Latham & Watkins boosts Tokyo with 3 MoFo hires

Firms says group brings formidable M&A experience to Latham, further strengthening the firm's practice in Japan and globally.


Latham & Watkins has announced that Ivan Smallwood, Noah Carr, and Stuart Beraha have joined the Tokyo office as partners in the Corporate Department. The three attorneys have been hired away from Morrison & Foerster’s Tokyo office.

“Formidable team”

The firms says with the addition of this “formidable team,” Latham stands poised to capitalize on the strong and growing outbound M&A market in Japan. Japanese companies were involved in 430 M&A deals totaling $214 billion in 2018, more than double the total for 2017, according to Mergermarket. The group advises Japanese companies and financial investors on outbound M&A, joint ventures, strategic investments, and IP and technology licensing matters. “Ivan, Noah, and Stuart have stellar reputations for handling complex M&A and related transactions and are widely acknowledged as leaders in their respective fields. Their stature in the business community and track record advising major Japanese companies on complex cross-border matters will bolster our strategic goal of expanding our practice in Japan and across Asia,” said Stephen McWilliams, office managing partner of Latham & Watkins in Tokyo. “Each one brings a wonderful mix of experience and talent.” Sharon Lau, global vice chair of the firm’s Corporate Department, said: “This group has a well-earned reputation for being super-competitive and very entrepreneurial.”

“Exciting milestone”

Mr Smallwood and Mr Carr have extensive experience advising Japanese corporates and sponsors on structuring and negotiating outbound acquisitions, investments and divestitures, strategic alliances, and joint venture transactions. They have advised on high profile transactions in the technology, telecommunications, and financial services industries. Mr Beraha’s practice focuses on technology, content, branding, and other intellectual property development, licensing and partnering transactions. Rich Trobman, chair and managing partner of Latham & Watkins, said “The Japanese market, with its sophisticated global needs, continues to be very important to our platform. Ivan, Noah, and Stuart are a cohesive team who will add momentum to an already powerful practice, serving leading multinationals to fast-growth startups across the Pacific Rim and around the world, spanning diverse industries from financial services to technology. This is an exciting milestone for Latham.” Latham opened its Tokyo office in 1995.

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