Debevoise Opens in Tokyo

22 March 2016

International law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP today announced the opening of an office in Tokyo. The Tokyo office is the firm’s ninth and represents a further commitment to the firm’s long-standing relationship with Japan. Debevoise has been actively serving Japanese clients for over 60 years.

Debevoise lawyers Christopher Smeall and Naomi Aoyama will lead the office.

Mr. Smeall is a corporate partner who has been assisting clients with matters relating to Japan for over 30 years, including acquisitions, joint ventures, financings and other commercial transactions, as well as corporate governance issues. He is qualified in New York and registered with the Dai-ichi Tokyo Bar Association as gaikokuho jimu bengoshi.

Naomi Aoyama is a Japanese bengoshi who is also qualified in New York and spent 15 years working in Debevoise’s New York office on corporate transactions, after beginning her career at a leading Japanese law firm in Tokyo. She is a member of the Dai-ichi Tokyo Bar Association.

The Tokyo office will provide on-the-ground assistance to clients in mergers & acquisitions, financings and other transactional and investment matters, as well as corporate governance. The office will also help clients tap into the market-leading capabilities provided by other Debevoise offices worldwide, including crisis management, dispute resolution, corporate investigations, civil and criminal enforcement proceedings, cybersecurity and many others.

Debevoise represents major Japanese companies as well as other companies involved in Japan-related matters, including major trading firms, financial institutions, investment management firms and manufacturing firms in a wide range of sectors.

Michael W. Blair, Presiding Partner at Debevoise, stated: “We are excited to be on the ground in one of the world’s most important business and financial centers. Our firm has had a significant Japan-related practice for decades, and opening an office in Tokyo will allow us to provide even better support and service to our clients located in Japan or engaged in matters relating to Japan.”

Christopher Smeall, a partner in Debevoise’s Tokyo office, stated: “Our clients in Japan and elsewhere can expect the same level of focused, dedicated and commercially sophisticated legal advice and service from our Tokyo team as they have long been receiving from Debevoise globally.”

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. We deliver effective solutions to our clients’ most important legal challenges, applying clear commercial judgment and a distinctively collaborative approach.