Japan mourns passing of legendary lawyer

The staff at leading Japanese law firms Nishimura & Partners and Asahi Koma Law Offices are mourning the death of legendary founder and senior counsel of Nishimura & Partners, Toshiro Nishimura, who passed away at the end of last week.

As previously revealed on thelawyer.com, Nishimura & Partners and Asahi Koma Law Offices are set to form the biggest law firm in the country.

Nishimura established Nishimura & Komatsu, which was later to become Nishimura & Partners, soon after graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1961. He was born in 1933.

He held a number of prominent positions in the legal community, including that of chairman on the council of the Japan Federation of Bar Association – International Affairs and vice president of the Japan China Lawyers’ Exchange Association. In April 2006, Nishimura stepped down from the Hitachi board of directors.

A statement from Nishimura & Partners read: “Toshiro Nishimura will be sorely missed as both an exceptionally talented lawyer and as a friend. The firm would like to extend its sincerest condolences to his family.”

Nishimura and Asahi signed a merger agreement in principle, the name of the combined firm and the date for completing the integration has not yet been determined.

The merger marks an emerging trend among big Japanese law firms to merge with smaller firms in a bid to remain independent.