UK and US firms get ready for Japan boom

UK and US firms have been piling into Japan in preparation for an expected flurry of overseas listings.

Linklaters & Alliance has boosted its Tokyo office with the hire of US securitisation partner Mark Hunsaker from Sullivan & Cromwell.
Tokyo office head Tony Grundy predicted that overseas listing work will take off for law firms in Japan.He said: “As more Japanese companies comply with international standards of accounting and disclosure, it will become easier for them to list in New York and London, with the in-creased investor awareness and M&A opportunities that follow.”
Meanwhile, New York firm Jones Day Reavis & Pogue is merging in Japan to more than double its capability in Tokyo. The firm is linking up with Tokyo's Showa Law Office on 1 January next year, giving the firm a 20-lawyer office with 15 Japanese-qualified lawyers.
Japanese regulations forbid a full merger, so the office has been set up as a joint venture, but the structuring is such that the two firms are fully integrated economically.
The merger boosts Jones Day's Asian capability to more than 125 lawyers in six offices across the region. In the past couple of years, the firm has opened in both Shanghai and Singapore.
Jones Day has a raft of clients who are active in Japan, one of the largest of which is tyre company Bridgestone.