Debevoise Corporate Partner Takes Up Residence in Tokyo

29 August 2016

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP today announced that corporate partner Ezra Borut has relocated to the firm’s Tokyo office. The move is effective as of August 29, 2016.

Mr. Borut’s practice ranges from multinational joint ventures to complex corporate restructurings to U.S. domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. He has experience advising major Japanese companies and other multinational clients, across a variety of sectors, including energy and natural resources.

Mr. Borut was an intern in the law firm of Nishimura & Partners (now Nishimura & Asahi) in Tokyo from June to December 1998, where he participated in joint venture and cross-border transactions. He joined Debevoise in 1996 and received his B.A. cum laude from Yale University in 1991, where he majored in East Asian Studies with a Japanese concentration. He received his J.D. with honors from The University of Chicago Law School in 1996, where he served as a Topic Access Editor on the Law Review.

Debevoise has been actively serving Japanese clients for over 60 years, and opened its first office in the country in March 2016. The Tokyo office includes corporate partner Christopher Smeall, who is qualified in New York and registered with the Dai-ichi Tokyo Bar Association as gaikokuho jimu bengoshi. It also includes international counsel Naomi Aoyama, who is a Japanese bengoshi and is also qualified in New York. Ms. Aoyama is a member of the Dai-ichi Tokyo Bar Association.

Debevoise’s Tokyo office provides on-the-ground assistance to clients in mergers & acquisitions, financings and other transactional and investment matters, as well as corporate governance. The office also helps 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.

Michael W. Blair, Presiding Partner of Debevoise, said: “Debevoise has successfully advised clients on Japan-related matters for decades. Opening our doors in Tokyo in March gave the practice a significant boost, and meant our clients could benefit from having Debevoise lawyers permanently on the ground in Japan for the first time. Ezra’s relocation further strengthens that service. He has been a prominent member of our corporate department in New York for some time and has the unqualified respect of colleagues and clients alike. His existing experience in Asia, blended with his significant international M&A experience, will prove to be a potent combination for our clients in Tokyo.”

Mr. Borut said: “I have had a long and abiding interest in Japan, going back to a high school homestay in Tokyo and college studies in Osaka. One of the key reasons I chose to join Debevoise after law school was the firm’s long history of servicing Japanese clients on the most sophisticated transactions. Throughout my career at the firm I have had the privilege to work closely with Japanese and other international clients in connection with their investment activities in the Americas, Asia and elsewhere. Moving my practice to Japan is a natural next step for me, and I am excited about the opportunity. The firm’s new office in Tokyo already includes some incredibly talented lawyers, and I’m looking forward to joining the team on the ground.”

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.