Malaysia’s Chooi & Company and Tokyo-headquartered TMI Associates – the fifth-biggest law firm in Japan – have teamed up to expand their services and capitalise on the long-standing bilateral ties between the two countries.

Christopher Leong, Chooi’s managing partner, told ALB via an email interview that the collaboration is “the first of its kind” between a Malaysian and a Japanese law firm. TMI and Chooi’s formal association comes after the relationship between the two countries was elevated to a "strategic partnership," according to a May 2015 joint statement from both prime ministers.

Leong also pointed out that Japan is the biggest foreign investor in Malaysia and has been one of its top three trading partners. “Currently, there are approximately 1,500 Japanese companies operating in Malaysia. Japanese business and investment in Malaysia presently ranges from automobile, electronics, logistics, transportation, health, education, telecommunications, infrastructure and financial services,” he added.

The Chooi-TMI alliance comes amid the expected wealth of changes and opportunities that are set to be brought by the soon-to-be launched ASEAN Economic Community.  “The association provides us both with the ability to meet increasingly complex and international demands of the legal market place across Asia,” said Leong.

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