The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Atsumi & Sakai

FUKOKU SEIMEI BUILDING, 2-2-2 UCHISAIWAICHO, CHIYODA-KU, TOKYO 100-0011, JAPAN
Tel:
Work +81 3 5501 2111
Fax:
Fax +81 3 5501 2211
Email:
Web:
www.aplaw.jp
London, Tokyo

Japan: Antitrust and competition

Antitrust and competition – Independent local firms
Antitrust and competition – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 1

Atsumi & Sakai

At Atsumi & Sakai 'the advice hits all the right points to balance competition law and business risks' and 'truly exceptional' practice head Setsuko Yufu is noted for the 'depth of her understanding of Japanese and foreign competition law as well as her excellent relationship with the JFTC'. A team including Saori Hanada and 'up-and-coming star' Masayuki Matsuura is acting for a Japanese manufacturer in the landmark 'autoparts cartel' investigations launched by the JFTC and foreign regulatory bodies. Meanwhile, Tatsuo Yamashima – who is described as 'one of the outstanding antitrust experts in Japan' – is collaborating with Yufu and recently promoted partner Yusuke Miura to defend a major Japanese shipping company in investigations into a host of anticompetitive business practices by the JFTC, DoJ, EU and other entities. The group also advises clients on general compliance matters, internal investigations and merger clearance mandates in the context of M&A transactions. Recent team developments include the arrival of Hisashi Miyatsuka and of counsel Go Fujimoto from Nishimura & Asahi and of counsel Kohei Murakawa from Squire Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho.

Leading individuals

Setsuko Yufu (Bengoshi) - Atsumi & Sakai

Next Generation Partners

Masayuki Matsuura (Bengoshi) - Atsumi & Sakai

[back to top]

Japan: Banking and finance

Banking and finance – Independent local firms
Banking and finance – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai has been advising startups, IT vendors and financial institutions on the increasing presence of new technologies in the banking and insurance sector, while also maintaining a strong traditional financing, lending and asset finance practice. The team continued to expand its ranks with the addition of Akimoto Kawamura from Citigroup and Michiro Suenaga from Sidley Austin Nishikawa Foreign Law Joint Enterprise, as well as the promotion to partner of Kenichi Tanizaki. The Fintech Association of Japan recently appointed the group to assist with the drafting of an agreement on the use of a bank API with a software vendor, and Takafumi Ochiai teamed up with Yuri Suzuki to provide ongoing counsel the Japan Blockchain Association with regards to virtual currency exchange regulations. In further highlights, Bonnie Dixon oversaw a high-value senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility in connection with a corporate acquisition, and Ochiai represented a bank in the creation of distributed securities using block chain and ICOs.

Leading individuals

Takufumi Ochiai (Bengoshi) - Atsumi & Sakai

Yuri Suzuki (Bengoshi) - Atsumi & Sakai

[back to top]

Japan: Capital markets

Capital markets – Independent local firms
Capital markets – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai's capital markets team welcomed Akimoto Kawamura who joins as a partner from Citigroup. In recent highlights, a major bank appointed financial law expert Takumi Fukuda to represent it as trustee in a guarantee of debt transaction using an ABL structure, and Hiroyuki Sanbe handled the regulatory aspects of the registration of foreign traders as High Frequency Traders. In other matters of note, Teruhisa Toyama advised a technology company in a minority squeeze-out through a reverse stock split as part of its restructuring, and Ryuichi Nozaki teamed up with the firm's London office to counsel a major international bank as facility agent, intercreditor agent and security trustee on high-value debt and hedging facilities to a UK PFI/PPP portfolio project in connection with a Japanese bank's accession to the funds. Another key name to note is that of managing partner Hiroo Atsumi.

[back to top]

Japan: Corporate and M&A

Corporate and M&A – Independent local firms
Corporate and M&A – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai has welcomed Go Fujimoto, Go Hashimoto and Hisashi Miyatsuka from 'Big Four' firm Nishimura & Asahi, as well as Akimoto Kawamura from Citigroup, further strengthening the practice. Global Infrastructure Partners engaged a team led by Hiroyuki Sanbe as Japanese counsel on its acquisition of a 100% equity interest in the wind and solar portfolios of Equis Funds. Meanwhile, dispute resolution partner Bonnie Dixon handled Advanced Energy Industries' takeover of Japanese manufacturer Trek Holdings. Also notable is Ashish Jejurkar's work for PayMate and its promoter pertaining to the regulatory aspects of the investment by Mayfair101. Miho Niunoya assisted a Japanese power company with its purchase of shares in a foreign project company established to develop a geothermal power plant in South East Asia. Further key contacts include senior partner Shintaro Hamasu and Masayuki Matsuura .

[back to top]

Japan: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution – Independent local firms
Dispute resolution – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai covers a wide range of dispute resolution matters, including overseas class-action lawsuits, securities litigation, international arbitration and mediation, and criminal defence. Teruhisa Toyama is currently representing major institutional investors as plaintiffs in a suit seeking compensation for damages arising from misstatements in Toshiba's annual reports, and Kunihiro Sumida teamed up with senior partner Guohui Fan to advise a Chinese trading company on its JCAA claim against a Japanese automobile company; the matter related to the non-renewal of a dealer agreement. Meanwhile, in the Supreme Court, Kumpei Ohashi defended a woman before prosecuted for the death of her daughter. Bonnie Dixon is also highlighted for novel claims. The team recently strengthened its lineup through the addition of Go Hashimoto and Hisashi Miyatsuka from Nishimura & Asahi and Kenichiro Saito from a public prosecution practice; Tatsuya Fukui departed the firm.

Leading individuals

Bonnie Dixon (Gaiben) - Atsumi & Sakai

[back to top]

Japan: Intellectual property

Intellectual property – Independent local firms
Intellectual property – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 3

Atsumi & Sakai

The 'excellent’ Atsumi & Sakai provides ‘distinguished knowledge and experience’ across the IP sector, acting in registration, protection, use and licensing of patent rights, copyrights and trade mark rights matters, as well as a broad range of emerging issues such as IT-related matters. Life sciences and technology specialist Chie Kasahara co-heads the team known for its ‘reliability and integrity’ along with Kunihiro Sumida and Ian S. Scott. Also noteworthy is Go Hashimoto, who experienced in dispute resolution and cross-border licensing transactions for pharmaceutical and high technology clients.

[back to top]

Japan: Investment funds

Investment funds – Independent local firms
Investment funds – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai advises on a range of inbound and outbound investment fund issues for domestic and foreign investors, fund managers and affiliated companies investing in securities and real estate, and also has extensive experience assisting foreign funds with Japanese investments. The practice is co-led by Hiroki Mori, Eiichiro Hata and Ryuichi Nozaki; Nozaki advised the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s largest government pension fund, on multiple structured fund investment transactions. The team is also representing several Japanese trust banks and an investment fund managed by one of Japan’s leading investment trust managers in a lawsuit claiming compensation for damages arising from misstatements in Toshiba's annual reports.

[back to top]

Japan: Labour and employment

Labour and employment – Independent local firms
Labour and employment – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai advises on all aspects of employment law including employment agreements, directors’ and officers’ service contracts and work rules. The group has particular expertise in assisting foreign corporations with the issues surrounding the termination of employment in Japan including preparing termination schemes and related disputes. Practice co-head Kunihiro Sumida is a specialist in employment litigation.

Leading individuals

Kunihiro Sumida (Bengoshi) - Atsumi & Sakai

[back to top]

Japan: Projects and energy

Projects and energy – Independent local firms
Projects and energy – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai

At Atsumi & Sakai, Miho Niunoya and Yuko Nihonmatsu advised the Japan Research Institute and Maebashi City on a PPP project to design, build and operate a roadside station, entertainment and sightseeing facility in Maebashi City. Corporate expert Hiroyuki Sanbe recently acted for the Global Infrastructure Partners in the Japanese law aspects of its takeover of Equis Fund's wind and solar energy portfolio, and Ryosuke Oue aided in the acquisition of shares in large-scale power projects of an electricity company. Other key names include nuclear specialist Simon Bezzina – who advised on the English law aspects of the procurement of nuclear power facilities – Michiaki Hosoi, Junko Ogushi and Yutaka Sakai. Hiroshi Maeda has joined from Nishimura & Asahi.

Leading individuals

Hiroshi Maeda (Bengoshi) - Atsumi & Sakai

Michiaki Hosoi (Bengoshi) - Atsumi & Sakai

Miho Niunoya (Bengoshi) - Atsumi & Sakai

[back to top]

Japan: Real estate and construction

Real estate and construction – Independent local firms
Real estate and construction – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai

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.

Leading individuals

Miho Niunoya (Bengoshi) - Atsumi & Sakai

Russell Kawahara (Gaiben) - Atsumi & Sakai

[back to top]

Japan: Risk management and investigations

Risk management and investigations – Independent local firms
Risk management and investigations – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai acts for Japanese and multinational companies operating in Japan on crisis management matters. The business value restoration team focuses on compliance and disclosure, while the white-collar crime group has experience in criminal defence including fraud, forgery, embezzlement, cybercrime, tax evasion, foreign bribes and felony cases. Hiroyuki Nezu jointly leads the team with Masataka Hayakawa, the latter of which focuses on corporate regulatory compliance and investigations, corporate risk and white-collar defence, among others, and  has ‘experience as a prosecutor and an officer at the Ministry of Justice in Japan, which makes his work valuable.’ Also recommended is of counsel Kohei Murakawa, who has ‘distinguished skills in global disputes’ and experience in domestic and international cartel investigations including internal audits and leniency applications.

Leading individuals

Masataka Hayakawa - Atsumi & Sakai

Next Generation Partners

Kohei Murakawa - Atsumi & Sakai

[back to top]

Japan: Shipping

Shipping – Independent local firms
Shipping – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 2

Atsumi & Sakai

Experienced in ship finance transactions, Atsumi & Sakai acts primarily for financial institutions, with other clients ranging from domestic local institutions and shipowners, to international banks and general trading companies. Yutaka Sakai is a key name to note and has extensive experience in project finance, ship finance, aircraft leasings, syndicated loans and environmental law.

Leading individuals

Yutaka Sakai - Atsumi & Sakai

[back to top]

Japan: TMT

TMT – Independent local firms
TMT – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 1

Atsumi & Sakai

The ‘prompt and responsive’ Atsumi & Sakai fields experienced domestic and international lawyers, and includes an innovation practice group which focuses on the key emergent areas of fintech, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). Yuri Suzuki, who heads the fintech team, is assisting Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group with the business plans, prototypes, alliances and roll out process for the company’s Digital Accelerator Program, while the IoT and AI team is jointly led by Masataka Hayakawa, Hiroyuki Sanbe and Takafumi Ochiai. The ‘approachable, supportive and knowledgeable’ Chie Kasahara leads the TMT department, which also handles the registration, protection, use and licensing of patents, model utility rights, design rights, copyrights and trade marks.

Leading individuals

Chie Kasahara - Atsumi & Sakai

[back to top]

Japan: Tax

Tax – Independent local firms
Tax – Independent local firms - ranked: tier 3

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai's practice handles tax disputes and transactional work, advising clients on a wide range of tax-efficient financial and investment structures, M&A and corporate restructurings. Teruhisa Toyama jointly leads the team with Hisashi Miyatsuka, who joined from Nishimura & Asahi and also brings experience in litigation, labour law, and corporate issues alongside his tax expertise. The growing team also saw the addition of Norio Suzuki, who is a licensed certified public accountant with expertise in business rehabilitation and joined from City-Yuwa Partners.

[back to top]


Legal Developments in Japan

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Taking control of a Japanese publicly listed company:

    Introductory notes for successfully completing an M&A
  • Yuasa and Hara Business Law News

    Contents of the Issue Law on liability for breach of contract Review on the amendment to the cabinet office order on Corporate Disclosure
  • NEW WHITE COLLAR CRIME BILL

    The Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter (“the Minister”), has published the Criminal Justice Bill 2011 (“the Bill”). The main purpose of the Bill is stated to be “…to amend the criminal law to improve certain procedural matters and strengthen Garda investigative powers. The intention is that such improvements will assist in reducing the delays associated with the investigation and prosecution of complex crime, in particular white collar crime.”
  • Japan: New legislative framework for Sukuk

    The new framework passed in May 2011 will provide a solid legal platform for issuing Sukuk Ijarah under Japanese law. NAOKI ISHIKAWA highlights key legal structures and tax treatment in respect of the anticipated Sukuk issuances in Japan.
  • Yakult Bottle Acquired Distinctiveness

    Do you know about Yakult's delicious lactic acid drink which is contained in a small bottle? Yakult's lactic acid drink (hereafter referred to as "Yakult drink") is the most famous lactic acid drink in Japan and today is also being sold in many countries around the world. When you are enjoying Yakult drink, please keep in mind the case mentioned below.
  • Tax: Japan: International Joint Ventures

    Tax on international joint ventures. Country Q&A (Japan).
  • Japan: Recent Developments in Practice and Law

    The successful closing of two Islamic fi nance transactions which was announced in July 2010 by Nomura Holdings have paved a concrete path for Japanese corporations to consider overseas Islamic fi nance markets for their fund raising activities. The fi rst transaction was in Asia for the issuance of Sukuk Ijarah and the second was in the Middle East for the establishment of a Commodity Murabahah facility (Nomura Deals).
  • Renewable energy takes off in Japan

    Like many other countries, Japan has decided to reform its renewable energy (RE) policy, to dramatically increase the use of renewable energy. The core policy mechanism is a feed-in tariff (FIT). This chapter summarises the contemplated Japanese FIT and its practical impact on existing and future investment in this sector, providing an overview of:
  • Licensing - 2010

    Q & A on Licensing in Japan 
  • Law on the Civil Jurisdiction of Japanese Courts over Foreign Countries, etc.

    The Law has been enacted to clarify the scope of application of the civil jurisdiction of Japanese courts over foreign countries, etc., and set exceptions to civil preocedings involving foreign countries, etc., based on the United Nations Convention on the Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their property (UN Convention on Immunities) (see Article 1).