Aug 02, 2016

    North Korea's only law firm stops work


    NORTH Korea's first and only law firm, Hay, Kalb

    & Associates, will suspend operations, its principal said yesterday, as the country grows increasingly isolated.

    The firm is a joint venture between the

    North Korean state and British-French citizen Michael Hay, who has represented foreign clients in the capital, Pyongyang, for 12 years.

    He said he had made the decision based on "business and geopolitical principles".

    The majority of the clients are foreign investors, many of whom have been negatively affected by the sanctions.

    "The sanctions are

    hurting legitimate foreign investors," Mr Hay

    pointed out.

    Very few foreigners live or work in North Korea.

    Those who do are usually members of the diplomatic

    or non-governmental-organisation community, although a small group

    of foreign investors have maintained a quiet and steady presence in the country.

    Mr Hay, who bills his firm as the only one in North Korea, said he will still maintain an office

    in Pyongyang.

    North Korea has more than 8,000 law graduates, according to an official

    2008 census, half of whom are based in Pyongyang.

    Most are employed

    by the state.