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Ex-banker Teruo Kato - who was with the Nippon Credit Bank for 14 years before joining Richards Butler as a consultant - is understood to be the only London-based partner at a City firm who is a Japanese national. Kato intends to take most of his clients with him to Field Fisher.
During his term with the bank - seven years of which were spent in London - he was a client of Field Fisher and has been known to the firm for 15 years.
Head of Field Fisher's corporate department Tim Davies describes his arrival - which follows hot on the heels of Anthony Brockbank, who recently joined from Hobson Audley - as "great news" for the corporate department.
Practice development partner Mark Abell adds: "First and foremost we recruited him because he is a high-class corporate lawyer. The fact that he is Japanese is not the be-all and end-all, though clearly this will be a linguistic and cultural advantage when dealing with Japanese clients."
For the past eight years, 45-year-old Kato worked for Richards Butler as a banking consultant before qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales three years ago.
He says: "I have kept in touch with the lawyers at Field Fisher Waterhouse who helped me when I was one of their clients.
"In light of the resurgence of the Japanese economy, the chance to exploit Field Fisher Waterhouse's expertise [in IT, e-commerce, telecommunications, banking, travel and aviation] and to combine their long-established Japanese practice with my own, was too great an opportunity to miss."
Richards Butler business development director Ian Guthrie says: "We wish Teruo well as he continues his career."