Bingham raids White & Case in Tokyo for seven lawyer funds team

Bingham has expanded in Japan by snatching a seven-lawyer investment funds team from White & Case’s Tokyo office.

The team is led by partners Christopher Wells and Tomoko Fuminaga, who headed the investment funds and regulatory team at White & Case in Tokyo.

Wells is a veteran international lawyer in Japan, having practised in the country since 1983. Fuminaga primarily advises banking, securities and asset management companies on Japanese financial regulatory matters and corporate law. The other five lawyers, also joining from White & Case’s Tokyo office, consists of counsel Carol Tsuchida and associate Koji Yamamoto.

Bingham’s Tokyo managing partner Hideyuki Sakai said the recent additions reflected an increase in investment activity in Japan.

The firm’s history in Tokyo dates to 1997. Most recently, it added Steve Lewis, founder of Herbert Smith’s Tokyo office, as a financial services partner to the firm’s Japanese practice group.

The new arrivals in Tokyo come a year after the addition of a 13-lawyer team to the investment management practice group in Washington DC in July 2012. Part of the team, including three partners, joined from Morgan Lewis’s Washington DC office.