Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Japan > Capital markets > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Independent local firms

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets: independent local firms
  2. Leading individuals: bengoshi

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune advises clients on inbound and outbound transactions, acting for both issuers and underwriters, and has substantial strength in samurai bond offerings, IPOs, convertible bonds and J-REITs. Recent work includes advising Toyota and Nomura as issuer and underwriter respectively on Toyota’s public class share offering, and acting for Nomura, J.P. Morgan Securities Japan and Morgan Stanley as underwriters on the Japanese elements of Sony’s global share offering. Noteworthy names include Harume Nakano, Minoru Kobayashi and Hironori Shibata. Hiroaki Takahashi joined from Davis & Takahashi.

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto’s ‘professional services are excellent’, according to clients, making it ‘one of the best teams in the jurisdiction’. It handles transactions and regulatory compliance, and recent work includes acting as issuer’s counsel on the IPO of Japan Post Holdings and its subsidiaries, Japan Post Bank and Japan Post Insurance, and advising SoftBank on multiple high-yield bond issuances. Katsumasa Suzuki is ‘a client-focused and creative lawyer’, and other well-regarded practitioners include Satoshi Nakamura and Toru Ishiguro.

Fumihide Sugimoto leads the team at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu. Also noted are Miyuki Ishiguro, who advised Sony on its global share offering, and Masatsura Kadota, who assisted J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley as underwriters of Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance’s first foreign bond issuance. Other clients include Goldman Sachs, Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. Hidetaka Mihara and Shinichi Araki are well respected.

Key names at Nishimura & Asahi include Kohei Koikawa, who led advice to Dexerials and the selling shareholders regarding its global IPO, and assisted Nomura as lead manager of a samurai bond offering. Other clients include Comforia Residential REIT, Japan Airport Terminal and Daiwa Securities. Hiroshi Niinomi is experienced in the real estate sector; Yasutaka Nishikori and structured finance specialist Masaru Ono are recommended.

Atsumi & Sakai’s team advised Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance on a catastrophe bond transaction, which was the first in which both yen and US denominated bonds were issued. It also assisted Daito Me Holdings with its common stock listing on the Taipei Exchange. Key team members include Yuri Suzuki and Hiroyuki Sanbe.

City-Yuwa Partners has a broad practice, acting for domestic and international clients on securities issuances, convertible bonds, stock exchange listings, J-REITs and regulatory issues. Yukihiro Fujimoto and Yoshitada Ogiso are recommended.

Kaynex Law Offices was established in 2016, and the firm’s well-regarded finance department includes Norifusa Hashimoto, Eiichi Nagai and Aya Kurahashi. The team advises on domestic and cross-border mandates and is experienced in transactions, securities offerings (including samurai bonds) and regulatory issues. Kota Kikuchi is noted for his energy sector expertise.

At TMI Associates, Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi and Hidenori Nakagawa are the key names to note. The practice is experienced in J-REITs, IPOs, transactions and regulatory matters. The team advised clients on the new Japanese short-selling regulations.


International firms and joint ventures

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets: international firms and joint ventures
  2. Leading individuals: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)
  3. Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)
  4. Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Leading individuals: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)

  1. 1

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

  1. 1
    • Izumi Akai - Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
    • Alan Cannon - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
    • Edward Cole - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Peter Frost - Linklaters
    • Jon Gray - Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
    • Eugene Gregor - Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
    • Masahisa Ikeda - Shearman & Sterling
    • Reiko Sakimura - Clifford Chance Law Office
    • David Sneider - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
    • Kenji Taneda - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
    • Tong Yu - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

  1. 1

Clifford Chance Law Office’s practice is recognised for its strength across primary and secondary capital markets, advising underwriters and issuers at a national and international level. The team is also a ‘standout performer’ in the convertible bond space. Department head Reiko Sakimura acted for Nomura and the other managers on Suzuki Motor’s convertible bond issuances totalling ¥200bn. Other clients include Standard Chartered, Daiwa and Citigroup. Leng-Fong Lai and Eiichi Kanda, who specialises in regulatory matters, are recommended.

Clients praise Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as ‘one of the best out there’ for capital markets work, with ‘a clarity, willingness to help and responsiveness that is difficult to beat’. The practice is co-led by Eugene Gregor, counsel Christopher Kodama and the ‘knowledgeable and sound’ Jon Gray. Gray joined from Linklaters in 2015. Recent headline work includes assisting SMTB with the creation of a covered bond program, and acting for Nomura, Morgan Stanley, Mizuho and Merrill Lynch as the joint lead managers of LaSalle Logiport REIT’s global IPO.

Linklatersprovides clients with a one-stop service’ that is ‘strong in multiple areas, making it one of the best choices in the market’. Practice co-heads Peter Frost and Kozo Sasaki are singled out for praise by clients. Highlights included assisting Macquarie Capital Securities with its first equity offer in Japan, and advising UBS Investment Bank and Mizuho on Nippon Gas’ equity offering. Other clients include Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and JBIC. Jon Gray joined Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

David Sneider, Alan Cannon and Takahiro Saito are the key names to note in Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s team, which has an impressive client roster of issuers and underwriters, including Citigroup, Dai-ichi Life Insurance and Skylark. The team advised Mizuho Financial Group on a series of senior note offerings totalling $4bn, and acted for the joint lead managers (Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Securities, Morgan Stanley and Nomura) on Japan Post Group’s $12bn concurrent IPOs.

At Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Izumi Akai acted for Japan Post Holdings, Japan Post Bank and Japan Post Insurance as issuers in their concurrent IPOs. Akai also assisted SoftBank in a $4.5bn multi-tranche senior notes offering, and advised J.P. Morgan Securities, Nomura and Morgan Stanley as managers of Sony’s global common shares offering. Other clients include Central Japan Railway, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal. Keiji Hatano is a key name to note.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s department includes managing partner and hybrid securities specialist Edward Cole, Junzaburo Kiuchi, who has experience in Hong Kong IPOs, and counsel Shinsuke Kobayashi. The team advised CVC Capital Partners on its sale of a ¥23bn stake in TechnoPro Holdings, and assisted Goldman Sachs with the sale of Daiichi Sankyo’s $3.2bn stake in Sun Pharmaceuticals. Other clients include Shinsei Bank, Morgan Stanley and Norin Chuo Bank.

The ‘very pleasant’ team at Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi is praised by clients for its ‘excellent expertise, sound judgement and eagerness to respond’. It advised LaSalle Logiport REIT and LaSalle REIT Advisors on its ¥110bn global IPO, and acted for Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance on an international offering of $2bn hybrid debt securities. The department’s client roster also includes Barclays, SoftBank and Morgan Stanley. Fuyuo Mitomi heads the department, which also includes Saori Nakamura (who is ‘highly dedicated’) and ‘excellent communicator’ Kenji Hosokawa. Kenji Taneda joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Ken Takahashi leads Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)’s seven-partner team, which handles a broad range of work, including public offerings and IPOs, private placements, samurai bonds, subordinated notes, foreign funds and stock acquisition rights. Takahashi advised Credit Suisse Securities Japan on the issuance and public offering of yen bonds totalling ¥110bn, and Hiroyoshi Kuromaru acted for ANZ in a ¥80bn bond issuance and public offering. Other clients include JBIC, Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities and Tokai Tokyo Securities. Akiko Hosokawa and Seishi Ikeda are also recommended.

At Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, practice head Tong Yu acted for Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking in its $1.3bn senior note offering, and assisted BTMU with a $2.5bn senior unsecured bond issuance. Alongside its experience in global offerings, the team also advises on regulatory issues. Other clients include Fortress Investment Group, Sumitomo, NEC Corporation and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

Shearman & Sterling acts for underwriters and issuers in a range of transactions and regulatory issues, and has notable strength assisting Japanese clients in SEC registrations. Recent highlights include advising the Bank of Yokohama and Higashi-Nippon Bank in an SEC-registered exchange of shares, and assisting Apple with a SEC-registered offering of yen-denominated notes. Toyota, JX Holdings and Mizuho Bank are also clients. Managing partner Masahisa Ikeda leads the team, and counsel Toshiro Mochizuki is also recommended.

Nobuhisa Ishizuka, who leads the department at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, is experienced in corporate finance and investment transactions. The team is notably strong in cross-border deals, particularly with a US element, and handles securities regulation, share offerings and medium-term note programmes. The practice recently expanded with the recruitment of Kenji Taneda from Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi, who advises Japanese corporations, financial institutions and sovereign entities.

Seiji Matsuzoe, team head at White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association), assisted LCH.Clearnet with obtaining its CCP licence in order to conduct its SwapClear business in Japan, and also advised Natixis on a loan repackaging. The team acts on cross-border matters for domestic and international clients such as Deutsche Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking, and SMBC.


Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

GC Powerlist -
Australia and New Zealand

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

GC Powerlist -
Australia and New Zealand

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in Japan

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Taking control of a Japanese publicly listed company:

    Introductory notes for successfully completing an M&A
  • Yuasa and Hara Business Law News

    Contents of the Issue Law on liability for breach of contract Review on the amendment to the cabinet office order on Corporate Disclosure
  • NEW WHITE COLLAR CRIME BILL

    The Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter (“the Minister”), has published the Criminal Justice Bill 2011 (“the Bill”). The main purpose of the Bill is stated to be “…to amend the criminal law to improve certain procedural matters and strengthen Garda investigative powers. The intention is that such improvements will assist in reducing the delays associated with the investigation and prosecution of complex crime, in particular white collar crime.”
  • Japan: New legislative framework for Sukuk

    The new framework passed in May 2011 will provide a solid legal platform for issuing Sukuk Ijarah under Japanese law. NAOKI ISHIKAWA highlights key legal structures and tax treatment in respect of the anticipated Sukuk issuances in Japan.
  • Yakult Bottle Acquired Distinctiveness

    Do you know about Yakult's delicious lactic acid drink which is contained in a small bottle? Yakult's lactic acid drink (hereafter referred to as "Yakult drink") is the most famous lactic acid drink in Japan and today is also being sold in many countries around the world. When you are enjoying Yakult drink, please keep in mind the case mentioned below.
  • Tax: Japan: International Joint Ventures

    Tax on international joint ventures. Country Q&A (Japan).
  • Japan: Recent Developments in Practice and Law

    The successful closing of two Islamic fi nance transactions which was announced in July 2010 by Nomura Holdings have paved a concrete path for Japanese corporations to consider overseas Islamic fi nance markets for their fund raising activities. The fi rst transaction was in Asia for the issuance of Sukuk Ijarah and the second was in the Middle East for the establishment of a Commodity Murabahah facility (Nomura Deals).
  • Renewable energy takes off in Japan

    Like many other countries, Japan has decided to reform its renewable energy (RE) policy, to dramatically increase the use of renewable energy. The core policy mechanism is a feed-in tariff (FIT). This chapter summarises the contemplated Japanese FIT and its practical impact on existing and future investment in this sector, providing an overview of:
  • Licensing - 2010

    Q & A on Licensing in Japan 
  • Law on the Civil Jurisdiction of Japanese Courts over Foreign Countries, etc.

    The Law has been enacted to clarify the scope of application of the civil jurisdiction of Japanese courts over foreign countries, etc., and set exceptions to civil preocedings involving foreign countries, etc., based on the United Nations Convention on the Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their property (UN Convention on Immunities) (see Article 1). 

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to