DLA Piper’s new Tokyo co-head lays out game plan

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Masahiko Ishida

DLA Piper has promoted Masahiko Ishida as co-country managing partner for Japan, sharing joint leadership responsibilities with Lance Miller. As Asian countries open up to accelerate their recovery, the Tokyo-based Ishida bets on the technology and financial sector to be the region’s most active over the next year.

“The technology sector is a hot market and has been less affected by the pandemic than other sectors and I predict this sector will continue to see growth,” Ishida told Asia Business Law Journal. “Due to the future decrease of the population in Japan, a number of players in the financial sector are looking for opportunities outside Japan.”

With added uncertainties caused by Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Ishida expects Japanese companies will expand their investments overseas to diversify their supply chains.

“The corporate and M&A sectors will continue to be a key practice area for law firms and international trade regulations practices are also becoming increasingly important, considering that government authorities in many countries are now tightening their foreign investment-related regulations,” he added.

Ishida plans to hire more legal talent including lateral partners or senior members for the Tokyo office besides DLA Piper’s global network of lawyers in other jurisdictions.

“One of our top priorities is to continue growing our corporate and M&A practice as we aim to be the best player in this market in international transactions,” he added. “We have also drastically improved our corporate finance and international dispute capabilities.”

As the first Japanese dual-qualified country managing partner in the Tokyo office, holding strong relationships with large Japanese companies and law firms, Ishida is confident of building mutually beneficial relationships with both to maintain the firm’s market profile.