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Independent local firms

Index of tables

  1. Real estate: independent local firms
  2. Leading individuals: bengoshi

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune leverages its cross-border expertise in inbound real estate investments made by foreign investors. Minoru Kobayashi, Naoyuki Kabata and Harume Nakano are key names in firm’s substantial J-REIT practice, as are Ken Kobayashi and Motoya Ishibashi. Transaction guru Tetsuya Itoh handles refinancing and debt restructuring in real estate developments. Hiroaki Takahashi joined from the defunct Davis & Takahashi. Clients include lenders, asset managers and developers.

The 15-partner practice at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu is impressive for J-REITs. Hidetaka Mihara advised LaSalle Logiport REIT on its global offering, which issued over a million new investment units inside and outside of Japan. Department head Kohji Morita leads hospitality sector acquisitions, Naohiro Nishimura has experience in real estate private equity funds, and Hiroto Inoue’s workload includes fund and securitisation matters. Mitsui Fudosan and Shimizu are key clients.

Domestically and overseas, Nishimura & Asahi advises on the disposal, acquisition, investment, leasing and management of properties. Instructions for Hideaki Ozawa’s team include fund formation, acquisition financing and land developments. Hiroshi Niinomi and Kohei Koikawa advised Tokyo Tatemono Private REIT Investment on its private offering. Norio Maeda is noted for restructuring distressed real estate asset investments and structured finance transactions.

Recommended for cross-border transactions, Atsumi & Sakai is adept at multi-jurisdictional investment structuring. Russell Kawahara is ‘great at bridging the East-West gap between Japanese and Western thinking’ and handles the acquisition and disposal of commercial, residential, retail and hospitality properties, as well as TMK bond issuances. Shuji Koyama, Eiichiro Hata and Yasuhiro Shimada are key figures.

Masanori Sato and Eriko Ozawa steer Mori Hamada & Matsumoto’s practice, which advises on investment transactions involving high-profile portfolios and multiple parties. In addition to acquisitions, leasing and property disposals, the firm handles investments for overseas properties, J-REITs, financing and fund creation. Naoki Ishikawa is highly regarded for transactions. Prudential Mortgage Capital, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and Goldman Sachs Asset Management are key clients. Atsuko Matsui now works in-house at Coca-Cola East Japan.

TMI Associates’ recent work covers GK-TK structured funds, commercial property sales and transferring real estate assets into SPCs (segregated portfolio company). For transactions, the firm’s clients range from sponsors to trustees and lenders, and it has experience acting for overseas investors in relation to residential, commercial and hospitality property investments. Haruo Narimoto is experienced.

Ushijima & PartnersKohtaro Tamura is ‘recognised as a leader’ in real estate securitisation. Hiroki Awahara acted for domestic and foreign banks, investment companies, asset managers and SPCs in securitisation and financing transactions. Osamu Inoue concentrates on litigation. The firm is a ‘first port of call’ for private placement funds, including J-REITs.

International firms and joint ventures

Index of tables

  1. Real estate: 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: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)
  5. Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

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

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Next generation lawyers: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

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Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) leverages its global network in multi-jurisdictional transactions and financings, including TMK non-recourse loans and REITs. Practice head Seishi Ikeda ‘has a lot of experience with foreign investors’. He advised Greenland Holding Group on acquiring the Chiba Port Square using a TK-GK structure, with Laox its joint venture partner. Alexander Jampel jointly leads the practice and is involved in residential, commercial, retail and hospitality projects. LoneStar Group, Prospect and Tokyu Group are key clients.

Keisuke Mochizuki and Theodore Seltzer’s practice at Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi acts in all phases of investments, from fund formation to the public offering of real estate vehicles. Joshua Isenberg, an expert in cross-border transactions and developments, joined from Paul Hastings LLP. Masahiro Shiga is revered for REITs, private equity, distressed acquisitions and financing. Junichi Kurokoshi and Isenberg assisted Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation with refinancing mortgage and mezzanine loans to a US entity that were secured by a portfolio of hotels and resorts. Narutake Takasu is integral to the practice, which also has Aareal Bank, Atlas Partners, Savills Japan on its roster. Of counsel Andrew Morrison has relocated to the Washington DC office.

White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) handled a unique transaction for PAG in which its acquisition of a portfolio of multi-family residential properties was structured as a share transfer. Other clients include Halifax Asset Management and Japan Real Estate Investment Corporation. Gerald Fujii undertakes acquisition and finance work, with an emphasis on investment funds. Also recommended are practice head Tetsuya Morimoto, Mizuho Yamada and newly promoted counsel Chiho Saito.

Clifford Chance Law Office’s practice handles cross-border investment, divestment, financing and transaction restructuring. Managing partner Eiichi Kanda heads the practice with Leng-Fong Lai, and led advice to Niseko Village regarding development of townhouses, including construction and lease agreements. Lai advises sponsors and financiers on investments and funds, including risk participation structures and hybrid financing. Newly promoted partner Yusuke Abe is recommended.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP focuses on domestic institutional investors making investments abroad. Practice head Toshihiko Tsuchiya is heavily regarded for the securitisation and liquidation of real estate assets, and Yuko Ino excels in transactional work. Michael Haworth is now based in New York but continues to focus on Asian markets. Before relocating, he assisted Tokyu Land Corporation’s US subsidiary with its equity investment into a Park Avenue office development; Tsuchiya and Ino also worked on the matter. Managing associate Sakon Kuramoto joined from Uryu & Itoga.

At DLA Piper, managing partner Lance Miller is retained by multinational corporations, financial institutions and funds such as Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Gaw Capital Partners and Regus Japan. Recent mandates include advising on commercial and retail property acquisitions, office leases and litigation. Senior associate Mitsuharu Kataoka is an additional contact.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer often handles portfolio transactions on behalf of foreign investors and funds. Its work includes commercial leases, domestic infrastructure deals and outbound investments. Managing partner and practice head Edward Cole advised New Kansai International Airport on a concession agreement to privatise the airport. Senior counsel Tomoko Nakajima is ‘extremely knowledgeable’.

The team at Jones Day assisted Takenaka and The Asahi Shimbun negotiate an agreement with Hilton WorldWide regarding hotel operation. Recent work also includes ownership rights, redevelopments and the acquisition of retail property. CLSA Capital Partners and Cushman & Wakefield are clients. Hirokazu Ina is noted alongside department head Masatomo Suzuki, who became of counsel.

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