Japan’s biggest law firm Nishimura & Asahi is set to merge with Thailand’s SCL Law Group in October.

In addition to SCL’s two Thai offices in Bangkok and Hua Hin, the deal will also give Nishimura a bigger presence in the frontier legal markets of Indochina through SCL’s offices in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

“We are delighted with this merger,” SCL managing partner Chavalit Uttasart told the In-House Community. “There is tremendous business potential in Thailand and the surrounding region. With this merger we would be in a stronger position to assist our clients with their needs in this ever-evolving complex legal environment.”


Photograph courtesy of Nishimura & Asahi

Following the integration, the new firm will operate under the name SCL Nishimura and will comprise more than 100 lawyers and professional staff.

Japanese law firms are increasingly looking to follow their clients into the region as corporate Japan seeks to escape low returns at home through investments in the high-growth markets of emerging Asia.

As part of this trend, Nishimura first opened its Bangkok office in 2013 and also has a presence in Myanmar and Vietnam.

“Southeast Asia is one of the most exciting places in the world to do business, and the profile of Southeast Asia is clearly rising around the world – especially in Japan and for our Japanese clients,” said Nishimura & Asahi managing partner Masaki Hosaka in a statement. “The region is one of the biggest trading partners globally for Japan, as well as one of Japan’s most favoured destinations for FDI. As a result, we see strong and continuing growth and returns on investment for our clients and for our firm in the region.”

The Nishimura-SCL deal follows on the heels of Mori Hamada & Matsumoto’s acquisition of Chandler & Thong-ek in 2017.

SCL was founded in 2005 as Chavalit Law Group.

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