Squire Sanders' Japanese arm merges with local law firm

Squire Sanders & Dempsey has bulked up its Asian arm through a merger with Japanese firm Miki & Yoshida Law and Patent Office.

The firm originally entered into a joint enterprise with Miki & Yoshida in 2001 in order to give clients access to Japan-licensed lawyers. The agreement ended in 2005 when Japan’s legal industry regulations changed. The office of the merged firm will be known as Squire Sanders Miki & Yoshida.

Four lawyers make up the Japanese outfit, including founding partners Shigeru Miki and Masao Yoshida, partner Kanako Inokuchi and associate Masazumi Kano, all of whom have moved into the Squire Sanders office.

Tokyo corporate partner Steven Doi, who serves on Squire Sanders’ firmwide management committee, said: “The combination is timely given Japan’s changing economic climate. Japan-based companies increasingly perceive intellectual property as a strategic asset that is critical to their global success, and so it is important for us to be able to assist clients in these matters.”

Miki added: “Squire Sanders’ global reach, which spans Asia, Europe, Latin America and the US, will benefit our clients in Japan, particularly those merging with companies that have assets outside the country.”

The firm’s Tokyo office now has 29 lawyers, including nine partners. The outpost opened in 1955 as an office of Graham & James, which was one of the first US law firms to establish a presence in Japan.

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