Dayne Kono

Principal, Chicago
Phone: 312.245.7500

Dayne Kono advises foreign-based and multinational companies operating in the U.S. in virtually every stage of their operations. He counsels clients on corporate structure, strategic alliances, formations and buyouts of joint ventures, and the mergers and acquisitions of multi-million dollar operations and corporate assets. He also counsels clients on commercial transactions, including technical licensing agreements, import/export agreements, distributorship and sales representative agreements, security agreements and original equipment manufacturer agreements.

Mr. Kono also has a unique understanding and extensive experience in advising companies regarding critical employment and labor laws impacting the company's ability to do business in the U.S., as well as advising companies on business immigration and visa matters. He collaborates with companies to identify risk and liability exposure and assists them in managing those risks through the establishment of compliance policies and formal agreements, such as non-disclosure and non-compete, assignment of inventions, independent contractor agreements, payroll agent and third-party outsourcing and management agreements.

Proficient in Japanese, Mr. Kono conducts seminars and client tutorials in both Japanese and English on legal issues affecting Japanese-owned businesses in the U.S. His recent presentations include a tutorial on the formation and structuring of joint ventures, and a presentation on the government's role in global business and foreign direct investment.

Mr. Kono serves on the Board of the U.S.-Japan Council and Chairs its Membership Committee. He is also a founding board member of The Garden of the Phoenix Foundation and Project 120 Chicago Foundation.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a foreign buyer in a multi-million dollar acquisition of an optical measuring division of a large U.S. company.

  • Represented a foreign buyer in a multi-million dollar asset purchase of an industrial products division of an established trading company.

  • Represented a foreign joint venture partner in negotiating the formation of a joint venture company with a U.S. automotive supplier, to sell and manufacture automotive parts to U.S. automotive assembly plants.

  • Represented a foreign machine tool manufacturer in the licensing and establishment of a technology joint venture for the manufacture of highly-sophisticated machine tools in the U.S.

  • Represented a manufacturer in the negotiation and restructuring of worldwide supply and technical licensing agreements for industrial machinery.

  • Represented a first tier joint venture automotive company in the buy-out of its U.S. automotive joint venture partner.

  • Represented a foreign joint venture partner in the negotiation and multi-million buyout of a European company's joint venture interest in a U.S. manufacturing company.

  • Represented numerous foreign manufacturers in the establishment of manufacturing facilities in the U.S., including site selection; negotiation of state and local incentives; purchase of real estate; and advising in all phases of regulatory, employment and labor, commercial transactions and financing.

  • Developed strategy and negotiated settlement on a major Department of Labor wage and hour investigation, resulting in substantial reduction of penalties and back wages based on assertion of novel interpretation of the exempt category for computer systems analysts.

  • Engaged in a one-year multi-state research project to develop 50-state local taxation compliance policy and procedures for a large computer-related service business with national customer representation.

  • Represented numerous banking, automotive, industrial machinery and computer software businesses in the sale, restructure and downsizing of their U.S. operations.

Practice Areas


  • Japanese


  • University of Michigan, B.A. Political Science, 1978
  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1982 - Fordham International Law Journal, 1981-1982


  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Chicago Chapter
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Chicago (JCCC) & JCCC Foundation
  • Midwest-U.S. Japan Association
  • Project 120 Chicago Foundation - Board Member and Secretary
  • The Garden of the Phoenix Foundation - Board Member and Secretary
  • U.S.-Japan Council - Board Member and Chair, Membership Committee


  • Illinois Super Lawyers, 2006-2007, 2017
  • Leading Lawyers, 2004-2018