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
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
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.