White & Case boosts Tokyo office with double Paul Hastings hire

White & Case has hired two partners in Japan from fellow US firm Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker.

Jun Usami and Ayako Kawano will boost the firm’s profile in M&A, real estate, and restructuring.

Usami, who was co-chair of Paul Hastings’ M&A practice in Tokyo, joins White & Case in the same role, acting alongside partner Brian Strawn.

Kawano, who is qualified in Japan and New York, also joins the firm as a partner and will continue to focus on corporate, real estate and restructuring work. At Paul Hastings she was a partner in the real estate team in Tokyo.

“We’re expecting an upswing in activity this year, particularly in outbound investments,” said Barrye Wall, White & Case’s managing partner for Asia. “The combined experience of Jun and Ayako in M&A and corporate, and related areas adds considerable firepower to our service offering in Japan, particularly in being able to advise Japanese clients entirely in the Japanese language.”

White & Case has had an office in Tokyo since 1987. The firm now has 89 lawyers there, including 19 partners and 9 local partners.