Blake Dawson opens first Japan office in landmark move for Oz legal profession

Australian firm Blake Dawson has officially opened in Tokyo, becoming one of the first Australian firms to open an office in Japan.

As first revealed by The Lawyer (TheLawyer.com, 13 November 2009), Blake Dawson decided to open a Japanese office as part of a strategy that favours Asia over Europe.

Outside its six domestic offices, the firm’s international presence is entirely based in Asia.

Blake Dawson managing partner John Carrington said: “Attaining the licence represents not just a major step for Blake ­Dawson but for the ­Australian legal profession. It follows extensive discussions and engagement with the Japanese regulatory authorities and adds to the firm’s Asian presence that now spans Shanghai, ­Singapore, Jakarta and Port Moresby.”

Japan is Australia’s largest export market, accounting for more than Aus$50bn (£30bn), while the country is the third largest source of investment in Australia, representing around Aus$90bn.

Blake Dawson has been working on Japanese matters for about 25 years and is focused on Japanese trading houses, financial institutions, energy and resources, infrastructure and consumer products companies.

More recently it has advised clients including Kirin, Marubeni and Mitsui on the acquisition of stakes in Australian entities.

The firm’s resident ­partner Natsuko Ogawa said: “Our new Tokyo office will offer our Japanese clients a richer service ­offering through an on-the-ground presence, bringing an even greater focus and depth to these relationships while opening up new opportunities for the firm and our legal staff with an interest in Japan.”