Latham & Watkins has strengthened its corporate practice in Tokyo with the hire of three M&A partners.

Ivan Smallwood, Noah Carr and Stuart Beraha join the firm from Morrison & Foerster where they advised Japanese companies and financial investors on outbound M&A, joint ventures, strategic investments, IP and technology licensing matters.

Stephen McWilliams, Latham & Watkins’ Tokyo office managing partner said of the hire: “Ivan, Noah, and Stuart have stellar reputations for handling complex M&A and related transactions and are widely acknowledged as leaders in their respective fields. Their stature in the business community and track record advising major Japanese companies on complex cross-border matters will bolster our strategic goal of expanding our practice in Japan and across Asia.”

Both Smallwood and Carr focus on corporate and M&A work advising Japanese companies on structuring and negotiating investments and divestitures, joint venture transactions, outbound acquisitions and strategic alliances. Beraha is focused on technology related transactions.

The hires come at a time of increased M&A activity in Japan. Demographic problems and government support for outbound investment incentivise Japanese companies to expand overseas.