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


Index of tables

  1. Tax: international firms and joint ventures
  2. Leading individuals: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)
  3. Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

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

  1. 1

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

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With ‘an incredibly pragmatic approach and an ability to provide the most practical advice in any situation’, Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)stands out in the field as a true leader’ across transfer pricing, tax planning, VAT issues, litigation and tax-efficient structuring. The ‘exceptionally talented’ Edwin Whatley leads the six-partner group and is highly regarded for his international tax expertise, tax planning and controversy work and trade advice. Clients also single out the ‘brilliant’ Ken Okawara, who specialises in transfer pricing mandates; Shinichi Kobayashi, who focuses his practice on corporate matters and employee incentive taxation; and tax litigator Hideyuki Yamamoto. Yukiko Komori regularly handles transfer pricing issues, and Ryutaro Oka is recommended for the tax aspects of finance matters, M&A and corporate reorganisations. Oka recently led advice to Universal Entertainment on the tax elements of its $400m issuance of privately placed high-yield notes on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

At DLA Piper, practice head Makiko Kawamura is ‘one of the key names in the field’ and specialises in international tax issues encompassing tax structuring, advisory mandates and tax litigation with the National Tax Agency and Japan Customs. The group also advises on consumption tax, customs duties, tax investigations and tax controversies. Kawamura’s recent work includes advising a client on a tax audit by the National Tax Agency, and handling a Tokyo Customs audit case and a royalty payment issue for another client. The team acts for domestic and international multinationals, and noteworthy clients include Avex Group Holdings, Marsh & McLennan Companies, the Gemological Institute of America and HomeAway. Keitaro Uzawa and Kayo Ishikawa are key associates in the department.

Jones Day’s practice works closely with the firm’s M&A, IP, real estate and finance groups to provide advice on matters such as tax litigation, cross-border corporate transactions and transfer pricing issues. Koichi Inoue leads the group, which was recently involved in the tax aspects of PAG Asia’s sale of its 25% stake in Universal Studios Japan to Comcast NBCUniversal, and also regularly assists Japanese clients with the restructuring of overseas operations. The department also includes counsel Taku Osawa, who recently joined the firm from Yodoyabashi & Yamagami LPC, and associate Kyosuke Katahira, who regularly advises international clients on tax issues relating to corporate transactions.

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