Tokyo, September 29, 2004 LAWFUEL – Best law news, attorney, leg…

Tokyo, September 29, 2004 LAWFUEL – Best law news, attorney, legal, law firm news, legal research Morrison & Foerster is pleased to announce that senior finance partner Tsugumichi Watanabe has joined the firm抯 Tokyo office. Formerly with the New York office of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, Mr. Watanabe brings over 20 years of experience in sophisticated international financing transactions.

At the same time, Morrison & Foerster announced its expansion to a third floor of its current office building, giving the firm additional space to expand from the current 65 attorneys to close to 100 in Tokyo.

揟sugu抯 arrival represents a significant expansion of our existing strong finance practice in Tokyo. His presence further extends our on the ground capability to handle complex transactions, including project finance, real estate, asset-based lending, structured finance, and acquisition finance,? said Ken Siegel, managing partner of Morrison & Foerster抯 Tokyo office. 揥ith the addition of Katsuhiko Fujihira, a senior finance partner, earlier this summer, we are now uniquely positioned to advise on complex financings under both Japanese and non-Japanese law. Tsugu Watanabe抯 addition to the office both strengthens and broadens the expertise that is available to our clients here in Japan.?

Keith Wetmore, Chair of the firm, noted, 揟sugu抯 arrival in the firm抯 Tokyo office is yet another step in the growth of the firm抯 global finance franchise. He has invaluable expertise and market recognition that will bring synergies not only to our Tokyo practice but also to the firm抯 U.S. finance practice in New York, London, Washington, D.C., and California. In addition, Tsugu抯 longstanding experience in the New York marketplace is also a logical next step in the ever growing nexus between our Tokyo office and the firm抯 New York Japanese practice.?

Mr. Watanabe has experience in all phases of international financing transactions, including project financings, asset-backed financings, real estate, restructurings and workouts, and cross-border securitizations. He has recently devoted much of his time to power, pipeline, and oil and gas financings in Asia, Latin America, and Russia, representing commercial bank lenders, export credit agencies, and other governmental entities and sponsors.

揑 am very pleased to be joining Morrison & Foerster,? said Mr. Watanabe. 揟he firm抯 strong Japanese law capability and established presence in Tokyo, combined with its leading worldwide finance practice, provide a unique opportunity to expand my practice.?

Mr. Watanabe received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University (B.A., 1976; M.A., 1978) and his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1981. He began his legal career with Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy in New York, and spent several years in their Tokyo office.

In 2003 Morrison & Foerster launched a real estate and distressed asset practice in Tokyo with the arrival of Eric Piesner and Theodore Seltzer (as U.S. partners), and Shinji Itoh and Ryugo Yoshimura (as Japanese partners), two leading practitioners in finance and securitization. Earlier this year the firm further expanded its finance practice and Japanese law capabilities with the addition of Katsuhiko Fujihira, a senior finance partner with nearly 20 years in the finance area in Tokyo.

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