Partner Moves and Deals Rock Atsumi, King & Wood


Posted on February 11, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Less than a year after forming their alliance, King & Wood and Swiss firm SG Fafalen are now parting ways. The firms’ motivations for this move are yet unclear, however, SG Falafen did announce the following statement: ““After unsuccessfully attempting to combine our culture and operations with [King & Wood], we have resolved to spin off and to resume our independent legal practice in Hong Kong.” The Swiss firm will resume their alliance with Hong Kong firm Huen & Partners.

Their alliance, formed in March 2010, was largely seen as evidence for the increasing internationalization of PRC law firms. This move on the part of King & Wood adds to speculation that the firm is streamlining its staff to prepare for a harder push in Hong Kong and SAR.

Atsumi & Sakai has been rocked by the departure of partner Horoaki Takahashi and seven-strong team to Canadian firm Davis to create a joint venture, Davis & Takahashi. Davis, the only full-service Canadian firm in Japan, is a project finance-focused law firm specializing in major infrastructure projects – in particular PPPs, M&A, energy and natural resources. Takahashi’s team specializes in banking, finance and capital markets. According to Takahashi, the new team aims to capture domestic and international business from Japanese clients more effectively.

"I have a long standing relationship with Davis and have great respect for its expertise. With our new team we are uniquely positioned to support both domestic and international businesses in Japan and abroad,” Takahashi said.

Davis Tokyo Managing Partner Tony McArthur said that this new venture will cater to the rising trend of Japanese businesses focusing on acquisitions abroad.

"This is an important day in the firm's almost 70 year relationship with Japan," says the firm's Managing Partner, Robert Seidel. "The addition of Mr. Takahashi and his team enhances our effectiveness in advising clients both wishing to do business in and with Japan, and those looking to overseas markets from a base in Japan."

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