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Fintech - International firms and joint ventures in Japan

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)’s FinTech practice draws from the strength of its banking and finance and TMT teams to provide clients with a comprehensive cross-practice offering. The firm advises financial institutions, start-ups and technology incubators across the full spectrum of the FinTech industry – AI, big data, cloud and blockchain technology, and e-commerce. Within these sub-sectors, the team has expertise in IP, contracting risks, product licensing/innovation and market entry. Gavin Raftery heads the team and the firm’s global FinTch initiative; his focus is on the financial services and technology sectors in relation to AI, machine learning, and algorithmic trading. Masato Honma co-leads the Tokyo office’s financial institutions industry group and has extensive experience multi-jurisdictional projects for established corporates and start-ups. Other key individuals include TMT co-leads Kensaku Takase and Yutaka Kimura.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Raftery

Other key lawyers:

Masato Honma; Kensaku Takase; Hiroyuki Kitamura; Shinichi Kobayashi; Ed Whatley; Chris Hodgens


‘They have great depth in the relevant business and legal domains, far beyond other firms in the region.’

Work highlights

    Clifford Chance

    Clifford Chance‘s Tokyo FinTech group sits within the wider firm's global tech group and clients therefore benefit from a global offering. The team advises on many transformational FinTech-related projects, involving blockchain technology, digital assets, and AI and so provides cross-practice transactional, advisory, and regulatory expertise. The team is co-led by banking and finance head Yusuke Abe and regulatory head Eiichi Kanda. Abe regularly advises domestic and international financial institutions in FinTech matters as does Kanda from a regulatory stand point. Also of note within the team are Reiko Sakimura and Leng-Fong Lai who are often involved in FinTech-related capital market products technology development. The team also works closely with industry and governmental bodies, participating in FinTech related working groups. At a non-partner level, key contacts are Chihiro Ashizawa and Hajime Saito.

    Practice head(s):

    Yusuke Abe; Eiichi Kanda

    Other key lawyers:

    Satoshi Nomura; Leng-Fong Lai; Michihiro Nishi; Hans Menski

    Key clients

    Lifenet Insurance Company

    SMBC Nikko


    SBI Securities

    Work highlights

    • Acted for Lifenet Insurance Company, an Internet-based life insurer, on its first equity offering since its IPO, and its debut international offering.
    • Advised the Joint Lead Managers on the issue by CHANGE Inc., a Japanese corporation listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, of new shares of common stock in the RegS international market, as well as an offering of existing shares by shareholders.

    Paul Hastings LLP

    Paul Hastings LLP’s FinTech practice encompasses the full spectrum of technological capabilities to include IP and transactional advice, financial services regulation, cyber-security and product development. The firm also offers regulatory advice in multi-jurisdictional transactions via the firms global network. The team is led by Toshiyuki Arai who is dual qualified in the US and Japan and is well versed in both standard FinTech matters and new innovations such as crypto currency and blockchain technology. Also of note are key Japan associates Yuko Kamo and Olga Belosludova.

    Practice head(s):

    Toshiyuki Arai

    Other key lawyers:

    Yuko Kamo; Olga Belosludova

    Key clients

    JCB Co. Ltd

    Deutsche Bank

    SoftBank Corporation



    Marubeni Corporation


    Aozora Bank

    Shinsei Bank

    Citi Card Japan, Inc

    Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Club Co., Ltd

    Work highlights

    • Represented Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Club Co., Ltd (SMTC) in a series of transactions (no more than 10 in the last year) involving Citi’s global corporate card issuance program in Japan.