HSF appoints first corporate partner in New York

The new partner returns to the firm, where he was the Tokyo M&A head, nearly three years after being lured away by an American rival

HSF appoints first corporate partner in New York
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has won back a top partner it lost to an American rival in late 2014.

HSF has hired James Robinson from Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) in Tokyo and appointed him as the firm’s first corporate partner in New York. He was hired by the American firm in December 2014 while he was leading HSF’s corporate and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) practices in Tokyo.

Robinson specialises in cross-border M&A, joint ventures, and antitrust issues for companies with interests in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. While at MoFo, he acted on deals such as Softbank’s £24.3bn acquisition of ARM Holdings.

He started his career with HSF in London in 1999 as a trainee solicitor. Starting in 2004, he has been based in Tokyo. He was made a partner in 2008 and appointed as head of corporate in HSF’s Tokyo office in 2010.

“James has many years of deal experience for Japanese clients investing outbound across the globe. Going forward, he will be bringing that experience to our US clients, helping us to identify ways to service them across the network,” said Scott Cochrane, the firm’s global head of corporate.

“The opportunities in the US are significant and one of James' objectives would be to maximise the significant outbound deal flow opportunities in particular into EMEA and APAC. This plays to our strengths in terms of our existing global platform, particularly as a leading firm in APAC. I look forward to working with James to further capitalise on our strong momentum in New York and advise an even more diverse range of clients on their cross-border matters,” said Tom Riley, HSF’s New York managing partner.

HSF opened its doors in New York in 2012. The office has grown to more than 30 lawyers, including 11 partners.

James Robinson

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