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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Japan > Corporate and M&A > Corporate and M&A – Independent local firms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Corporate and M&A – Independent local firms
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

The corporate practice at Mori Hamada & Matsumoto covers the full gamut of mandates and represents a client roster that includes blue-chip industrials, banks, financial institutions and private equity funds. Gaku Ishiwata and Shuhei Uchida recently acted for Asatsu DK in its acquisition by Bain Capital, and Naoya Shiota was part of the group which advised KKR on its acquisition of Calsonic Kansei and the subsequent squeeze-out procedure. Satoko Kuwabara  – who co-heads the practice with Ishiwata – and Takane Hori teamed up with Uchida to advise cryptocurrency exchange operator Coincheck on its sale to Manex, as well as the negotiation of possible transactions schemes, such as an earn-out mechanism (this follows Manex’s role as sponsor in a business improvement order imposed on Coincheck by the FSA). Other key senior names include Hajime Tanahashi, Tomohiro Tsuchiya and Atsushi Oishi. Among the team's impressive client list names such as SoftBank, Hitachi and Nomura also feature.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu's practice and spans both inbound and outbound M&A transactions, corporate governance and joint ventures across a vast array of industry sectors. Danone recently appointed a group led by Akemi Suzuki and the firm's capital markets team to handle the sale of its shares in Yakult Honsha, reducing its shareholding from 21.29% to approximately 7%. Meanwhile, Yuko Tamai acted for Panasonic in its acquisition of shares in PanaHome thereby making it a wholly-owned subsidiary. In further highlights, Shuichi Nishimura was part of the multi-disciplinary team representing Bain Capital in its acquisition of Toshiba Memory through KK Pangea, an SPV set up with its affiliates; Hiroshi Tago collaborated with the antitrust team to oversee the merger of Ocean Network Express, Mitsui OSK Lines and client NYK; and M&A specialist Soichiro Fujiwara assisted Shire with Takeda Pharmaceutical's acquisition of its entire ordinary share capital. Strengthening the team, Keiji Tonomura was recently promoted to partner.

Kohei Koikawa and Takuya Matsuo are two of the key names to note in Nishimura & Asahi's corporate practice; they recently acted for Shidax in the sale of its 81% interest in Shidax Community to entertainment and fitness company B&V. Adeka appointed a team led by Yo Ota and Daisuke Matsubara to oversee its strategic allegiance with, and potential acquisition of, a majority stake in agrochemical manufacturer Nihon Nohyaku. On the international front, a team including Ryutaro Nakayama and Toshihito Yasaki assisted Honda with its agreement to set up a joint venture in Indonesia with Panasonic and Pacific Consultants for the development of new battery technology. Takashi Ejiri and Koichi Kusano jointly lead the practice and are key names alongside Katsuyuki Yamaguchi and Masaki Hosaka.

TMI Associates' corporate practice is especially strong in the IT, technology and pharmaceutical space where Takushi Saito led the advice to Chinese private equity fund GSR Capital on its acquisition of Nissan's lithium-ion battery business and NEC Energy Devices. Masanao Ojiro, Tatsuya Taniguchi and recently promoted partner Shuya Ogawa oversaw Alpine Electronics share exchange agreement with Alps Electric through which the latter will become the parent company of the former. Hidehiro Utsumi assisted DENSO with its capital alliance agreement with Toshiba under which it will acquire 20% of Toshiba Information Systems. Other highlights include a majority shareholder dispute resolved by Mitsue Aizawa , the carve out of a mobile phone business from a leading technology company by a Japanese private equity fund handled by Takashi Toichi , and Takahiko Takayama's work for Sumitomo Life Insurance on its acquisition of a minority stake in Cardif Assurance Vie Japan from BNP Paribas. Kensei Ikeda and Keisuke Kondo were recently promoted to partner and Harumichi Uchida arrived from Mori Hamada & Matsumoto.

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune's enviable client roster includes Japanese and domestic clients such as private equity funds, multinationals and financial institutions. In two recent standout matters, Ko Wakabayashi led the advice to KM Holdings on its acquisition of common shares in Kuroda Electrics with the intention of acquiring the target as a wholly-owned subsidiary; Takashi Akahane is acting in the privatisation of Kobe Airport through the sale of an operating concession on behalf of Ernst & Young and the government of Kobe City. Elsewhere, Michi Yamagami represented Solekia with regards to the unsolicited takeover bid by Mr Vegi Sasaki and the ensuing 'white knight' bid by Fujitsu, and Hiroki Kodate has been advising Sumitomo Forestry on its capital and business alliance with Kumagai Gumi involving cross shareholder agreements. Other key names include Keiko Kaneko, Keita Tokura and foreign counsel James Minamoto.

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune - Japanese translation: アンダーソン・毛利・友常法律事務所 ・ 安德森·毛利·友常律师事务所 は、主要クライエントにプライベート・エクイティ・ファンドなど日本国内のクライアントや多国籍企業、金融企業を抱えています。 近年の活躍を二つ挙げると、若林耕氏が完全子会社化を意図した黒田電気の普通株取得に関してKMホールディングスに助言を提供し、赤羽貴氏は神戸空港民営化における運営コンセッションの売却に関し、アーンスト・アンド・ヤングおよび神戸市の代理人を務めています。 その他案件としては、山神理氏が、ソレキアに対する佐々木ベジ氏による敵対的買収と富士通による「ホワイトナイト」買収に関して、ソレキアの代理人を務めました。小舘浩樹氏は住友林業に対し、熊谷組との資本業務提携による株式持ち合い合意について助言を提供しています。 金子圭子氏、戸倉圭太氏、外国法事務弁護士ジェイムズ・M・ ミナモト氏らも注目を集めています。

Atsumi & Sakai has welcomed Go FujimotoGo Hashimoto and Hisashi Miyatsuka from 'Big Four' firm Nishimura & Asahi, as well as Akimoto Kawamura from Citigroup, further strengthening the practice. Global Infrastructure Partners engaged a team led by Hiroyuki Sanbe as Japanese counsel on its acquisition of a 100% equity interest in the wind and solar portfolios of Equis Funds. Meanwhile, dispute resolution partner Bonnie Dixon handled Advanced Energy Industries' takeover of Japanese manufacturer Trek Holdings. Also notable is Ashish Jejurkar's work for PayMate and its promoter pertaining to the regulatory aspects of the investment by Mayfair101. Miho Niunoya assisted a Japanese power company with its purchase of shares in a foreign project company established to develop a geothermal power plant in South East Asia. Further key contacts include senior partner Shintaro Hamasu and Masayuki Matsuura .

Hibiya-Nakata's Haruka Murata is praised by clients for her 'ability to create a reasonable solution beyond clients' expectation in a very quick manner, as well as her excellent contract drafting and negotiation skills', while Nobuo Nakata and counsel Tatsuya Soeda are noted for 'their international knowledge and cross-border M&A and project management capacities'. Also notable is Koki Yamada who recently acted for Mercian in the sale of a 34% interest in Vinos Yamazaki to the incumbent management shareholder. Mikiharu Mori assisted Dai Nippon Printing with its joint venture with SIG Combibloc in the food and beverage cartons market. On the junior side, 'client-oriented and experienced' associate Shunsuke Inoue is also recommended.

Hibiya-Nakata - Japanese translation: 日比谷中田法律事務所 の村田晴香氏は、契約書起草や交渉の優れた技術とクライアントの期待を超える合理的なソリューションの素早い提供で高い支持を得ています。また、中田順夫氏とカウンセルの副田達也氏はその国際的見識、クロスボーダーM&A、プロジェクト管理能力の高さで知られています。 山田広毅氏は近年メルシャンの代理人を務め、ヴィノスやまざきの持分34%の現経営陣に対する売却を担当しました。森幹晴氏は、飲料・食品向け紙容器市場でのSIG Combibloc社との協業について、大日本印刷をサポートしました。 若手の中では、顧客中心の姿勢と経験からアソシエイトの井上俊介氏も注目されています。

Clients praise cross-border M&A boutique firm southgate for the 'strength and quality of its precise advice based on the outstanding experience of its dedicated lawyers' and its 'prompt correspondence across various sectors supported by the firm's wide network '. 'Thoroughly impressive' practice co-head Mangyo Kinoshita is especially noted for 'his strong rhetoric and resourcefulness in convincing the opposing party in negotiations'; he recently teamed up with his 'superb and excellent' co-head Eric Marcks to represent Toppan Printing in the spinning off of a business unit to a German company which forms part of a multinational group. In further highlights, Israeli mobile advertising company Taptica appointed the group to advise on its acquisition of a majority stake in a Tokyo-based advertising startup, and Marcks and Kinoshita assisted Valeo with the Japanese law aspects of its joint venture with the PHC Group. Kyoko Mogi recently joined from Hayabusa Asuka Law Offices .

In recent highlights, the team at Ushijima & Partners advised a client on Chinese foreign investment regulations pertaining to its investment in a joint venture business. It also represented a Japanese REIT in a hostile takeover proposal by an investment fund which stipulated it would acquire all of the client's property portfolios on the condition it dissolves. Practice co-head and managing partner Shin Ushijima is acting for a US-based fund seeking to acquire minority interests in several financial institutions in Japan, and Hiroshi Watanabe assisted a client with its acquisition of majority shares in a major European manufacturing company. Also notable are Masahiko TodoYoshimoto Kawamura and Rikisuke Yamanaka, who has strong experience in corporate governance, dispute resolution, internal investigations and procurement matters.

Ushijima & Partners - Japanese translation: 近年のハイライトとしては Ushijima & Partners のチームがジョイントベンチャー事業への投資に関する中国の外資規制についてクライアントに助言を提供しました。 また、資産ポートフォリオを解散する場合は投資ファンドがその全てを取得することを規定した敵対的買収提案の案件で、J-REITの代理人も務めました。 共同所長であり経営に携わる牛島信氏は、日本金融機関数社に対する株式過半数取得の試みにおいて、米国基盤ファンドの代理人を務めました。また、渡邉弘志氏は、欧州の大手製造企業の株式過半数取得について顧客をサポートしました。 東道雅彦氏、川村宜志氏、山中力介氏らも、コーポレートガバナンス、紛争解決、内部調査、調達における幅広い経験で知られています。

City-Yuwa Partners' corporate caseload includes M&A, joint ventures, private equity and venture capital mandates, and governance issues. Partners such as Yoshiko KoizumiMasato KobayashiJunko Hirakawa and Yukihiro Fujimoto represent a varied client roster of domestic and international entities in the finance, technology and energy and natural resources sectors.

Clients in Osaka regularly appoint Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners' Shiro Kuniya and Hirohiko Ikeda to handle inbound and outbound M&A transactions, restructurings, private equity mandates and corporate governance issues. Other key names include Kazuhiro Kobayashi – who has experience in intellectual property law, risk management and compliance, and antitrust issues – and Yoichi Wakasugi, who has previously acted in bankruptcy and restructuring matters.

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