Ashursts attacks Japanese market with bengoshi hires

Ashurst Morris Crisp follows Sidley Austin's lead in establishing Japanese joint venture

Ashurst Morris Crisp has joined international competitors with a push into Japan, by appointing two Japanese bengoshi from Blakemore and Mitsuki.

Shoji Ushijima joined the Ashurst's office in October and will be joined by colleague Yukiko Mitsuhashi in November. Both bengoshi specialise in structured finance, banking and M&A work.

The Lawyer understands that Ushijima's clients are large banking clients, including Mitsibushi Trust and Banking Corporation, Nippon Life Insurance Company and Asahi Banking Corporation.

Ushijima and Mitsuhashi will operate from Ashurst's existing Tokyo office, practising under the name Ashurst Tokyo Law Office. The firm also has two partners and seven UK qualified associates in Tokyo.The appointments come hot on the heels of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood's joint venture with four bengoshi, which it announced last week.