Leading Individuals: Gaiben

Banking and finance: Independent local firms in Japan

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

The banking and finance team at Anderson Mori & Tomotsune is commended by clients for being ‘reliable‘ and ‘responsive‘, and is described as a ‘go-to‘ practice. The department consists of 50 partners, who are able to provide clients with assistance in matters such as LBO financings, acquisition financings, secured transactions, corporate and syndicated loans, and DIP financing work, as well as support at all stages of the financing life cycle. Key names within the team include Mari Itoh for financial regulatory advice, Satoshi Inoue for leveraged finance, and Daisuke Tate for matters relating to securities. Hiroaki Takahashi is a key contact for structured finance work and Takashi Akahane focuses on project finance and private finance initiatives.

Other key lawyers:

Mari Itoh; Satoshi Inoue; Daisuke Tate; Keisuke Hatano; Hiroaki Takahashi; Takashi Akahane


‘AMT is one of our “go to” firms in Japan for banking and regulatory matters. The lawyers there are always reliable and responsive.’

‘Keisuke Hatano is an excellent bank regulatory lawyer there and he is quite practical, and quick to respond.’

‘With regard to financial laws and regulations, AMT can provide advice based on their long term experience and sense of solving issues raised by their extensive customer base.’

‘This team works well on complicated situations. The team can issue bankruptcies to the court in two business days – it’s so quick.’

‘Satoshi Inoue provides extended knowledge and professional, deal-oriented advice to the LBO lenders. Quick and extensive work with great creativity leading his client to win the deal and beyond.’

Work highlights

  • Advised MUFG Bank, the mandated lead arrangers, on an acquisition of a facility.
  • Advised sponsor Apollo Global Management on a negotiation with existing senior lenders.

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto‘s practice is lauded by clients for its ‘extensive knowledge‘ and ‘excellent lawyers‘. Leading the 150-strong team of partners and lawyers is Masanori Sato, who is especially adept at advising on issues in the energy and infrastructure sectors; this includes advice on infrastructure funds, sustainable finance, carbon credit transactions, and the privatisation of airports. For syndicated loans and LBOs, Hiroki Aoyama is a key contact, while Takahiro Kobayashi is a name to note for structured finance and securitisation work. Kei Shirakawa is adept at advising on project financing and leveraged financing issues, and Yusuke Suehiro focuses on LBO, project and structured financings.

Practice head(s):

Masanori Sato

Other key lawyers:

Hiroki Aoyama; Takahiro Kobayashi; Kei Shirakawa; Yusuke Suehiro; Yuki Matsuda


‘The firm has many excellent lawyers enrolled, but also has a remarkable attitude of aiming for the optimal solution after accurately grasping the client’s intentions.’

‘They have extensive knowledge.’

‘Hiroki Aoyama has deep knowledge and experience about syndicated loan arrangements and documentation.’

‘Yuki Matsuda has a wealth of knowledge about M&A finance for small and medium-sized enterprises and suggests ways to solve problems.’

‘The most important consideration is their legal advice and capability to provide solutions, and we think they have done a great job.’

Key clients

The Japanese Bankers Association

Japan Syndication and Loan-trading Association

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd.

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, Inc.

Prudential Mortgage Capital Company

Softbank Corp.

GE Japan Corporation

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Work highlights

  • Advised Marelli on a debt restructuring.
  • Advised on a whole business securitisation arranged by Mizuho Securities, Ltd. in respect to a nationwide telecoms tower sharing business.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu‘s banking and finance practice, headed up by securities specialist Fumihide Sugimoto, is particularly proficient in advising clients on loans and credit-related transactions, which include syndicated loans, derivatives, aircraft and ship financings, and foreign trades financings. The practice is also able to advise on M&A and banking transactions, for which Hiromi Hattori is a key contact, as well as acquisition finance work, where Jiro Mikami is recommended. Real estate financing is typically dealt with by specialist Mami Ikebukuro, while Keiko Shimizu and Motohiro Yanagawa are the recommended contacts for structured finance mandates.

Practice head(s):

Fumihide Sugimoto

Other key lawyers:

Hiromi Hattori; Jiro Mikami; Mami Ikebukuro; Keiko Shimizu; Motohiro Yanagawa

Key clients

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.

Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, Inc.

SBI Shinsei Bank, Ltd.

Goldman Sachs

Morgan Stanley

Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.

Daiwa Securities

JP Morgan

Development Bank of Japan

Work highlights

  • Advised AXA Real Estate Investment Managers Japan KK on its acquisition of a portfolio of 29 residential properties, valued at approximately JPY44bn and JPY25.5bn.
  • Advised EQT Partners on opening its Japan office and obtaining investment advisory and Type II registration based on the FSA’s new English application program.
  • Advised Sumitomo Mitsui Baking Corporation on the MBO financing for its acquisition of Ihara Science Corporation.

Nishimura & Asahi

Nishimura & Asahi‘s banking and finance department is well-placed to advise clients on complex cross-border and domestic transactions, as well as asset finance matters, corporate and syndicated loans, and acquisition financings. Of counsel Katsu Sengoku heads up the team and specialises in ship and aircraft finance, and possesses additional expertise in structured finance work. Other names to note within the team include Adrian Joyce for energy and infrastructure matters, Takashi Saito for subscription finance and syndicated lending issues, and Hideo Horikoshi for his advice to financial sponsors, corporate borrowers, and international financial institutions. Alexander Woody joined the team from White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Katsu Sengoku

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Joyce; Takashi Saito; Hideo Horikoshi; Alexander Woody

Key clients

Nomura Capital Investment Co., Ltd.

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Integral Corporation

T-Capital Partners Co., Ltd.

Nomura Babcock & Brown Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited.

Mitsubishi HC Capital Co., Ltd.

Financial Partners Group Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Nomura Capital Investment Co., Ltd. on its LBO financing for Renewable Energy’s going-private transaction for Renewable Japan Energy Infrastructure Fund, one of the listed infrastructure investment corporations investing in renewable energy projects in Japan.
  • Advised major Japanese banks in connection with the LBO financing for the acquisition of businesses by Showa Aluminum Can Corporation, a portfolio company owned by funds managed by Apollo’s affiliates.
  • Advised a major Japanese bank on LBO financing for CLSA Capital Partners’ acquisition of a majority stake in Task-Force Co., Ltd., a nationwide childcare facility operator managing approximately 120 childcare facilities across Japan.

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai‘s finance practice encompasses an array of sub-departments, meaning clients are able to access advice for a range of matters. For project finance, Akira Shimazaki is key, while fintech matters are dealt with by Yuri Suzuki. Other notable names within the practice group include Fumiko Oikawa, who handles securitisations; Hiroyuki Nezu, who excels in asset-based lending; and Keita Imaizumi, who focuses on asset financings. Madoka Hashimoto is the main contact for debt capital markets work; Ryosuke Oue and Michiaki Hosoi are experience in renewable energy financings; and Shintaro Hamasu handles M&A and private equity work. Shuji Koyama is noted for real estate finance issues; Hirofumi Hosoda focuses on insurance matters; Akimoto Kawamura specialises in financial regulation, and Eiichiro Hata is recommended for asset management and investment fund issues, while Yutaka Sakai has been notably active in shipping finance work.

Practice head(s):

Eiichiro Hata; Yuri Suzuki; Fumiko Oikawa; Akimoto Kawamura; Hiroyuki Nezu; Michiaki Hosoi; Shuji Koyama; Shintaro Hamasu; Keita Imaizumi; Ryosuke Oue; Hirofumi Hosoda; Madoka Hashimoto; Akira Shimazaki

Other key lawyers:

Yutaka Sakai

Key clients

Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Financial Services Agency

City-Yuwa Partners

City-Yuwa Partners’ team is headed up by Junko Hirakawa and is proficient in advising clients on banking and finance matters including regulatory issues, cross-border transactions, and structured finance matters relating to real estate. Clients rate Reiko Yoshida for being a ‘joy to work with‘, with a ‘truly outstanding‘ level of knowledge on ship finance work. The ‘experiencedMasamichi Sakamoto is a key contact for asset finance and real estate finance mandates, while Kenta Ikebe is proficient in project financings. For securitisation matters, trusts, derivatives, and ECA finance, Gen Takizawa is the name to note.

Practice head(s):

Junko Hirakawa

Other key lawyers:

Reiko Yoshida; Masamichi Sakamoto; Kenta Ikebe; Gen Takizawa


‘City-Yuwa Partners has displayed an outstanding level of expertise in the Banking and Financing sectors, which has proven to be remarkably beneficial to us.’

‘Their profound understanding of these sectors, coupled with their insights into our banking business policy and background, originating from outside Japan, has proven to be remarkably beneficial.’

‘Reiko Yoshida’s knowledge on ship financing, Japanese and English, is truly outstanding.’

‘The team has good credentials in banking and finance (particularly in shipping finance) and we like dealing and collaborating together with Reiko Yoshida and her team.’

‘Reiko Yoshida is a joy to work with and is very proactive and professional in all of her dealings with me and my team.’

‘A reliable and stable firm, whilst progressive.’

‘Masamichi Sakamoto is experienced and has deep knowledge, while Kenta Ikebe is sharp and communicates well.’

‘Their unique and valuable legal services have significantly contributed to our bank’s effective consideration and judgment of every financing transaction.’

TMI Associates

The ‘excellent‘ banking team at TMI Associates is proficient in structured and corporate finance work, securitisations, derivative transactions and insurance mandates. Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi, who leads the practice, is complimented by clients for his ‘expertise in the financial market‘ and brings expertise in banking and capital markets. The practice is especially recommended for real estate securitisation and healthcare business securitisation matters. Hideaki Kurauchi is the key contact for high-value real estate matters, while Yoshikazu Noma is a name to note for domestic and international lease transactions, and Mizuki Koshimoto is experienced in inbound renewable energy transactions.

Practice head(s):

Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi

Other key lawyers:

Hideaki Kurauchi; Yoshikazu Noma; Mizuki Koshimoto


‘TMI always offer us an excellent service, in availability, in understanding of our needs, and in the quality of services provided, in addition to having a strong worldwide presence.’

‘Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi, in addition to his expertise in the financial market, is always present and has a clear understanding of our needs and specificities.’

‘Very deep knowledge of the domestic renewable energy market. They are able to advise on a wide range of legal matters from development to finance.’

‘They have deep knowledge of the industry and are quick to respond.’

‘Their response is very quick all the time. Their explanation is clear for non-legal professionals (such as us).’

‘We have highly valued the firm’s work, especially its expertise, client-oriented work, communication, and business awareness.’

‘Our main contact is Hideaki Kurauchi – he is always quick and reasonable, plus his client-oriented stance is highly appreciated.’

Key clients

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation

Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., Ltd.

Aozora Bank, Ltd.

Resona Bank, Limited


ORIX Corporation


Suruga Bank Ltd.

Shizuoka Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation regarding a non-recourse loan which was provided to a special purpose vehicle with real estate in Japan being the underlying assets.
  • Advised Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd. regarding the establishment of a loan fund which provides a non-recourse loan backed by a solar power generation business.
  • Advised First REIT Management on the acquisition of Japanese real estate and financing by a Singapore listed REIT.

Kaynex Law Offices

The 2016-established office of Kaynex Law Offices provides clients with assistance in banking matters such as cross-border transactions, real estate and MBO transactions, and securitisations. Norifusa Hashimoto, co-founder of the firm, leads the banking and finance practice and is experienced in samurai bonds, repackagings, and debt private placements, and also provides general corporate advice.

Practice head(s):

Norifusa Hashimoto

Key clients

Kiraboshi Bank

Ryukyu Capital

Meldia Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Kiraboshi Bank on its MBO transaction.
  • Advised Ryukyu Capital on its real estate transactions for LPS by use of TMK.
  • Advised Kiraboshi Bank on its securitisation transaction for lease receivables.

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners

With offices across Japan in Osaka, Tokyo, and Nagoya, Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners‘ banking team is able to assist clients in domestic banking matters such as corporate loans, debtor-in-possession financings, and project and acquisition finance work; the group is also proficient in banking disputes. Tomohiro Murakami heads up the team and is recommended for his experience in MBO and LBO financings.

Practice head(s):

Tomohiro Murakami


‘They kindly explain in different ways and terms until I understand.’

‘They respond to my unspoken and unacknowledged risks by drawing out my potential needs.’

Key clients

Daiwa Lease Co., Ltd.

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

JOYO Bank, Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised a project company, incorporated by the consortium led by Daiwa Lease Co., Ltd. on PFI project at the site of relocated Hachioji Medical Prison in Hachioji City, Tokyo, and on preparation of funding for the project.
  • Advised a project company, incorporated by the consortium led by Daiwa Lease Co., Ltd. on PFI project to construct and maintain the new high school of Misato City, Miyagi Prefecture, and on funding for the project.

Tsubame Law Offices

Tsubame Law Offices is particularly recommended for its experience in real estate financing, with co-heads Yasuko Tsuchihashi, Atsuko Kissho, Takumi Fukuda and Yasuhiro Shimada all highly experienced in this area. The practice also offers advice on cross-border projects, transactions, and regulatory issues, as well as acquisitions and financings.

Practice head(s):

Yasuko Tsuchihashi; Atsuko Kissho; Takumi Fukuda; Yasuhiro Shimada


‘They have deep technical and legal knowledge of this practice area, but are able to practice at a helpful practical level.’