TOKYO and NEW YORK, NY — 20 September – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — O’Melveny & Myers LLP announced today that Naosuke Fujita, Yoji Maeda, and Yukihiro Terazawa, former partners of the Taiyo Law Office, and Kosei Watanabe, former managing partner of the Watanabe Kokusai Law Offices, have joined the firm as partners, resident in the Tokyo office. Their admission to the firm’s partnership further establishes O’Melveny & Myers’ position as an elite provider of legal services to meet the growing market demand in Japan and Asia for cross-border mergers & acquisitions, intellectual property, and bankruptcy and restructuring counsel. Mr. Fujita will serve as co-head of the Tokyo office along with Gary Smith.
Naosuke Fujita’s and Yoji Maeda’s preeminent practice at Anderson Mori and Taiyo Law offices in cross-border mergers & acquisitions and capital markets transactions adds strategic Japanese and international law experience to the firm’s already successful corporate practice in Tokyo. O’Melveny & Myers sees increased interest by both strategic and private equity investors in foreign direct investment into Japan. With the improvement in corporate balance sheets that accompanies economic recovery, Japanese companies show renewed confidence as they seek acquisitions in North America, Europe and China. O’Melveny & Myers also has seen an increase in intellectual property matters, particularly in the entertainment and media sector, which has been Yukihiro Terazawa’s primary practice for the past 12 years.
Kosei Watanabe, founder and managing partner of Watanabe Kokusai Law Offices, has had a joint enterprise with O’Melveny & Myers’ Tokyo office for the past several years where he has provided bankruptcy and restructuring counsel to a variety of the firm’s clients. Today he joins O’Melveny & Myers, with his six associates, as the two firms merge to provide greater international and local legal counsel to the firm’s clients.
With this expansion, the O’Melveny & Myers Tokyo office has grown from three partners to seven partners with four being licensed Japanese lawyers (bengoshi). O’Melveny & Myers plans to recruit additional associates in the coming weeks.
Arthur B. Culvahouse, Jr., Chair of O’Melveny & Myers, said, “With today’s announcement — O’Melveny & Myers continues to strengthen its position as a premier advisor on mergers & acquisitions, private equity, finance & restructuring, capital markets, intellectual property, and media & entertainment matters.” Culvahouse continued, “These well respected colleagues will allow us to continue to build one of the premier cross-border practices in Tokyo, as a gradual liberalization of rules governing foreign direct investment, M&A, the legal profession and other aspects of economic activity contribute to the growth of Japan’s economy.”
Naosuke Fujita, co-head of O’Melveny & Myers’ Tokyo office, said, “We could not be more pleased to be joining O’Melveny & Myers. The firm’s commitment to excellence, leadership and citizenship and to the growth of the Tokyo office’s practice was of great professional and personal interest to us, and we look forward to working with our new clients and colleagues.”
Gary Smith, co-head of the firm’s Tokyo office, said, “We have proceeded deliberately to identify the perfect fit for us. Naosuke, Yoji, Yukihiro, and Kosei are just that — a rare combination whose top-notch legal skills and reputations are firmly established in the marketplace.”
About the Firm
O’Melveny & Myers LLP is a values-driven law firm guided by the principles of excellence, leadership and citizenship. With the breadth, depth and foresight to serve clients competing in a global economy, our attorneys devise innovative approaches to resolve problems and achieve business goals. Established in 1885, the firm maintains 13 offices around the world, with more than 900 attorneys. O’Melveny & Myers’ capabilities span virtually every area of legal practice, including Antitrust/Competition; Appellate; Aviation; Capital Markets; Class Action Defense; Corporate; Entertainment and Media; Finance and Restructuring; Global Enforcement and Criminal Defense; Healthcare; Insurance and Mass Torts; Intellectual Property and Technology; Labor and Employment; Mergers and Acquisitions; Private Equity; Project Development and Real Estate; SEC; Securities Litigation; Strategic Counseling; Tax; and Trial and Litigation. To learn more about O’Melveny & Myers LLP, please visit: www.omm.com.
About the New Arrivals
Naosuke Fujita was previously a partner with the law firm Anderson Mori. He joined Goldman Sachs Japan in 1998 over the course of five years, became Managing Director and Deputy General Counsel in the Legal Department. In 2003, Mr. Fujita joined as a partner in the Taiyo Law Office, where he advised on corporate transactions, including mergers & acquisitions, private equity and real estate matters, on behalf of primarily Japanese affiliates of non-Japanese entities. He graduated from Waseda University School of Law in 1985 and received his LL.M. degree from the University of Michigan in 1991.
Yoji Maeda, who also initially practiced at Anderson Mori and became a partner in 1999, joined the Taiyo Law Office as a partner in 2000, where he most recently served as the office’s managing partner. Mr. Maeda represents clients in a wide variety of corporate and commercial matters including employment law matters, with an emphasis on strategic and cross border mergers & acquisitions. He has represented Wal-Mart in relation to its major investment in Seiyu, as well as the bid for Daiei late in 2004. He graduated from the Tokyo University Faculty of Law in 1988, and received an LL.M. in 1994 from the University of Virginia Law School.
Yukihiro Terazawa’s practice involves intellectual property matters, both transactional and adversarial, with a primary focus in the entertainment and media industries. Mr. Terazawa, who is a registered patent attorney, had been a partner of the Taiyo Law Office since 2001. He graduated from Keio University School of Law in 1989 and received his LL.M. degree from the University of Washington in 1999.
Kosei Watanabe, founder and managing partner of Watanabe Kokusai Law Offices, has worked closely with O’Melveny & Myers for several years. Mr. Watanabe is a highly regarded bankruptcy and restructuring attorney whose practice also encompasses general corporate matters, including experience in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, finance and securities law. Mr. Watanabe graduated from the Tokyo University Faculty of Law in 1982, was admitted to practice in Japan in 1984, received an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School in 1989, and was admitted to practice in New York in 1990.