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"Nishimura & Asahi is one of Japan’s foremost full-service law firms, covering all aspects of domestic and international business and corporate activity. Since its merger in Jul..." read more
"SUGIMURA International Patent & Trademark Attorneys is a leading intellectual property law firm in Japan, founded in 1923. Sugimara has earned a reputation for high quality and..." read more

Overview

In Tokyo ‘Abe-nomics’ is the buzzword, and business confidence is back. Aggressive monetary easing by the Bank of Japan and massive economic stimulus spending saw the yen weaken against the dollar by 20% in early 2013 to $1:¥100 in a matter of months. In addition, the Nikkei 225 stock index rose 43% between January 2013 and May 2013. Although the weakening of the yen will result in more expensive overseas acquisitions, major exporters are looking abroad for investment opportunities. Southeast Asia is an area of focus, but so too is the US and Latin America.

Project development and finance continues to excite the market. Firms have seen a greater focus on infrastructure projects in the Americas and Africa and the development of renewable energy projects in the United States and in the MENA region. The shale gas revolution in the US has also led to increased investment in upstream and downstream oil & gas transactions, in particular LNG regasification and liquefaction projects specifically for the export of LNG to Japan.

Other practice areas that are reacting positively to market trends include structured finance, driven amongst other things by an improving real estate market; antitrust and competition thanks to cartel prosecutions, merger filings from increased outbound M&A and greater international co-ordination of enforcement efforts; and an increase in the prevalence of arbitration as a means of dispute resolution.

The Big Four continue with their plans to dominate through expansion into Asia. In 2012 Mori Hamada & Matsumoto launched its office in Singapore. Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu followed suit early in 2013, with its own Singapore office, and Nishimura & Asahi opened offices in Bangkok and Yangon in 2013. Not to be left out, in the spring of 2013, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune announced its intention to open offices in Singapore, the opening of its Shanghai office and, closer to home, in Nagoya to meet its clients’ demands.

Splinter firms have emerged, namely in the form of Marunouchi Kokusai Law Office, a finance firm made up of lawyers from Nishimura & Asahi and TMI Associates.

The market has also seen some interesting lateral hires. Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP has added some serious firepower to its Tokyo presence with not only the relocation of young project finance partner Alexander Borisoff from the US, but also the recruitment of the mighty Aled Davies from Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho.

Other big moves include Christopher Wells, Tomoko Fuminaga and his funds team leaving White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) to join Bingham McCutchen Murase, Sakai Mimura Aizawa – Foreign Law Joint Enterprise, and IP and commercial litigation expert David Case’s move, again from White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association), to join Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) has invested in the lateral hire of M&A partner Mangyo Kinoshita from O'Melveny & Myers Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsujimusho.

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  • Austria/Malta: Schoenherr advises Oesterreichische Volksbanken on sale of Volksbank Malta

    Schoenherr, a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, advised Österreichische Volksbanken-AG (OeVAG) on the sale of its fully-owned subsidiary Volksbank Malta Limited to Malta-based Mediterranean Bank plc. On 11 April 2014, OeVAG and Mediterranean Bank signed a Share Purchase Agreement for 100% of the shares in Volksbank Malta. Closing shall take place after the required approvals of the relevant regulatory bodies are received. read more...
  • Austria: Stefan Kuehteubl new head of Employment practice at Schoenherr

    Stefan Kuehteubl will join Schoenherr, a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), as a partner and the head of the firm's Employment practice as of July 2014. A highly-regarded employment law practitioner, Kuehteubl will be returning to Schoenherr, where he previously worked as a member of its employment team between 1999 and 2004. During the past ten years, he worked in a well-known Vienna-based employment law boutique, in which he was a partner since 2008. read more...
  • Proud to continue charitable donations in 2014

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  • New Swiss Law on Product Safety

    The Swiss law on product safety ( Produktesicherheitsgesetz, PrSG) is currently scheduled to enter into force on July 1, 2010. This new law aligns Swiss product safety requirements with EU law. It applies not only to manufacturers, but to anyone who commercially or professionally markets products in Switzerland, and it introduces substantial new obligations before and after the sale of a product.
  • Chambers Global has once again recognised Pepeliaev Group's tax practice as the best in Russia

    The Chambers Global 2014 international ratings have hailed Pepeliaev Group's tax practice and the firm's managing partner Sergey Pepeliaev as Russia's best in the area of taxation (band 1 and Star Individuals). Commentators describe Mr Pepeliaev as "the father of Russian taxation." He has an outstanding reputation in tax litigation, for which he is said to be "absolutely brilliant." In addition, Chambers Global  lavishes praise on Rustem Ahmetshin (band 2), one of the firm's senior partners, who has considerable expertise in areas such as VAT and audit advice. Chambers Global sources commend Pepeliaev Group partner Valentina Akimova (band 3) as a "smart tax specialist." She has significant experience in a wide range of tax matters such as VAT, income tax and excise duties. Sources recommend Andrey Nikonov (band 3), another senior partner in the firm, as an authority on VAT, mineral extraction tax and unified social tax.  Chambers Global also rates Mr Nikonov highly for his experience in resolving tax disputes advising on the tax aspects of M&A transactions.
  • DHIR & DHIR ASSOCIATES ADVISES NATIONAL HOUSING BANK ON THE TRANCHE- II OF PUBLIC ISSUE OF TAX FREE

    Dhir & Dhir Associates advised National Housing Bank, wholly owned by Reserve Bank of India, on the Tranche- II of public issue of tax free bonds in the nature of secured, redeemable, non-convertible debentures with benefits under Section 10(15)(iv)(h) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, aggregating upto Rs. 1,000 Crore.
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    In a recent landmark judgment of the Hon'ble Andhra Pradesh High Court in the matter of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd. (DCHL) & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors ., the Hon'ble Court has laid down an important principal of law to the effect that SARFAESI Action can be taken by an assignee/ successor in interest only if the original lender had SARFAESI power.
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    Dhir & Dhir Associates advised National Housing Bank, wholly owned by Reserve Bank of India, on the public issue of tax free bonds in the nature of secured, redeemable, non-convertible debentures with benefits under Section 10(15)(iv)(h) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, aggregating upto Rs. 2,100 Crore.
  • Angel Buzalov from “Popov & Partners” has participated in “Legal Day 2014”of GBICC

    On 20.03.2014 was carried the first part of the annually organized forum "Legal Day" of German-Bulgarian Industrial Commercial Chamber. Representatives of the leading legal companies in Bulgaria and industry representatives also took part in the event.
  • “Popov & Partners” took part in the consultations organized by the German-Bulgarian Industrial C

    On 24.03.2014 a meeting of the Advisory Board "Law" of the German-Bulgarian Industrial Commercial Chamber (GBICC) was held. The event was attended by representatives of the business as well as lawyers from major law firms in Bulgaria, including the law firm "Popov & Partners."