Thomas McLain

Of Counsel at Hogan Lovells

Japan Explained

Thomas McLain of Counsel, Hogan Lovells US LLP, started working and practicing law in Asia in the 1970s before most people recognized Asia’s future importance to U.S. business. He studied Japanese in Japan, studied law at Tokyo University and worked at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu. Tom returned to Japan again after a few years working in the U.S. to lead the negotiations for Oriental Land Corporation to license the right to build Tokyo Disneyland.

In the U.S. Tom has represented Japanese and other Asian banks, trading companies and auto manufacturers, among others, to make investments in the U.S. After the financial crisis in 1997, he advised the Korean government on the packaging and sale of non-performing loans. He also ran the Asian real estate business of a major U.S. securities firm in Japan and later joined a private equity firm to invest in companies doing business in Asia.

Tom regularly advises clients on foreign direct investment, joint ventures, intellectual property licensing, theme parks, family entertainment centers and strategic investments, with an emphasis on Asia.

In 2013, Law360 surveyed corporate in-house counsel and honored 24 attorneys, including Tom, due to his “legal know-how, communication skills and candor” in tackling the “toughest legal and business problems.” President Clinton appointed Tom to the Japan-US Friendship Commission and the US-Japan Committee on Cultural and Educational Exchange. He is a trustee of the Asia Society and Chair of the Asia Society Southern California. He formerly served on the Board of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (USA).