Investment funds: Independent local firms in Japan

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune‘s team engages in the full spectrum of work involving investment funds in Japan, with 'real depth backing up a broad and very experienced partner bench'. Harume Nakano leads the team alongside Kunihiko Morishita, which is praised as a ‘market-leading department in Japan‘ and described by one client as 'always the first choice’. ‘Responsive‘ practitioner Koichi Miyamoto is a key name to note in the team, especially in relation to financial regulatory issues, as is Akihito Miyake, who is ‘extremely clever and can draw upon his broad knowledge base to find commercial solutions to difficult complex problems’. 

Practice head(s):

Harume Nakano; Kunihiko Morishita

Other key lawyers:

Akihito Miyake; Osamu Adachi; Masayuki Hashimoto; Koichi Miyamoto; Naoyuki Kabata


‘Market leading department in Japan. We count on them for sound, comprehensive advice.’

‘There is no other Japan firm we go to for Japan matters – they are always the first choice! They are experienced in commercial matters and funds regulatory.’

‘Koichi Miyamoto is responsive and understands the relevant laws.’

‘Naoyuki Kabata has proven to be a responsive, reliable and diligent adviser for many years.’

‘Clearly standout as the top firm in Japan.’

‘Koichi Miyamoto is practical and answers the questions he is asked.’

‘We work with them on investment fund related matters. They are excellent. They have real depth backing up a broad and very experienced partner bench.’

‘Kunihiko Morishita is extremely knowledgeable, cool-headed, and solution focused. His depth of experience is of immense value to any transaction. Osamu Adachi is responsive, and a pleasure to work with. He communicates clearly and efficiently. Akihito Miyake is extremely clever and can draw upon his broad knowledge base to find commercial solutions to difficult complex problems.’

Key clients

Credit Suisse

DBJ Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Janus Henderson


Global Funds Management S.A.

Nikko Asset Management


Nomura Alternative Investment Management

Nippon Investment Company

Capula Investment Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Credit Suisse Management (Cayman) Limited on conducting initial public offerings of three new foreign investment funds in Japan.
  • Advised Barclays Funds and Advisory Japan Limited and Barclays Capital Japan Limited on conducting an initial public offering and acted as a registration agent for a new foreign investment fund.
  • Advised DEEPCORE Inc. and STATION Ai Corporation on jointly launching their first venture capital fund, STATION Ai Central Japan I Investment Limited Partnership, which is unique in aiming to build a startup ecosystem in Aichi Prefecture.

Atsumi & Sakai

Akio Kawamura heads up Atsumi & Sakai‘s investment funds team in Tokyo, and is well supported by Yukihito Machida, who leads the firm’s venture practice team. The team is particularly well regarded for its cross-border experience when advising foreign investors promoting funds in the Japanese market, an area in which the group is extremely active across the full life cycle of a fund. The group also advises clients on fund structures and handles offshore funds and the related regulatory filings. Elsewhere in the team, Ryuichi Nozaki is known for her expertise in investment fund management, including asset management and cross-border investment issues.

Practice head(s):

Akio Kawamura

Other key lawyers:

Yukihito Machida; Ryuichi Nozaki

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Yasuzo Takeno and ‘very seasoned lawyer’ Ken Miura head up Mori Hamada & Matsumoto‘s team. Miura ‘has a strong relationship with financial regulators’ and leads many regulatory matters for the team, while Takeno has strong knowledge of investment fund law and is praised as ‘one of the best lawyers in the investment fund and asset management business in Japan’. The group ‘has high quality lawyers advising the highest quality clients’, and has notable expertise assisting a high proportion of new non-Japanese funds looking to invest in Japan. Nobuharu Onishi ‘has become the go-to lawyer in the practice for investment funds’, praised as ‘very commercial, hands-on and technically exceptional’.

Practice head(s):

Yasuzo Takeno; Ken Miura

Other key lawyers:

Nobuharu Onishi; Keita Nakano


The leading and dominant law firm in the arena of publicly offered offshore (non-Japanese) funds in Japan. The firm has great expertise and experience in this arena.’

‘Ken Miura is a very seasoned lawyer. He has a strong relationship with financial regulators.’

‘I think that the team is very useful for investment funds. Each member of the team has a deep knowledge and understanding of the investment fund business. They understand our intentions of the solutions for the problems and give us prompt replies and good advice.’

‘Yasuzo Takeno is one of the best lawyers in the field of investment fund and asset management in Japan. Takeno has a profound and practical knowledge of the investment fund business in Japan and foreign countries. In addition, he has a deep knowledge and understanding of the investment fund business in Cayman Islands and Luxembourg. I think that one of his strengths is his ability to understand the clients’ business well.’

‘Nobuharu Onishi knows our business very well and he always brings solutions to our customers.’

‘They have high quality lawyers advising the highest quality clients. They are one of the go-to firms for investment funds. They lead the market in terms of technical advice and innovative products.’

‘Nobuharu Onishi has become the go-to lawyer in the practice for investment funds. Very commercial, hands-on and technically exceptional. Yasuzo Takeno and Ken Miura are the legal statesmen of the Japanese investment funds industry. Keita Nakano is one to watch.’

Nishimura & Asahi

Nishimura & Asahi focuses on domestic funds with overseas investments but has the capacity to assist clients with a range of investment fund matters. Makoto Igarashi and Kei Ito are the pair leading the team; Igarashi has a long history of representing investment managers in connection with fundraising and investment issues. As well as displaying a knowledge of a range of investment funds including investment trusts, the team also assists with traditional asset management activities. Tsuyoshi Ito, Yoshiharu Kawamata and Kohei Ishida are key names in the group; Kawamata is frequently called upon for matters relating to private equity issues, mezzanine financings and infrastructure funds, and Ishida has a strong track record advising on investment fundraising.

Practice head(s):

Makoto Igarashi; Kei Ito

Other key lawyers:

Tsuyoshi Ito; Yoshiharu Kawamata; Kohei Ishida

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

Mitsui & Co., Reality Management Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited

Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.

Nippon Express Holdings

Star Mica Holdings Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised the general partner of MCP Partners group firms’ establishment of three different types of funds; MCP Capital’s PE fund VI, MCP Mezzanine’s Mezzanine Fund V and MCP Familia’s PE fund.
  • Acted for Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited as Japanese counsel in its new business alliance with Energy Capital Partners, a US private equity infrastructure manager.
  • Advised Mitsui & Co. on the Reality Management Ltd. establishment of MBRM Fund, a real estate fund, as part of a joint venture between Mitsui & Co., Ltd., a major Japanese trading house, and Japan Post Insurance Co., Ltd., a member of the Japan Post Group.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu's practice, which is headed up by Hidetaka Mihara, is well known in Japan for being involved in matters related to private real estate funds including private REITS, and during 2022 and 2023, the firm also saw notable growth in its private equity fund and other alternative investment fund formation practices. Other key lawyers include cross-border fund expert Keiko Shimizu and Kensuke Suzuki, both of whom work on a range of fund formation and regulatory matters. The group also represents a number of J-REITs, and Takashi Itokawa is a go-to practitioner for matters in this space.

Practice head(s):

Hidetaka Mihara

Other key lawyers:

Keiko Shimizu; Kensuke Suzuki; Takashi Itokawa


‘Compared to other teams, they have deeper experience in working with J-REITs and are superior in terms of flexibility and the period of time it takes to resolve issues.’

Key clients

Integral Corporation

T Capital Partners

Z Energy Co. Ltd.

Invesco Group


Activia Properties Inc.

Mitsui Fudosan Logistics Park Inc.

MCo Corporation

SevenSeas Advisors Co., Ltd.

Nippon BuildingFund Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd on the establishment of a new fund management subsidiary (Ryobi Algo Tech Capital), and the formation of the client’s first corporate venture capital fund (Ryobi Systems Innovation Fund) managed by the new subsidiary.
  • Advised an issuer on its global offering of GLP J-REIT investment units for international and domestic investors through an international accelerated book building.
  • Advised JBIC IG Partners on the Japanese legal and regulatory aspects of the formation of ff Red & White, an investment fund the client jointly manages with its joint venture partner, ff Venture Capital.

TMI Associates

TMI Associates in Tokyo fields practitioners who ‘are able to understand the potential legal issues very well‘, and the group continues to increase the diversity of its fund practice, which advises on a broad range of funds including buyout funds, distressed funds and corporate reconstruction funds. Practice head Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi is instrumental in the group’s work related to structured finance and securitisation issues, while Sadao Maeda is ‘a very experienced legal adviser in terms of fund establishment’ and is described as ‘understanding the speciality of a fund’. Key clients instructing the group include asset management companies such as DBJ Asset Management, as well as fund managers established domestically and internationally. Kiyomi Kikuchi is extremely active in the team, and Takuma Taki is a key contact for listed infrastructure funds.

Practice head(s):

Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi

Other key lawyers:

Sadao Maeda; Kiyomi Kikuchi; Takuma Taki


‘The lawyers at TMI associates have a variety of skills. They respond to requests very quickly. They can communicate very well with us. We were able to understand the potential legal issues very well.’

‘Sadao Maeda is a very experienced legal adviser in terms of fund establishment. He understands the speciality of our fund and has given us very appropriate advice.’

Key clients

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Asset Management

DBJ Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Nissay Asset Management Corporation

Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan (GPIF)

DNX Ventures

Inclusion Japan, Inc.

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners

As well as offering clients a full service in relation to investment funds, Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners‘ practice group also acts in a multidisciplinary fashion and is able to assist clients with transactional mandates and contentious issues. Takuyuki Sakurai is a standout practitioner in the team, with experience across fund management, venture capital, and structured finance work, as well as offshore investment funds. Among its client base are prominent venture capital funds and alternative investment management companies.

Other key lawyers:

Takuyuki Sakurai

Key clients

The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners Co., Ltd.


Bee Alternatives Limited

So & Sato Law Offices

So & Sato Law Offices' funds team is ‘distinctive in its expertise in venture capital finance‘ and is able to offer advice to funds throughout the life cycle of a project. The group is instructed by a range of clients, in particular domestic venture capitalists, which the group assists with fundraisings and investments, both in Japan and internationally. Practice head Yuki Sato ‘has good knowledge and experience of the investment business‘ and is noted for her technological knowledge, while counsel Chiho Saito is particularly active in matters related to real estate investment funds.

Practice head(s):

Yuki Sato

Other key lawyers:

Chiho Saito


‘The firm’s team is distinctive in its expertise in venture capital finance, with additional activity in impact investing.’

‘This firm has two different strengths. One is the technological knowledge of Yuki Sato, the other is its investment management business knowledge. Both lawyers are unique and creative in each field.’

‘Yuki Sato has good knowledge and experience of the investment business. We rely on her a lot, especially setting up a new fund or building a creative structure. She delivered very quick and solid advice to us.’

Key clients

Academia Industry Alliance Capital

All Kochi Allaince Capital

Asahi Media Lab Ventures, Inc.

Dawn Capital No.1 Investment Limited Partnership

Emoote Pte. Ltd.

Fujiwara Capital Advisors Pte. Ltd.

GLIN Impact Capital Investment Limited Partnership

Idaten Ventures

Miyabi Ventures Co., Ltd.

MUFG Innovation Partners

Shochiku Ventures Fund

Social Innovation and Investment Foundation

Startup Debt Fund I Investment Limited Partnership


Toparz Regional Partners

UIG Asset Management Co.,Ltd.



LCN Partners