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Morrison & Foerster LLP

SHIN-MARUNOUCHI BUILDING, 29TH FLOOR, 5-1, MARUNOUCHI 1-CHOME, CHIYODA-KU, TOKYO 100-6529, JAPAN
Tel:
Work +81 3 3214 6522
Fax:
Fax +81 3 3214 6512
Web:
https://www.mofo.com

Japan: Antitrust and competition law

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

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s ‘excellent’ services include advice on cartels, monopolisation issues, merger reviews, unfair trade matters and administrative cases. The practice acted for Panasonic before the European Commission in the headline automotive parts cartel investigation and assisted SoftBank with the £24bn acquisition of UK-based semiconductor and software design company ARM Holdings. Other clients include Air Liquide Japan and Fujifilm. The ‘totally reliable’ Kei Amemiya is the key contact and Kentaro Hirayama a name to note at of counsel level.

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

Kei Amemiya - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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

Kentaro Hirayama - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Japan: Banking and finance

International firms and joint ventures
Banking and finance: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Under the leadership of Dale Caldwell and Akihiro Wani, Morrison & Foerster LLP’s practice focuses on regulatory mandates and has experience in acquisition finance, project finance, real estate finance and derivatives transactions. Wani’s highlights included advising the Japan Securities Dealers Association on issues surrounding the introduction of the new close-out netting and security arrangement, assisting Japan Securities Clearing Corporation with the validity and enforceability of a new margin maintenance system for interest rate swaps, and acting for CLS Bank in the updating of trade terms and conditions relating to international fund transfer settlements. Caldwell is recommended for project finance matters, Keiko Yamazaki handles M&A and real estate financings, and Katsuhiko Fujihira has substantial securitisation expertise.

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

Akihiro Wani - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Japan: Capital markets

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

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Fuyuo Mitomi leads the practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP, which also includes Kenji Hosokawa, who regularly acts for J-REITs, transactional specialist Mitsutoshi Uchida, and senior counselor Akihiro Wani, who is ‘one of the most popular senior lawyers in the field’. Recent highlights include acting for Nomura, SMBC Nikko Capital Markets and UBS as lead managers on the initial global offering of investment units by Kenedix Retail REIT, advising Senko on a ¥10bn euro convertible bond offering, and assisting GLP J-REIT with a ¥31bn global follow-on offering. Kenji Taneda joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in 2016 and Saori Nakamura retired in early 2017.

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

Fuyuo Mitomi - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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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

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The ‘exceptional professionalism’ of Morrison & Foerster LLP makes it ‘the absolute best for complex and large-scale M&A’. Team head and managing partner Ken Siegel is ‘a doyen of the market’ with ‘undeniable talent and prowess that simply cannot be matched’; he recently led advice to SoftBank on its £24bn acquisition of Arm Holdings, handled the $500m sale of Toshiba’s home appliances business to Midea Group, and assisted SoftBank with its investment into OneWeb and the subsequent merger of OneWeb and IntelSat. The team also contains Gary Smith, who ‘consistently provides strong advice’, Jeff Schrepfer, who is ‘a complete professional with unbelievable Japanese language capability’, and technology specialist Masato Hayakawa; all of whom recently acted for Renesas Electronics on its $3.2bn acquisition of Intersil. Stan Yukevich, who regularly advises clients in the technology sector, Randy Laxer, Ivan Smallwood and Noah Carr are also recommended; Carr made partner in 2016. James Robinson joined Herbert Smith Freehills’ New York office.

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Gary Smith - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Ken Siegel - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Stanley Yukevich - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Japan: Dispute resolution

International firms and joint ventures
Dispute resolution: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP

As ‘the clear leader in the market for US-focused litigation and international IP disputes’, Morrison & Foerster LLP has ‘an excellent ability to build a realistic and effective strategy in a complex situation’ due to its ‘deep understanding of corporate culture and the Japanese market’. James Hough, who leads the practice, is ‘incredibly responsive’ and ‘his cool, reasonable and logical style always gets the job done effectively’; his recent work includes defending SoftBank in a breach of fiduciary duties claim. Max Olson, Louise Stoupe, Yukihiro Terazawa and Chie Yakura are also recommended; Olson represented Fujitsu Ten in a patent infringement investigation, Stoupe is ‘simply brilliant’, and Terazawa and Yakura handle IP disputes. Steve Comer retired.

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Louise Stoupe - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Max Olson - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Japan: Intellectual property

International firms and joint ventures
Intellectual property: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP provides ‘the best quality services’ in patent, trade mark, copyright, trade secret and unfair competition matters, with a focus on the technology sector. The practice assisted Toshiba with the IP aspects of its global carve-out and $500m sale of its home appliances business to Midea Group, a Chinese home appliances company. Max Olson ‘always provides very quick response times’ and successfully led the defence of Fujitsu Ten from a patent infringement allegation brought by Advanced Silicon Technologies before the US International Trade Commission. IP Bridge and TDK are other notable clients. James Hough, Stuart Beraha and Robert Hollingshead lead the practice, which also includes next generation lawyers Akira Irie and Yuka Teraguchi.

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Max Olson - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Akira Irie - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Yuka Teraguchi - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Japan: Projects and energy

International firms and joint ventures
Projects and energy: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Michael Graffagna heads the department at Morrison & Foerster LLP and is highly recommended for his infrastructure experience; his recent work includes advising JERA on its involvement as investor in a natural gas-fired thermal power project in New York and acting for SoftBank on its bid for the Andhra Pradesh solar power project in India. The team also fields Dale Caldwell, who advises on project finance and development transactions; Masahiro Shiga, who regularly acts for foreign sponsors on the financing of Japanese solar projects; and Joshua Isenberg, who focuses on renewable energy projects and recently led advice to the Tokyo branch of Deutsche Bank as lender on a Japanese solar project. Mitsui & Co, Osaka Gas, MHI and Sumitomo are also clients.

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Dale Caldwell - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Michael Graffagna - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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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

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLPperforms at the highest possible level’ thanks to ‘business acumen, industry knowledge and strength in depth that are second to none’. Handling real estate transactions and financing, practice heads Keisuke Mochizuki and Theodore Seltzer ‘are a great team and complement each other’s creativity and practicality’. The ‘brilliant’ Joshua Isenberg is the key name for construction issues. Recent highlights include advising Mori Trust on the establishment of its US subsidiary and the subsidiary’s subsequent acquisition of two office buildings in Boston; and acting for Sekisui House on its $468m acquisition of Woodside Homes. Junichi Kurokoshi handles real estate financings and Mori Inada made partner in 2017.

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

Keisuke Mochizuki - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Masahiro Shiga - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Joshua Isenberg - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Theodore Seltzer - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Japan: TMT

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

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP is specialised in technology transactions, including the transfer, commercialisation, development and exploitation of intellectual property. Media, telecoms and artificial intelligence are other areas of strength. Headed by Stuart Beraha, the practice assisted Toshiba with its global carve-out and $500m sale of its home appliances business to Midea Group, and advised Yahoo! Japan on its strategic partnership with the online advertisement company Sizmek. Other key clients include SoftBank and NTT. Seth Graham is a name to note at senior associate level.

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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

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    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.
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    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).