Davis Polk poaches Shearman’s Asia M&A head

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Davis Polk & Wardwell has hired the former M&A head at Shearman & Sterling.

Ken Lebrun, who is based in Tokyo, has joined the partnership. He has a particular focus on public and private cross-border M&A, joint ventures, strategic alliances and private equity transactions. He is a Japanese speaker, is admitted in New York, and is a registered foreign lawyer in Japan.

The appointment shows the enduring commitment of the firm to Japan and further strengthens its position among US firms in Tokyo, Davis Polk said.

“Having someone of Ken’s calibre on the ground will further distinguish our practice in Japan, a vitally important market for us,” said Thomas Reid, Davis Polk managing partner.

Davis Polk has been active in Japan for more than 90 years. It established an office in Tokyo in 1987.

Lebrun is one of the foremost M&A lawyers in Tokyo and is well-respected in the market, said Jon Gray, who heads the firm’s Tokyo office.

“I am very grateful for my time at Shearman and my colleagues there. Davis Polk has an impressive and highly regarded team in Tokyo and a preeminent global M&A practice, and joining the firm is a truly exciting opportunity,” Lebrun said.