Japan’s Sakuragawa Kyowa Law Office and Inohara Foreign Law Office have formed a foreign joint law enterprise to tap rising demand for cross-border deals involving Japanese companies amid a corporate succession crisis.


The new entity, Sakuragawa Kyowa & Inohara, will focus on inbound and outbound transactions such as investments, divestitures, turnarounds, insolvencies, liquidations and mergers and acquisitions (M&A), the firms said.

Inohara Foreign Law Office was founded earlier this year by Sam Inohara, formerly a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright. A California-licensed lawyer, he also previously worked at Morrison & Foerster.

The joint enterprise has 18 fee-earners, including eight partners.

Foreign direct investment into Japan rose 32 percent last year to $32.5 billion, despite a 12 percent decline globally, partly due to government policies to attract more investment, according to the latest data from the Japan External Trade Organization.

Many foreign companies are interested in acquiring small- and mid-sized Japanese firms with niche technologies as the country's ageing population has left many such businesses searching for successors, Inohara told ALB.

Added Tadashi Wada, a partner at Sakuragawa Kyowa: “We are furthering our focus on cross-border transactions involving small- to mid-sized companies, and this joint venture is a big opportunity for both of us.”


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