Japan > Tax > International firms and joint ventures
Index of tables
Tax: International firms and joint ventures
Tax: foreign lawyers
- Eric Roose - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi
- Gary Thomas - White & Case LLP- White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)
- Edwin Whatley - Baker & McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)
Baker & McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) excels at advising multinationals on tax and transfer pricing issues in Japan. Edwin Whatley heads the tax group, while zeirishi (tax attorney) Ken Okawara leads the transfer pricing team. The group fields a mix of bengoshi, zeirishi, US-qualified tax lawyers, economists, financial analysts and practising accountants, with Shinichi Kobayashi, zeirishi Ryutaro Oka and Hideyuki Yamamoto being recommended. The firm is advising a major US-based IT company on the restructuring of its Japanese operations, including issues such as intangible migration, tax planning, transfer pricing (including pursuing a bilateral advance pricing arrangment (APA)), and Japanese consumption tax and customs. The team is also advising a major industrial corporation on regulatory issues concerning the interpretation of US/Japan and Japan/Luxembourg tax treaties under Japanese law to obtain capital gains exemption for the client as part of the divestiture of its Japanese operations.
Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi is ‘proactive in providing practical solutions and legal and tax advice’. Clients say ‘the combination of good tax and legal counsel under one roof is rare in Japan and definitely a plus, especially for cross-border transactions’. The firm is advising Toshiba Tec on the tax implications of its $850m acquisition of IBM’s Retail Store Solutions, and acted as tax adviser to Softbank regarding the Alibaba Group’s $4bn restructuring of its holdings in Alipay, thereby addressing regulatory requirements relating to foreign ownership of online payment systems in China. Eric Roose ‘provides good and timely solutions’, and is ‘experienced, up-to-date and understands not just tax matters but business needs’. Zeirishi Yasuo Igarashi, zeirishi Takeo Mizutani and of counsel Michael Shikuma are recommended.
White & Case LLP- White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)’s Gary Thomas is a US tax attorney who is fully qualified as a zeirishi and can represent clients before the National Tax Agency. He and his team, which includes Akira Akamatsu and Shimon Takagi, advise on Japanese, US and other foreign tax laws and tax controversies. The firm advises on Japanese tax audits, administrative tax appeals, National Tax Tribunal procedures, tax litigation in civil courts, bilateral competent authority procedures to avoid double taxation, and both bilateral and unilateral APA procedures. The firm is advising a Swiss-based luxury brand group on transfer pricing with its Japan-affiliated companies, including an APA; and is representing a Japanese company importing and selling products with valuable embedded intangibles in tax litigation in a Japanese district court.
Jones Day provides tax-related legal services in collaboration with the firm’s M&A, real estate and finance lawyers. It also handles tax litigation. The firm provided legal and tax advice to a Japanese company regarding the proposed restructuring of its European operations; advised a US company on repatriation of profits from its Japanese subsidiaries; and advised an individual on the conditions under which the application of the Japanese anti-tax haven rule should be excluded. Koichi Inoue is a highly regarded tax expert.