Press Release

MoFo Expands Capital Markets Team in Tokyo with Addition of Top-Tier Finance Bengoshi Akihiro Wani

07 May 2014

TOKYO (May 7, 2014) – Ito & Mitomi, registered associated offices of Morrison & Foerster, announced today that Akihiro Wani has joined the firm as a bengoshi and senior counselor in Tokyo. Mr. Wani has nearly 30 years of experience as a capital markets lawyer, acting for major domestic financial institutions on financial regulations and cutting-edge derivatives transactions.

“Akihiro is a tremendously talented lawyer and a recognized force in Japan’s capital markets community,” Fuyuo Mitomi, managing partner of Ito & Mitomi, said. “His extensive experience will further strengthen our practice and enhance our ability to provide our clients here and around the world with the highest levels of service.”

Mr. Wani’s experience includes advising on derivatives and structured finance transactions, such as the first public offering of credit-linked securities in Japan and the structuring of new type of alternative investment funds linked to longevity swaps. He has also advised on the regulatory aspects of financial transactions, such as the establishment of head/branch offices of type I financial instrument trading firms, investment management companies, life insurance companies, and other financial institutions, as well as acting on a wide variety of matters involving cross-border financial trading, securities, insurance, and general corporate transactions. He further advises the financial institutions on inspections by regulators and in dispute resolution related matters.

Ken Siegel, managing partner of Morrison & Foerster’s Tokyo office, said, “Japan is an important strategic market for the firm – our office is the largest and most diversified international law firm office in Tokyo, with more than 120 lawyers. Akihiro’s pioneering securities and capital markets work in Japan will prove beneficial to a number of our significant clients.” Mr. Wani is a counsel for the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) in Japan, a founding member of the Financial Law Board sponsored by the Bank of Japan, and a Finance Expert of P.R.I.M.E. Finance in The Hague. He has also served as a member of the Japanese Financial Services Agency’s Financial Systems Council. Mr. Wani is a former founding bengoshi partner at Linklaters in Tokyo, where he served as joint managing partner from 2005 to 2012.

Mr. Wani holds Master of Laws degrees from The University of Tokyo and Columbia University School of Law, and a diploma from the Legal Training and Research Institute in Tokyo. He is a Professor of Law at Sophia University Law School in Tokyo. He is admitted to practice law in New York and Japan. Chambers Global ranks Mr. Wani as a star individual in Japan: Capital Markets: Domestic: Securitisation & Structured Finance and in Band 1 for Japan: Banking & Finance: International Firms: Bengoshi.

“I am delighted to join the Morrison & Foerster team,” Mr. Wani said. “I am impressed by the firm’s long and established history and reputation in Japan, as well as its entrepreneurial culture. I look forward to contributing to the firm’s continued success.”

Morrison & Foerster was named Japan International Law Firm of the Year by the Chambers Asia Pacific Awards 2014, and was recognized by Chambers Asia Pacific 2014 as having more top-tier practice rankings and more top-tier leading individuals than any other international firm in Japan. Morrison & Foerster was named International Deal Firm of the Year, IP Law Firm of the Year, and Litigation Law Firm of the Year by the Asian Legal Business Japan Law Awards 2013. The firm is also highly recommended by the 2014 edition of International Financial Law Review’s IFLR1000 and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2014.

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