Dorsey & Whitney has continued its Asian expansion with the hire of Japanese corporate finance lawyer Takashi Suzuki.

Formerly a partner with Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, Suzuki will continue to practise in M&A, banking, corporate recovery, structured finance and real estate.

Dorsey opened its Japanese operation in 1999, but in an attempt to boost its number of bengoshi it secured a joint venture with Japanese firm Kyo Sogo Law Offices in 2002.

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations ruled this year that Japanese-foreign law joint ventures cannot take advantage of limited liability status if they practise under the name of the foreign firm. Accordingly, in Japan, Dorsey practises under the Kyo Sogo name.

The addition of Suzuki will boost numbers in the Tokyo office to 16, including eight Japan-licensed lawyers.
Walter Mondale, partner in Dorsey’s Asia practice group, said: “Dorsey has a clearly defined strategy to grow the Tokyo and other Asian offices over the next several years.”