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Editorial

Index of tables

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

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Anderson Mori & Tomotsune’s team combines ‘excellent’ cross-border experience, particularly on matters involving inbound real estate investments by foreign investors, with a strong practice in J-REITs and capital markets work to provide a ‘standout service’. Minoru Kobayashi, Naoyuki Kabata, Harume Nakano and Motoya Ishibashi are key names for J-REIT work; Nakano advised Sakura Sogo REIT on its IPO, and Kobayashi acted for the underwriters on the global offering of investment units of Daiwa House REIT. Clients also include Nomura, Japan Retail Fund Investment and Nippon Prologis REIT. Tetsuya Itoh handles transactions, debt restructurings and refinancing matters, and Tatsu Katayama regularly acts for financial institutions.

Comprising ‘brilliantly talented experts’, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu’s 15-partner practice is ‘a clear leader for J-REIT work’. In a recent highlight, Masatsura Kadota acted for Nomura Real Estate Master Fund on its absorption-type merger with Top REIT, acquiring assets totalling ¥190bn. The group also advised Tokyu Land on the consolidation of three of its subsidiaries into one company which manages three separate J-REITs, and handled the establishment of a private REIT for real estate developer NTT Urban Development. Shunpei Tanaka leads the department, which also features Hidetaka Mihara, Mami Ikebukuro and Kenji Utsumi, who ‘consistently works at the highest possible level’. Yoshinobu Koyama made partner in 2017 and Kohji Morita retired.

Hideaki Ozawa heads up the group at Nishimura & Asahi, which has recently acted on acquisitions, reconstruction projects, investments, developments and REIT work. Hikaru Oguchi and Vu Le Bang advised Route Inn Japan on its acquisition of hotels in Da Nang, Vietnam; Hiroshi Niinomi acted for Mizuho Trust & Banking on acquiring Simplex REIT and its affiliates; and Norio Maeda assisted Nishiki Holdings with its acquisition of a hospital and medical properties in Osaka. Kohei Koikawa and Toshihiro Takeshita are also names to note, particularly for capital markets-related matters.

Atsumi & Sakai’s client roster features global investment banks, real estate developers, sponsors, REITs, fund managers and government agencies, which the team advises on a wide range of issues. It is highly regarded for cross-border work and has an ‘outstanding structured finance practice’, making it a key name for international real estate finance matters and investment structuring. Practice co-head Russell Kawahara regularly handles US-Japan matters, TMK bond issuances, and advises on commercial, residential, retail, hotel and resort properties. Miho Niunoya, who leads the practice alongside Kawahara, acts on PFI/PPP and construction projects. Shuji Koyama, Eiichiro Hata and real estate finance expert Yasuhiro Shimada are also recommended.

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto’s team is ‘trusted fully by clients’, who praise the lawyers’ ‘complete understanding of the market and its players’ and their ‘reliable advice, which is provided quickly and efficiently’. The group has notable strength in real estate investment and financing; it recently advised Diamond Realty Management on the launch of a development fund for Japanese investors to invest in US properties, and acted for Ooedo Onsen REIT Investment on its IPO. Masanori Sato leads the firm’s structured finance practice, Eriko Ozawa is co-head of the real estate group, Takahiro Kobayashi and Shigeki Okatani lead the infrastructure team, Naoki Ishikawa is ‘brilliant for transactions’, and Yasuhiko Fujitsu is the main contact for J-REIT work.

Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi leads the practice at TMI Associates, which recently saw Shintaro Mogi promoted to the partnership and gained Hiroyoshi Kuromaru from Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise). Haruo Narimoto and Noriko Yao are also highly experienced. The team covers inbound and outbound work for clients spanning sponsors, trustees, lenders and arrangers. Recent work includes securitisations, property development, construction projects and structured financings. Katsumi Shirai left for Jones Day.

Ushijima & Partners is ‘a go-to name in the market’ for real estate securitisation, finance matters and funds work, as well as dispute resolution; it recently defended Urban Renaissance Agency in a construction defect claim following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Kohtaro Tamura is ‘excellent for securitisation work’, Osamu Inoue focuses on contentious matters, and Hiroki Awahara regularly acts for banks, investment companies and asset managers. Masanori Inoue, Naoki Hieda and Motohiro Kuroki are also recommended.

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