.”
  • “The firm is extremely flexible with respect to career paths. You can become counsel, then partner, then counsel again. You can stay an associate. There is no ‘set timeline’ for anyone; just do good work and you can kind of decide your future (so long as you are being productive to the firm, well liked, the usual).”
  • “Kobre & Kim has lots of options for associates as they advance—this place is not ‘up or out.’ They have many ways to continue to be a lawyer even if you don't make partner. I think the path to partnership is pretty clear and focused on those who want to do business development. If you don't want to do business development, you can still work at Kobre & Kim.”

Why Work Here


Kobre & Kim is an international law firm focused exclusively on cross-border disputes and investigations. With offices in London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, the Cayman Islands, and the British Virgin islands, in addition to U.S. offices in Miami, New York, DC and San Francisco, Kobre & Kim continues to live up to its reputation as a go-to firm for complex cross-border dispute resolution. Many of our attorneys have local legal knowledge and our team fluent in more than a dozen languages. Though we are a global firm, we are committed to maintaining a close-knit and team-oriented atmosphere where attorneys from each of our offices work together to provide clients an integrated advocacy team that addresses all aspects of cross-border matters. 

Diversity at Kobre & Kim LLP

"Diversity in background, thought and experience are cornerstone values at Kobre & Kim and this diversity is built into our business model. Through our unique global office network, our teams rely on a diverse range of geographic and cultural expertise to assist clients in cross-border disputes and investigations. With clients in geographies spanning the globe, we understand firsthand how employing talented people with a variety of perspectives creates the best outcomes. This is why we aim to continually attract, retain and promote diverse..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “K&K does not hire first-year associates. It focuses on hiring mid-level associates from the top law firms. Because of the unique and evolving nature of the work on which the firm focuses, ideal candidates are attorneys who have solid fundamental lawyering skills, are creative thinkers, and can develop problem-solving approaches to handling client matters. Because of the firm's focus on matters that involve fraud or misconduct, it's helpful for candidates to have experience with investigations and white collar work.”
  • “The firm's hiring process is very selective. They do not hire junior associates. There is a writing exam. It is a slow process. They take highly credentialed applicants, many of whom are from the government.”
  • “They focus on a person's substantive experience and interests to make sure the person's intentions align with the firm's outlook. At the end of the interview process, there is a writing test, which is somewhat unique among firm hiring.”
  • “They do a good job of running an orientation program that integrates new lawyers relatively quickly. There is also great support among the associates - we try to make ourselves very available to new hires as they come in.”

Practice Area Q&A’s


Ulrich Payne

Associate

Kobre & Kim LLP
D. Farrington Yates

Partner

Kobre & Kim LLP
Hartley M. K. West

Attorney

Kobre & Kim LLP
Daniel Zaheer

Partner

Kobre & Kim LLP