White & Case strengthens finance practice in Tokyo with PwC partner

White & Case is jumping on the structured finance bandwagon in Tokyo. It is taking on a partner from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to boost its local tax capability.

Yasuo Igarashi specialises in leveraged leasing transactions. The firm has brought him in to boost the corporate tax planning practice and ramp up the structured finance, M&A, restructuring and securitisation packages.

The move follows hard on the heels of Clifford Chance. It, too, is upping its Tokyo structured finance practice by sending in real estate finance partner Paul Severs (The Lawyer, 13 November).

Igarashi is joining as a senior member of the tax practice because of his accountancy background. Before joining PwC, he was a tax examiner with Japan’s national tax administration agency.

White & Case managing partner Duane Wall says: “The tax aspects of many corporate and financial transactions are central to the overall viability of the transactions. In fact, many of our clients transactions are driven by tax considerations. The addition of Mr Igarashi to our Tokyo, Asian and worldwide team of tax lawyers further enhances our ability to structure these transactions for our clients.”

White & Case in Tokyo, in conjunction with local firm Kandabashi Law Offices, claims to be the biggest international law firm in Japan, with 60 fee-earners. The tax practice boasts both US tax counsel and affiliated Japanese tax attorneys, who are known as Zeirishi.