Rising Stars: Bengoshi

Corporate and M&A: International firms and joint ventures in Japan

Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho

Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho‘s full-service corporate and M&A practice is well-established in the Japanese market, with significant capability for both inbound and outbound matters. The team, which is entirely composed of individuals fluent in both English and Japanese, covers a range of industries including automotive and pharmaceutical, as well the high-growth energy, renewables, and life sciences sectors. Nick Wall and Tokutaku Ito jointly lead the practice. Wall, who is global co-chair of the automotive sector for the firm, specialises in strategic investments, divestments, and joint ventures, while Ito has expertise in structuring matters, and specialises in representing Japanese corporates on cross-border transactions. Taro Nakashima, who was promoted to partner in May 2022, has experience across the manufacturing, financial services, and consumer sectors. Senior associate May Sakai, who is joint UK and Australia (Victoria) qualified, is also key.

Practice head(s):

Nick Wall; Tokutaka Ito

Other key lawyers:

Taro Nakashima; May Sakai


‘They have a high level of expertise in cross-border M&A. Therefore, it is possible to propose a reasonable plan or a proposal using actual examples in the negotiation.’

‘It has offices all over the world and has established a structure that is easy to deal with cross-border M&A.’

‘When our company asks for advice, AO gives a polite and prompt response.’

Key clients

Mitsubishi Materials Corporation No

Pernod Ricard No

Daidoh Limited No


Asahi Group Holdings

Macquarie Infrastructure Real Assets

NTT Data

Hitachi High Tech

Daikin Limited

Persol Kelley

Work highlights

  • Advised Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) on the sale of 100% of Central Tank Terminal Co., Ltd. (CTT), which is a leading operator of chemical and oil storage tanks in Japan.
  • Advised Persol Holdings on its acquisition of the remaining 46.5% stake in PersolKelly, its Singapore-based joint venture with US staffing services firm Kelly Services, and the dissolution of its cross-shareholding in Kelly services by way of share sale.
  • Advised Hitachi High-Tech Corporation (HHT) on their investment in Invivoscribe, Inc (Invivoscribe), a company incorporated in California, U.S. which provides molecular products and services for oncology testing.

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) is a well established name in the Japanese market, with a strong reputation for complex cross-border transactions at the global level, and deep sector expertise. Working with the firm’s network of offices, the department is able to handle extremely high value and intricate matters, such as advising pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson on spinning off their consumer health business into a new publicly traded company, valued at over USD 7 billion. Jiro Toyokawa, who leads the department, is highly experienced in handling large-scale outbound M&As by Japanese financial institutions. Former team lead Akifusa Takada remains active on both domestic and international matters, in addition to acting as co-managing partner of the Tokyo office. Other key names in the team include Tetsuo Tsujimoto, who has expertise in private equity and venture capital, and Yutaka Kimura, whose specialism is cross-border transactions and joint ventures in the TMT sector. Masahiro Inaba, who focuses on general corporate law, and Hiroshi Kondo are other names to note.

Practice head(s):

Jiro Toyokawa

Other key lawyers:

Tetsuo Tsujimoto; Akifusa Takada; Yutaka Kimura; Kiyoshi Endo; Hideo Norikoshi; Masahiro Inaba; Hiroshi Kondo


‘Baker’s Japan team is terrific. They combine deep expertise across a broad set of legal domains with great commercial nous.’

‘They are highly responsive and very easy to work with.’

‘I believe that Kiyoshi Endo, Partner, is an excellent attorney and negotiator. He always sought to understand client’s thoughts and concerns and show us good solutions that can be acceptable for both sides. His English language skill was perfect.’

‘B&M distinguishes itself in the international perspective and deep client relationship they are able to establish.’

‘The team brought a strong mix of both international expertise as well as Japanese expertise that was strongly relevant and helpful for the transaction at focus.’

‘Commercial sense, collaboration, timeliness, efficiency, client first mindset.’

‘Proactive, speedy and energetic advice and support, and prompt and appropriate answers to our questions.’

‘They are a very diverse team with members coming from all over the world including the US, Japan, Australia, etc, which helps bring more knowledge about global market practices and how things are done elsewhere in the world.’

Key clients

Pacifico Energy

Universal Entertainment Corporation

Okada Manila Limited

Johnson and Johnson

Ube Industries

Entek Technology

Pleiad Investment Advisors

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR)


Benesse Corporation

AGC Inc.



Work highlights

  • Advised Pacifico Energy, one of Japan’s largest renewable energy developers, on an agreement with SSE renewables on the formation of a jointly owned company that will pursue offshore wind energy development projects in Japan.
  • Advised KKR, a leading global investmeent firm, on its acquisition of Cetral Tank Terminal, a leading Japanese chemical storage tank operator, from an affiliated of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.
  • Advised Nikkiso on the sale of LEWA GmbH and Geveke B.V. and their respective subsidiaries to Atlas Copco, involving 17 jurisdictions.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP advises on a range of complex, high-value M&A matters, including both outgoing, for Japanese clients, and incoming deals by overseas groups. Areas of expertise for the department include the financial, industrial, consumer, and real estate sectors. The ‘client focused, responsive and reliable’ Kenneth Lebrun leads the team. Fully bilingual in Japanese and English, Lebrun has significant knowledge of cross-border M&A, joint ventures, and private equity transactions. Jon Gray, who acts as managing partner of the Tokyo office, brings more than 30 years’ experience in the Japanese financial sector, and has a broad practice which covers global equity offerings and IPOs, liability management transactions, and Japanese REIT global offerings. Associate Paul Jun is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Ken Lebrun; Jon Gray

Other key lawyers:

Paul Jun


‘The firm has broad and deep experience in M&As involving Japanese companies and are knowledgeable about M&A practices both in the U.S. and Japan, effectively combining their global capabilities. In addition, they are well aware of potential issues and concerns from not only the transaction parties’ view point but also the financial advisors’ view point.’

‘Ken Lebrun is always client focused, responsive and reliable. He has extensive knowledge and skills based on broad and long experience in M&A markets involving Japanese companies, as well as language capabilities of English and Japanese.’

‘They are excellent. They have a top quality M&A practice and the most experience of M&A in Japan. They know the cultures and way of thinking of Japanese companies very well.’

‘Ken Lebrun and Paul Jun are excellent.’

‘DPW team always shows very high communication skill and creativity.’

‘Ken Lebrun has rich experience in Japanese/US transactions and always provides clear and creative advice both in Japanese and English.’

‘Davis Polk Tokyo is not just a liaison branch, but has a robust M&A team which can handle the M&A process and documentation by themselves.’

‘Ken Lebrun and Paul Lee make a great team to work with. Both of them are very responsive and hardworking.’

Key clients

Shiseido Company, Limited

IRE (Cayman) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Invesco Ltd.

Kobe Steel, Ltd.

Tokyu Corporation

Roadmap Holdings

Relo Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Shiseido on the transfer of its professional business to Henkel (approximately US$107 million).
  • Advising Relo Group on the business combination of BGRS with SIRVA, with Relo retaining a 23% stake in the combined business.
  • Advised IRE (Cayman) on its tender offer for the shares of Invesco Office J-REIT.

Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo

Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo supports clients across the full spectrum of corporate transactions, with significant experience across domestic, inbound, outbound, cross-border and multi-jurisdictional deals. The department has diverse sector expertise, with focal areas including automotive, energy and infrastructure, life sciences, and technology. Jacky Scanlan-Dyas, who orignially launched the firm’s Japan M&A transactions team in 2009 and has a broad practice including investments, joint ventures, and commercial contracts, co-leads the group with ‘creative yet practical’ Wataru Kamoto, whose expertise includes employment, antitrust, and tax. Counsel Chiyokazu Shindo and senior associate Viet Nguyen are also key, with Shindo having notable experience in the energy sector, while Nguyen handles joint ventures, public takeovers, and private M&A.

Practice head(s):

Jacky Scanlan-Dyas; Wataru Kamoto

Other key lawyers:

Chiyokazu Shindo; Viet Nguyen


‘They are highly professional and experienced and have a strong client first perspective, particularly Jacky Scanlan-Dyas.’

‘Enthusiasm and experience.’

‘It’s a very capable team with a lot of experience dealing with Japanese clients and understanding their needs. They are able to turn work around efficiently and with real value added.’

‘Jacky Scanlan-Dyas is a standout partner in terms of her professionalism, commitment and enthusiasm. Above all, she is a clear communicator, realistic in managing client expectations and displays a very high level of dedication to her clients and their matters.’

‘The HL team has a detailed understanding of our business. They use their extensive global presence to provide us with advice that we can trust in various jurisdictions.’

‘Jacky Scanlan-Dyas provides a helpful central point of contact for us and facilitates engagement of the best suited HL professionals in various jurisdictions.’

‘Reliable, dependable, consistent, good with the budget.’

‘Wataru Kamoto is the partner with whom I deal. He is very good, very creative yet practical.’

Key clients

Applied Materials, Inc.

Sojitz Corporation


Veolia Japan KK

Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc.

International Business Machines Corporation


Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

A consortium of a global infrastructure fund and major utility company

Work highlights

  • Advising Applied Materials on its proposed multi-billion-dollar acquisition of Kokusai Electric’s semiconductor manufacturing business in Japan.
  • Advising Sojitz Corporation on the signing of an agreement to establish a joint venture with Braskem S.A., to produce and market bioMEG (monoethylene glycol) and bioMPG (monopropylene glycol).
  • Advised AEG in relation to its participation in a consortium to construct and operate a new arena in Nagoya Prefecture.

Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster‘s Tokyo practice, which is ‘of the highest quality‘, is composed of a diverse team of over 50 gaiben and bengoshi, routinely active on some of the highest profile and most complex matters in the region. ‘Senior statesmanKen Siegel, who leads the practice and acts as managing partner for the Tokyo office, specialises in the technology sector, and is well experienced handling ultra-high value matters. Gary Smith, who has over 30 years’ experience and is fully fluent in Japanese, focuses on life sciences and TMT. Randy Laxer handles international joint ventures and strategic alliances, in addition to serving as co-head of the firm’s private equity practice for Asia alongside Nozomi Oda. Also key are Stanley Yukevich and the ‘unmatched’ Jeremy White. Leo Aguilar brings valuable knowledge of strategic alliances and joint ventures in a wide range of industries.

Practice head(s):

Ken Siegel

Other key lawyers:

Gary Smith; Stanley Yukevich; Jeremy White; Randy Laxer; Nozomi Oda; Leo Aguilar


‘I would like to name Mr. Randy Laxer, Partner, M&A. He has always shown commitment and is on-top not just of the theme but also of details of any deliverables, oral presentation and capable of QA, negotiation or side-chat seamlessly.’

‘I have consistently found them to be of the highest quality, providing robust, well-thought through and highly strategic advice, and always putting the client’s best interests first.’

‘Jeremy White is quite simply the best M&A lawyer I have ever worked with. His knowledge, dedication to client and project, experience and constructive problem-solving approach is unmatched in the market.’

‘The team is very diversified and they can smoothly deal with both cases of Global M&A and domestic (Japanese only) M&A. The most beneficial point for Japanese companies aiming for potential Global M&A deal, is that a lot of English native qualified lawyers stay in Japan for long time and Japanese communication is also very nice.’

‘Ken Siegel is a truly unique senior statesman who combines exceptional legal judgment, commercial awareness, pragmatic counselling and ‘always on’ availability to deliver a complete package.’

‘The lawyers are excellent and work diligently. Their work is accurate and elaborate. In addition, they have not only legal minds but also business minds.’

‘Mr. Gary Smith is an excellent partner. He appropriately monitors and manages other partners and associates, and leads the transaction. His humanity, and generous and honest character also appeals to clients.’

‘Morrison Foerster’s M&A Tokyo team, specifically Stanley Yukevich, has always been client-oriented, meaning he tries to understand clients’ real needs and capabilities and to give solutions or propose approaches that will realisticallly achieve the purpose.’

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp.

TDK Corporation

Fujitsu Limited

Renesas Electronics Corporation

Tencent Holdings Limited

NTT Communications



L Catterton

Palantir Technologies Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advising Amperex Technology Limited in its RMB14 billion joint ventures for mid-size battery cells and packs and USD1.5 billion technology cross-license arrangement with Contemporary AmperexTechnology Co, Limited.
  • Advised GCA Corporation in the recommended tender offer to its shareholders by the global investment bank Houlihan Lokey, Inc. for a total cash purchase price of JPY65 billion.
  • Represented SoftBank Group Corp. and SoftBank Vision Fund in the proposed $65 billion sale of UK-headquartered multinational semiconductor and software design company Arm Limited to leading U.S. chip company NVIDIA.

Shearman & Sterling

Shearman & Sterling acts on complex cross-border matters, including outbound investments, foreign direct investments, and both public and private acquisitions and divestitures. The department is active in a broad range of industries, including financial, healthcare and logistics, with particular aptitude in the energy sector. Lead partner Karl Pires has more than 20 years’ experience in the practice area, and covers strategic acquisitions, minority investments and joint ventures. Capital markets specialists Toshiro Mochizuki and Masahisa Ikeda are also key within the team. Kana Morimura, who has experience working in both the US and Japan, was promoted to partner in July 2021.

Practice head(s):

Karl Pires

Other key lawyers:

Masahisa Ikeda; Toshiro Mochizuki; Kana Morimura


‘Its team is always well organized and efficient.’

‘The instructions are very clear and we feel comfortable to work with this team.’

‘Karl Pires is leading the M&A team of Sherman Japan. He is sophisticated and has deep knowledge about M&A deals. He is also fluent in Japanese.’

Key clients

Bunge Limited (NYSE:BG)

Furusato Industries, Ltd.

GC Holdings Co., Ltd.


Maeda Corporation


Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings Co., Ltd.

Mercuria Investment Co., Ltd.

Mubadala Investment Company

Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. and Osaka USA Corporation (OGUSA)

Qxpress Pte. Ltd.

Secom Co., Ltd.

Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd.

The Aomori Bank, Ltd.

The Michinoku Bank, Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Osaka Gas and its U.S. subsidiary Osaka Gas USA Corporation, in connection with the agreement with Oriden LLC to jointly develop a portfolio of more than 700 MWdc (600 MWac) of utility-scale solar and storage projects throughout certain U.S. markets.
  • Advised Maeda Corporation, a Japan-based construction company, on its adoption of a holding company structure through a share transfer by three companies.
  • Advised Japanese regional banks The Aomori Bank, Ltd., and The Michinoku Bank, Ltd. on their adoption of a holding company structure through a share transfer.

White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)

White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) is focused on highly complex, high-value deals both domestically and overseas. The team acts for an impressive set of household name clients, and in 2021 represented Panasonic in its acquisition of the capital stock interests of Blue Yonder. Industrial sector specialist Brian Strawn co-leads the practice alongside Jun Usami, whose broad sector expertise includes automotive, TMT, finance, retail, and food and beverages. The department has been undergoing a recent period of expansion, with Naoya Shiota being recruited from Mori Hamada & Matsumoto in October 2021, joining Shino Asayama and Nels Hansen, both of whom were recently promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):

Brian Strawn; Jun Usami

Other key lawyers:

Naoya Shiota; Nels Hansen; Shino Asayama


‘Obvious attitude to work as a strongly tied team. They do not seem to act individually. The quality of service produced from good team work is highly trustworthy, and I assume every member of the firm understands it. Secondly, they are always thoroughly client-friendly. Their effort to grasp the needs of the client is outstanding.’

‘Mr. Brian Strawn’s team is wonderful. His team has very deep knowledge of Japanese and US commercial customs, and so seeks useful and beneficial solutions for clients.’

‘Mr. Brian Strawn, parter, is very stand-out and has unique talent. He has very deep commercial insight, and advice to his clients is based on this.’

‘Ms. Shino Asayama provides the clients with a very good documentation service.’

‘Provides very clear advice based on sound judgement. Has a very commercial mindset.’

‘They can provide us with both corporate/M&A advice and financing advice backed by deep domestic and international expertise, which differentiates them from other firms.’

‘Nels Hansen, partner, tirelessly looks to deliver advice and solve problems.’

Key clients

Panasonic Corporation

PayPal Holdings, Inc.

SoftBank Group Corp.

Yamauchi-No.10 Family Office

Starwood Capital Group

IHI Corporation

Gumi Cryptos Capital LLC

Central Japan Railway Company

Toyota Motor Corporation

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Woven Planet Holdings

double jump.tokyo Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Panasonic Corporation on its acquisition of the remaining 80% of the capital stock interests of Blue Yonder, a leading end-to-end, digital fulfillment platform provider, at an enterprise value of US$8.5 billion on a cash-free, debt-free basis.
  • Advised PayPal Holdings, Inc. on its acquisition of Paidy Inc., a leading two-sided payments platform and provider of buy now, pay later solutions in Japan, for an enterprise value of ¥300 billion (approx. US$2.7 billion).
  • Advised Yamauchi-No.10 Family Office, the family office of the Yamauchi family, which started and built up the global gaming giant Nintendo, on its acquisition of a majority stake in Taiyo Pacific Partners LP.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance‘s fully-integrated team of international and Japanese lawyers offers clients a comprehensive dual platform for both cross-border and domestic corporate and M&A matters. Areas of expertise for the team include automotive, tech, energy, and pharmaceutical, where the department acts on high value and complex deals. England and Wales qualified Natsuko Sugihara co-leads the team alongside Michihiro Nishi. Sugihara, who is praised for her ‘excellent leadership‘, specialises in private M&A, private equity, and cross-border transactions, while the ‘really reliable’ Nishi has a broad practice which includes corporate governenace and other general corporate matters. Masafumi Shikakura and senior assocaite Shunsuke Nagae are key names.

Practice head(s):

Natsuko Sugihara; Michihiro Nishi

Other key lawyers:

Masafumi Shikakura; Shunsuke Nagae


‘It is a true international law firm, fully integrated with a global reach.’

‘Clifford Chance’s team was very knowledgeable and capable of managing a number of issues, and were able to advise us of proper solutions.’

‘In addition to Natsuko Sugihara’s leadership, the team’s collaboration across the global footprints was also valuable.’

‘My team worked with Natsuko Sugihara, and she demonstrated her excellent leadership to organize the best team across the global team members, while having her own documentation and negotiation skillsets.’

‘Their Tokyo team is diligent. In addition to that, they have a number of lawyers in Tokyo. Other US or UK based firm tends to have a limited number of lawyers in Tokyo.’

‘Mr. Nishi, a partner, has a great capacity for understanding client’s needs and negotiating in line with those. Really reliable.’

Key clients

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

CVC Capital Partners

NSK Ltd.

Public Sector Pension Investment Board

Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC)

Henkel AG & Co. KGaA

Amundi SA

Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd.

Sekisui House

Life is Tech USA

Work highlights

  • Advised CVC on its acquisition of the personal care business of Shiseido Corporation.
  • Advised France-based Amundi SA on the acquisition of Lyxor Asset Management SAS from Société Générale SA.
  • Advised Mitsui & Co., Ltd. on its acquisition of 62% of the shares of Belchim Crop Protection NV/SA.

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho advises on both inbound and outbound transactions, with the capacity to handle the full range of corporate and M&A matters on behalf of both Japanese clients acting overseas, and foreign clients looking to invest into the domestic market. Lance Miller and Masahiko Ishida lead the department, in addition to acting as co-mananging partners for the firm within Japan. Miller has over 40 years’ experience, and specialises in the financial services, manufacturing, and real estate industries, while Ishida has a broad practice which includes general corporate and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Lance Miller; Masahiko Ishida

Other key lawyers:

Ryutaro Takeda; Edward Mears


‘DLA Piper’s team, led by Masahiko Ishida-san, differentiate themselves from competitors with their truly bilingual one stop service.’

‘Based on their deep experience in working for Japanese companies on cross-border projects, they always give us practical and solution-oriented advice.’

‘Masahiko Ishida-san is our go-to lawyer whenever we face a complicated legal issue. He always tries to live up to our expectation in the quality, speed and the cost. He is also a savvy communicator and leader who can spearhead multinational team members across the world and it really makes our lives easier.’

Key clients

General Electric Company

Sequoia Capital India Investments IV

JGC Holdings Corporation

Asahi Shuzo co.,ltd.

Marubeni Corporation

Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.

A.T. Kearney

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

ENEOS Corporation

Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.

Asurion Japan Holdings GK

Worldpay (UK) Limited

Zurich North America

NEC Corporation

Danaher Corporation

XICA Co., Ltd

Avex Inc.

OneConnect Financial Technology Co., Ltd.

Incubate Fund, K.K.

Work highlights

  • Advised Foot Locker, Inc on its acquisition of Text Trading Company, K.K. (“atmos”), which owns and licenses the atmos brand, a digitally led, premium, global retailer headquartered in Japan.
  • Advised Sequoia Capital India Investments IV in the sale of its shares in Appier Group, Inc. to purchasers outside of Japan.
  • Advised JGC Holdings Corporation in connection with an investment by Japan Bank for International Cooperation in NuScale Power LLC.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills‘ Tokyo team is particularly known for outbound corporate M&A work, with experience acting for Japanese clients on complex cross-border transactions across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the US. The department is particualrly strong in the manufacturing and industrials, energy, TMT and infrastructure sectors. Andrew Blacoe, who was appointed head of corporate for Japan and South Korea in May 2022, has particular expertise in energy and infrastructure, and has over 13 years’ experience in the Japanese market. Former team lead Graeme Preston, who now acts as head of the firm’s Asia corporate practice, continues to act on cross-border M&A and corporate matters. Joseph Fisher, who was promoted to partner in May 2021, advises Japanese clients investing into Southeast Asia and Europe.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Blacoe

Other key lawyers:

Graeme Preston; Joseph Fisher


‘They provide the highest level of service and provide top quality work.’

‘You can rest assured that they will provide practical advice and you will not be left wondering how to implement the advice.’

‘Graeme Preston and Joe Fisher. Both of them are friendly, approachable, practical and good lawyers.’

Key clients

Sumitomo Corporation

NTT Group

Mitsui & Co. Ltd.

Marubeni Corporation

ITOCHU Corporation

Bridgestone Corporation

SoftBank Group Corp


INPEX Corporation

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Work highlights

  • Advising Mitsui & Co., Ltd. on its agreement with Aker Horizons ASA to acquire a 27.5% equity stake in Aker’s subsidiary Mainstream Renewable Power for €575 million.
  • Advising Bridgestone Corporation on its acquisition of Otraco, a specialist in off-the-road (OTR) tire management, from Downer.
  • Advising Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on its corporate venture capital minority investment in Stanley Robotics, a French company developing autonomous vehicle solutions.

Jones Day

Jones Day balance inbound and outbound acquisistions and investments, and work with the firm’s global team to provide comprehensive support in major markets around the world. The department has a notable specialism in the life sciences industry. Chris Ahern, who leads the team, has expertise in the technology and energy sectors. Stephen DeCosse has diverse experience in the renewable energy sector, logistics, and transport sectors, and is well known for his work advising on public and private cross-border M&A and investments. Yuichiro Mori and counsel Benjamin O. Lang are also key.

Practice head(s):

Chris Ahern

Other key lawyers:

Stephen DeCosse; Yuichiro Mori; Benjamin O. Lang


‘The team has significant experience and is flexible in meeting the client’s needs.’

‘They understand our business and work with our budget.’

‘Yuichiro Mori in particular is dependable and works hard to meet our needs.’

‘The responsible partner Chris Ahern has incredible skill of quickly understanding our business and our needs and communicating with our CEO and CFO with the clear and succinct language they prefer.’

‘They have offices around the world and thus, can advise their clients on issues with respect to various jurisdictions one-stop. They well collaborate with people in the other offices/areas and also, local firm/counsel.’

‘We’ve worked mainly with Stephen DeCosse who leaded the team, including people in different offices, efficiently and effectively. His response is always swift and his advice is practical, reasonable, and well organized. He always acts proactively and leads us toward what we would like to achieve.’

‘Jones Day’s M&A practice in Japan can use Jones Day’s top US M&A practice in the US-bound deals which makes it stand out from other Japan law offices that do not have the same capacity for US-bound deals.’

‘Ben Lang is excellent with Japanese speakers and in helping manage complex deals.’

Key clients

Discovery, Inc.

ENEOS Corporation

Marelli Holdings Co., Ltd.

MassMutual Financial Group


Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd.

The Riverside Company

Work highlights

  • Advised PAG in the acquisition of a USD 1 billion portfolio of solar power facilities in Japan (with the aggregate output of 250 MW) by Enfinity Global.
  • Advised Sumitomo Dainippon with respect to a USD 75 million PIPE investment into a SPAC, Montes Archimedes Acquisition Corp (MAAC), as part of a de-SPAC transaction with Roivant Sciences.
  • Advised Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and MassMutual International LLC in the sale of MassMutual International’s 14.9% interest in Nippon Wealth Life Insurance Company to Nippon Life Insurance Company.


Linklaters is known for its work on complex cross-border matters, with a client list which includes major global corporations. The department is co-led by Hiroya Yamazaki and Tracy Whiriskey, who joined from Ashurst in April 2022. Yamazaki, who has been with the firm almost 20 years, focuses on supporting Japanese clients working overseas, while Whiriskey covers strategic investments, joint ventures, and foreign direct investments involving Japan.

Practice head(s):

Hiroya Yamazaki; Tracy Whiriskey

Other key lawyers:

Kenji Shimada; Kentaro Yamamura


‘Linklaters has a high level of knowledge and know-how about corporate and M&A transactions, especially in Europe and the United States, and its team of lawyers is also outstanding in terms of experience, ability, and achievements, making it a very reliable law firm.’

‘Mr. Yamazaki of Linklaters Tokyo, behind his outstanding ability as a lawyer, was an employee of a major trading company before becoming a lawyer. is very reliable for legal advice regarding investment in companies and M&A.’

Key clients

Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co., Ltd.

Ajinomoto Co., Inc.

Brother Industries, Ltd.

Carrier Global Corporation

Harmonic Drive Systems Inc.

Hitachi, Ltd.

Japan Infrastructure Initiative Company Limited

KYB Corporation

Macquarie’s Green Investment Group

Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Ltd.

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation

Nissin Foods Holdings Co., Ltd

Nomura Real Estate Holdings, Inc.

ORIX Corporation

Panasonic Corporation

Sandoz, a subsidiary of Novartis

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

TDK Corporation

Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Carrier Global Corporation (a world leader in heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions) on the acquisition of Toshiba’s 55% stake in their joint venture, Toshiba Carrier Corporation (TCC) for a value of $870 million.
  • Advised Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co., Ltd. on its additional strategic investment in Mind Foundry Limited, a UK-based machine learning software spinout of University of Oxford.
  • Advised McKinsey & Company, Inc. in their investment into a growth opportunities fund newly formed by Incubate Fund, a venture capital firm in Japan.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP specialises in complex M&A and private equity matters, and is frequently active on extremely high-value deals. In a notable highlight the firm is advising Bain Capital and their consortium in its $7 billion leveraged tender offer for the shares of Hitachi Metals. The team is co-led by Tsuyoshi Imai who is well known for his expertise in transactions and private equity, and Saeko Inaba, whose experience includes leveraged buyouts, divestitures, and general corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Tsuyoshi Imai; Saeko Inaba

Key clients

Bain Capital

Baring Private Equity Asia

Kioxia Holdings Corporation (formerly Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation)

Nissan Motor Corporation

Ooedo Onsen Monogatari Hotels & Resorts, Ltd.

ADK Holdings, Inc.

Kirindo Holdings Co., Ltd.

Works Human Intelligence Co., Ltd.

Nichiigakkan Co., Ltd.

Nihon Safety Co., Ltd.

Showa Aircraft Industry Co., Ltd.

Pear Therapeutics, Inc. Ye

Canada Goose Inc

Work highlights

  • Advising a consortium led by Bain Capital in its approximately US$7.5 billion leveraged tender offer for all of the shares of Hitachi Metals, a leading global high end specialty steel and magnets manufacturer.
  • Advised Bain Capital in connection with its acquisition of a 51% stake in Nihon Safety, a leading rental guarantee business in Japan.
  • Advised Bain Capital in the auction sale of Ooedo Onsen. Ropes had initially been lead counsel on the acquisition of Ooedo from its founder in 2015.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP handles a range of international M&A transactions for sellers and buyers, with a reputation for handling high value matters. The office’s status as a foreign law joint enterprise has helped it build strong connections with domestic clients such as Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Co. and the Toshiba Corporation. Mitsuhiro Kamiya, who leads the department, has a particular focus on cross-border M&A and joint ventures. Meanwhile bengoshi partner Akira Kumaki contributes expertise in private equity, securities, and other general corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Mitsuhiro Kamiya; Kenji Taneda

Other key lawyers:

Akira Kumaki

Key clients

Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Co.

Toshiba Corporation

Advantest Corporation

Shionogi & Co. Ltd.

SMBC Group

Brothers International, LLC (AGBO)

Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.

Olympus Corporation


Ashurst‘s Japan office works in tandem with dedicated overseas Japan desks in Australia and Europe to provide clients international support. The department is led by Hiroyuki Iwamura, who relocated to Tokyo from London in 2022 to further grow the domestic offering of the practice. Natsuko Ogawa is the key contact for Australia, and specialises in supporting Japanese clients with mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures in this region.

Practice head(s):

Hiroyuki Iwamura

Other key lawyers:

Natsuko Ogawa

Key clients

Canon Medical Systems Corporation

Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd.

Fuyo General Lease Co.,Ltd.

MOL Hong Kong Limited

Toll Holdings Limited

Japan Post Holdings

Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company Limited

Mitsubishi Corporation

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Itochu Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Canon Medical Systems Corporation in relation to its acquisition of Nordisk Røntgen Teknik A/S (NRT), a Danish company, with advanced technology for the development and manufacture of diagnostic X-ray systems.
  • Advised Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd. on its formation of a joint venture with Bywater Properties, a prominent property developer in the UK.
  • Advised Fuyo General Lease Co.,Ltd. in relation to participation in the development and operation of two large scale battery energy storage facilities in Cuxton, Kent and Tollgate, St Albans, England.

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP advises on high value international matters, working closely with overseas offices to offer comprehensive global coverage. Team lead Motonori Araki has expertise in cross-border transactions, and is a registered foreign lawyer in Japan, in addition to being admitted to practice in New York, and before the US Supreme Court. Mitsuyoshi Saito is also key, and works across numerous industries including electronics, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals.

Practice head(s):

Motonori Araki

Other key lawyers:

Mitsuyoshi Saito; Nancy Yamaguchi


‘Their Tokyo Office can function effectively as a window to the global capability of the firm, which is very helpful for working on cross border projects from Japan.’

‘They can mobilize the firm’s global network when needed.’

‘The team servicing our account is extremely responsive and competent. Since our parent company is a large Japanese insurance company, the team’s lead attorney is bilingual with established credentials in both U.S. and Japan.’

‘All team members are very experienced with corporate law, very thorough and are able to bring in resources from other parts of Morgan Lewis as needed to ensure that we have the best quality of service.’

‘Our main contact is Nancy Yamaguchi. She is outstanding and extremely responsive to our needs. Most importantly, in addition to our legal requests, Nancy is also very proactive and is always anticipating what are areas where we will need legal support. Nancy is also very well connected to the tech and Silicon Valley ecosystem, and has consistently made extremely useful introductions to her network for us.’

Key clients

ACCESS Co., Ltd.

Asahi Kasei Corporation

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical


Olympus Corporation

Shenzhen Yitoa Intelligent Control Co., Ltd. and Yitoa Micro Technology Corporation

Sompo Digital Lab and Sompo Holdings, Inc.

Takeda Pharmaceutical

United Microelectronics Corporation

Yokogawa Electric

Work highlights

  • Advised Japan Retail FUnd Investment Corp. and its external asset manager, Mitsubishi Corp. UBS Realty (MCUBS), in the $11billion public merger MCUBS MidCity Investment Corp.
  • Advised Shiseido Americas Corp. in its $700 million sale of three cosmetic brands – bareMinerals, BUXOM, and Laura Mercier -to AI Beauty Holdings Ltd.
  • Advised MUFG Bank in its sale of shares of common stock in Paidy Inc to PayPal Holdings Inc.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is highly active in the technology and life sciences sectors, and has notable experience in venture financing and startup representation. The department is led by the ‘knowledgeable and insightful’ Hiroki Sugita, who specialises in cross-border transactions, and is dual qualified in Japan and New York. Senior associate Sakon Kuramoto is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Hiroki Sugita

Other key lawyers:

Sakon Kuramoto


‘One of the very few global law firms that has a strong venture practice in Japan.’

‘They are capable of servicing all client needs with particular strength in complex cross-border transactions.’

‘I have been working with Hiroki Sugita (Partner) for many years now and I continue to be impressed with his professionalism, knowledge, work ethic, responsiveness, commercial awareness and his attitude to always tackle the difficult problems together. I have recommended Hiroki and his group to numerous clients, business associates and friends of mine and everyone has always valued the introduction.’

‘Hiroki Sugita is very knowledgeable and insightful. Compared to many domestic Japanese attorneys I have worked with, I appreciate that he is flexible, direct, and open.’

‘Seamless service across regional boundaries.’

‘Good and candid communication.’

Key clients

Axil Capital Advisors K.K.

LUCA Science Inc.

Kyash Inc.

Liquid, Inc.

Mizuho Securities Principal Investments Co., Ltd.

Rakuten Group

Toyota Motor Corporation

Tokyo Boeki Holdings Corporation

UTokyo Innovation Platform


WRVI Capita

Work highlights

  • Advised Liquid Group, Inc. in their acquisition by FTX Trading LTD.
  • Advised Rakuten Group in its investment in the US$166 million Series D financing of Rakuten Medical.
  • Advised Kyash in its $41.2 million (4.9 billion JPY) Series D funding.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP specialises in high value cross-border matters, with particularly strong ties to the Chinese market. Toshiyuki Arai, who leads the Tokyo team, also heads the firm’s China practice, facilitating high level transactions between these markets. Arai’s areas of expertise include acquisitions and joint ventures, particularly in the technology sector. Associates Yuko Kamo and Olga Belosludova are also key.

Practice head(s):

Toshiyuki Arai

Other key lawyers:

Yuko Kamo; Olga Belosludova

Key clients

American Eagles Outfitters

Konica Minolta, Inc.

Kobe Steel

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Club Co., Ltd

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is particularly active in the private equity sector, with key clients which include KKR and Blackstone. The department is co-led by Noritaka Kumamoto and the Hong Kong based Ian Ho. Kumamoto handles both inbound and outbound transactions, and has experience working overseas in New York. Ho has diverse experience which includes acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, and strategic investments.

Practice head(s):

Noritaka Kumamoto; Ian Ho

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Stradling

Key clients

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P.


Murata Manufacturing

Work highlights

  • Represented KKR in its acquisition of Yayoi, the largest financial and accounting software provider for small- and medium-sized enterprises and sole proprietors in Japan.
  • Represented KKR in its announced US$2 billion acquisition of Mitsubishi Corp.-UBS Realty, one of the largest real estate asset managers in Japan
  • Represented Monex and Coincheck in Coincheck’s announced US$1.25 billion business combination with Thunder Bridge Capital Partners—the first de-SPAC transaction involving a Japanese company.

Squire Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho

Squire Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho advises Japanese clients on overseas matters, including share and asset acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, and tender offers, and has particular strength in divestitures. Steven Doi, who is managing partner of the Tokyo office and handles a range of general corporate transactions, co-leads the practice with Stephen E Chelberg, whose areas of expertise include corporate restructurings, joint ventures, and strategic alliances. Also key in the team is Rika Beppu, who has significant knowledge of multijurisdictional transactions, and Mörk Murdock.

Practice head(s):

Steven Doi; Stephen Chelberg

Other key lawyers:

Rika Beppu; Mörk Murdock


‘Excellent advice for not only regal issues but also business negotiation.’

‘Flexibility for making contracts. Japanese and English communication.’

EY Law Co.

EY Law Co. established its corporate and M&A practice in 2016, and has seen rapid growth since. Working within the firm’s global network, the department covers a broad set of matters including acquisitions, divestments, and other general corporate services. Leading the team is Junzaburo Kiuchi, who has over 20 years’ experience working as a bengoshi. The team includes Takahiro Tsumagari, who brings expertise in cross-border M&A, business partnerships, and structured finance matters, and Dan Matsuda, who joined from DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Junzabaro Kiuchi

Other key lawyers:

Takahiro Tsumagari; Dan Matsuda; Kohei Nakajima

Key clients


Krispy Kreme


Konica Minolta


Lloyd’s Register

American Express

Kubota Corporation


Work highlights

  • Represented VOXX International Corporation on its acquisition, through itswholly-owned subsidiary Premium Audio Company, LLC, of the assets in connection with the A/V business of Onkyo Home Entertainment Corporation.
  • Advised Spectris plc in its divestment of NDC Technologies to Nordson Corporation for an all-cash value of USD180 million.
  • Advised Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation on its acquisition of the Japan Krispy Kreme business from Lotte Corporation.

K&L Gates

K&L Gates, led by Ryan Dwyer, focuses on domestic commercial transactions and cross-border matters across the Asia-Pacific region.

Practice head(s):

Ryan Dwyer

Other key lawyers:

Eric Sedlak; Tsuguhito Omagari; Dale Araki


‘Depth of experience in international transactions involving Japanese entities.’

‘Understanding of how Japanese companies operate which is invaluable when providng legal advice and planning.’

‘Dale Araki has been assisting my organization with legal matters since the 1990’s. This longstandng relationship is due to his communication skills (not merely his ability to speak Japanese), agressive negotiation style and skill, and of course his likeable personality.’

Mayer Brown GJBJ

Mayer Brown GJBJ advises domestic Japanese clients on a range of overseas transactions, including M&A and disposals. Team lead Gordon Palmquist handles corporate governance and private equity, as well as covering real estate, infrastructure, and venture capital investments. Rupert Burrows, managing partner of the Tokyo office, has expertise in energy and project development. Senior associate Arnold Itagaki is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Palmquist

Other key lawyers:

Rupert Burrows; Arnold Itagaki


‘Mayer Brown is a global law firm with a great reach to many legions. Given the wide coverage, it will be a one-stop solution for many clients.’

‘Gordon Palmquist can provide a variety of services and is always there for us. He is always promptly responding to any inquiries.’

‘Gordon Palmquist and his team work quite efficiently and effectively with great global teamwork in cross-border M&A transactions. I have been working with Gordon for almost three years to deal with several international M&A transactions. He is one of the best corporate lawyers in Tokyo. He has good knowlge of our industry and has a great problem-solving skill.’

‘Their world-wide network, especially, Japan, USA and central America, helped us in our investment activity timely and appropriately.’

‘They gave us a checklist which describes and explains various important points to be considered in such investment activity helped us a lot. This experience is so valuable for our future similar investment activity.’

Key clients




Mitsubishi Corporation


Mitsubishi Chemical





Chubu Electric

Metal One

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. Inc.

Diamond Generating Corporation

The Norinchukin Bank

Astellas Pharma Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. in its acquisition of 20% shares in Bitexco Power Corporation (“Bitexco”), the leading renewable power company in Vietnam.
  • Represented NEC in its sale of NEC Energy Solutions, Inc. to LG Energy Solutions. Complicated transaction for the sale of a global energy storage business with huge ongoing projects around the world and numerous regulatory filings.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright advises on a range of complex M&A matters across multiple jurisdictions, and has particular expertise in the energy sector. The department is active on both inbound and outbound work, benefiting from their international network of offices to provide seamless support. Isamu Inohara leads the team, and has a broad practice which includes cross border M&A, carve out transactions and joint ventures. Counsel Andrew Clarke is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Isamu Inohara

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Clarke


‘Extremely commercial – top notched client service.’

‘Effective and practical advice.’

Key clients

Siam Commercial Bank Public Company Limited

Sumitomo Chemical Company Limited

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.

Marubeni Corporation

JERA Storage Investment B.V., JERA Co., Inc. (JERA) and TEPCO Power Grid

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. (Tokyo Gas)

Mizuho Marubeni Leasing Corporation

Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company Limited (MUL)

Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advising Siam Commercial Bank on its US$100 million Series E investment in Akulaku, Southeast  Asia’s leading digital consumer finance platform.
  • Advising Tokyo Gas on establishing a 50/50 joint venture in Denmark with energy company EWII to focus on onshore wind projects in the Nordic region.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is a well-established name in the Japanese market, with a list of major clients including Misubishi Chemical Holdings, Citigroup and Nippon Steel. The department is led by private equity and joint ventures specialist Kaye Yoshino and Tong Yu, who has expertise in capital markets transactions, cross-border mergers and acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Tong Yu; Kaye Yoshino

Key clients

Apollo Global Management

Yokohama Rubber Co.

Citigroup Inc.

SoftBank Venture Fund

Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance


Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group

Sumitomo Corporation

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation

Yokohama Rubber Co.

Nippon Steel

Work highlights

  • Advised funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. in their acquisition of the aluminum can and aluminum rolling businesses from Showa Denko K.K.
  • Advised funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. in their announced acquisition of the thermal and emission control materials business from Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation and Mitsubishi Chemical High-Technica.
  • Advised Showa Aluminum Can Corporation, in its acquisition of the aluminum rolled and extruded products business of Mitsubishi Aluminum Co., Ltd. and of all shares of aluminum beverage can manufacturer Universal Can Corporation.