Fintech - International firms and joint ventures in Japan

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

As part of the firm’s cross-department global fintech initiative, the fintech working group at Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) covers the full spectrum of fintech-related work, including regulatory compliance, tax, data utilisation, capital investment, M&A and employment matters. Drawing from its collaboration with other departments within the firm, including tech, banking and finance and telecom, the practice frequently advises financial institutions, incubators and startups operating in a number subsectors such as AI, blockchain, e-payments and dig data. With a proven track record in financial services regulation, the team is noted for its experience handling licensing matters, anti-money laundering compliance and outsourcing issues. Leading the team is Gavin Raftery, who alongside Masato Honma focuses on financial regulations. Other key names are telecom co-leads Kensaku Takase and Yutaka Kimura; Daisuke Tatsuno, who handles IP and IT matters; and M&A specialist Chris Hodgens.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Raftery

Other key lawyers:

Masato Honma; Kensaku Takase; Yutaka Kimura; Daisuke Tatsuno; Chris Hodgens

Clifford Chance

With a longstanding presence in the fintech sector, Clifford Chance is geared to assist both well-established and emerging fintech companies with contentious, transactional and advisory work. On the regulatory side, the group benefits from its close relationship with regulators, which makes it well placed to advise on compliance matters, recently advising fintech ventures on the ongoing amendments to crypto regulations in Japan, including newly established ICO regulations, for example. Drawing from its cross-practice expertise and the firm’s global reach, the practice handles M&A, data privacy, financial regulations, IP, capital markets products and litigation. The group’s leadership is split between banking and finance practitioner Yusuke Abe and Eiichi Kanda, who focuses on financial regulations. Also recommended are capital markets specialists Reiko Sakimura and Leng-Fong Lai and Natsuko Sugihara, who handles private M&A, private equity and cross-border transactions. At the counsel level, Chihiro Ashizawa and Hajime Saito are key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Yusuke Abe; Eiichi Kanda

Other key lawyers:

Reiko Sakimura; Leng-Long Lai; Natsuko Sugihara; Chihiro Ashizawa; Hajime Saito

Key clients

Adventure, Inc

Mizuho Securities Asia Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Adventure, Inc, a leading online travel agency, on its first international offering of securities, comprising of an offering of 747,600 shares under Regulation S.
  • Advised Fintech ventures on the ongoing amendments to crypto regulations in Japan, including newly established ICO regulations.

Greenberg Traurig Tokyo Law Offices

The fintech group at Greenberg Traurig Tokyo Law Offices sits within the firm's banking and finance practice and is particularly known for its contribution in the enactment of the Fund Settlement Act in Japan. Koichiro Ohashi heads up the team and is noted for his wealth of experience in advising e-payment service providers on money remittance matters and financial regulatory compliance matters. Ohashi works alongside M&A practitioner Makoto Koinuma, who handles licensing matters, fund formation and joint ventures, and associate Mari Arakawa, whose practice focuses on financial regulations and general corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Koichiro Ohashi

Other key lawyers:

Makoto Koinuma; Mari Arakawa


‘Very well organised, excellent English, very friendly attitude and high effectiveness in solving problems.’

‘We work with Koichiro Ohashi on HST registration with the Financial Services Agency and his expertise and the way how he deals with tasks makes him really helpful. We really appreciate his expertise in many areas of financial markets and if we need legal advice in other matters we would chose him again.’

Paul Hastings LLP

Drawing from its strength in banking and finance, IP and corporate, the Tokyo-based fintech team at Paul Hastings LLP attracts a roster of domestic and international clients. The practice offers advice on the whole gamut of fintech work, including IP, data protection and cybersecurity, M&A, financial regulations and licensing, often collaborating with the firm’s global network to handle cross-border transactions. With extensive experience in advising on financial services regulations, Toshiyuki Arai, who is qualified in both California and Japan, heads up the practice and is especially sought after by payments and tech companies, private equity funds and financial institutions. Arai is supported by associates Olga Belosludova and Yuko Kamo.

Practice head(s):

Toshiyuki Arai

Other key lawyers:

Olga Belosludova; Yuko Kamo.

Key clients

Deutsche Bank



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 in a series of transactions involving Citi’s global corporate card issuance program in Japan.