Top Brazilian law firm opens for business in Tokyo

In rare international move for Latin American firm, Pinheiro Neto launches in Japan

The Marunouchi district, Tokyo

Leading Brazilian law firm Pinheiro Neto has opened an office in Tokyo in a rare international foray for top-tier Latin American firms. The office - the 100-partner firm's second international base after Palo Alto – will be staffed by newly promoted partner Yuka Ono.

The firm – which is highly-rated for its international trade practice - is the first full-service Brazilian practice to open for business in Japan and likely to be one of the few Latin American law firms of any size with a presence there.

The office is located at the Shin-Marunouchi Center Building in the Marunouchi district.

Japan is Brazil's ninth-largest trading partner and has an estimated population of two million citizens of Japanese descent, according to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The ministry records direct investment into Brazil standing at $4.2bn in 2018, nearly double the funds channelled into Mexico ($2.5bn), another key regional trading partner.

Pinheiro Neto managing partner Alexandre Bertoldi said: "This was a natural move after decades of legal services to Asian clients. We want to strengthen ties even further with our clients in the region.”

Ono added: "Personal relations and eye-to-eye contact are extremely valued in Japanese culture and are key to building confidence and doing business."

Ono takes on the role as office head after heading up the firm’s banking desk in Sao Paulo since October 2013, when she joined the firm after two years at Gibson Dunn’s New York office.

She kicked off her career as a trainee and junior consultant in KPMG Brazil’s tax department and has also enjoyed a spell at Morgan Stanley in Tokyo as a tax analyst. In 2017 she spent two months at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu's Tokyo office as a visiting attorney.

Other leading Brazilian firms with international offices include Mattos Filho (London and New York) and TozziniFreire (New York).

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