Japanese firms merge to create Nishimura & Asahi

Two of Japan’s largest firms have confirmed their merger a year after they announced plans to create a combined firm to counter the arrival of foreign firms launching in the jurisdiction.

Nishimura & Partners and Kokusai Bumon of Asahi Law Offices will become Nishimura & Asahi on 1 July. The combined firm will have more than 300 lawyers and will be housed in Nishimura’s current building in Tokyo.

The firms say they agreed to merge in order to keep up with the current demand for skilled Japanese lawyers.

They planned to combine as a protective measure after regulatory shifts allowed foreign firms to form partnerships with Japanese firms. The UK’s magic circle has been particularly active during the last year, with the recruitment of a number of bengoshi.

The two firms have a longstanding relationship, with many lawyers having worked together on a number of transactions in the past.