Clifford Chance splits top Tokyo post

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Clifford Chance has restructured its top role in Tokyo with the appointment of joint managing partners.

Reiko Sakimura and Leng-Fong Lai have been named the office’s co-managing partners. Eiichi Kanda has stepped down from the role he held since 2012, but will continue with the firm. Kanda will focus on client relationships and contacts, as well as growing his real estate and infrastructure practice, the firm said.

Sakimura, who specialises in international debts and equity offerings, is the firm’s capital markets head in Tokyo. She joined the firm in the city in 2009 from Linklaters, where she was a partner. She was also previously a director at UBS.

Lai is a specialist in debt capital markets, structured finance, asset-backed securities, and derivatives. He joined the firm in London in 2000, relocating to Japan in 2005.

The two new managing partners have been “active members of the firm locally, regionally and globally and will bring valuable leadership experience,” said Geraint Hughes, Clifford Chance regional managing partner.

Hughes also paid tribute to Kanda.

“Eiichi has successfully guided the office over these past six years and we thank him for his tremendous contribution. Eiichi will be continuing to make a major contribution to the office and our practice in the region in building and developing his practice with its strong focus on the important real estate and infrastructure sectors,” Hughes said.

Clifford Chance’s Tokyo office recently led the firm’s teams that acted on Toshiba’s US$5.4bn placement and on Frasers Hospitality’s SG$250m Ginza district investment.


Reiko Sakimura and Leng-Fong Lai


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