Morning Briefing: Law firm launches new Japanese tax practice

by Steve Randall09 Jun 2015
Withers launches new Japanese tax practice
International law firm Withers has continued its significant growth in Asia with the creation of a Japanese tax practice in Tokyo. Operating as Withers Japan, Zeirishi Houjin' (Withers Japan) the firm has hired Eric Roose from Morrison & Foerster, who will head Withers' International Corporate Tax practice in Asia. Chizuko Tomita and Takeo Mizutani will head Withers Japan, continuing a longstanding relationship with Eric as historic members of the top ranked Tokyo corporate tax team at Morrison & Foerster. Withers Asia-Pacific expansion builds on its presence in Hong Kong since 2008 and includes offices in Sydney and Singapore together with the Wither SBL alliance in Australia.
What links an international law firm with Fujitsu’s Sydney offices, Microsoft and Google?
International real estate firm Knight Frank has published its 2015 Global Cities Report and an Asia-Pacific office of an international law firm has made the top 10 offices in the world. Reed Smith in Singapore joins Microsoft in Amsterdam, Google in London and Fujitsu in Sydney among the list. The report praises Reed Smith’s offices globally for being “elegant, refined and contemporary” but singles out the Singapore location for its “streamlines solutions” and green credentials.
Law firms seek clients for long-lasting relationship
Two start-ups in Canada are aiming to change the way clients find law firms in a process likened to dating websites. Kabuk Law and LawyerLinx are aimed at small firms and solo practitioners that may not have the highly-professional online presence of larger firms. The firms are part of the Legal Innovation Zone at Toronto’s Ryerson University and want to improve on existing online lawyer directories. Those searching for a lawyer fill out a short questionnaire and the site’s algorithm then matches them with lawyers who provide the service they need for the budget they have.
Historic UK law firm flotation raises $60 million
The first law firm to become a publicly listed company in the UK has received a strong response to its IPO. Gateley listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market on Monday and raised £30 million (AU$60 million) valuing the new company at £100 million (AU$ 200 million). It means a windfall for the firm’s partners and capital to enable the firm to grow with international expansion expected. The successful floatation is likely to prompt other firms in the UK to consider as similar move.