Japanese Law Changes: Greenberg Traurig Moves Quickly
NEW YORK, NY -- April 1, 2005 -- Greenberg Traurig, the 1,350-lawyer
international law firm with the fourth largest number of lawyers in the
United States and eighth largest worldwide of US firms, has made its first
move into Asia. The firm announced its new office and local firm alliance
in Tokyo on the very day historic changes in Japanese law became effective,
allowing Japanese and American lawyers to more closely combine forces.
In addition to Greenberg Traurig opening its own office in Tokyo, the
firm and established Japanese law firm Hayabusa Kokusai Law Offices have
announced their entry into a strategic alliance. The Hayabusa firm, well
known in Japan both for its corporate and commercial expertise and its premier
multinational clients, consists of 13 Japanese lawyers located in Tokyo,
placing it in the mid-size tier of firms in Japan. The two firms will operate
as a unified team for clients who retain both firms for their US/Japan legal
This unique combination of high quality firms, with major range in both
the US and Japan, will make available to the firms' clients a unique level
of legal service and cultural understanding. This Asian move comes on the
heels of Greenberg Traurig's further expansion in Europe, where an important
Italian firm, Studio Santa Maria, has aligned with the firm, adding Milan
and Rome to its existing locations in Amsterdam and Zurich.
"Japan is the second largest economy in the world after the United States
and a key gateway to the rest of Asia," said
Richard A. Rosenbaum, a
national operating shareholder of Greenberg Traurig, responsible for its
European and Asian development. "This is a unique chance to work closely
with lawyers of the highest quality while avoiding the harmful impact of
one-sided mergers so often experienced by other firms: providing a large
and diverse international platform to the Japanese community while maintaining
the principles of quality, individual empowerment, collaboration and respect
so engrained in the cultures of both firms."
Greenberg Traurig's office in Tokyo will be headed by
Kunichika Nakano, a respected
corporate shareholder in its New York office and one of the few lawyers
licensed to practice in both Japan and the US. Mr. Nakano will now spend
considerable time in Tokyo and will join with
George Lee, a senior shareholder
in the firm's New York office, in forming a "Japan Desk" within the US firm,
involving practice areas and lawyers throughout the firm, including
Jinshu Zhang and
Naoki Kawada in Los Angeles.
"I practiced in Japan for several years before beginning my practice
in the United States in 1986," said Mr. Nakano. "I believe the combination
of these two firms, enabled by the new rules in Japan, will put us at the
forefront in both countries -- a set of lawyers who are truly part of the
cultures, communities and legal systems of both countries, domestically
"Having spent many years focusing on international transactions, including
many involving Japan and other parts of Asia, I feel strongly that this
combination is a significant step in our strategic plan to become a force
in Asia, a region projected to represent more than half of the world's GDP
in a few years," adds Mr. Lee.
"As we focused on providing timely and high quality services in Japan
we perceived a need for greater international access and services for our
clients, especially in the United States," said Kaoru Takamatsu of the Hayabusa
firm. "Having cooperated with Greenberg Traurig on certain matters and come
to know the firm and its way of servicing clients, we are pleased to have
found a rare major firm which delivers the kind of consistent service quality,
value and respect our clients require, while also empowering us to operate
our practice as we determine appropriate in Japan. Greenberg Traurig's unrivaled
coverage throughout the United States will also be of great benefit to our
clients in cross-border transactions, and is precisely what we were seeking
in an alliance."
The new office and strategic alliance is scheduled to become fully operational
later this month or in early May.
About Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, full-service law firm with 1,500
attorneys and governmental affairs professionals in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The
firm is ranked seventh on The American Lawyer's Am Law 100 listing of the
largest law firms in the U.S., based on number of lawyers.
Greenberg Traurig serves clients from offices in: Albany, NY; Amsterdam, The
Netherlands; Atlanta, GA; Boca Raton, FL; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Denver,
CO; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Houston, TX; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL;
Morristown, NJ; New York, NY; Orange County, CA; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA;
Phoenix, AZ; Sacramento, CA; Silicon Valley, CA; Tallahassee, FL; Tokyo, Japan;
Tysons Corner, VA; Washington, D.C.; West Palm Beach, FL; Wilmington, DE; and Zurich,
Switzerland. Additionally, the firm has strategic alliances with the following independent
law firms: Olswang, London and Brussels; Studio Santa Maria, Milan and Rome; and
Hayabusa Kokusai Law Offices in Tokyo.
For additional information, please visit the firm's Web site at
About Hayabusa Kokusai Law Offices
Hayabusa Kokusai Law Offices was established in 1992 by Japanese attorneys
representing major domestic and multinational clients since the early 1980s.
Its attorneys have experience practicing not only in Japan but also at other
major foreign law firms. Hayabusa has, for a number of years, cooperated
on an arm's length basis with the Landwell network of law firms outside
the US. The firm's main practice area is corporate and commercial law, though
its lawyers also have wide expertise in a variety of legal specialties and
represent some of Japanís and the world's most major multinationals and
international luxury goods groups with respect to their Japan dealings,
operations and intellectual properties. For additional information, please
visit the firm's Web site at www.hayabusa-law.com.