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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)

The ‘excellent’ team at Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) focuses on domestic and international cartel work. Recent work includes representing Japanese manufacturing company KYB in an investigation into suspected cartels conducted by the DoJ and the JFTC, and advising Okaya Electric Industries on global cartel investigations for capacitor products, following damage claims in the US and Canada. Mitsubishi Electric, FedEx, Asahi Glass and Ube Industries are other key clients. The practice is headed by Akira Inoue and the ‘reliable and knowledgeable’ Junya Ae. Michio Suzuki is an associate to note.

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 key areas of expertise include acquisition finance transactions, PFI, real estate finance and credit facilities. Practice head Naoaki Eguchi is recommended for project finance issues; he recently advised BTMU, Development Bank of Japan, Mizuho Bank and SMBC on the financing of two IGCC power plants in Fukushima Prefecture. The department also includes Shinichiro Kitamura and Gavin Raftery, who worked together advising Mizuho Bank on a ¥1tn bridge loan to help finance SoftBank’s acquisition of Arm Holdings, and acting for Hon Hai Precision Industry on financing its acquisition of a majority stake in Sharp Corporation. Further clients include Shinsei Bank, Universal Entertainment and Trina Solar. Seishi Ikeda and Alexander Jampel are recommended for real estate finance, while Yasuhisa Takatori, Jeremy Pitts and Tsutomu Kobayashi are other names to note.

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)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)’s ‘fantastic’ department handles the full gamut of capital markets work including public and private offerings, IPOs, samurai bonds, subordinated notes, structured finance, securitisations and derivatives. Ken Takahashi heads the group and his recent work includes acting for HSBC and Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities as lead managers of ICICI Bank’s bond issuance on the Tokyo Pro-Bond Market and handling a convertible bond equity financing for data solutions company Albert. Nomura, JBIC, Universal Entertainment, GE Capital and Barclays Securities Japan are also clients. Akiko Hosokawa and Gavin Raftery handle securitisations and structured finance issues, and Seishi Ikeda is recommended for share and bond issuances. Hiroyoshi Kuromaru joined TMI Associates.

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

Ken Takahashi - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Gavin Raftery - 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)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)’s ‘best-in-class’ practice is ‘always flexible and ready to adapt to client needs’ with ‘a real enthusiasm for client satisfaction and a level of expertise that is truly outstanding’. Akifusa Takada now leads the team after Hiroshi Kondo stepped down from the role. The department also contains the ‘brilliant and solution-oriented’ Jeremy White, whose recent mandates include advising Rakuten on its minority equity investment into Careem, acquiring a 50% stake for $500m; and acting for Nissha Printing on its $135m acquisition of Graphic Controls. Further highlights include Kondo and Yutaka Kimura assisting Hon Hai Precision Industry with its ¥389bn investment into Sharp Corporation, Kiyoshi Endo handling Yanmar Holdings’ acquisition of an 18% stake in International Tractors for $235m, and Kondo and Aiko Yamada acting for Hakuhodo on its acquisition of Integrated Communications Group. Hitachi, Mizuho Securities, Dai-ichi Life, Sumitomo and Toshiba are also clients. Jiro Toyokawa and Hideo Norikoshi are other recommended practitioners, as is ‘excellent’ associate Beelian Tay.

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)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)’s ‘very responsive and coordinated practice works exceptionally well with its colleagues internationally’ to advise on cross-border and domestic litigation, international arbitrations and compliance investigations. The group’s client roster features Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Dell and Japan Transport Consulting. Yoshiaki Muto heads up the department, which includes fraud and compliance specialist Kengo Nishigaki; the ‘judicious, reasonable and responsive’ Joel Greer, who is recommended for construction arbitration; Tomohisa Muranushi, who focuses on employment matters; and tax and transfer pricing litigator Hideyuki Yamamoto.

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) is particularly strong in global trade mark portfolio management, IP litigation (including patent litigation), IP licensing and commercialisation, and anti-counterfeiting strategies. Practice head Kensaku Takase, who has ‘a good understanding of Japanese legal practice’, advised new client Rosetta Stone, a world leader in digital language learning, on an agreement regarding its rights to license products developed by Japanese distributors under the Rosetta Stone brand and trade mark for resale in territories outside Japan. The practice also defended restaurant chain Paradise Dynasty against a trade mark infringement allegation.

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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)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) stands out for its ‘excellent’ responsiveness, and combines a deep knowledge of Japanese employment law with experience acting for domestic and overseas clients in sectors such as banking, retail and technology. Areas of strength include employment and workplace policy development, restructuring and reorganisation, dismissals and workforce reductions, employee benefits, employment disputes, labour union issues and restrictive agreements. Practice head Tomohisa Muranushi is recommended for his contentious and non-contentious employment experience, as well as for his ‘excellent English skills’.

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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)’s ‘dedicated, knowledgeable and practical’ team ‘stands out for its cross-border expertise’, particularly in matters involving the mining, power and oil and gas sectors. In a recent highlight, ‘brilliant’ practice head Anne Hung advised Chubu Electric and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance on their acquisition of a 49% interest in two Mitsubishi subsidiaries that operate submarine power transmitters for offshore wind power plants. The ‘extremely attentive and responsive’ Ean Mac Pherson regularly handles renewable energy and mining transactions, and acted for Conergy Japan on its purchase and development of a solar project in the Aomori Prefecture. Of counsel Samir Desai is recommended for US-focused gas and power projects.

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 and construction

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

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)understands the Japanese market perfectly’, while also utilising its international offices to advise on cross-border matters spanning developments, tax structuring issues, REITs, environmental matters, commercial leasing and non-recourse TMK loans. The ‘highly experienced’ Seishi Ikeda and Alexander Jampel lead the firm’s real estate practice, while Ean Mac Pherson and Toshio Sasaki head the construction team, which has substantial experience in the energy and resources sectors. In a recent highlight, Mac Pherson acted for Conergy Japan on the development and sale of a solar project in Aomori Prefecture. Lone Star Group, Tokyu Group and Itochu are also clients. Associates Maki Kawamura and Taijiro Suzuki are also recommended.

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Alexander Jampel - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Ean Mac Pherson - 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)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) handles cross-border insolvency proceedings and acts for local and international creditors, sponsors and lenders against failed corporations. For example, the team is representing a number of Japanese creditors in relation to the corporate reorganisation and subsequent bankruptcy proceedings of Hanjin Shipping. Crédit Agricole and the Japan Association of Turnaround Professionals (for which the practice acts as intermediary) are other clients. Practice head Yoshiaki Muto is an expert in domestic and international bankruptcy litigation.

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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)’s services span the full spectrum of contentious and (mainly) non-contentious TMT-related matters, including advising on procurement, outsourcing, digital and social media, software and cloud computing, data protection and privacy, commercial contract negotiation, e-commerce, IP issues, M&A and fintech. The practice advised Mizuho Bank on its ¥1tn bridge loan to finance part of SoftBank’s acquisition of ARM Holdings. Sharp, Toshiba and Rakuten are other clients. Kensaku Takase leads the team, which includes associate Tsugihiro Okada.

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

Tsugihiro Okada - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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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)

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.

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

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Baker McKenzie LLP in other jurisdictions.

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Asia Pacific: Regional international arbitration

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Baker McKenzie LLP

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