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Dayne Kono counsels business clients on corporate formation, governance and structure, strategic alliances, joint ventures, M&A, post-merger integration, licensing, and commercial transactions. He is a trusted advisor who consistently navigates clients’ business plans through the complexities of cross-border investments. Dayne is often asked to meet with top executives to discuss strategic, sensitive and high-risk issues. With his broad, practical experience and network, which includes 10 years as President and Managing Director of Masuda Funai, he is appreciated for his clear communication, personal commitment and acute focus on each client’s specific needs.

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Dayne is regularly retained to review business strategies, identify potential legal risks and implement governance and compliance policies to ensure that clients can succeed in changing markets and regulatory environments. Recently, Dayne has been asked to manage post-merger integration assignments for several acquisitions in North America by major Japanese corporations. He has also been instrumental in negotiating strategic alliances for Japanese-based multinationals that have expanded and are competing in the global marketplace.

Dedicated to promoting stronger ties between the U.S. and Japan, Dayne is a Council Leader and former Board Member of the U.S.-Japan Council and currently serves as President of The Garden of the Phoenix Foundation. He was recently listed in Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the Most Influential Minority Lawyers in Chicago.

Practice Areas


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


  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois


  • Japanese


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.



American Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago
Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago - Board of Directors
Project 120 Chicago Foundation - Board Member and Secretary
The Garden of the Phoenix Foundation - President
U.S.-Japan Council - Council Leader and Legacy Board Member
Professional Activities
Legal Updates/Client Advisories
BE-120 Mandatory Reporting Due July 31, 2023 for Certain Transactions Between U.S. and Foreign Persons/Businesses
Co-Author: Jake J. Bennett (Law Clerk) 2022 Benchmark Survey. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (“BEA”) is a federal agency under the U.S…
Masuda Funai 2019 Leadership Changes
Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd.’s Board of Directors elected a new President, George Kobayashi, effective January 1, 2019. George…
Taiyo Technology of America Ltd.'s Reception and Open House
Masuda Funai Principals, David Alexander, Dayne Kono and Stephen Proctor attended Taiyo Technology of America Ltd.'s (Taiyo) reception and…
Masuda Funai Hosts U.S.-Japan Council's Emerging Leaders Retreat
On April 28, 2018, the Steering Committee of the U.S.-Japan Council’s (USJC) TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) held its first…
Masuda Funai Attends 50th Anniversary Celebration of Japan's Consuls-General Chicago Residence
On April 18, 2018, Colin Hara, Dayne Kono, Joji Kagei and Dick Briggs of Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell Ltd. attended the 50th…
Masuda Funai Hosts The Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. hosted a welcome reception for the delegation from Osaka, consisting of approximately 12…


  • Illinois Super Lawyers, 2006-2007
  • Leading Lawyers, 2004-2023