Offshore Law Firm Opens In Tokyo

A year after the launch of its Singapore office, Harneys has expanded its Asia-Pacific operations further with the opening of a representative office in Tokyo.

Harneys’ Japan practice was initiated last year with the arrival of Counsel Junko Shiokawa. Shiokawa is the only native Japanese qualified lawyer practising offshore law in the market with 20 years’ experience working for top-tier law firms and global financial institutions.

Harneys has further strengthened its Japan practice with the hire of Investment Funds/Corporate Partner Matt Roberts and Japan Representative Yuji Asano. The firm’s Japan practice also includes Counsel Marc Parrott and Senior Associate Tom Dugdale in Hong Kong, and Partner Lisa Pearce and Senior Associate Henno Boshoff in Singapore.

Formerly with Maples and Calder, Roberts advises on a range of offshore investment funds including unit trusts, hedge funds, mutual funds and private equity funds and has significant experience in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and corporate governance. He acts for major international financial institutions, publicly listed and private companies, fund managers and promoters across Asia but has particular expertise in the Japanese market.

Yuji Asano is a Japanese funds market veteran who has been involved in the structuring and launch of numerous high profile and successful funds, most recently as director of marketing and sales at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust (UK) Limited.

“Both Matt and Yuji have excellent reputations in the Japanese funds market,” said Asia Managing Partner Jonathan Culshaw. “Matt, who is based in Hong Kong, has advised on many of the region’s largest and most complex institutional deals involving offshore structures. Yuji’s unparalleled industry expertise enables him to provide a responsive and commercial client liaison function direct from Tokyo. ”

“Our Japan team offers the highest calibre Cayman and BVI legal expertise in conjunction with extensive knowledge of Japan’s legal framework and business culture. They work closely with colleagues at Harneys Services which provides clients with a range of corporate, trust and fiduciary services. Together, this makes Harneys uniquely positioned to service the Japanese market,” says Global Managing Partner Peter Tarn.

Harneys’ Japan practice offers a full range of offshore transactional services, including investment funds, corporate, finance and dispute resolutions. In particular the team advises a Japanese and international client base on the structuring, establishment, launch and maintenance of offshore funds, including mutual funds, hedge funds and private equity funds. It advises on in-bound and out-bound funds targeted specifically at Japanese and foreign investors. Clients include market participants ranging from market leading institutions to start-up and boutique funds. Harneys’ Japan team also works with a range of Japanese onshore law firms.

Harneys’ Asia operation has experienced enormous success and has expanded significantly in recent years. Harneys Hong Kong, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, is now the second largest offshore firm in Hong Kong with 69 staff, 30 of whom are lawyers. Harneys’ Asia-Pacific practice was recently promoted to Band 2 in Chambers’ Asia-Pacific 2015 directory. Harneys Singapore launched last spring and has already been shortlisted as Offshore Firm of the Year in the Asian Legal Business South East Asia Law Awards 2015.


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