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 well-regarded and full-service corporate M&A team is jointly headed by Nick Wall and the ‘very talentedTokutaka Ito. The practice regularly assists corporate clients on cross-border issues such as public and private M&A, privatisations, corporate restructurings, disposals and divestments, and other regulatory advice. The team has recently seen an increase in deal work from the US to Japan, with work including advice to Hitachi High-Tech Corporation regarding the its investment into Invivoscribe. Sector experience for the practice spans the TMT, life sciences, healthcare, consumer goods, automotive, and renewables industries, among others. The team, which also includes the notable Taro Nakashima, is fluent in both English and Japanese.

Practice head(s):

Nick Wall; Tokutaka Ito

Other key lawyers:

Taro Nakashima


‘Global firm with experience in many kinds of M&A.’

‘Tokutaka Ito is very capable in handling the project, not only on the legal aspects, but with deep understanding of the financial and commercial aspects. A very talented lawyer who had the talent to turn around the negotiation and move things forward. The deal would not have gone through without him.’

‘Nick Wall – He is excellent at understanding our side’s needs, end goals, and developing strategies and tactics for our negotiating partners. In addition, his ability to negotiate with the other side is even better.’

Key clients

NEC Corporation

FUJIFILM Business Innovation Corp

Exponent Private Equity LLP

Kansai Electric Power Company

Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures Company Limited

Dai-Ichi Life Holdings

JERA Co., Inc.

Hitachi High-Tech

Norinchukin Bank


Shionogi Pharmaceutical

Work highlights

  • Advised NEC Corporation on the asset sale of its Wireless Transport Business to Aviat Networks, a leading company of wireless transport and access solutions based in the US.
  • Advised the Kansai Electric Power Company Incorporated on its joint venture with CyrusOne to develop hyperscale data centres in Japan.
  • Advised JERA on its acquisition of a 35.1% minority interest in Gia Lia Electricity Joint Stock Company, a renewable energy platform listed on the Ho Chi Min stock exchange in Vietnam.

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)‘s practice is commended by clients for its ‘high-quality service‘, and offers particular expertise in complex cross-border transactions. The team is able to call on international experience by virtue of its global network, with recent work showing collaboration between the firm’s offices in Tokyo, London, Singapore, and San Francisco. The ‘excellentJiro Toyokawa leads the practice, and is especially adept at handling large outbound M&A for Japanese financial institutions. Akifusa Takada is experienced in domestic transactions, while the ‘outstandingKiyoshi Endo and Yutaka Kimura focus on cross-border M&A transactions, and Tetsuo Tsujimoto is a name to note for public takeovers. Other key team members include Masahiro Inaba, Safari Watanabe, and Byron Frost. Hiroshi Kondo retired in July 2022.

Practice head(s):

Jiro Toyokawa

Other key lawyers:

Akifusa Takada; Kiyoshi Endo; Yutaka Kimura; Tetsuo Tsujimoto; Masahiro Inaba; Safari Watanabe; Byron Frost


‘The team provides high-quality service for a wide range of very complex M&A issues in USA and Canada, as well as being dedicated and hard working.’

‘Jiro Toyokawa and the team not only have fully fledged legal knowledge and expertise, but they also fully understand the commercial and business aspects. Their advice on the transaction was always quick and based on good understanding of our industry.’

‘Their global team and its wide range of experiences including both legal and tax knowledge helped us a lot.’

Key clients

AGC, Inc.

Benesse Holdings, Inc.

Dai-ichi Life

Ebara Corporation

House Foods Group Inc.

Meiji Yasuda Life

NH Foods Limited

Okada Manila International Inc.

OriCiro Genomics K.K.

Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Co.

Universal Entertainment Corporation

VM2 Holdings, Co.

Work highlights

  • Advised House Foods Group Inc. on the acquisition of a US-based tofu and plant-based food manufacturing company involving due diligence, negotiation of unit purchase agreement and obtaining a RW insurance in the US.
  • Advised Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited (SMFL) on its acquisition of a 35% stake in LCI Investments Limited (LCI), the world’s second-largest helicopter leasing company owned by Libra Group.
  • Advised Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc. on the NZ$1bn acquisition of Partners Group Holdings Limited, a life insurance holding company in New Zealand.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

The corporate department at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is lauded by clients for its ‘timely assistance‘ and ‘very reliable‘ team, which is jointly headed by Ken Lebrun, Jon Gray and counsel Christopher Kodama. The practice has a strong overlap with capital markets work, with individuals such as associate Paul Jun frequently advising clients on both M&A issues and capital markets transactions. Lebrun is proficient in public and private cross-border mergers and acquisitions, while Gray’s expertise lies in public US mergers. Further matters the practice offers advice on include joint ventures, global equity offerings, IPOs, Japanese REIT global offerings, sponsor-related exits, and regulatory issues. Other key names to note within the practice include ‘experienced and knowledgeable‘ associates Paul Lee and Chihiro Sasaki.

Practice head(s):

Ken Lebrun; Jon Gray; Christopher Kodama

Other key lawyers:

Paul Lee; Chihiro Sasaki; Paul Jun


‘Davis Polk & Wardwell is the best US law firm in Japan in relation to M&A financial advisory services.’

‘DPW provided us with timely assistance in preparing our valuation books and opinion even in the case of a deal under very tight schedule. In addition, they are always supportive and willing to respond to our general inquiries even not related to a particular transaction for which we retained them.’

‘Ken Lebrun is always client focused, responsive, and reliable. He is a true trusted adviser and one of the best M&A lawyers in Japan.’

Key clients

Japan Industrial Partners, Inc.

Shiseido Company, Limited

Relo Group, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Shiseido on the transfer of a 80% stake in its professional business, including the Sublimic (hair care) and Primience (hair colour) salon brands, to Henkel.
  • Advised KOITO MANUFACTURING CO. in connection with its $100m strategic investment in newly issued convertible preferred stock of Cepton, Inc., a Nasdaq listed company.
  • Advised Japan Industrial Partners, Inc. on North and South American aspects, including advice concerning US securities law and regulatory approvals, of the acquisition of Toshiba Corporation.

Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo

The ‘commercially oriented‘ practice at Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo offers clients a one-stop shop for all corporate and M&A matters, ranging from advice on cross-border investments to multi-jurisdictional transactions and company restructurings. The team is jointly led by Jacky Scanlan-Dyas, who is described as an ‘outstanding business adviser‘, and Wataru Kamoto, who clients commend for his ability to ‘explain Japanese practice in US terms‘. The team has particular knowledge of diversified industrials, which includes the TMT, energy, automotive, infrastructure, and insurance sectors. Viet Nguyen, who was promoted to counsel in January 2023, is the key contact for restructurings and insolvency cases. Associate Raymond Dunne is also a recommended name within the practice, complimented by clients as ‘extremely responsive‘.

Practice head(s):

Jacky Scanlan-Dyas; Wataru Kamoto

Other key lawyers:

Viet Nguyen; Raymond Dunne


‘Jacky Scanlan-Dyas is an outstanding business adviser to us as a western client navigating entry into Japan. She adds value, intervening where appropriate and extending us her network also. Her lead associate Raymond Dunne is extremely responsive and very good at executing work.’

‘We used the Tokyo office and they were very easy to connect with and deal with on potential business in Japan.’

‘Jacky Scanlan-Dyas and her team were very good to deal with. They were commercially focused and helpful on Japanese custom as well as law.’

‘Wataru Kamato understands how western lawyers think and can often explain Japanese practice in US terms.’

Key clients

Soijtz Corporation


Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Sojitz Corporation on multiple separate transactions including its purchase from Helios Investment Partners of a 25% interest in the holding company of Axxela Limited and its joint venture with Braskem America Inc. to manufacture environmentally friendly PET.
  • Advised a US headquartered, Global Clinical Laboratory Services Company on its multi-billion dollar global restructuring.
  • Advised a Japanese headquartered, global consumer products and chemical company on its investment in a US-based collaborative venture.

Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster‘s market-leading mergers and acquisitions group in Tokyo is headed by Ken Siegel, who is an expert in representing technology companies in matters such as acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances. The team of more than 50 gaiben and bengoshi also includes the ‘highly experiencedJeremy White, international joint venture specialist Randy Laxer, life sciences and TMT specialist Gary Smith, Stanley Yukevich, and ‘very reliable‘ senior associate Ganesh Vaheisvaran. Other work the practice covers includes advice on shareholder activism situations, tax-free spinoffs, prospective buy–out deals, minority investments, and financing for venture capital investments. Stephen DeCosse rejoined the firm in October 2023.

Practice head(s):

Ken Siegel

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy White; Randy Laxer; Stanley Yukevich; Gary Smith; Stephen DeCosse; Ganesh Vaheisvaran


‘Solid array of lawyers with both US and UK qualifications. Also a range of skills across venture capital, private equity, and more specialized sector groups.’

‘Jeremy White – highly experienced. Deals with issues in a calm and balanced manner. Inspires confidence.’

‘Ganesh Vaheisvaran is a very reliable and hard working senior associate who undertakes his work diligently and efficiently.’

‘Morrison Foerster’s Tokyo Office M&A practice has not only the high quality of professional skills but also very good people and the proper flexibility in their response to matters.’

‘Among many attributes, what made them really unique was their ability to listen carefully to our situations and needs, to understand what we would like to accomplish.’

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp.

TDK Corporation

Fujitsu Limited

Renesas Electronics Corporation

Tencent Holdings Limited

NTT Communications



L Catterton

Palantir Technologies Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented TDK Corporation and Hong Kong subsidiary Amperex Technologies Limited in a business alliance with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited, a publicly traded company in China.
  • Represented Zeon Corporation, a leading Japanese manufacturer of advanced chemicals and materials, in its acquisition of Aurora Microplates, a US maker of microplates for drug research applications.
  • Advised Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, in its acquisition of Steradian Semiconductors Private Limited, a fabless semiconductor company based in Bengaluru, India, that provides 4D imaging radar solutions, in an all-cash transaction.

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

The corporate M&A team at White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) regularly advises on complex cross-border transactions, with recent work including advising Mitsubishi Electric Corporation on its acquisition of a Swedish-based company. Brian Strawn, who specialises in the industrial sector, jointly leads the practice alongside Jun Usami, whose experience spans the healthcare, automotive, TMT, retail, and finance industries. The team also works closely with the firm’s anti-trust, intellectual property and trade practitioners for a broader industry coverage. Nels Hansen and Shino Asayama are names to note within the team.

Practice head(s):

Brian Strawn; Jun Usami

Other key lawyers:

Nels Hansen; Shino Asayama


‘Very adept at guiding Japanese companies through complex legal issues outside Japan.’

‘Brian Strawn continues to be a very reliable partner who understands the kind of work product and support we need.’

‘Their experience, knowledge, and expertise in the Corporate and M&A field are impeccable.’

‘Super practical and well experienced. Always think about the client and it is fun to work with the team.’

‘Nels Hansen is super smart, and he is a trusted adviser not only for us but also other professionals.’

‘The team understands a Japanese company’s practice and culture very well and are capable of working smoothly and efficiently with Japanese clients.’

Key clients

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

gumi Cryptos Capital Fund II

IHI Corporation


double jump.tokyo Inc.

Woven Planet Holdings

Yamauchi No.10 Family Office

Thirdverse, Co.

allbear, Inc

Atlas Air / Polar Air Cargo

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan

Work highlights

  • Advised Mitsubishi Electric Corporation on its 100% acquisition of Scibreak AB, a Swedish-based company that develops direct current circuit breakers.
  • Advised IHI on its $1.2bn business collaboration arrangement and investment in NuScale Power.
  • Advised gumi on its multiple investments in approximately 30 start-ups across the globe in 2022 alone.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance‘s corporate M&A team is co-led by Natsuko Sugihara and Michihiro Nishi and regularly works with the firm’s network of international lawyers to assist with the full spectrum of corporate matters. Sugihara, who is qualified in England and Wales as well as Japan, is a key name for fund investments and establishments. Nishi has a particular focus on domestic M&A, as well as public company deals, corporate governance work, and disclosure issues. The practice also covers both inbound and outbound transactions, alongside merger filings, due diligence, and M&A transactions connected to matters involving intellectual property, real estate, and employment issues, among others. Associates Shunsuke Nagae and Masafumi Shikakura are recommended for their expertise in joint ventures and renewable energy M&A matters respectively.

Practice head(s):

Natsuko Sugihara; Michihiro Nishi

Other key lawyers:

Shunsuke Nagae; Masafumi Shikakura


‘The team collaboration across the global footprints was 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 skill sets.’

‘Global yet local practice. A combination of knowing what the client needs locally and an access to the latest market practice in the centre of capital markets helped them to provide the best solution to us.’

‘Natsuko Sugihara is a true native speaker with a deep understanding of the client’s strategic and commercial goals behind the transaction.’

Key clients

Mitsui & Co.

Henkel AG & Co.

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Daiwa Energy & Infrastructure Co.

Zodia Custody Limited

ORIX Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Henkel on its acquisition of a professional hair care business from Shiseido.
  • Advised Zodia Custody Limited on its investment in a Japanese joint venture company that will operate a crypto custody business in Japan.
  • Advised Daiwa Energy & Infrastructure Co. in relation to its acquisition of a stake in a company which operates toll roads in Europe.

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho offers clients ‘deep legal acumen‘ in various M&A matters, including equity investment deals, and both domestic and cross-border acquisitions. Masahiko Ishida, co-head of the practice, is described by clients as ‘undoubtedly one of the best in the M&A world‘ while fellow co-head Lance Miller is complimented as ‘a brilliant technical lawyer‘. Industry experience in the team spans the real estate, renewable energy, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors. Peter Armstrong joined the team from Nishimura & Asahi in February 2023.

Practice head(s):

Lance Miller; Masahiko Ishida

Other key lawyers:

Peter Armstrong; Tomoko Muneyuki


‘I believe the strength lies in the firm’s intelligent and clear judgements.’

‘They have a lot of expertise especially in merger and acquisitions, and able to handle tasks with both efficiency and meticulousness.’

‘The DLA Piper team under the leadership of Masahiko Ishida is in a different league. Compared to others, DLA Piper is able to provide a truly seamless service at the highest level.’

‘Masahiko Ishida is undoubtedly one of the best in the M&A world. He is smart and he is one of the best practitioners in the market.’

‘DLA Piper Japan is a beacon of global legal excellence, offering a blend of deep legal acumen and innovative approaches that consistently exceed client expectations.’

‘The team is uniquely positioned to navigate the complexities of cross-border transactions, offering a seamless integration of legal expertise, strategic thinking and an unwavering commitment to client success.’

‘Tomoko Muneyuki is fantastic in all of our engagements.’

‘Lance Miller is one of the best partners I have worked with in my career. He is a brilliant technical lawyer and has a second to none understanding of the Japanese financial regulatory environment but also an ability to clearly explain and help resolve the most complex legal issues. ’

Key clients

Marubeni Corporation

General Electric Company

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Work highlights

  • Advised JBIC’s joint investment with SYNQA in Merchant eSolutions through $90m acquisition of a US SPC, in which the total deal amount was $400m.
  • Advised MS Amlin, a subsidiary of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd., on regulatory issues including insurance approvals and CFIUS approvals, in the acquisition of Transverse Insurance Group.
  • Advised Snowfox Group to be acquired by Zensho Holdings group, a premier food service company in Japan.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Cross-border outbound corporate work is a staple for the corporate department at Herbert Smith Freehills, which is headed up by the ‘highly attentive‘ and ‘extremely reliableGraeme Preston. The team are especially experienced in the TMT, infrastructure, manufacturing, industrials, healthcare and pharmaceuticals sectors, with work including acquisitions, due diligence, advice on joint ventures, and cross-border investments. Joseph Fisher, who regularly advises clients investing into Europe and Southeast Asia, is commended by clients for his ‘excellent commercial awareness‘. Other key names within the practice include Damien Roberts and Andrew Blacoe.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Preston

Other key lawyers:

Joseph Fisher; Damien Roberts; Andrew Blacoe


‘Their quality of work is great and their advice is practical and easy to understand. Their team members are always available, and easy to reach.’

‘I have had the pleasure of working on several deals with HSF Japan. The team is very thorough, extremely prompt and very precise with their legal advice and transaction management skills.’

‘They have great knowledge and experience and resources. They can organize the appropriate team depending on the nature of transactions.’

Key clients

Mitsui & Co.

Tokio Marine Asia Pte.

Marubeni Corporation

SoftBank KK

International Data Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Mitsui & Co. on its agreement with Aker Horizons ASA to acquire a 27.5% equity stake in Aker’s subsidiary Mainstream Renewable Power for €575m.
  • Advised Tokio Marine Asia Pte., the Singapore-based regional headquarters of the Japan insurance giant Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc., on an increased shareholding in its longstanding Indonesian joint venture, PT Asuransi Tokio Marine Indonesia.
  • Advised Marubeni Corporation as a member of the consortium which successfully won its bid for seabed leasing to develop a large floating offshore wind project in Scotland’s largest-ever auction of seabed leases for offshore wind farms.

Jones Day

The department at Jones Day is experienced in assisting clients in a range of corporate matters, such as cross-border transactional matters, joint ventures, business restructurings, M&A deals, buyouts and reorganisations, among other matters. Practice head Chris Ahern leads the team from Sydney and has expertise in the energy and technology sectors, while Benjamin O. Lang is experienced in advising clients in the life sciences sector for both M&A and licensing transactions. Yuichiro Mori is another key contact. Stephen DeCosse departed in October 2023.

Practice head(s):

Chris Ahern

Other key lawyers:

Benjamin O. Lang; Yuichiro Mori


‘Jones Day’s M&A teams can work globally in a united manner.’

‘Steve DeCosse is the key lawyer in Tokyo. He knows what clients need, coordinates with all relevant experts within Jones Day, and he is always responsive to clients.’

‘The team understands client business deeply as well as proposing relevant legal expertise and knowledge around the sector.’

‘Yuichiro Mori, partner, is the contact for us and the one who is responsive and flexible in proposing solutions with understanding our needs. He also has rich and broad experience in many areas.’

‘Their people are well experienced and have deep understanding of their expertise. Although the team was selected from Jones Day’s multiple offices and practical areas, they collaborated well with each other and gave us seamless communications.’

‘They have lots of experience and well understand business industries and internal processes within a company.’

‘Jones Day has many unique lawyers who can give the clients professional and kind legal support based on their experiences.’

‘Benjamin O. Lang can give Japanese clients necessary support based on his M&A experiences as well as his fluent Japanese language skills. He can easily give the clients advice because he has a good sense from both a Japanese and US perspective.’

Key clients

DIC Corporation

ENEOS Corporation


Jensen-Group NV

Macquarie Capital Securities

Marelli Holdings Co.

Marubeni Corporation


Pepper Money Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Marubeni Corporation on its sale of the global grain business of Gavilon Agriculture Investment, Inc. to Viterra Limited following a reorganization of Gavilon’s structure and spinoff of Gavilon’s fertilizer and certain other business operations.
  • Advised PAG on its acquisition of the Japanese subsidiary of First Solar, which includes Japanese solar projects as well as the Japanese O&M and development businesses of First Solar.
  • Advised PAG on its acquisition of a large portfolio of solar power facilities in Japan (with the aggregate output of approximately 250MW) from BlackRock, including advice on related arrangements with the sponsor and project finance lender.


The Tokyo-based corporate M&A team at Linklaters is jointly led by Tracy Whiriskey and Yoshiyuki Asaoka, who joined the team from Nishimura & Asahi in May 2023. Whiriskey’s ‘very well balanced‘ approach is commended by clients, while colleagues Hirofumi Taba and Mamoru Ikeda are described as ‘immensely helpful‘ and an ‘excellent technical lawyer‘, respectively. Alongside the group's work in complex cross-border matters, the team is able to assist clients with joint ventures, strategic investments, and corporate litigation, as well as private equity transactions and both inbound and outbound M&A.

Practice head(s):

Tracy Whiriskey; Yoshiyuki Asaoka

Other key lawyers:

Hirofumi Taba; Mamoru Ikeda


‘Superb client service and a strong grasp of our needs and concerns. Examples of this superb client service include introduction to potential project partners.’

‘Hirofumi Taba has strong all-round knowledge of the energy market from an M&A, project and trading perspective and was immensely helpful in navigating new country entries for international companies.’

‘Mamoru Ikeda is an excellent technical lawyer with high quality knowledge and insight. Superb English-language skills makes doing cross-border work easy.’

Key clients


Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co.

Ajinomoto Co.

Brother Industries

Harmonic Drive Systems

Hitachi, Ltd.

Japan Infrastructure Initiative Company

KYB Corporation

Macquarie’s Green Investment Group

Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co.

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation

Nissin Foods Holdings Co.

Nomura Real Estate Holdings

Nomura Securities Co.

ORIX Corporation

Panasonic Corporation

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

TDK Corporation

Tokio Marine Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised Actis GP LLP on the launch of the $500m Japan-focused renewables platform, Nozomi Energy, which involves complex structuring of investment platforms in Japan using the Japan TK-GK structure and setting up a complex share based management investment program.
  • Advised Actis GP LLP on the acquisition of 100% of the shares in Hergo Japan Energy Corporation, a Japanese renewable energy platform that holds a portfolio of onshore and offshore wind renewable energy projects at various stages, from Infrastructure S.p.A., an Italian renewable energy producer.
  • Advised Resolution Life Group Service on Nippon Life’s equity investment in Resolution Re.

Shearman & Sterling

The Tokyo-based corporate department at Shearman & Sterling is commended for its ‘presence and good networks with Japanese local firms‘, and offers clients assistance in complex cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Karl Pires, who has more than 20 years’ experience, frequently advises Japanese clients on transactions taking place outside Japan and transactions within Japan for multinational clients. Other sectors the team advises on include the energy and renewables, healthcare, automotive, and chemicals industries, with clients ranging from private equity huoses to government institutions and publicly listed companies. Key contacts within the team include Toshiro Mochizuki for matters involving corporate and capital market aspects, and Masahisa Ikeda for cross-border acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Karl Pires

Other key lawyers:

Toshiro Mochizuki; Masahisa Ikeda


‘Sherman has a good Tokyo presence and good networks with Japanese local firms.’

‘Masahisa Ikeda, head of Tokyo office, is a distinguished practitioner. He has extensive knowledge and expertise in the areas of US securities regulations which is often relevant in M&A transactions involving Japanese companies doing business worldwide, and his advice is always practical and very helpful.’

Key clients

Osaka Gas

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha

GC Holdings Co.

The Aomori Bank

The Michinoku Bank

Atlas Holdings LLC

The Aichi Bank

International Chemical Investors Group

Daiwa International Capital Partners

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Celanese Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Atlas Holdings LLC on its acquisition of the US and European subsidiaries of Central Glass Co., a publicly listed Japanese company.
  • Advised The Aichi Bank on US securities law relating to its potential business combination with The Chukyo Bank by way of a joint share transfer and a subsequent merger of the banks under a holding company.
  • Advised Daiwa International Capital Partners through its wholly owned subsidiary Bluto Holdings Limited.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP‘s corporate M&A practice is adept at advising clients on both public and private mergers, as well as acquisitions and joint ventures involving domestic and cross-border elements. The team is jointly led by Mitsuhiro Kamiya and Akira Kumaki, who specialise in cross-border M&A and private equity mandates, respectively. Of counsel Louis Artime is another name to note within the team, having advised clients such as JX Nippon Mining & Metals and Square Enix Holdings.

Practice head(s):

Mitsuhiro Kamiya; Akira Kumaki

Other key lawyers:

Louis Artime


‘The team is very intelligent with experience in foreign direct investments.’

‘Mitsuhiro Kumaki has a great deal of knowledge about CFIUS, and has been very helpful in considering our M&A deal in the United States.’

Key clients

Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Co.

Toshiba Corporation

Renault Group

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Intel Corporation

H.U. Group Holdings Inc.

Square Enix Holdings Co.

Olympus Corporation

JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation

Sanken Electric

Work highlights

  • Advised Renault Group on its agreement with Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. to open a new chapter for their 23-year-old partnership.
  • Advised JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation in its partnership with AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group.
  • Advised Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. in its $300m divestiture of select overseas studios and intellectual property to Sweden-based Embracer Group AB.

EY Law Co.

The corporate practice at EY Law Co., which was established in 2016, is jointly led by Junzaburo Kiuchi and Dan Matsuda and regularly offers clients advice on divestments, structured finance work, acquisitions and liquidations, among other corporate matters. The team is able to utilise the firm’s global network to assist with cross-border transactions, with recent work enlisting assistance from France. Other key team members include Takahiro Tsumagari and Kohei Nakajima, who was promoted to partner in July 2023.

Practice head(s):

Junzaburo Kiuchi; Dan Matsuda

Other key lawyers:

Takahiro Tsumagari; Kohei Nakajima


‘EY is very professional, and yet they are also very friendly. They also have a great service world wide. ’

‘I appreciate the services received from EY LLP. They are very knowledgeable, and give proper support.’

‘Professional, courteous, and offer good support.’

Key clients

Tokyo Boeki Holdings Corporation

Kubota Corporation

Voxx International

Starwood Capital Japan

American Express

Toho Zinc

Chocolate Finance

Work highlights

  • Advised Kubota Corporation on its 100% acquisition of B.C. Technique Agro-Organique SAS, a French agriculture equipment manufacturing company.
  • Advised Tokyo Boeki Holdings Corporation in relation to its potential 100% acquisition of Bansyu Electric Co., Ltd.
  • Retained by several clients to handle Entity Compliance and Governance (ECG) and other commercial matters as part of the general corporate services practice.

Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise

Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise‘s corporate M&A team is headed up by Hong Kong-based Ji Liu, who is also the chair for the firm’s Asia corporate department. Work carried out by the team includes cross-border acquisitions, venture capital financings, strategic alliances, and other inbound and outbound corporate transactions. Notable names within the team include Hiroki Kobayashi, Ivan Smallwood and Hiroaki Takagi. Noah Carr left the firm in November 2023.

Other key lawyers:

Hiroki Kobayashi; Ivan Smallwood; Hiroaki Takagi

Key clients


Kioxia Corporation

Warburg Pincus


Block Inc


Z Holdings


Bain Consulting

Otsuka Medical Devices

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP‘s corporate and business transactions team is especially strong in transactions within the life sciences and technology industries. The practice regularly assists clients with venture capital financings, cross-border acquisitions, joint venture transactions, and strategic alliances. Motonori Araki and San Francisco-based Nancy Yamaguchi jointly lead the practice, with support provided from Mitsuyoshi Saito and associate Nao Sato Terashima.

Practice head(s):

Motonori Araki; Nancy Yamaguchi

Other key lawyers:

Mitsuyoshi Saito; Nao Sato Terashima


‘This firm is excellent in providing advice based on consideration not only from legal and tax matters but also from a wide range of perspectives, taking into consideration the characteristics of the client.’

‘Motonori Araki not only works quickly and courteously, but is also able to accurately visualize potential risks and suggest ways to avoid them.’

‘Their individual abilities are diversified and they collaborate with each other to seek the best solution. Every time, deep and insightful suggestions have been made to us. Such proactive and deep thoughts make them different from competitors.’

Key clients


Asahi Kasei Corporation


Olympus Corporation

Shenzhen Yitoa Intelligent Control Co.

Yitoa Micro Technology Corporation

Sompo Digital Lab and Sompo Holdings, Inc.

Takeda Pharmaceutical

United Microelectronics Corporation

Yokogawa Electric

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s M&A and private equity team specialises in cross-border venture financing transactions, with many start-ups within its client base and a particular focus on the life sciences sector. Hiroki Sugita leads the practice and is commended by clients for his ‘very practical and business-oriented approach‘, and brings expertise in venture capital investments and joint ventures. Other areas the practice assists clients with includes domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, corporate litigation, and asset transfers.

Practice head(s):

Hiroki Sugita


‘Strong ability to bridge Japanese legal issues with international business expectations.’

‘Hiroki Sugita has a very practical and business-oriented approach.’

Key clients



Celesta Capital

LUCA Science Inc.

Kyash Inc.

Liquid, Inc.

Toyota Motor Corporation

Tokyo Boeki Holdings Corporation

UTokyo Innovation Platform

WeWork Japan GK

Zeon Corporation

Happiness Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Baidu on its sale of ceiling light projector business held by its Japanese wholly-owned subsidiary popln, Inc. to XGIMI Technology.
  • Advised Zeon Corporation on the acquisition by its US subsidiary Zeon Specialty Materials Inc. of Edge Embossing, Inc.
  • Assisted LUCA Science Inc. in the development of a novel class of mitochondria biopharmaceutical agents, in its $30.3m Series B financing.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP‘s corporate team is especially strong on cross-border M&A deals, joint ventures and strategic alliances; clients are also assisted with restructurings, real estate transactions, and other corporate and commercial work. The practice is led by Toshiyuki Arai, who also leads the firm’s Japan-China practice and has a particular niche in payments issues. Associate Yuko Kamo’s recent work includes inbound transactions and domestic investments, and is especially recommended for her work in handling business critical issues for international clients.

Practice head(s):

Toshiyuki Arai

Other key lawyers:

Yuko Kamo

Key clients

American Eagles Outfitters

Konica Minolta, Inc.

Kobe Steel

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Club Co.

Squire Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho

Squire Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho‘s corporate department is commended for providing clients with ‘excellent advice‘ and ‘flexibility for making contracts‘. Steven Doi is co-head of the team and has a broad focus on general corporate matters, while fellow co-head Stephen E Chelberg, who is also the Asia Pacific chair of the global corporate practice, focuses on cross-border corporate transactions, corporate restructurings and strategic alliances. Other key team members include Ken Kurosu, Rika Beppu and Mörk Murdock.

Practice head(s):

Steven Doi; Stephen E Chelberg

Other key lawyers:

Ken Kurosu; Rika Beppu; Mörk Murdock


‘Excellent advice for not only legal issues but also business negotiation. Flexibility for making contracts and Japanese and English communication.’


The corporate transactions team at Ashurst is headed up by Hiroyuki Iwamura, who continues to grow the practice after relocating to Tokyo from London in 2022. Alongside advice in M&A transactions, the practice offers clients assistance with commercial disputes, joint ventures, corporate reorganisations, foreign investments and negotiations for shareholder agreements. Melbourne-based Natsuko Ogawa is the key contact for Australia, primarily acting for Japanese clients investing in Australia.

Practice head(s):

Hiroyuki Iwamura

Other key lawyers:

Natsuko Ogawa

Key clients

Toll Holdings Limited

Japan Post Holdings

Mitsubishi Corporation

Mitsui & Co.

Itochu Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Mitsubishi on its proposed exit from the Canberra Metro Light Rail Project, which involves vendor due diligence and the drafting and negotiation of transaction documentation with three buyers of Mitsubishi’s interest in the project.

Mayer Brown GJBJ

Mayer Brown GJBJ‘s corporate and securities department offers clients assistance in joint ventures, outbound M&A transactions, disposals and investments. Gordon Palmquist leads the team and specialises in advising on transactions involving technology and energy transitions. Other key team members include Rupert Burrows for corporate matters involving the energy and chemical sectors, and associate Arnold Itagaki.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Palmquist

Other key lawyers:

Rupert Burrows; Arnold Itagaki


‘As an international firm, their regional office has its own strengths and is familiar with its regional uniqueness.’

‘Rupert Burrows and Gordon Palmquist are familiar with Japanese corporation culture in addition to their professional capability.’

‘They liaise well with relevant team members worldwide and provide one united solution to clients.’

‘They deeply understand client’s business and real objectives and provide real solutions.’

Key clients


Chubu Electric Power Co. Inc.


Mitsubishi Corporation


Mitsubishi Chemical

NTT Corporation

Nihon Unysis


Norton Rose Fulbright

The team at Norton Rose Fulbright advises clients on both inbound and outbound corporate M&A transactions, with a particular emphasis on the energy sector. Sam Inohara heads up the practice and is focused on cross-border M&A and joint ventures, with support provided from associate Andrew Clarke. Akihiko Takamatsu joined the practice from Clifford Chance in February 2023.

Practice head(s):

Sam Inohara

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Clarke; Akihiko Takamatsu

Key clients

Chubu Electric Power Co.

Sumitomo Chemical Company Limited

Mitsui & Co.

Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Co.

Marubeni Corporation

JERA Storage Investment B.V.

Tokyo Gas Co.

Mizuho Marubeni Leasing Corporation

Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company Limited

Sumitomo Chemical Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Chuden on a potential investment in OMC Power Private Limited through a subscription for new shares for 25% of the equity on a post-issuance basis.
  • Advised Shizen Energy, a renewable energy leader in Japan, on the JPY70bn investment by CDPQ in connection with accelerating the energy transition in Japan and key international markets, including development of solar power, wind power, hydroelectric power, and biomass power.
  • Continued to act for JERA Storage Investment B.V., JERA Co. and TEPCO Power Grid as regards to their continued investment in the UK battery storage developer and operator, Zenobe Energy Ltd.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

The team at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is jointly headed up by Tong Yu and Kaye Yoshino and assists clients in industries encompassing the insurance, financial services, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals sectors. The practice offers advice on private equity deals, capital markets transactions, acquisitions, cross-border mergers, and internal investigations.

Practice head(s):

Tong Yu; Kaye Yoshino


‘The M&A team led by Tong Yu has strength in delivery of cross-border transactions involving Japanese businesses or companies. The team has ample understanding of Japanese business culture, as well as the business practice. We always enjoy working with them.’

‘Tong Yu has extensive experience in handling large-sized M&A transactions involving Japanese businesses. He understands the Japanese mentality involved in deal dynamics, as well as the expectations of international clients in product delivery. He is always creative in producing solutions.’

Key clients

SVF Investment Corp. 3

Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.


Work highlights

  • Advised SVF Investment Corp. 3 SPAC on the merger with Symbotic in a $5.5bn transaction.
  • Assisted with the formation of the strategic partnership between Apollo and SuMi TRUST.
  • Advised on Mizuho’s acquisition of Greenhill.

PwC Legal Japan

The team at PwC Legal Japan is headed up by Satoshi Mogi, who specialises in advising clients in the manufacturing, retail and TMT sectors. The practice offers clients advice on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint venture structuring issues, and restructurings. Other names to note within the team include Yasuyuki Iwasaki and Hiroki Yamada for corporate crisis management and corporate governance work, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Satoshi Mogi

Other key lawyers:

Yasuyuki Iwasaki; Hiroki Yamada

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP‘s corporate M&A team is jointly headed by Hong Kong and Tokyo-based Ian Ho, Noritaka Kumamoto and Jonathan Stradling, who was promoted to partner in January 2023. The team, described as ‘trusted partners‘, is particularly active in the private equity space, and acts for notable client KKR. The practice offers clients assistance in corporate matters such as inbound and outbound transactions, acquisitions, joint ventures, and restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Ian Ho; Noritaka Kumamoto; Jonathan Stradling


‘Trusted partners to our firm with a very deep understanding of the PE/RE business. Knowledgeable and commercial.’

Key clients


Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P.

Kokusai Electric


Monex Group

Murata Manufacturing

Sumitomo Life Insurance

Work highlights

  • Advised KKR on its acquisition of Hitachi Transport System, valued at $5.2bn.