Kate Tuma co-leads the firm’s global and US Automotive & Transportation Group. Kate primarily represents automotive manufacturers in a broad range of corporate and commercial transactions, technology and IP transactions, as well as pre-dispute counseling.

She also focuses on representing both domestic and foreign companies in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other strategic transactions and investments.

Kate regularly represents and advises clients on general corporate, IP and antitrust-related investigations and disputes. She most recently acted as the interim director of litigation and associate general counsel for a publicly traded Japanese financial services company. She also successfully defended a Korean company and its US and Japanese subsidiaries in a federal antitrust class action over a five-year period.

She serves on the National Advocates Council for Back On My Feet, an organization dedicated to empowering the unhoused formerly incarcerated, through fitness, education and training. She is also a volunteer lawyer with LAFLA Domestic Violence Clinic at the Santa Monica Courthouse, and the Chicago Pro Bono Network’s Incarcerated Survivor’s Project.

Kate was an associate and partner in the firm’s Tokyo office from 2008 to 2017 and is now primarily resident in the firm’s LA office.

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  • Defending (as lead defense counsel) a Korean food manufacturer and its U.S. subsidiary in antitrust class action in federal court leading to a jury verdict in favor of client-defendant.
  • Advising a Japanese precision instrument manufacturer in antitrust investigations in Japan, Korea and the US.
  • Advising a Japanese trading company in a US$1.6 billion acquisition of a US seafood company.
  • Advising a Japanese steel company in an auction-driven acquisition of a Russian steel company’s US-based assets and operations valued at approximately US$2.2 billion.
  • Advising a Japanese trading company in a US$1.7 billion acquisition of a US-based producer of fruits and vegetables and its worldwide packaged foods business.
  • Advising a Japanese telecommunications company in a US$750 million tender offer for purchase of a US global information technology provider of cloud-enabled enterprise hosting and application management services.
  • Advising a Japanese petroleum company in a US$1.05 billion joint venture involving the production and supply of surfactants and alpha olefins.
  • Advising a Japanese manufacturer of water treatment systems in connection with a US$630 million construction of facilities at a South Texas nuclear power plant.
    Advising a major Japanese EPC firm in an international joint venture involving the construction of a US$4 billion steel mill in Brazil.
  • Advising a Japanese pharmaceutical company in connection with the worldwide licensing and supply of its rotary tableting machines used in the mass manufacture of pharmaceutical products.
  • Advising a Japanese confectionery manufacturer in a US$262 million acquisition of a Polish chocolate company.
  • Advising a Japanese medical diagnostics company in a US$775 million sale of its related business and assets worldwide.
  • Advising a major US electronics distributor in its US$500 million acquisition of a Japanese electronics components manufacturer.
  • Advising a US OEM in service agreements for nationwide recall programs and other related warranty programs.
  • Advising a US OEM in connection with nationwide fleet vehicle contracts and program rules.
  • Advising a US OEM in negotiating and structuring nationwide extended warranty program plans, involving insurance and reinsurance companies and other marketing and plan administrators.
  • Advising US OEM in various transactions involving online service agreements, data processing, digital hosting and data transfer agreements, as well as structuring and drafting data privacy policies.
  • Advising a US OEM in connection with retail financing, merchant participation, fleet management service and other similar agreements.
  • Advising an Italian OEM in a joint development agreement relating to hyper-powered electric vehicles.
  • Advising a US OEM in supply agreements with major US logistics, delivery services and electronic commerce companies.
  • Advising several foreign auto manufacturers (China, India, UK) in exploring opportunities to partner with an existing dealer franchise network or to establish its own dealer network.
  • Advising a Japanese aircraft manufacturer in connection with various industry specific issues including aircraft leasing, financing, commercial and customer distress issues.
  • Advising a Korean electronics manufacturer in a joint venture, R&D and strategic investment with various Chinese and Taiwanese components suppliers.
  • Advising an OEM in various commercial, regulatory and corporate matters; alternative mobility program; national dealer assistance financing.
  • Advising an OEM in connection with labor dispute, worker safety and other issues at manufacturing plant in LATAM.
  • Advising an OEM in connection with potential supply chain monitoring, factory reopening and other regulatory requirements in China.


  • University of Chicago, J.D., Ruth Wyatt Rosenson Scholar
  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A.


  • California
  • Hawaii
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of Illinois

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Back on My Feet, advisory board member
  • Pro Bono Network (Chicago), volunteer lawyer


  • English
  • Korean

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