Karl Pires, CCCJ Governor

Karl Pires

Shearman & Sterling LLP

A native British Columbian (born in Port Alberni and raised in Victoria), my affection for Japan blossomed in 1988 at the University of Victoria when I began studying Japanese as part of my Pacific and Asian Studies degree and also working part-time as a supervisor for Japanese college students in the ESL program. 

My first experience working in Japan was in 1990 as part of the hotel kitchen/dining room staff at the ryokan Nisshinkan at Gunma's Manza Onsen  and, upon graduation from UVIC in 1992, I spent two years as a Coordinator of International Relations at the Wakayama Prefectural Government as part of the JET Program.

Since graduating from the University of Toronto law school in 1998, I have split my 22-year career as a lawyer between Vancouver (8 years) and Tokyo (14 years) and am currently a Partner heading the Japan M&A practice at Shearman & Sterling LLP, an international law firm with 26 offices globally including in Canada and Japan.  At our Tokyo office, we focus on representing both Japanese businesses active overseas and multinational (including Canadian) clients in Japan on their joint ventures, acquisitions, sales, investments and other cross-border transactions.  I have also been teaching a course on comparative corporate and finance law at the Keio University Law School as an adjunct professor since 2014.

I have been keenly involved in the CCCJ since returning to Japan in 2008, and have served as an elected Governor and the Corporate Secretary since 2013, and I am eager to continue to contribute to the CCCJ’s mission of promoting bilateral trade and commerce between Canada and Japan that is based on and further strengthens our countries' shared commitment to enhance ESG performance, sustainability and diversity.