Linklaters to merge in Japan

UK firm will become first to offer integrated local and international advice.

Linklaters is set to create Japan's first cross-border law firm by merging with a team of lawyers from Mitsui Yasuda Wani Maeda.

Mitsuhiro Yasuda and Akihiro Wani will become Linklaters partners on April 1 2005 when a new law that rolls back restrictions on foreign firms comes into force. They will bring a team of more than 20 lawyers with them, making Linklaters the first firm to offer US, UK and Japanese legal advice under one roof.

Some foreign firms have tried to create integrated outfits before, despite restrictions imposed by the conservative Japanese bar associations, but the results have been patchy - barred from becoming...

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