Linklaters‘ Tokyo office has raided magic circle rival Clifford Chance, taking the firm’s head of Asian capital markets.

As first revealed on last Tuesday (17 May) securitisation partner Paul Kruger will be joining Linklaters’ Tokyo office in June.

Kruger, who has been a partner at Clifford Chance since 1997, counts BNP Paribas, Citigroup, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland as clients.

Last year, Kruger advised Citigroup and HSBC on a HK$6bn (£420m) securitisation of toll revenues generated by bridges and tunnels owned by the Hong Kong government. He also acted for BNP Paribas, Calyon and the Royal Bank of Scotland on the E550m (£378.6m) securitisation of Korean residential mortgage loans originated by Korea First Bank.

The appointment marks a further significant step in Linklaters’ plans to bolster its Tokyo office.

In April, Linklaters launched Japan’s first fully merged law firm to take advantage of the recent regulatory changes that opened the door to integrated partnerships between Japanese and foreign lawyers.

The move followed the appointment last year of two name partners, Mitsuhiro Yasuda and Akihiro Wani, and 20 associates from leading domestic banking firm Mitsui Yasuda Wani & Maeda.

Commenting on the appointment, Linklaters’ Asian managing partner Simon Davies said: “We think this is a powerful endorsement of the platform we’ve built in Asia.

“When we examined our strengths and weaknesses in Asia we identified securitisation as an area where we needed more resources. Paul has complementary clients, but a practice area where we had a hole,” he added.