Alternative title : "LOVE & LAW"
“The Lawyers of The Great Republic Korea” is a tale about a man involved in a divorce lawsuit, and his lawyer’s attempt to salvage his money and love. The story includes an exciting turn of events when romance is found during the process of the lawsuit.
Woo Lee-kyung worked at a major law firm as a secretary when she fell head-over-heels in love with Byun-hyuk, a rising star attorney in the firm. They fell madly in love with each other and ended up living together for three years. However, one day, Byun-hyuk decided to leave her, and all she had left were his law school books. The despaired Lee-kyung studied day and night with Byun-hyuk’s books, and soon passed the bar exam herself. Lee-kyung ends up opening her own tiny office with no employees. Her first task is to represent Han Min-kook, who winds up in a huge divorce lawsuit that could cost him an incredible sum of $100 million dollars. This case also lands Lee-kyung in a funny, cute tale of romance. Meanwhile, the story takes an odd twist when it is discovered that Han Min-kook’s ex-wife, Lee Ae-ri, is Lee-kyung’s good friend, and the lawyer representing Ae-ri is none other than Byun-hyuk himself. At the end of the day, Lee-kyung is left with the challenge of facing a showdown with her friend, Ae-ri, as well as her first love, Byun-hyuk.
Han Min-kook / Lee Seong-jae (mid-30s)
- CEO of Independent Financial Group (Investments & Securities Brokerage). A genius in investments.
He is a friend to money, but a foe to the law. Min-kook is like a beast that can never be tamed. He is also a rising star in the financial industry who even holds a fund under his name. Min-kook was at the center of the spotlight when he married a superstar actress six years ago, and he made millions while he was married to her. Although he invested in everything that was profitable, he failed to invest in his own wife. During the marriage, he was involved in several romantic scandals. His wife finally had enough and filed for divorce. The two had a seemingly simple consensual divorce. But before Min-kook had time to catch his breath, he received some unpleasant news. His ex-wife is now asking him to divide their assets through her lawyer and is demanding $100 million dollars. Was getting married such a risky investment in life? He just can’t seem to understand the answer to that question.
Woo Lee-kyung / Lee Soo-kyeong (29 years old)
- A lawyer new to the legal world.
During the six months of her career as a lawyer, she has only had three cases entrusted to her.
Unlike most lawyers, her heart moves faster than her head, and she can never turn a blind eye when she witnesses injustice. After finishing high school, she was hired as a secretary in a large law firm called “Daebo.” There, she fell in love with a new star lawyer and ended up moving in with him.
One day, he coldly leaves her, and she digs into his law school books that he left behind. After a while, she passes the bar exam and finally becomes a private lawyer in her own tiny office. She hardly has any clients, and all the cases she handles are divorce-related. One summer night, when the entire nation is going wild watching the Olympics, Han Min-kook opens the shabbiest legal office in town.
Lee Ae-ri / Han Eun-jeong (29 years old)
- A beautiful actress who left the entertainment industry upon marriage when her career was at its peak.
Ae-ri is Han Min-kook’s wife and high school buddy of Woo Lee-kyung. She is also the fashion icon of the century. Even a grocery bag becomes the “it bag” when she carries it around. Six years ago, when she was passionately proposed to by a young man, she left her career without any regrets. She was indeed in love with Min-kook, but to her, marriage was the safest investment she could ever make in her life. But her marriage turned out to be a very lonely one. After six years, she ended it all and filed a huge lawsuit. The amount was $100 million dollars, a figure that was unheard of in the history of Korean divorce courts! Thanks to the prenuptial agreement that Min-kook signed and quickly forgot about, she now has a 100% chance of winning this case. At first, she thought of filing for $50 million, but thanks to her competent lawyer Byun-hyuk, she changed her mind and raised the figure all the way up to $100 million dollars. Thanks to her hotshot lawyer, she can finally retrieve her wings to soar again. Will she be able to fly and land in her new dream life through this lawsuit?
Byun-hyuk / Ryoo Soo-yeong (34 years old)
- Byun-hyuk was a famous divorce court lawyer in the US and was scouted to the large law firm “Daebo” in Korea.
He is the ex-boyfriend of Woo Lee-kyung who he coldly left six years ago. He is a smoothtalker, and loves to joke around unlike most of the other lawyers. Thanks to his smoothtalking, he can easily lure ladies and judges. He is also slick in luring his clients. When the secretary he dumped six years ago returns to his life as a slightly lacking but passionate lawyer, he finds her attractive all over again and does everything to lure her back. But things do not seem as easy as they were six years ago. He knows how to draw the line between his private life and business, so when he learns that Lee-kyung is representing Min-kook, he laughs to himself thinking that this is going to be an easy, slam dunk case. Meanwhile, when Lee Ae-ri begins to lean more and more on Byun-hyuk, he is suddenly tempted to break his own rule of never dating clients.
After defending her client in court, Woo Lee-gyeong leaves the courtroom and competes for a taxi against Mr. Oh Young-tak, who snickers at her for being a former secretary at his law firm. Han Min-guk boards his private helicopter with Oh Ryu-dong and they pass over Seoul. Lee Ae-ri visits the prestigious law firm, Daebo Associates, and reporter Bae Soo-jin, who was tailing her, is prevented from entering the law firm’s building due to the security guards.
While eating Chinese noodles, Lee-gyeong notices the headline in a newspaper that says Lee Ae-ri and Han Min-guk have filed for a divorce and is astonished. Ae-ri tells Mr. Choi, the senior partner of Daebo Associates, that she wants his law firm to represent her in her estate suit against her ex-husband, Han Min-guk. She asks him to get her the best divorce lawyer that money can buy. After returning to Korea, Byun-hyuk goes the apartment where he used to live together with his former girlfriend, Lee-gyeong.
Han Min-guk asks Woo Lee-gyeong to be his lawyer but Lee-gyeong declines because Ae-ri is her best friend and she could not imagine herself fighting against her in court. Min-guk and Byun-hyuk meet in front of Lee-gyeong’s apartment and they lock eyes in a menacing way. Byun-hyuk is astonished when he sees Lee-gyeong’s certification for passing the bar exam. With a stern face, Lee-gyeong tells Byun-hyuk to leave the apartment where she lives.
Lee-gyeong gets upset when she is called to the police because her dad broke the law. To cheer herself up, she rides on the back of Jeon Lee-man’s motorcycle as they exceed the speed limit. A police car spots them and a hot pursuit begins. Hitching a free ride in Bae Soo-jin’s SUV, Min-guk goes to the precinct and posts bail for Lee-gyeong. Min-guk asks Lee-gyeong to be his lawyer again. Byun-hyuk walks confidently into Daebo Associate’s office on his first day at work. Min-guk visits Lee-gyeong’s office and brings a lunch bag with him.
Byun-hyuk and Ae-ri can’t take their eyes off of the TV when they see Lee-gyeong appearing next to Han Min-guk as his lawyer. Min-guk smiles at Lee-gyeong who is holding a lunch bag. Byun-hyuk approaches Lee-gyeong as she looks perplexed in front of the statue of Lady Justice. He tells her that he knows the lawyer who will represent Lee Ae-ri and that Lee-gyeong is no match to him.
Ae-ri demands to know why Min-guk chose her friend Lee-gyeong to be his lawyer and Min-guk says it’s a strategy. When Lee-gyeong learns later that Lee Ae-ri’s lawyer is no other than Byun-hyuk, she gets angry. Lee-gyeong tells Byun-hyuk to meet her on the rooftop later in the evening while giving him a dirty look.
Han Min-guk goes up to the rooftop of the building and flings the door open, trapping Byun-hyuk behind it. Lee-gyeong, who was standing a few feet away from the door, is surprised to see Min-guk together with Ae-ri. She suggests that they all go downstairs. Noticing the backside of a man standing on the rooftop, Ae-ri rings up her lawyer, Byun-hyuk, and quietly turns around.
Min-guk and Oh Ryu-dong take the court summons papers to Lee-gyeong’s office. Lee-gyeong is talking with a school principal over the phone at the moment and she steps outside. While waiting for Lee-gyeong, Min-guk gets angry when the electric fan doesn’t work. He tells Lee-gyeong to write a reply concerning the court summons by tomorrow morning.
Lying on a bed in the emergency room, Han Min-guk calls for Lee-gyeong but she doesn’t appear. After explaining what happened to the police, Lee-gyeong remembers Min-guk telling her not to close her eyes. She then enters the emergency room. Byun-hyuk gets mad that Lee-gyeong didn’t come home that night and puts up the apartment where she lives for sale.
Min-guk and Lee-gyeong share the same room in the hospital and when Byun-hyuk and Ae-ri hear about their accident, they both head to the hospital to pay a visit to them. The four people meet at the same room and stare at each other in surprise. Ae-ri tells Min-guk to get well as soon as possible. While looking at a photo of Lee-gyeong, Byun-hyuk tries to put it back in the photo album and notices Lee-gyeong’s old, scuffed-up cell phone.
When Byun-hyuk holds Lee-gyeong’s wrist as they go down a stairway, Min-guk also pulls Lee-gyeong towards her by holding her wrist. As Lee-gyeong stands in the middle between the two men in an awkward situation, Ae-ri tells the men to let go of her in an icy voice. When Ae-ri asks Lee-gyeong if she’ll be on her side as a friend, Lee-gyeong tells her that she’s going to stick with Han Min-guk.
Oh Young-tak swipes a letter that is addressed to Byun-hyuk. The letter states the legal arguments that Lee-gyeong will present to the court to claim ownership of Byun-hyuk’s apartment and contains private details. While eating lunch with Lee-gyeong, Min-guk keeps asking her the definition of three particular characters. Koh Gyeong-hee shows the pre-nuptials that Ae-ri signed before she married Min-guk. After hearing that Ae-ri signed a pre-nuptial agreement, Byun-hyuk goes to Min-guk and punches him.
Lee-gyeong offers to treat Min-guk to dinner after he gets off work. Lee-gyeong offers barbecued pork to Min-guk but he refuses to eat it because it is not to his liking. Reporter Bae Soo-jin reads the pre-nuptial agreement signed between Lee Ae-ri and Min-guk when somebody faxes it from Woo Lee-gyeong’s office. Bae is startled when he reads the last clause.
While talking with Woo Seok-ho, Min-guk finds out that Lee-gyeong is single. Head Partner Choi of Daebo Associates advises Lee-gyeong to drop her countersuit but Lee-gyeong firmly refuses. When meeting with Reporter Bae Soo-jin, Ae-ri is shocked to learn that her pre-nuptial agreement was faxed from Woo Lee-gyeong’s office. Byun-hyuk and Ae-ri go meet Lee-gyeong and the four of them go to a restaurant together to eat barbecued pork.
After putting on his jacket, Min-guk starts talking about the Hangukmin Mutual Fund in bullish terms to a group of journalists, who look at him in disbelief. Lee-gyeong brings up the fact that Min-guk spent the night with Ae-ri but Min-guk tells her that nothing has changed about their divorce proceedings.
Byun-hyuk tells Ae-ri that the judge has set a date to hear her case and asks her if his services are no longer needed. Ae-ri tells him to handle the case as planned. The four of them look tense as they sit before the judge and there is an air of tension. Oh Ryu-dong learns about the past relationship between Lee-gyeong and Byun-hyuk and goes to see Ok-hee to confirm what he has learned. Ok-hee proposes to Oh Ryu-dong to go on a date with her to stop him from telling that information to Min-guk.
Min-guk angrily calls Ae-ri after he finds out the truth about the past relationship between Lee-gyeong and Byun-hyuk. He tells Ae-ri to come over Lee-gyeong’s home. Ae-ri looks surprised when she sees Lee-gyeong, Byun-hyuk, and Min-guk altogether at the apartment. Telling everyone to leave, Lee-gyeong also tells them that she’ll end her friendship with Byun-hyuk and Ae-ri and her client relationship with Min-guk. Ae-ri tells Byun-hyuk that she lost the only lawyer she could depend on and her best friend in one day as she gets up and leaves first.
Min-guk goes to see Oh Young-tak and learns that Lee-gyeong and Byun-hyuk are fighting each other in the courts to claim ownership of the apartment. Lee-gyeong tells Byun-hyuk that she wants to be reinstated as Min-guk’s lawyer and Min-guk drops by and tells Lee-gyeong to read the lawsuit filed by Byun-hyuk over the apartment with a wry smile.
Lee-gyeong heads to her office in a hurry with her heart fluttering and finds herself happy to see Min-guk as he walks towards her. Byun-hyuk presents Lee-gyeong’s old cell-phone to her but the phone falls into a stew when Lee-gyeong tries to swipe it out of his hands.
Lee-gyeong asks Ae-ri to put aside the fact that they’re friends and just frankly tell her what she wants from Min-guk as a plaintiff talking to the defendant’s lawyer. Min-guk and Lee-gyeong go to a park and walk along the stone cobbled trail together. Reporter Bae Soo-jin watches them while hidden from their view. When Ae-ri reads about the scandalous relationship between Min-guk and Lee-gyeong, she gets enraged at being betrayed by them and goes to see Byun-hyuk.
Leaving the court together, Min-guk and Lee-gyeong don’t say a word to each other as they drive along a quiet road. Lee-gyeong gets upset that Min-guk did not tell her about the pre-nuptial agreement beforehand. Min-guk leaves Lee-gyeong alongside the ride and drives away in his car. Lee-gyeong looks on with disbelief as he leaves. Ae-ri tells Min-guk not to get involved with Lee-gyeong because she’s about to rekindle her relationship with Byun-hyuk.
Byun-hyuk calls Lee-gyeong but she doesn’t answer her phone. After discovering Lee-gyeong’s cell-phone in his car, Min-guk drives back to the spot where he left Lee-gyeong by the side of the road with a grim expression on his face. Seeing that Lee-gyeong left Byun-hyuk, Min-guk secretly rejoices. The judge presents a figure to Lee-gyeong and Byun-hyuk to mediate the divorce settlement.
After speaking her mind, Ae-ri walks out and Lee-gyeong is shocked. Waking up from his sleep, Min-guk gets surprised when he sees that Lee-gyeong is not in her room. He hurriedly goes to her office but it is vacant as everything had been moved out. Lee-gyeong urges Min-guk to have a heart-to-heart talk with Ae-ri.
Byun-hyuk tries to tell Lee-gyeong why he left her while they’re having a drink but Lee-gyeong passes out cold after having too much to drink. Byun-hyuk gets upset when he learns who Lee-gyeong is really in love with. Ae-ri tells Min-guk that they should drop their divorce suit but Min-guk refuses. Ae-ri leaves the pre-nuptial agreement with him and asks him to think it over.
After waking up from his sleep, Min-guk is shocked to see Lee-gyeong sleeping next to him and asks her what she is doing with him. Lee-gyeong wakes up when she hears Min-guk’s voice. Lee-gyeong grabs Min-guk around the collar and confesses her feelings for him and Min-guk is confused on whether she really means it when she said she loved him. Byun-hyuk arrives at the court late and tells the judge that an apartment can only be seen as joint property if the couple is married. Lee-gyeong watches him in disbelief.
Min-guk decides to go to the press conference of Ae-ri’s new movie after taking heated calls from the banks. During the press conference, Min-guk asks Ae-ri out loud what she will do with the money from her divorce settlement. The cameras focus on Min-guk. Min-guk tells Ae-ri that he will wait to hear her answer in the place where they first met each other and then promptly leaves.
Min-guk is surprised to see Lee-gyeong wearing a different fashion style from her usual bland look. When Lee-gyeong asks him to return her lunchbox, he tells her that he didn’t eat the lunch she packed for him. Min-guk says mean things to Lee-gyeong to make her change her feelings towards him but Lee-gyeong tells Min-guk that he’s growing fonder of him. Ae-ri calls up Byun-hyuk and tells him to come see her at the hotel.
Lee-gyeong and Ae-ri bump into each other at the wedding of a mutual friend and they look at each other awkwardly. Min-guk is at the same hotel where he is holding a shareholders’ meeting for his Hanminguk Mutual Fund. Min-guk frowns when he sees Lee-gyeong and Ae-ri wearing the same dress. The shareholders’ meeting begins and when Min-guk becomes speechless after the people ask him a barrage of questions, Ae-ri steps onto the stage...
Min-guk and Lee-gyeong are unable to meet eyes they act awkwardly around each other. Min-guk asks Lee-gyeong to stay at his side until the end. Min-guk ignores the ringing sound of Lee-gyeong’s cell-phone during the meeting and Byun-hyuk is surprised to hear Min-guk on the other end when he was expecting Lee-gyeong to answer the cell-phone. Min-guk confronts Byun-hyuk and asks him why he didn’t tell Lee-gyeong the truth about what happened in America. Tears well up in Lee-gyeong’s eyes when she recognizes Byun-hyuk’s voice on the other end of the line.
Eventually, Min-guk relinquishes the president position and when Lee-gyeong learns about this, she calls Min-guk who doesn’t take her calls. When Lee-gyeong tells Min-guk to give her some more time to think it over, he tells her to make a selfish decision, which means he wants her to pick him.
One year later, Min-guk and Lee-gyeong bump into each other in the lobby of a building and look surprised. While riding the elevator, Min-guk grins. Min-guk tells the former general manager to keep managing his company as the president. Min-guk and Lee-gyeong enter their respective offices and recall the memories they had.
With Byun-hyuk’s help, Lee-gyeong is able to win a crucial decision in court and while she beams happily, Senior Partner Choi and Mr. Oh Young-tak approach her and Byun-hyuk. Min-guk tells Oh Ryu-dong to have a chauffer drive Lee-gyeong to his office. Koh Gyeong-hee gets nervous when Min-guk and Lee-gyeong enter the office together. Lee-gyeong had told Koh Gyeong-hee glowing compliments about Min-guk before but she never mentioned an interest in marrying him.