Sean Hayes

Member, New York Bar
American Bar Association; International Bar Association

Sean Hayes is the first non-Korean employed as an attorney by the Korean Court System (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a full-time regular member of a Korean law faculty. Sean and IPG are retained when proactive, non-conflicted and aggressive representation is essential for success. 

Sean works with a wide range of clients that includes Fortune 500 companies, franchisors, defense companies, chemical companies, industrials, startups, entrepreneurs and individuals on contentious and non-contentious matters. 


He has been rated a leading attorney by numerous legal publication for his ability to provide nuanced street-smart advice. 

New York/International Attorney Sean Hayes grew up in Connecticut and New York to an Irish-immigrant father and an Italian mother. He is a U.S. and Irish National who is a permanent resident of Korea. He received his legal education in Korea, the U.S. and the U.K.

Sean is known, over his 15+ years in Asia, for his aggressive advocacy and candid NY-style street-smart advice. Sean is also one of the few attorneys with significant experience managing non-consulting companies. He worked as an interim General Manager/Director for Oil & Gas, New Tech, Pharmaceutical, Franchise and Manufacturing companies.  
Sean works with a cadre of experienced and connected retired judges, prosecutors, in-house attorneys, government officers and former international law firm attorneys.
Sean has been recognized by numerous legal publications and rating agencies for outstanding service to clients both large and small. Recently, he was recognized by AsiaLaw as one of only two non-Korean attorneys as a Top Attorney in Korea. 
Sean and IPG has successfully assisted in bringing into Asia and North America a variety of companies including leading brands, oil & gas companies, manufacturers, real estate companies, franchises, entertainment companies and new-tech companies. 

Sean and IPG are engaged  in some of the most noteworthy contentious matters via arbitration and litigation and some of the leading transactional matters in Asia.


  • Registration of a leading bakery franchise in Korea.  Numerous franchise registrations conducted for franchisors.

  • Arbitration between an international construction company and a Korean conglomerate.  Retained for arbitrations throughout Asia.

  • Localization and enforcement of an eight-figure commercial debt in Korea.

  • Not guilty verdict for the president of a foreign defense company.  Criminal matters for business clients and individuals in collaboration with a dedicated criminal defense team. 

  • Prevailed in a Korean criminal court in challenging the Prosecutor's application for a Detention Warrant for an American Airman, thus, allowing the Airman to receive no time in jail.

  • Successful resolution of a Korean customs and tax audit for an international chemical company.

  • Local counsel for a leading international law firm's Fortune 500 client in a trade dispute leading to a tariff being placed on the products of a local Korean conglomerate.

  • Successful resolution of a divorce and child abduction matter for a CEO of a MNC.

  • Successful entry of a leading e-commerce site into the Korean market. 

  • Consultation services related to licensing, joint ventures and regulatory compliance issues for an American real estate developer's shopping mall projects in Korea.

  • Successful resolution of a dispute between a F & B Franchise and a Korean franchisee.  Resolution of numerous franchise disputes and Korean FTC actions. 

  • Enforcement and monitoring of trademarks for numerous clients in Korea and China.

  • Successful challenge of a registered trademark for an international fashion brand.

  • Complete restructuring of the HR compliance for an international retailer. 


  • Constitutional Court of Korea, Research Officer

  • Associate Professor, Kookmin University College of Law

  • Adj. Professor, Seoul National University, Graduate School of Public Administration

  • Dean, International Affairs, UPeace, UN-Delegated University

  • Columnist & Ombudsman, Korea Times

  • Quoted, Profiled and Interviewed by Wall Street Version, NY Times, Bloomberg & Korean vernaculars. 


  • Seoul National University, Ph.D. Cand.

  • University of London, International Law

  • QU School of Law, J.D.

  • Fordham University/Fairfield University, BA

  • Notre Dame High School, West Haven, CT


  • Admitted to the New York State Bar

  • Member, International Bar Association

  • Member, NY Bar Association

  • Member, NY City Bar Association


  • English & Korean


  • One of only two non-Koreans rated a Top Attorney by LawAsia.

  • Who's Who in Franchise Law.

  • Who's Who in the World.

  • Rated Excellent (10) by AVVO.

  • Best Advice Blog, K-Blog Awards.

  • Top 25 Blog by LexisNexis.

  • Top Blog in AVVO's listing of blogs.

  • Who's Who in Entertainment Law.


  • U.S. Political Question Defined, American Journal of Constitutional Law (2015).

  • U.S.Political Question Document Application to Korean Constitutional Law, Korean Const. Court Journal (2014).

  • Korean Franchising, A Global Guide, Practical Law, Thomson Reuters (2018).

  • Korean Employment & Labor Law, Global Legal Insights 6th Edition, Global Legal Group (2018)

  • The Korean Labor Market under the Moon Administration, 2018 Discovering Business, Allurentis (2018)

  • Korean Business in the Global Economy, Chapter in Book (2014).

  • Over 100 Op-Ed in various international publications

  • Quoted by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Korea Times, Korean Herald and various other publications

  • Taught law classes for Santa Clara University; Seoul National University; Kookmin University; University for Peace; and the Supreme Court of Korea.

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