Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, one of Tokyo’s Big Four corporate law firms, has announced plans to open offices in Singapore and Shanghai this year, pending regulatory approvals.
The planned expansion by the 317-lawyer firm is the latest in a series of similar overseas moves by Japanese firms in recent years. Another Big Four firm, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, opened a Singapore office at the beginning of the year. The other two, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto and Nishimura & Asahi, opened Singapore offices in 2012.
By establishing overseas offices, the Tokyo firms are mainly hoping to better compete with international firms in advising Japanese companies on their investments abroad.
Anderson Mori Tokyo partner Ko Hanamizu, who focuses on mergers and acquisitions and finance transactions, will launch the firm’s Singapore office with one associate.
In Shanghai, M&A partner Akira Moriwaki will head a Shanghai team consisting of about 10 Japanese- and Chinese-qualified associates. Moriwaki previously worked for the firm in Beijing between 1998 and 2007.
Anderson Mori also announced it would open another domestic office in Nagoya to be led by partner Yoshinori Aoyagi. Japanese law bars law partnerships from having more than one office in Japan, so Anderson Mori is setting up a legal professional corporation in Nagoya that will work in tandem with its main Tokyo partnership.