The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

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:
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 Ito & Mitomi

Under former JFTC-investigator Kei Amemiya, Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi’s expertise includes cartel, monopolisation and unfair trade matters. James Robinson leads advice to Japanese clients for EU antitrust law in cartels and merger reviews. At of counsel level, Kentaro Hirayama and Kazuyasu Yoneyama are highly recommended. Amemiya represented Air Liquide Japan in a JFTC investigation into its alleged cartel involvement with three companies in industrial gas, and assisted ON Semiconductor with obtaining merger clearance for its ongoing acquisition of Fairchild. The ‘excellent’ practice acts for Fujifilm, Intel, Hitachi and other blue-chip clients.

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

Kei Amemiya - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

James Robinson - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

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

Kentaro Hirayama - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

[back to top]

Japan: Banking and finance

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

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi has considerable expertise in regulatory matters as well as acquisition, project and real estate finance and derivatives transactions. Dale Caldwell leads the team, which also includes Akihiro Wani and the ‘highly responsive’ Katsuhiko Fujihira. Wani and Fujihira are advising CLS Bank on updating Japanese law opinion on the enforceability of trade terms and conditions. Keiko Yamazaki is recommended for real estate and M&A financings.

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

Akihiro Wani - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

[back to top]

Japan: Capital markets

International firms and joint ventures
Capital markets: international firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

The ‘very pleasant’ team at Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi is praised by clients for its ‘excellent expertise, sound judgement and eagerness to respond’. It advised LaSalle Logiport REIT and LaSalle REIT Advisors on its ¥110bn global IPO, and acted for Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance on an international offering of $2bn hybrid debt securities. The department’s client roster also includes Barclays, SoftBank and Morgan Stanley. Fuyuo Mitomi heads the department, which also includes Saori Nakamura (who is ‘highly dedicated’) and ‘excellent communicator’ Kenji Hosokawa. Kenji Taneda joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

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

Fuyuo Mitomi - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Saori Nakamura - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

[back to top]

Japan: Construction

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

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi’s Michael Graffagna advises contractors on infrastructure projects. Dale Caldwell and real estate finance specialist Masahiro Shiga assisted a project owner and investors with developing and financing a solar power project, including negotiating EPC contracts and O&M agreements. Joshua Isenberg arrived from Paul Hastings LLP and is recommended for construction loans.

[back to top]

Japan: Corporate and M&A

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

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi’s team is ‘extremely knowledgeable, drawing on vast experience and skill to deliver timely and professional advice’. ‘Standout performer’ Ken Siegel leads the practice, and advised Hitachi on its joint venture with Johnson Controls. Noah Carr (who made partner in 2016) advised SoftBank – a significant client for the firm – on the Japanese aspects of its $250m investment into WME-IMG, and the team also assisted SoftBank with its $1bn investment in Coupang. Clients single out Randy Laxer, who is ‘extremely helpful, a pleasure to work with and always achieves great results’. Gary Smith, James Robinson and Stan Yukevich are also recommended.

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Gary Smith - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

James Robinson - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Ken Siegel - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Stanley Yukevich - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

[back to top]

Japan: Dispute resolution

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

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomicombines exceptionally strong Japanese resources with its first-class US litigation practice’ and is ‘one of the best for international IP disputes’. Recent highlights include representing Toshiba in a trade secrets dispute, successfully obtaining a preliminary injunction for the client, and acting for Fujitsu Ten in a patent infringement investigation. Other clients include SoftBank, NEC and Nikon. James Hough leads the department, which also includes patent litigator Max Olson, Louise Stoupe, who is ‘excellent and intelligent with trustworthy, strategic judgement’, and Chie Yakura, who ‘has a very strong analytical sense’.

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Max Olson - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

[back to top]

Japan: Intellectual property

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

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

One of the ‘best in international IP disputes’, Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi’s practice ‘combines very strong resources in Japan with its first-class US litigation practice, which is of great value to Japanese clients’. In conjunction with US teams, Max Olson defended Fujitsu Semiconductor and its American subsidiary against patent proceedings and appeals brought by Zond to enforce its plasma discharge technology portfolio for semiconductor manufacturing. Patent head Robert Hollingshead represents foreign clients in patent and trade secrets disputes in industries such as telecoms, medical devices and software. Arbitration specialist Louise Stoupe excels in e-discovery and has the ‘ability to handle challenging technical issues in the semiconductor field’. Hollingshead and Steven Comer have a ‘great depth of knowledge’, Chie Yakura is ‘particularly good’ and James Hough is a distinguished litigator. Stuart Beraha’s technology transactions group includes Masato Hayakawa, and advises on licensing, outsourcing and branding agreements, among other matters. Clients include Toshiba and Showa Denko.

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Max Olson - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Steven Comer - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

[back to top]

Japan: Projects and energy

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

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

At Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi, global co-head of energy and project finance Michael Graffagna is experienced in infrastructure projects, and Dale Caldwell focuses on project finance and development transactions. Caldwell acted for Mitsui Gás e Energia do Brasil in its $500m acquisition of a 49% stake in Petrobras Gás. Further clients include Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric Power and Sumitomo.

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Dale Caldwell - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Michael Graffagna - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

[back to top]

Japan: Real estate

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

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Keisuke Mochizuki and Theodore Seltzer’s practice at Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi acts in all phases of investments, from fund formation to the public offering of real estate vehicles. Joshua Isenberg, an expert in cross-border transactions and developments, joined from Paul Hastings LLP. Masahiro Shiga is revered for REITs, private equity, distressed acquisitions and financing. Junichi Kurokoshi and Isenberg assisted Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation with refinancing mortgage and mezzanine loans to a US entity that were secured by a portfolio of hotels and resorts. Narutake Takasu is integral to the practice, which also has Aareal Bank, Atlas Partners, Savills Japan on its roster. Of counsel Andrew Morrison has relocated to the Washington DC office.

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

Keisuke Mochizuki - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Masahiro Shiga - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Joshua Isenberg - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Theodore Seltzer - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

[back to top]

Japan: Structured finance/securitisation

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

Akihiro Wani - Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

[back to top]

Japan: TMT

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

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

The expertise of Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi’s team includes advising on structuring and negotiating technology-focused joint ventures and strategic alliances, licensing software, outsourcing, technology and content, and internet-related transactions. Stuart Beraha advised on Otsuka Holdings’ c ollaboration with ReCor Medical, which involved an investment made by Otsuka to gain rights to commercialise ultrasound renal denervation technology. Another standout matter saw Masato Hayakawa and Beraha advise Hitachi and Hitachi Appliances’ on forming a worldwide air conditioning joint venture with Johnson Controls.

[back to top]



Latin America: International firms

Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi

Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi’s Tokyo office has a longstanding connection with Latin America, representing a variety of Japanese sponsor clients in large economies such as Brazil, Mexico and Chile. Much of the practice spans energy, mining, transport and infrastructure, with power and natural resources at the forefront; the firm’s Los Angeles office is now increasingly active in Mexico renewable energy projects. Clients include Mitsui Gás e Energia do Brasil, Oak Tree Energy Systems, Misui & Co, Sumitomo and Tokyo Gas. In 2015, the firm advised Mitsui Gás e Energia do Brasil on its $570m acquisition of a 49% stake in Petrobras Gás (Gaspetro), a subsidiary of Petrobras. It also represented Oak Creek Energy Systems, a Marubeni subsidiary, in the financing and sale of a 148.5MW wind power project in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Tokyo’s Michael Graffagna is close to Mitsui and Sumitomo and has a fine record in power and natural resources. Tokyo partner Dale Caldwell covers project development, project finance and M&A, and is also close to Mitsui. Los Angeles partner Jeffrey Chester is a well-regarded name for wind power matters.

[back to top]


Further information on Morrison & Foerster LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Morrison & Foerster LLP in other jurisdictions.

China

Offices in Shanghai and Beijing

Germany

Offices in Berlin

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Latin America: International firms

Japan

Offices in Tokyo

London

Offices in London

Netherlands

Singapore

Offices in Singapore

United States

Offices in Washington DC, Sacramento, Palo Alto, New York, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, McLean, and Boston

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).