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Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)


Japan: Antitrust and competition law

International firms and joint ventures
Antitrust and competition law: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)’s Akira Inoue and Junya Ae undertook cartel investigations initiated by the JFTC, US DOJ, European Commission (EC) and other authorities. Ae represented Okaya Electric in global investigations concerning its alleged involvement in cartels for capacitor products, and advised Meiji Yasuda Life on merger control relating to its acquisition of StanCorp Financial Group. FedEx, Mitsubishi Electric and Abbott Laboratories feature on the impressive client roster. Inoue and Ae now head the practice following Shinichiro Abe’s departure to launch Kasumigaseki International Law Office.

Next generation lawyers: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)

Michio Suzuki - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Banking and finance

International firms and joint ventures
Banking and finance: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)’s ‘excellent, experienced and customer-oriented’ team ‘removes the stress for clients’ and is singled out as ‘one of the best for project finance and PFI deals’. Headline work included advising Tokyu-Maeda-Toyotsu Group on its successful bid to operate the Sendai Airport in northern Japan, and acting for Ise Total Nanao Power Plant as sponsor in the financing and construction of a solar power plant in Nanao City. Naoaki Eguchi leads the department, which includes Gavin Raftery, Yasuhisa Takatori, Shinichiro Kitamura and Jeremy Pitts.

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

Naoaki Eguchi - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Gavin Raftery - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Jeremy Pitts - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Capital markets

International firms and joint ventures
Capital markets: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Ken Takahashi leads Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)’s seven-partner team, which handles a broad range of work, including public offerings and IPOs, private placements, samurai bonds, subordinated notes, foreign funds and stock acquisition rights. Takahashi advised Credit Suisse Securities Japan on the issuance and public offering of yen bonds totalling ¥110bn, and Hiroyoshi Kuromaru acted for ANZ in a ¥80bn bond issuance and public offering. Other clients include JBIC, Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities and Tokai Tokyo Securities. Akiko Hosokawa and Seishi Ikeda are also recommended.

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

Hiroyoshi Kuromaru - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Ken Takahashi - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Construction

International firms and joint ventures
Construction: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) stands out for the construction of solar energy projects and is regularly instructed by EPC contractors, sponsors, lenders and foreign companies. Ean Mac Pherson is particularly active in this space and jointly leads the practice with of counsel Toshio Sasaki. Pherson advised Conergy Japan as EPC contractor on its purchase, development and sale of a solar project to a Thai energy company. Conergy also received advice on EPC contracts and acquiring other Japanese solar projects. Clients include Toyota Tsusho and Electric Power Development.

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Ean Mac Pherson - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Corporate and M&A

International firms and joint ventures
Corporate and M&A: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

The ‘exceptional team’ at Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) is ‘fully committed to any project it works on’ and is ‘responsive, careful and completely dedicated’. Hiroshi Kondo leads the department, which includes several other highly regarded individuals: the ‘smart and attentive’ Jeremy White, who ‘has a strong mindset for business solutions’ and ‘is perfectly comfortable working on landmark cases’; Jiro Toyokawa, who ‘provides a high quality of service’; and Hideo Norikoshi. The team advised Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Co on its acquisition of General Electric’s Japanese leasing business. Yutaka Kimura made partner in 2015.

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

Hiroshi Kondo - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Beelian Tay - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Dispute resolution

International firms and joint ventures
Dispute resolution: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

The five-partner team at Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) is experienced in domestic and cross-border litigation, commercial arbitrations and compliance investigations, acting for clients including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Dell and Japan Transport Consulting. Yoshiaki Muto leads the department, which also includes Kengo Nishigaki, who has expertise in fraud investigations, employment specialist Tomohisa Muranushi, and Joel Greer. Greer joined from White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) and focuses on construction arbitration.

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

Yoshiaki Muto - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Intellectual property

International firms and joint ventures
Intellectual property: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) receives praise for its ‘global-minded’ approach, with practice head Kensaku Takase being singled out for having a ‘good understanding of Japanese and world issues’. Takase's caseload centres on the trade mark, copyright and design issues that arise out of cross-border transactions, as well as IT and media law. Kei Matsumoto focuses on transactional mandates and international patent disputes. Daisuke Tatsuno concentrates on registering, protecting, disputing and licensing IP rights. The practice’s sector expertise includes pharmaceuticals, technology and cosmetics.

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Japan: Labour and employment

International firms and joint ventures
Labour and employment: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

International businesses with Japanese operations look to Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) for domestic and cross-border advice. Practice head Tomohisa Muranushi is a ‘real specialist’ who ‘understands large multinationals’. He designs employment terms and conditions, advises on reductions in force and labour disputes. Hiroshi Kondo concentrates on post-merger integrations and Kana Itabashi works on a broad range of matters, including the employment aspects of corporate reorganisations and global audits, litigation and workplace harassment investigations. Mihoko Ida was promoted to of counsel.

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Japan: Projects and energy

International firms and joint ventures
Projects and energy: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) is ‘one of the best for cross-border transactions’, particularly in the oil and gas, LNG, electricity and solar sectors. The ‘fabulous’ Anne Hung heads the practice and recently acted for Chubu Electric Power in combining its power assets with those of Tokyo Electric Power. Ean Mac Pherson is recommended for mining and renewable energy transactions.

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Anne Hung - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Samir Desai - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Real estate

International firms and joint ventures
Real estate: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) leverages its global network in multi-jurisdictional transactions and financings, including TMK non-recourse loans and REITs. Practice head Seishi Ikeda ‘has a lot of experience with foreign investors’. He advised Greenland Holding Group on acquiring the Chiba Port Square using a TK-GK structure, with Laox its joint venture partner. Alexander Jampel jointly leads the practice and is involved in residential, commercial, retail and hospitality projects. LoneStar Group, Prospect and Tokyu Group are key clients.

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Alexander Jampel - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Next generation lawyers: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)

Maki Kawamura - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Taijiro Suzuki - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Restructuring and insolvency

International firms and joint ventures
Restructuring and insolvency: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Much of the work of Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) is for creditors in debt collection and involuntary insolvency actions against debtors. Yoshiaki Muto now heads the practice following Shinichiro Abe’s departure to launch Kasumigaseki International Law Office. Muto focuses on bankruptcy litigation, Hiroshi Kondo leads distressed M&A work and senior associate Hiroshi Kasuya is recognised for corporate insolvency, reorganisation and restructuring. Crédit Agricole and Cris Conf are key clients.

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Japan: Structured finance/securitisation

International firms and joint ventures
Structured finance/securitisation: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) advises the subsidiaries of foreign companies on structured finance, securitisation and derivative deals in domestic and overseas markets. It is experienced in numerous assets, including corporate loans, mortgages, credit cards and auto loans. Gavin Raftery and Masato Honma advised Volkswagen Financial Services Japan on issuing its fifth auto-ABS transaction under the auto loan securitisation platform Driver Japan five. Seishi Ikeda excels in real estate securitisation, and Toshio Shimada and Akiko Hosokawa are also active.

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Gavin Raftery - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: TMT

International firms and joint ventures
TMT: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) created a new multidisciplinary fintech team with expertise spanning cybersecurity and financial services regulation and compliance. Gavin Raftery is a key figure and Kensaku Takase is esteemed for IT disputes, cloud computing and outsourcing matters, as well as software licensing, data protection, public procurement and escrow. Standout matters included assisting Hon Hai Precision Industry – which trades as Foxconn Technology Group – with its ¥389bn purchase of 66% of Sharp.

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Japan: Tax

International firms and joint ventures
Tax: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Edwin Whatley leads Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)’s tax practice, which covers tax planning, structuring, transfer pricing and litigation at a national and international level. Recent highlights include advising a US manufacturer on the tax structuring elements of an acquisition, and acting for Universal Entertainment on the tax issues relating to a high-yield secured note issuance. Ken Okawara leads the firm’s transfer pricing group, which includes the well-regarded Yukiko Komori. Shinichi Kobayashi is recommended for corporate issues and employee incentives, Ryutaro Oka is experienced in outbound matters, and Hideyuki Yamamoto focuses on tax litigation.

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

Shinichi Kobayashi - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Edwin Whatley - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Further information on Baker McKenzie LLP

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Asia Pacific: Regional international arbitration

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Legal Developments by:
Baker McKenzie LLP

  • The New Turkish Code of Obligations: Important Changes for Leases of Residential & Business Premises

    For decades, the primary Turkish laws governing leases of residential and business premises have been the Law on Leasing Real Property dated May 27, 1955 (the “Lease Law”) and the Turkish Code of Obligations No. 818 dated April 22, 1926 (the “Obligations Code”). Both of these laws, however, will be repealed and replaced with the new Turkish Code of Obligations No. 6098 dated January 11, 2011 (the “New Obligations Code”), which will enter into force on July 7, 2012.
    - Esin Attorney Partnership

Legal Developments in Japan

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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  • Japan: New legislative framework for Sukuk

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  • Tax: Japan: International Joint Ventures

    Tax on international joint ventures. Country Q&A (Japan).
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    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).