Big Four (四大) Japanese law firm Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (MHM) will be acquiring Thai firm Chandler & Thong-ek in January 2017 for an undisclosed sum.

The Bangkok-based firm will incorporate its name into the name MHM, and the new entity will be known as Chandler MHM. It will be jointly led by MHM cross-border M&A partner Satoshi Kawai and Chandler & Thong-ek’s managing partner Niwes Phancharoenworakul.

Kawai said of the prospective merger: “MHM has been advising Japanese clients in Thailand for many years and its integration with C&T significantly enhances our capability to serve our clients in South East Asia, responding to the increased demand from them for legal services.”

MHM’s current office in Bangkok with its five lawyers will integrate into Chandler’s 50-lawyer team to become a regional centre for the Japanese firm to expand into South East Asia. MHM has other regional offices in China, Singapore and Myanmar.

The integration is expected to strengthen the firm’s primary practice areas across the region in banking and finance, corporate, merger and acquisitions, loans and securities, dispute resolution, restructuring and insolvency, tax and regulatory law.