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UK-headquartered Bird & Bird has announced plans to launch a Tokyo office to be led by newly hired corporate partner Hiro Iwamura. Iwamura joins from Ashurst, where he headed the firm’s UK/European-Japanese practice.

The Japan office opening, scheduled for December, is part of the firm's new five-year strategy and marks its first international expansion. The office will support Japanese clients with outbound cross-border work in Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, focusing on key industry sectors such as renewable energy, life sciences, technology and media.

Additionally, the office will also focus on cross-border transactional, intellectual property, dispute resolution and data protection work in the tech space from Japan to Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Other areas will include digital transformation, autonomous driving and global compliance. 

The Tokyo office will not handle inbound transactions into Japan but will continue to work closely with Japanese partner firms in the region, the firm said in a statement.

“Japan is a dynamic, tech-rich country, and as Japanese clients increasingly look to expand internationally, it’s right that we put down roots alongside them to help them achieve their international ambitions,” says Christian Bartsch, CEO of Bird & Bird.

Iwamura brings with him two decades of experience advising Japanese companies entering the UK and EU through M&A, joint ventures, and the establishment of branch offices and manufacturing sites.

He also provides general corporate advice to Japanese clients, including general contract reviews, compliance advice, corporate reorganisations, dispute resolutions, employment matters, real estate transactions and advice on administration/liquidation and withdrawal of businesses.

The firm intends to strengthen its capabilities in the country with further hires in coming months. “The team on the ground will act as conduits between Japanese clients and the rest of the firm’s international network,” the firm said.

Bird & Bird’s Asia presence includes Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
 

 

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