Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) opens its sixth Asian office in Tokyo after securing approval from the Japan Bar Association and the Ministry of Justice to operate as a gaikokuho kyodo jigyo horitsu jimusho (law office of foreign law joint enterprise).
This status means WFW Tokyo can hire Japanese lawyers and offer Japanese legal advice.
The new office is led by partners Simon Collins and Keisuke Imon, supported by counsel Shusuke Fukunaga, all of whom joined from White & Case in May last year along with the entire asset finance team.
The WFW Tokyo office will initially focus on asset and structured finance in the aviation and maritime sectors, offering both Japanese and English law capabilities.
Collins was a Hong Kong-based partner at White & Case for more than 12 years and relocated to Tokyo. He has more than 25 years of experience as an asset finance lawyer, advising clients on complex cross-border aviation and maritime finance transactions, including asset and project finance, structured lending, leasing and commercial transactions.
Imon was previously a partner at White & Case in Tokyo for more than two years and has extensive experience in the Japanese market advising on a wide range of financing matters including assets, projects, structured debt and real estate.
Shusuke was previously counsel at White & Case in Tokyo since 2019, and advises on a broad range of domestic and cross-border banking and finance transactions, with a focus on aviation and maritime asset finance.