Legal Business Blogs

Asia: Reed Smith establishes South East Asia corporate practice as Greenberg launches in Tokyo

Reed Smith has hired Stephenson Harwood’s South East Asia head of corporate Matt Gorman to launch a corporate practice in the region from its Singapore office.

Gorman leaves Stephenson Harwood after 14 years, before which he was seconded to Royal Bank of Scotland for eight months in London. He joins as a partner with experience of advising on energy and natural resources, TMT, real estate and financial services deals.

Reed Smith first set up its Singapore office in 2012 offering client services in international arbitration; energy, commodities and natural resources; shipping and insurance recovery work; and finance including structured finance and derivatives.

Reed Smith Singapore office managing partner Gautam Bhattacharyya said: ‘We have built a strong platform in Singapore since we established our office and Matt’s arrival now ensures we are able to fully support the transactional needs of our clients.’

Gorman added: ‘The chance to continue to develop my own practice alongside the terrific platform that Gautam and the team have established in Singapore was a huge draw.’

Meanwhile, Greenberg Traurig has launched a new office in Tokyo with a three-partner team from DLA Piper and White & Case.

The new office will operate under the name Greenberg Traurig Horitsu Jimusho, with DLA Piper’s Koji Ishikawa heading the new office, while new co-chairs Yuji Ogiwara and Koichiro Ohashi are joining from White & Case. Tokyo, launched in response to growing client needs and increased investment into Japan, is Greenberg’s third in the region and will work closely with existing teams in Shanghai and Seoul.

The firm’s new partners said in a statement: ‘Contrary to its appearance, Japanese clients are not well served by international law firms in Tokyo. We often hear from Japanese clients that so-called “elite law firms” are too expensive and their practice areas are too narrow to meet their needs. Also, Japanese clients appear to have some frustration that other established US and foreign firms are too independent from their firms and do not provide good synergy with or access to their global operations. We will not suffer from these issues and will deliver not only an elite level of excellence but the true value that Japanese clients seek today.’