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The Tokyo office of Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) has formed a joint venture with a local firm, allowing it to provide domestic advice for the first time.
The US firm has been in Japan since 1987. Under Japanese law, foreign firms are allowed to give domestic advice only through a joint venture, but the firm has hooked up with Tokyo firm Ito & Mitomi.
The alliance comes hard on the heels of Clifford Chance's recently established joint venture (The Lawyer, 19 February). It has aligned itself to Tanaka & Akita which, like Ito & Mitomi, was formed specifically to be part of a joint venture.
MoFo represents a range of companies in Tokyo including Fujitsu, Softbank, Toshiba and Goldman Sachs, but has been able to provide only international advice until now.
MoFo has expanded its Los Angeles operation with a Century City office. The firm will use the office, which is close to Hollywood, to service the entertainment industry. Intellectual property partner Anthony Press will be the managing partner of the 11-lawyer operation.