*Updated 8/9: This story has been updated with the temporary suspension of Simmons & Simmons’ joint venture with Japanese firm TMI Associates, and Simmons’ hire of a new Tokyo office head. The third paragraph of the story have been modified to reflect that.
Jones Day has recruited former Simmons & Simmons Tokyo head Richard Kramer as a partner in its Tokyo office.
Kramer led Simmons & Simmons’ Tokyo office since 2015, a year after making partner. He joined the London-based firm in 2012 after stints in-house at investment banks, including Credit Suisse Securities Ltd., in London and Tokyo. A U.S. lawyer, Kramer started his career with Shearman & Sterling in New York in 2001.
*As a result of Kramer’s departure, Simmons & Simmons’ 17-year-old joint venture with Japanese firm TMI Associates, has been suspended. Simmons & Simmons said a new Tokyo head, corporate and intellectual property lawyer Aaron Patience, will arrive in the fall from New Zealand firm Kensington Swan. The Simmons-TMI joint venture was suspended before when two partners left the U.K. firm for legacy Lovells.
An infrastructure and energy lawyer, Kramer represented Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corp. on the development and financing of a $3 billion water and power project in Qatar in 2016.
Jones Day’s Tokyo office has 38 lawyers, including 13 partners. Earlier this year, the office lost finance and projects partner Kaoru Umino and corporate partner Dan Matsuda to DLA Piper and corporate counsel Dooyong Kang to K&L Gates.
Global firms, particularly U.S. firms, have been expanding in Tokyo recently, with Paul Hastings, DLA Piper, Mayer Brown and K&L Gates all making partner hires this year. Sino-Australian firm King & Wood Mallesons also grew its Tokyo office with two partner hires on Tuesday.
The Tokyo expansion comes as a wave of outbound projects and M&A work have been emanating from Japan recently, prompting firms, including Mayer Brown, Debevoise & Plimpton and King & Spalding, to open offices there in the past few years.
Additional reporting by Ben Wheway in London.