Japan’s Anderson Mori opens in London as firm expands outside Asia for first time

New London arm will be led by former Singapore office rep Atsutoshi Maeda

Japanese firm Anderson Mori & Tomotsune (AMT) has opened a London office as it seeks to broaden its ability to offer Japanese law advice to clients in the UK and Europe.

The new office will be led by corporate partner Atsutoshi Maeda, who has been with the firm for almost 15 years, eight of those as its Singapore office representative. AMT will offer advice for European companies seeking to invest in Japanese entities or real estate via M&A or joint venture transactions. The Japanese Yen fell to a 24-year low against the dollar this week, making Japanese investments cheaper for foreign investors. 

In addition, the firm said it will advise clients on international disputes related to their businesses in Japan and legal issues related to entry into the Japanese market, such as group restructuring or employment matters. AMT said it will also lean on its network of relationships with local firms in Europe to advise Japanese companies who are seeking to do business in the region.

The London office is AMT’s eighth outside of Japan but its first outside of Asia, adding to its presence in Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore and Jakarta. It also has three offices in Japan – Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.

AMT is one of the largest full-service international firms in Japan, home to more than 600 legal professionals. In December 2020, the firm set up a foreign law joint enterprise to allow its foreign lawyers to become partners, using the same structure that international law firms use to hire local lawyers in Japan.

Also in June that year, AMT launched an alliance with Singapore firm DOP Law Corporation to allow it to offer local legal advice, adding to similar arrangements in its Jakarta and Hong Kong offices where it has alliances with H&A Partners and Nakamura & Associates respectively.

Last year rival firm Nishimura & Asahi chose Germany as the location of its first European office.

International firms have had a relatively quiet year in Japan from a hiring perspective. In April, Linklaters boosted its Tokyo office with the arrival of Ashurst’s M&A and Asia insurance sector lead Tracy Whiriskey. And in February, Dentons hired Hogan Lovells’ former global sustainability head Aragon St-Charles for a newly created role as global ESG strategy leader based in Tokyo.

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