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Bingham McCutchen LLP, a 1,000-lawyer U.S. firm with offices in London, Tokyo and Hong Kong, and New Tokyo International Law Office, a premier insolvency, corporate and litigation firm with 22 lawyers, have officially combined operations in Tokyo and moved into expanded office space, creating a significant presence in Japan for Bingham.

The combination increases the number of lawyers in Bingham’s Tokyo office to more than 50 Japanese lawyers (bengoshi) and six foreign lawyers. The addition of New Tokyo, founded by Mitsue Aizawa and Yutaka Kimura, expands Bingham’s on-the-ground capacity in Asia and further bolsters its renowned cross-border restructuring and insolvency practice. The New Tokyo deal is Bingham’s second in Japan for 2007. Earlier this year, Bingham combined with another leading restructuring firm, Sakai & Mimura, founded by Hideyuki Sakai, with approximately 20 Japanese lawyers.

"Our strategy has always been to focus on where our clients need -- or will need -- top-notch legal talent," said Bingham Chairman Jay Zimmerman. "By building upon our key practices of insolvency, securities and financial services in Japan, we are positioning ourselves to be the ‘go-to law firm’ for financial institutions investing in Japan and in major economic markets worldwide." Bingham also opened a Hong Kong office in 2007 and has offices in key financial centers around the globe, including London and New York.

The addition of the New Tokyo firm will also expand and build upon Bingham’s finance and corporate practice, representing major corporations, insurance companies and investment banks.

The deal also benefits clients of the legacy New Tokyo firm. Aizawa noted that these clients are increasingly thinking of overseas strategies. "The fit with Bingham is complementary in every sense," she said. "We wanted to be able to provide our clients the global backup they need while Bingham wanted to build in Tokyo for their clientele. Together, we are increasing our ability to provide one-stop services in the corporate and compliance areas. Moreover, our depth of practice in insolvency and the insurance area, combined with Bingham’s insolvency proficiency, gives us tremendous strength."

The addition of the New Tokyo firm, with its 22 Japanese lawyers, and the pending arrival of 10 new Japanese lawyers to Bingham’s Tokyo office later this year, will bring Bingham’s number of bengoshi to nearly 60, among the highest for foreign law firms in Japan. In addition, Bingham’s Japanese Practice, with its 50 lawyers outside of Japan, focuses on large-scale, cross-border financial restructurings, corporate/M&A and finance matters, and has significant intellectual property, antitrust and litigation strengths.

http://www.bingham.com


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