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The jailed Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics Co has replaced his lawyer ahead of his forthcoming appeal against the five-year sentence he was handed after being found guilty of bribery and other charges. The sentence passed down to Jay. Y Lee stunned South Korea - and the decision was subsequently described as a ‘landmark case’ in the history of the country.

South Korea is run by family-owned conglomerates and Samsung is one of the biggest corporate empires in the entire world. It is viewed by many within South Korea as the main catalyst for sparking the economic revival in the country following the Korean War in 1950.

Lee was detained in February on charges that he bribed the South Korean President Park Geun-hye in an attempt to secure control of the conglomerate that owns Samsung Electronics, which is the world’s leading smartphone and chip manufacturer. He was subsequently found guilty of these charges by a Seoul court earlier this month - and Park Geun-hye was forced out of office.

The now disgraced 49 year-old billionaire was heir to the Samsung business empire, but his career now lies in ruins, as he faces down the prospect of serving five years behind bars. However, in a yet another saga in this box-office political scandal that has been played out in full view of the public gallery, Lee has now decided to change his attorney.

It has been disclosed that Song Wu-cheol has now been replaced by Lee In-jae, who has been described as a more ‘senior representative attorney’ at the renowned Bae, Kim & Lee LLC in a bid to ‘reinforce’ the executive’s legal team.

The appeals court is expected to make its ruling around January, with hearings likely to take place this month. The Samsung Vice Chairman’s new attorney has had a distinguished career and has served as chief judge at several courts including Seoul Central District Court before moving to the reputable law firm in 2010.

His major area of expertise and practice are in areas such as finance and corporate criminal matters.