Second ‘big four’ Japanese firm enters Singapore alliance

DOP law

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune (AMT) has established a formal alliance with Singaporean practice DOP Law Corporation. The partnership allows AMT, which opened in Singapore in 2013, and its local ally to act as a one-stop legal service provider in Singapore and the wider region for all issues concerning Japanese, Singapore and international law.

Under the Formal Law Alliance, AMT Singapore and DOP Law will handle matters according to each firm’s expertise and regulatory qualifications. Matters concerning Singapore Law will generally be reviewed and undertaken by lawyers from DOP Law, while matters concerning Japanese Law will generally be reviewed and undertaken by lawyers from AMT’s Singapore office.

The move comes one month after rival firm Nishimura & Asahi (N&A) became the first Japanese firm to form a Singapore alliance, with Bayfront Law. In January, AMT also established a presence in Hong Kong after N&A opened an associate office (Okada Law Firm) in the city.

DOP, which recently became a multi-disciplinary legal practice, has a seven-strong legal team led by David Ong, who studied in Japan and is a fluent Japanese speaker, with a 40-year track record of acting as legal counsel to Japanese companies in Singapore.

AMT’s Singapore office is led by corporate partners Atsutoshi Maeda and Ko Hanamizu, and has a total of 14 lawyers.

Maeda told Asia Business Law Journal that his firm was delighted to enter into a formal alliance with DOP, as they had already enjoyed a strong working relationship with the firm for several years.

“DOP Law Corporation has a unique presence in the Singapore market,” said Maeda. “They have been serving Japanese clients in the Singapore market for decades with their lawyers’ Japanese-language capabilities. With this alliance, which shall be a one-stop offering with Singapore and Japanese law capability, we aim to offer our clients a more comprehensive and streamlined service to meet their needs across jurisdictions in cross-border transactions.”

Maeda said Singapore’s role in the APAC economy was bound to become more important, and the Singapore-Japan corridor would flourish. “As both countries recover from the pandemic, an increase in Singapore-Japan transactions is expected, especially in the fintech and digital platforms space, which we have increasingly been assisting our clients with,” he said.