Japan’s largest law firm by headcount, Nishimura & Asahi, has announced plans to open its second office in Vietnam. The firm has applied to the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice for a license, and expects to open an office in Hanoi later this year.
Hanoi will become the firm’s third international office. The firm launched its first overseas office last year in Beijing and then shortly after opened in Vietnam’s commercial capital: Ho Chi Minh City.
The firm expects a total of four lawyers – two Japanese lawyers and two Vietnamese lawyers – to staff its Hanoi office which will be overseen by corporate partner Kazuyoshi Furusumi.
This South East Asian focus taken by Nishimura & Asahi is a contrast to the international expansion strategies of its other “Big Four” competitors.
Anderson Mori & Tomotsune has an office in Beijing, while Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has locations in Beijing and Shanghai. Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu has a cooperative alliance agreement with Australian firm Allens Arthur Robinson through it which it services South East Asia but is not keen on launching a physical presence in the region.
Commenting on Nishimura & Asahi’s approach to international expansion, a spokesperson for the firm said: “Vietnam is one of the most promising markets for Japanese companies with high economic growth and 80 million people... we are a pioneer and currently the only law firm in Vietnam specialised for Japanese clients.”