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Japan > Capital markets > International firms and joint ventures > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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)

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Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

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    • 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)

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Who Represents Who

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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.

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