Legal Business Blogs

Big in Japan: Withers pushes further down the Silk Road with MoFo tax hires

Continuing its recent significant push into Asia, private client specialist Withers has launched a Tokyo tax practice- Withers Japan, Zeirishi Houjin (Withers Japan) – and hired Morrison & Foerster’s (MoFo) Singapore-based Eric Roose to head up its regional corporate tax practice.

Withers has also hired MoFo’s corporate tax advisers Chizuko Tomita and Takeo Mizutani, who will head up the new Japanese practice. Roose will remain in Singapore and lead the corporate tax practice from there.

The launch of the Tokyo office comes during a period of intense international expansion by Withers. Just last week, the firm launched three new offices in the US with the hire of a nine-partner team, the majority of which came from McKenna Long & Aldridge ahead of its combination with Dentons.

In April, Withers enhanced its corporate, litigation and IP law capabilities in the US with the hire of an 11-strong team from US outfit Kelley Drye & Warren and in December the firm launched in Australia, creating Withers SBL through an alliance with Sydney tax practice Balazs Lanzanas & Welch (BLW) and Melbourne-based corporate boutique SBL Shmith. In February, the firm announced a formal law alliance (FLA) with Singaporean law firm KhattarWong.

Commenting on the new developments, managing director Margaret Robertson said: ‘Eric is one of the leading corporate tax lawyers practicing in Asia and his hire is a significant step in building on our commercial services in Asia. His experience of establishing teams across Asia will be a huge asset as we continue to add to our capabilities.’

She added: ‘Our family office and entrepreneurial clients frequently require us to handle their corporate transactions as well as personal legal matters, and Eric and the Zeirishi team add significant strengths to our existing corporate tax team in the US and Europe. We are also very excited to add an affiliate office in Japan to our network, and anticipate that it will result in new ways of working with clients across Asia and the US west coast, where we are also investing in substantial growth.’