Investment funds: Independent local firms in Japan

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

Defined by its capacity to advise on a range of investment fund and asset management work, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune’s expertise covers public distribution and private placement, PE funds, VC funds, infrastructure funds, ETFs and hedge funds. The firm also has a strong track record in dealing with real estate investment funds for listed funds, including J-REITs, as well as cross-border transactions and offshore investment funds. Harume Nakano focuses on advising financial institutions and investment companies in and outside of Japan; she co-leads the team with Kunihiko Morishita, whose fortes are domestic and international banking, securities and asset management.

Other key lawyers:

Akihito Miyake

Testimonials

‘We are reliant on AMT to support us locally in Japan as the work is initiated and delivered out of our London office which lacks instinctive or practical knowledge of the local market. Given the distance between London and Tokyo we are exceptionally well supported with access at all hours of the day, in English, to advice we require. Given our structure, with a modest representation on the ground in Tokyo and no inhouse local legal, the service they provide is fundamental to our business in region and in this context it provides for good value verses resourcing an equivalent support structure internally. ’

‘Kunihiko Morishita, has a highly supportive demeanour and a positive approach to finding solutions that is mirrored by his team, we have yet to have an issue that is without solution. Kunihiko is a proven operator in navigating the inherent complications and challenge of making European domiciled funds available in Japan and importantly, presenting them in a way that is in keeping with local market expectations.’

‘Akihito Miyake is excellent and always goes the extra mile for his clients’.

Key clients

Janus Capital (Janus Henderson)

Nikko Asset Management

Credit Suisse

Global Funds Management S.A.

BlackRock

Nomura Alternative Investment Management

Fidelity

Nippon Investment Company

Capula Investment Management

DBJ Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Bayview Asset Management Co., ltd.

Work highlights

  • Assisted Credit Suisse Management throughout the whole process of establishing, disclosing and offering of them, such as drafting registration statements, prospectus, notifications and reports and filing them with the relevant authorities and preparing necessary documents and materials.
  • Assisted Henderson Management, S.A. in changing the management company, trustee, administrator and other parties of Janus Selection, a fund publicly offered in Japan, without disrupting marketing activities. Drew up a detailed schedule to satisfy client’s requests and negotiated with the regulator.
  • Advised Nippon Investment Company in establishing several parallel funds as well as its general partners in Cayman Islands at the same time.

Atsumi & Sakai

Specialising in advising foreign investors, Atsumi & Sakai is top of the market in assisting offshore funds in their engagements with Japanese target companies. The firm combines this expertise with strengths in litigation, regulation and governance matters. Other work includes advising on J-REITS, silent partnerships, joint ventures, private equity and venture capital. Akio Kawamura focuses on regulatory counselling for financial institutions and fund managers, cross border investments in Japanese companies and capital markets, as well as investigations and enforcement issues. He co-leads the team with fund structure, investment and formation expert Eiichiro Hata  and Ryuichi Nozaki, whose expertise includes asset management, cross-border investments, banking and structured finance.

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is known for advising on public offerings and private placements of investment funds in Japanese and non-Japanese jurisdictions such as Cayman Islands, Ireland and Luxembourg. The firm specialises in assisting new non-Japanese funds that are publicly offered in Japan, including the provision of after care services. The firm was also selected to assist the Japan Securities Dealers Association and the Financial services Agency of Japan in reviewing the rules concerning foreign securities transactions. Investment fund and asset management specialists Yasuzo Takeno and Ken Miura lead the team and can call on the expertise of Nobuharu Onishi, who advises an international client base, with a particular focus on the US, EU, Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands.

Practice head(s):

Yasuzo Takeno; Ken Miura

Other key lawyers:

Nobuharu Onishi

Testimonials

‘The team knows its subjects in and out and is always available for questions’

‘I have had the privilege to work with Yasuzo Takeno, Ken Miura and Nobuharu Onishi. They are very knowledgeable on registration of foreign funds in Japan.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a client on offering their own investment trust to the Japanese market, which was the first time for the client to do so.
  • Advised the client on establishing new mutual funds in the Cayman Islands and conduct a public offering of such new funds in Japan.
  • Advised the client on the launch of a fund adopting a fund of fund structure and its invested funds utilizing CTA strategies, macro strategies or volatility strategies.

Nishimura & Asahi

Advising across the spectrum of investment fund issues, from documentation and compliance to product design and planning, Nishimura & Asahi provides comprehensive experience in the area. The firm handles traditional asset management activities, including investment trusts and investment advisors, as well as advising on the structuring, documentation and formation of alternative investments, notably private equity funds, infrastructure funds, venture capital investment funds, private-placement real estate funds and offshore funds. In addition to these seriveces, the practice can draw from the firm’s strengths in M&A and fundraising to assist with the investment and exit stage after fund formation. Makoto Igarashi representing investment managers in fundraising and investment; he co-leads the team with Kei Ito, whose expertise includes investment trusts, ETFs and alternative investments for institutional investors. Another key name is Yoshiharu Kawamata, who covers domestic and international investment fund matters.

Practice head(s):

Makoto Igarashi; Kei Ito

Other key lawyers:

Yoshiharu Kawamata

Key clients

Nomura Holdings, Inc.

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Mizuho Capital Partners Co., Ltd.

Longreach Group

Aspirant Group Inc.

Nomura Mezzanine Partners Co., Ltd.

Government Pension Investment Fund, Japan

Pattern Energy Group

Toyota Motor Corporation

Toshiba Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising Nomura Holdings, Inc. on the establishment of a Japan-China industrial cooperation fund.
  • Advised Pattern Energy Group and its affiliate, Green Power Investment Corporation, on the establishment of Green Power Renewable No. 1 Investment LP, the largest fund in Japan focused on wind and solar energy investment.
  • Advised Nomura Holdings, Inc. and Nomura Mezzanine Partners Co., Ltd. on the establishment of both a new mezzanine fund manager, N-MEZ, and a Japanese partnership-type mezzanine fund, N-MEZ Investment Business Limited Partnership 1.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Known for its strength in the real estate funds area, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu also provides experience in the energy field, as well as private equity and alternative investment. Cross-border work is a forte for the practice that assists Japanese and global funds in a range of matters, including advising offshore fund sponsors in the formation of funds suitable for Japanese investors. Hidetaka Mihara leads the team that includes Keiko Shimizu , who represents traditional investment managers, private equity and other alternative investment fund managers in a range of matters; and Kensuke Suzuki , who focuses on fund formation and regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Hidetaka Mihara

Other key lawyers:

Keiko Shimizu ; Kensuke Suzuki

Testimonials

‘Nagashima Ohno Tsunematsu has long been our fund counsel. NOT is the first firm that established a team focusing on fund practice and they accumulated more advanced knowledge and skills as well as network of US or English firms.’

‘Keiko Shimizu is the partner we work with. We believe she is the best lawyer specialized in fund practice in terms of knowledge, drafting skill, network with other firms including oversea firms. Their billing charge is very reasonable as well.’

TMI Associates

TMI Associates provides advice on domestic funding and investments to managers of funds established in Japan and abroad, including venture capital funds, buyout funds, distressed funds, corporate reconstruction funds, real estate funds and contents funds. An area of increasing activity is funds for investment in alternative energy sources and funds for infrastructure investment. Another service the practice offers is advice to clients engaged in venture capital funds investing in the IT and bio-related fields, drawing from the firm’s patent attorneys and technology field experts. Banking and capital markets expert Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi leads the team of diverse expertise, notable names being Kiyomi Kikuchi and Takuma Taki.

Practice head(s):

Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi

Other key lawyers:

Kiyomi Kikuchi; Takuma Taki

Key clients

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Asset Management

DBJ Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Nissay Asset Management Corporation

Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan (GPIF)

Work highlights

  • Advised one of the largest banks in Japan regarding its investments in thirteen different funds.
  • Advised the Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan on the launch of and investment of their assets in their first ever global real estate fund of funds.
  • Advised One Capital Investment I Limited Partnership and One Capital Investment DX I Limited Partnership regarding a formation of cross-border VC fund with a unique dual fund structure.

So & Sato Law Offices DUPLICATE

Advising international and domestic clients, boutique So & Sato Law Offices  specialises in funds, crypto and fintech. TMT is a core practice for the firm, particular fortes being advice to IT and tech industry clients, but the practice also assists real estate investment funds in a range of matters. Yuki Sato leads the team and advises across the full life cycle of funds, from structuring and formation of PE, venture capital, mezzanine, and hedge funds to investments in target companies and exits.

Practice head(s):

Yuki Sato

Key clients

Academia Industry Alliance Capital

Akatsuki Inc.

Asahi Media Labo Ventures

Fujiwara Capital Advisors Pte. Ltd.

GLIN Impact Capital LLP

Idaten Ventures

Miyabi Ventures

Social Innovation and Investment Foundation

UIG Asset Management Co., Ltd.