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NCLW Leaders in the Law: Naho Kobayashi, Partner McGuireWoods 

Teri Saylor//June 9, 2023

NCLW Leaders in the Law: Naho Kobayashi, Partner McGuireWoods 

Teri Saylor//June 9, 2023

Naho Kobayashi, Partner McGuireWoods 



A celebrated leader at McGuireWoods in Charlotte, partner Naho Kobayashi heads the firm’s alternative lender sub team. She has also served as co-chair of the Recruiting Committee and is a member of an external committee for a major financial institution, where she provides advice to the organization’s diversity initiatives. 

Kobayashi focuses on complex commercial and banking transactions. She primarily represents lenders and investors in debt financings and related equity investments in connection with acquisition financings for leveraged buyouts, as well as syndicated and bilateral cash flow and asset-based credit facilities.


She received her bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, where she graduated with high honors. She earned her law degree from Duke University, graduating cum laude. 

Active in her professional community, Kobayashi serves on the board of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and is a past president of the Charlotte Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She was a member of Leadership Charlotte XXXII, and in 2019, was one of 32 McGuireWoods lawyers named to the North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society. 

Growing up: I grew up in Massachusetts. There was a lot of snow growing up. 

Practice Area: I’m a debt finance lawyer. It’s a fast-paced, team-oriented practice that offers continual opportunities to learn.  

Biggest professional accomplishment: I’m in my 25th year of practice and I’m always learning new things. 

First job: I worked retail in high school and learned how hard those jobs are. 

Biggest career challenge: Understanding that the practice of law is a marathon and not a sprint. 

Advice for aspiring attorneys: Take advantage of opportunities you to talk to different types of lawyers and really listen to what they have to say. 

Work-life balance: Give yourself permission to be imperfect. 

 Childhood goal: I had so many different goals, I don’t remember! 

Favorite vacation spot: We prefer the mountains over the beach — although the beach is pretty great too. 

A month off: I’ve always wanted to do a via ferrata trip in the Alps or maybe just hang out in Paris. 

You didn’t know: I have a weakness for Netflix reality competitions and cake. 




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