Morgan Lewis signs Simmons’ Tokyo ally

US firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius has announced a new Japanese joint venture with TMI Associates – TMI’s second international joint venture.

TMI also has an official relationship with UK firm Simmons & Simmons, which was established in September 2001.

The new partnership, named Morgan Lewis-TMI, will specialise primarily in cross-border corporate transactions in Japan as well as US issues, while Simmons’ covers European and some Asian issues.

Morgan Lewis-TMI has six partners and will focus on a wide range of practice areas such as M&A, corporate and finance law, private equity, technology, life sciences and pharmaceutical industries.

Co-managing partners Gregory Salathe and Kunio Namekata will head the joint venture.

Morgan Lewis management committee member Philip Wener said the Japanese market was experiencing accelerated M&A activity.

“During the first half of 2005, the number of deals announced rose by 10 per cent compared to the previous six months, while announced deal values shot up 85 per cent,” he said.