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Real estate and construction – Independent local firms

Index of tables

  1. Real estate and construction – Independent local firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

The construction and real estate practice at Anderson Mori & Tomotsune specialises in cross-border transactions – particularly on behalf of foreign entities investing into the Japanese market – and J-REIT offerings. In recent highlights, Harume Nakano , Naoyuki Kabata and Motoya Ishibashi represented Nippon Prologis REIT in its acquisition of a logistics facility, and Tatsu Katayama was part of the team which advised the Japan Retail Fund Investment Corporation on its JPY15bn purchase of a retail facility. Japan Hotel REIT recently appointed Ryu Umezu to lead on its acquisition of three high-profile hotels, including the Hilton Tokyo Narita Airport hotel. Minoru Kobayashi assisted the joint global coordinators and other underwriters with the global public offering of investment units of Daiwa House REIT, and handled a non-recourse financing project backed by a large portfolio of retail properties on behalf of a major bank. Another key name is Tetsuya Itoh  who specialises in real estate, structured finance and corporate transactions.

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 の建設・不動産部門は、クロスオーバー案件(特に、日本市場に投資を行う外国企業の代理)とJ-REITの提供を専門としています。 近年のハイライトとしては、中野春芽氏、加畑直之氏、石橋源也氏の三氏が物流施設の取得において日本プロロジスリート投資法人の代理人を務めました。また、片山達氏はチームの一員として、日本リテールファンド投資法人に150億円の商業施設買収に関する助言を提供しました。 ジャパン・ホテル・リート投資法人はヒルトン成田を含む3件の有名ホテルの取得に向け、梅津立氏を任命しました。また、小林穣氏は大和ハウスREIT投資ユニットの海外向け公募に際し、共同グローバル・コーディネーターやその他のアンダーライターを支援しました。また、大手銀行の代理人として、商業施設の大型ポートフォリオがサポートするノンリコース融資プロジェクトに対応しました。 不動産、ストラクチャードファイナンス、企業取引を専門とする伊藤哲哉氏も注目の一人です。

The advice at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu covers the full gamut of real estate development, construction, acquisition and disposal matters, as well as management, ownership and leasing mandates. Practice leader Shunpei Tanaka and recently promoted Shinichiro Horaguchi oversaw Mitsui Fudosan's acquisition of the NBF Hibiya and GSK buildings from Nippon Building Fund and the disposition of Roppongi T-CUBE and Celestine Shiba Mitsui to Nippon. On the J-REIT front, clients describe the firm as 'the best of the best'; Hidetaka Mihara advised Mitsui Fudosan on the issuance of new investment units through a public offering and on the acquisition of three assets. Also notable are Mami Ikebukuro, who on behalf of Sumitomo and Sumisho Realty Management established a real estate investment fund for transactions in the US, and Rintaro Hirano, who assisted Astro Japan Property Group with the sale of its entire portfolio to Blackstone and its de-listing from the ASX.

Atsumi & Sakai's client roster includes global investment banks, major real estate developers, J-REITs and asset managers. The group is particularly strong in structured finance and securitisation transactions but covers the full spectrum of real estate transactions and development mandates. Russell Kawahara – who jointly leads the team alongside Miho Niunoya – recently represented a private fund in the sale of six high-class office buildings in Japan, and acted for a foreign fund in its acquisition of a portfolio of Japanese logistics facilities. A team including Shuji Koyama assisted a private company as part of a consortium with the outsourcing of the entire operations of a sewage system as part of a new PPP model, which includes the construction and maintenance of new facilities. The group also collaborated with the projects and energy department's Miki Ono to oversee the localisation of a foreign standard form construction contract related to the construction of several projects in Japan. Also noteworthy is Eiichiro Hata who specialises in the banking and financing aspects of the practice.

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto's real estate and construction offering is especially strong in the investment and financing space where it advises a varied client roster on structured finance, compliance and fund mandates. At the head of the team's structured finance sub-team sits Masanori Sato, while Takahiro Kobayashi and Shigeki Okatani jointly lead the infrastructure group. Other key names include practice co-head Eriko Ozawa, transactional expert Naoki Ishikawa and Yasuhiko Fujitsu, who has considerable experience in the J-REIT space.

The real estate and construction team at Nishimura & Asahi advises on acquisitions and disposals, investments, leasing issues, land development and J-REIT transactions. The group also provides environmental regulatory counsel, dispute resolution services with regards to soil pollution and asbestos-related claims, as well as risk management solutions. Key names to note include Vu Le Bang and Hikaru Oguchi, who previously handled the acquisition of hotels in South East Asia; Hiroshi Niinomi previously represented Mizuho Trust & Banking in its acquisition of Simplex REIT. On the capital markets side, Kohei Koikawa and Toshihiro Takeshita feature among the noteworthy individuals.

Eiichi Nagai is the name to note for real estate work at Kaynex Law Offices; he represented a major international entity in its acquisition of trust beneficiary interests in a retail complex through an SPC. On the banking and finance side, Nagai teamed up with Norifusa Hashimoto to assist a longstanding client in the banking space with a series of non-recourse loan financings to SPCs. In other highlights, Nagai acted for a foreign investment fund in its joint venture with a Singapore-based fund for the acquisition of a portfolio of logistics properties, and a conglomerate of private companies engaged the group to oversee its purchase of land in Hokkaido through a TMK for the development of ski resort accommodations.

Kaynex Law Offices - Japanese translation: ケイネックス法律事務所 で不動産案件を取り扱う永井栄一氏も注目の一人です。永井氏は、特別目的会社を介した複合商業施設の信託受益権の取得において大手国際企業の代理人を務めました。金融分野では、同氏は橋本憲房氏と共に、特別目的会社への一連のノンリコース融資において長年の顧客をサポートしました。 その他のハイライトとしては、永井氏が、シンガポールを基盤とするファンドとのジョイントベンチャー事業での物流施設のポートフォリオ組入れにおいて、外国投資ファンドの代理人を務めました。また同事務所は特定目的会社を介したスキーリゾート開発を目的とする北海道での土地買収の監督について、民間コングロマリットと契約を結んでいます。

TMI Associates' team acts in large-scale transactions across a broad range of domestic and international real property/real estate, securitisation, project/construction and other structured financing matters. Clients include transaction arrangers, sponsors (including general construction companies), originators, trustees and lenders. The names to note are Haruo Narimoto and construction counsel Yu Tomita.

Ushijima & Partners' real estate practice head Kohtaro Tamura has substantial expertise in the transactional and securitisation space; he recently teamed up with Hiroki Awahara to advise a securities company on the sale of five central Tokyo properties to a joint venture SPC. Recently promoted to partner, Masahiro Shiotani was part of the team appointed by a government entity to review and reform a crucial regulatory clause. On the contentious front, Motohiro Kuroki is a name to note. The group also acts for investment funds and the Urban Renaissance Agency.

Ushijima & Partners - Japanese translation: Ushijima & Partners の不動産部門を率いる田村幸太郎氏は、不動産売買や証券化の分野における幅広い経験を備えています。同氏は近年粟原大喜氏と共に、東京都心の施設5棟の特定目的会社を介したジョイントベンチャーへの売却に関して証券会社に助言を提供しました。近頃パートナーへの昇進を果たした塩谷昌弘氏は政府団体指名のチームに参加し、重要法規の条文改正に携わりました。 係争分野では黒木資浩氏にも注目です。 同事務所は、投資ファンドやUR都市機構の代理人も務めています。

Real estate and construction – International firms and joint ventures

Index of tables

  1. Real estate and construction – International firms and joint ventures
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Maki Kawamura (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)
    • Satoshi Nomura (Bengoshi) - Clifford Chance Law Office
    • Taijiro Suzuki (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)
    • Yoshiaki Shimizu (Bengoshi) - Clifford Chance Law Office
    • David Gotsill (Gaiben) - Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
    • Nicholas Oury (Gaiben) - Herbert Smith Freehills

At Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) the real estate team operates as part of the major projects, energy, infrastructure and mining department. Practice co-head Ean Mac Pherson acted in the real estate aspects and construction law issues related to major infrastructure and energy projects; he co-heads the construction practice with Toshio Sasaki. In recent other highlights, Alexander Jampel acted for a two major life insurance companies in the non-recourse loans secured by a large mixed-use office, retail and residential building held in trust in Tokyo, and Seishi Ikeda represented the asset manager in a foreign Asian fund's acquisition of an office building in Tokyo. Chris Hodgens oversaw the real estate aspects of several major new hotel developments in South East Asia. On the junior side, senior associates Maki Kawamura and Taijiro Suzuki are key names to note alongside counsel Haruhiko Ogasawara.

Clients note Clifford Chance Law Office's real estate practice for 'meeting their requests precisely' and 'always providing correct advice'. Managing partner Eiichi Kanda is singled out in particular; he recently led the advice to a Middle Eastern state-owned oil fund on a development project related to the construction of a hotel in Japan, and oversaw the acquisition of an office building to be converted into a hotel via equity investments on behalf of a fund and its sponsor. Elsewhere, Leng-Fong Lai represented a hospitality group in its acquisition of land in Ginza from Mitsui Fudosan and the development of a new hotel, while counsel Satoshi Nomura was part of the team which handled the refinancing of TMK bonds issued by two TMKs holding residential properties in Tokyo on behalf of a Luxembourg fund. Other key names to note include Natsuko Sugihara, financing expert Yusuke Abe and Yoshiaki Shimizu, who was recently promoted to counsel.

The full-service offering at Herbert Smith Freehills covers all aspects of contentious and non-contentious matters arising from international infrastructure, construction and real estate projects. Recent work highlights include department head Emma Kratochvilova's counsel to a major international industrial group on US litigation and mediation arising from a critical failure incident during the commissioning phase of a coal-fired power plant. The team was also instructed by a Japanese engineering company to handle its dispute against a contractor that claimed payments for the purchase and supply of critical parts for the construction of a generation plant in the Middle East. Dispute resolution experts such as Elaine Wong and David Gilmore also intervened in JCAA and international arbitration proceedings, as well as investigations. On the advisory side, construction specialist Christopher Hunt is advising the representative entity of a consortium on its bid for the development of an integrated resort in Japan. Senior associate Nicholas Oury specialises in construction disputes and is also a key name to note.

Described as 'one of the best real estate outfits in Tokyo', Morrison & Foerster LLP fields a 'very professional, experienced and responsive team' which 'always gets to the point'. Practice co-heads Masahiro Shiga and Theodore Seltzer 'know their practice area extremely well'. In recent highlights, Sekisui House, a leading Japanese real estate construction company, appointed Joshua Isenberg and his team to oversee its acquisition of a US company to expand its overseas business, while the 'very diligentreasonable and commercial' Mori Inada led the advice to a major bank on the financing of several hospitality assets. Also of note is Junichi Kurokoshi and Christopher Spalding who has joined as of counsel from King & Spalding. Keisuke Mochizuki retired from the practice in 2018.

White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)'s real estate practice handles high-profile and high-value transactions such as the Astro Group's sale of its entire portfolio of office, retail and residential real estate interests to a Singapore entity managed by Blackstone. The team is jointly led by Gerald Fujii and Mizuho Yamada, who recently teamed up with Tetsuya Morimoto to advise an investment fund on its acquisition of a portfolio of residential and hospitality assets from a special purpose vehicle. In other highlights, Kazuo Kasai was promoted to counsel and continues to represent a variety of clients in disputes, restructuring and financing mandates.

The real estate and construction group at King & Spalding is especially strong in the power sector. The Tokyo office is spearheaded by John McClenahan and regularly acts for financial institutions, contractors, developers, trading houses and foreign corporates in outbound financing and transactional mandates. Mark Davies is leading the advice to Tokyu Land Corporation and Japan Wind Development on the development of a 34MW and 40.8MW wind power projects, while Rupert Lewi is assisting Sojitz on a proposed FSU project in Sri Lanka. For dispute resolution work, clients can rely on Christopher Bailey, who acts in contractual claims, international arbitration and investor protection cases; he recently intervened in a high-value dispute in front of the English Commercial Court for a consortium partner against a contractor relating to the performance of drilling work in an offshore project.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP covers the full gamut of real estate transactions, financings, joint ventures and investments, with a particular focus on outbound mandates on behalf of institutional Japanese clients. In recent highlights, Yuko Ino collaborated with the US team to oversee a joint venture between Tokyo Trust Capital and Meritage Properties for the acquisition and financing of an 11-story office building in Washington DC. Meanwhile, Toshihiko Tsuchiya advised the trustee of Parkway Life REIT on its $14m investment in Konosu Nursing Home Kyoseien in Saitama. Yutaro Nakadate was recently promoted to managing associate and assisted a fund managed by the Japanese subsidiary of a leading international REIT with multiple acquisitions and related financings with the support of managing associate David Gotsill.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP's Simon Barrett and Anthony Raven co-head the infrastructure offering in Tokyo and regularly advise clients on disputes arising from project development and construction projects. In recent highlights, Raven acted for a Japanese utility company in its acquisition of a US power plant, and Barrett represented a multinational corporation in a dispute against a contractor arising from various claims for delay and design defects in relation to the construction of a gas-to-gasoline plant in Central Asia. Counsel Paul Marston is also a key name to note for transactional work and EPC contract issues.

The main name to note in Ashurst's real estate and construction department is Matthew Rickards, a specialist in the development of power and infrastructure assets. Anna Hermelin has considerable experience in the financing, developing and structuring of projects and was recently promoted to partner. Rupert Burrows departed the firm and Anthony Hague took up an in-house position with Walmart.

At DLA Piper the real estate lawyers 'are professional, hold a deep knowledge of the field and are fast in analysis situations' and 'the service is always excellent'. Hilton, Hyatt and Luxury Hotels recently benefited from Japan managing partner Lance Miller and real estate practice head Mitsuharu Kataoka's advice on the management of their hotels and franchise agreements in Japan. In other highlights, the group acted for Legoland in issues arising from construction agreements, equipment purchase and installation agreements, and ride contracts for its theme park in Nagoya. The team also collaborated with the tax, dispute resolution, employment and corporate departments on the formation of joint ventures, landlord disputes, and financing matters.

Edward Cole helms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's real estate offering which recently assisted a major global technology company with the expansion of its presence in Japan through the acquisition of new retail sites, lease negotiations and development agreements for new stores. Senior counsel Tomoko Nakajima is part of the multi-office team representing the lender to a bidding consortium for a major airport concession, and advised an investment manager on its exercise of a call option for the shares of a Japanese holding company of a tokumei kumiai arrangement holding their real estate investments.

Jones Day has strong experience in securitisation, corporate real estate and outbound investment matters. The partner to note is Katsumi Shirai, who has a particular focus on downstream real estate and renewable energy project acquisition transactions. Shirai recently acted for Fujisaki Electric in the development of a bamboo biomass project and assisted PAG with its acquisition of companies with real estate assets and trust beneficiary interests in central Tokyo. Associate Yuki Yoshida supported Shirai in his work for an investment manager pertaining to its acquisition of condominiums pursued under a double TMK structure, and the development of hotel resorts. Also notable are of counsels Masatomo Suzuki and Hirokazu Ina.

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