K&L Gates raids Clifford Chance for ten lawyers in Tokyo

May 17, 2011 US firm K&L Gates has given big boost to its Tokyo office, raiding Clifford Chance for ten lawyers. The team of three partners, four counsels and three associates jumped ship amid disagreement over a proposed restructuring of the Japan practice.

The departure of the group has precipitated further defections, with partners Keiji Isaji and Atsushi Yamashita and Naoki Watanabe leaving the firm at the same time. After all these defections, Clifford Chance will have just nine partners remaining in Tokyo.

K&L Gates Tokyo co-founding partner Ryan Dwyer said: “Discussions with the group were ongoing for some time. It came to a point for them where a call to stay or move on needed to be made – and they decided that a US firm with truly global reach would suit their current client-base and practices better.”

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