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Press Release

Latham & Watkins Adds Experienced M&A Partner in Tokyo

January 4, 2021
Hiroaki Takagi further strengthens the firm’s Japanese law offering with extensive cross-border and domestic M&A experience.

Latham & Watkins LLP1 is pleased to announce that Hiroaki (Hiro) Takagi will join the firm’s Tokyo office as a partner in the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice. Takagi draws on nearly two decades of experience advising clients on both cross-border and domestic M&A transactions, as well as on matters involving Japanese securities and general corporate laws. 

Alongside Takagi’s extensive experience in cross-border mergers, acquisitions and private equity transactions, he has built a strong reputation in company representation work, including corporate governance matters and navigating procedures required by securities regulations under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, the Companies Act, and the Corporate Governance Code. 

“We’re delighted to welcome Hiro to the firm. His experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and corporate finance matters enhances the firm’s capabilities as we continue to grow in Tokyo and the broader Asian region,” said Michael Sturrock, Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins’ Asia offices. “Hiro’s incredible experience and strong ties to the business and legal communities in Tokyo nicely complement the strengths of our Japanese practice.” 

Sharon Lau, Singapore partner and Global Vice Chair of Latham’s Corporate Department, added: “Hiro’s arrival strengthens our Japanese law practice, expanding the scope of experience across a range of M&A and securities law matters that we can leverage for clients. Because his transactional expertise is so broad, he is a perfect fit with Latham’s global footprint, global client base, and market-leading M&A and private equity capabilities.” 

Marc Jaffe, New York partner and Global Chair of Latham’s Corporate Department, said: “Japan is a strategic focus for our Asia practice and global platform. Our Tokyo office fills a critical role for our global clients, many of whom have operations in Japan or have joint ventures or strategic alliances with Japanese companies. We are seeing foreign investors increasingly turn to Japan as an important destination, particularly in the life sciences, healthcare, infrastructure, and gaming sectors, where we have phenomenal market share and deep resources. Hiro’s arrival complements our ability to advise clients on complex transactions in Japan and across the region.”

Takagi commented: “Latham & Watkins offers clients a unique global platform with the ability to combine high-end US, Japanese, and English law advice. The firm has consistently focused on developing its capability in the region, and is in a strong position to respond to market opportunities. I am excited to support Latham’s global clients with respect to Japanese law matters as well as to advise Japanese clients on their outbound, cross-border matters, leveraging Latham’s unrivalled global capability. I look forward to joining the team and being part of the firm’s continued growth in Asia.”

Takagi follows the arrival of Ivan Smallwood, Noah Carr, and Stuart Beraha who joined Latham & Watkins in Tokyo in 2019. The partners have stellar reputations for handling complex M&A transactions and related IP and technology licensing matters — including advising Japanese corporates and sponsors on structuring and negotiating outbound acquisitions, investments and divestitures, strategic alliances, and joint venture transactions with a Japanese nexus. Seasoned litigator Kaede Toh joined Latham in Tokyo in November last year. Toh’s practice focuses on advising multinational corporations and individuals on white-collar criminal defense and antitrust enforcement actions brought by the US Department of Justice as well as non-US regulators. She also conducts anti-corruption diligence in M&A and private equity transactions as well as risk assessments for private equity portfolio companies, advises clients on implementing compliance and anti-corruption policies, and counsels clients on intellectual property litigation matters.

Takagi joins Latham & Watkins from Nishimura & Asahi. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Tokyo in 2001 and attended the Judicial Training Institute in Japan in 2002 prior to his admission to the Dai-ichi Tokyo Bar. In 2008, he completed his LLM at University of Chicago Law School, and is also admitted to the New York Bar. He has also served as a faculty member at the Professional School of Law (Law School) of Gakushuin University since 2016.

About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins delivers innovative solutions to complex legal and business challenges around the world. From a global platform, our lawyers advise clients on market-shaping transactions, high-stakes litigation and trials, and sophisticated regulatory matters. Latham is one of the world’s largest providers of pro bono services, steadfastly supports initiatives designed to advance diversity within the firm and the legal profession, and is committed to exploring and promoting environmental sustainability.

Notes to Editors

1Latham & Watkins operates worldwide as a limited liability partnership organized under the laws of the State of Delaware (USA) with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in France, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, and the United Kingdom and as an affiliated partnership conducting the practice in Japan. Latham & Watkins operates in South Korea as a Foreign Legal Consultant Office. Latham & Watkins works in cooperation with the Law Firm of Salman M. Al-Sudairi, a limited liability company, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.