Linklaters nears merger with splitting Japanese firm

Linklaters has moved a step closer to merging its Japanese office with Mitsui Yasuda Wani & Maeda after it emerged that the local firm is breaking up.

Nearly half of 76-lawyer Mitsui Yasuda, a corporate finance firm, is likely to join Linklaters by the end of the year led by partners Akihiro Wani and Mitsuhiro Yasuda. As revealed in The Lawyer (22 March), Linklaters has been in talks with the firm for some time.

The potential tie-up arrives as new legislation is expected to come into force next year which would allow local lawyers to form partnerships with foreign law firms. At the same time, according to Euromoney, Morrison & Foerster has also picked up a couple of partners from Mitsui Yasuda, Katsuhiko Fujihira and Yukako Wagatsuma, who will join the US firm’s local outfit Ito & Mitomi.

It appears that most of the remaining bengoshi, led by Hiroshi Meada, will move to Nishimura & Partners in October.