Linklaters is doubling the size of its Tokyo operation, reflecting the resurgence in the Japanese economy.
The firm is moving two partners to Tokyo and has poached a Japanese lawyer and one-time diplomat from rival Slaughter and May.
Linklaters' Hong Kong partner Simon Davies will be moving to Tokyo next month and will be followed later in the year by a further senior securities partner.
Slaughters assistant Hideo Norikoshi, a UK-qualified solicitor with five years' experience at the firm, will move from London to Tokyo in August to start his new position. He will be working on corporate and mergers and acquisitions work, in addition to project finance matters.
Prior to working for Slaughters, Norikoshi was a diplomat with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Linklaters' investment in Japan may be a sign of things to come as its economy swings dramatically back into action.
Gross domestic product leapt by 1.9 per cent in the last quarter, astonishing economic analysts who had predicted a growth of only 0.1 per cent.
While work in debt restructuring, litigation and dispute resolution has continued during the recession, project finance is one of the core markets to have suffered.
The two partner moves will bring the partner count in the Tokyo office to four and coincides with the practice's move to new offices in the Akasaka district of Tokyo.
Managing partner of Linklaters' Tokyo office Jonathan Inman says: “I am delighted to welcome Simon Davies and Hideo Norikoshi to Tokyo. Japan is an exciting place to be at the moment as it continues to open up and to deregulate.”
Inman adds: “We are trying hard to keep up with developments in Japan, as the increased pace of deregulation and growing internationalism of the financial sector leads to increased demand for legal services.”
Slaughters chose not to comment on Norikoshi's departure.