Paul Hastings Janofksy & Walker has become the latest foreign firm to merge with a domestic Japanese firm following reforms introduced earlier this year.
The US firm has merged with the Taiyo Law Office, its existing local firm alliance. Following the move, Norifusa Hashimoto, Yoshi Takatori, Jun Usami and Ayako Kawano will join the Paul Hastings as partners.
Reforms introduced on 1 April permit a full partnership between bengoshi and foreign lawyers to practise their own law in Japan in the form of a foreign law joint venture. This was an extension of the old regime of "joint enterprises", under which lawyers were only allowed to advise on the Japanese aspects of deals with an overseas element.