Next Generation Partners: Bengoshi

Private wealth: Independent local firms in Japan

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto‘s full service practice has significant tax expertise, supplemented by MHM Tax Advisory Services, which is staffed by lawyers, tax accountants, and certified public accountants. The department is particularly strong in complex cross-border matters and high-value estate planning. Litigation is also a key area, and the team boasts a strong record of handling disputes between taxpayers and Japanese tax authorities. Atsushi Oishi handles tax, estate planning and M&A transactions in connection with wealthy individuals, and has experience of tax investigations and filing appeals against tax authorities. Oishi co-leads the team alongside Makoto Sakai, whose focus is domestic and cross-border private wealth management from both corporate and tax planning perspectives. Hiroshi Oyama is experienced in tax planning and disputes. Associate Yoshihiko Abe is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Atsushi Oishi; Makoto Sakai

Other key lawyers:

Hiroshi Oyama; Yoshihiko Abe


‘The firm possess broad knowledge and provides excellent opinions on taxes and trust businesses in the areas of family governance and wealth management.’

‘Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is outstanding in the market compared to other law firms, and they are always very reliable.’

‘Mr. Oishi is an expert on family governance. Compared to others, his expertise in structuring schemes utilizing taxation, trusts are outstanding. Also, Mr. Oishi has extensive experience in cross-border matters, which enables him to provide valuable opinions that cannot be obtained elsewhere.’

‘The team is comprised of such legal professionals and tax law professionals, recruited from major tax accounting firms so that the team can provide one-stop services for private wealth clients in Japan.’

‘Mr. Atsushi Oishi is a leading partner for this practice. He started his career from corporate finance such as M&A advisory and entered private wealth practice by setting up his team of experts. His leadership is instrumental in providing unified, one-stop services.’

‘The point is MHM can provide us both side at the same time and our client could receive and be satisfied his questions at the same time.’

‘The lawyers and tax accountants of MHM are well experienced experts and provide us practical advice.’

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu has notable strengths in structured finance and trusts, in addition to taxation and general corporate matters. The department attracts a broad range of high-net-worth individuals, including both celebrities and prominent corporate and financial figures. Key team members include Masayuki Fukuda, whose areas of expertise include trust-related transactions and inheritance work, and Yushi Hegawa, who has significant expertise in tax issues, including high-profile litigation and complex transactions with international elements. Yoshikazu Hasegawa, who is based in the Singapore office, also plays a key role, and focuses on advising foreign clients operating within Japan.

Other key lawyers:

Masayuki Fukuda; Yushi Hegawa; Yoshikazu Hasegawa


‘They provide very good service not only in Japan but also abroad. In particular, there is a sense of security that other firms do not have when dealing with cross-border individual tax affairs.’

‘I often deal with Mr. Yoshikazu Hasegawa, because he has a lot of experience of giving cross-border individual tax advice.’

‘Close liaison with and strong control over local law firms in different jurisdictions. Close communication with inhouse tax team in Tokyo which is very famous for outstanding track record and produces one-firm view.’

‘Smooth overall project management and keep trying to understand client’s needs. Also sometimes nicely yet effectively challenges client from potential risk management view points.’

‘The team has an excellent reputation and its capability on the ground in Singapore distinguishes it from the other top Japanese law firms.’

Nishimura & Asahi

Nishimura & Asahi caters to private business owners, founders’ families, major shareholders of listed companies, and other high-net-worth individuals, providing significant support across tax, insolvency and litigation. The department has a broad set of strengths, with areas of expertise including fund formation, establishing trust funds, and family disputes, and has business succession, and tax and estate planning, as key areas of strength. The department is co-led by senior partner Yoshinobu Fujimoto, who handles business succession planning, inheritance issues, and international taxation, and Masaru Shibahara, whose focus is counselling high-net-worth individuals in connection with business successions and disputes. Counsel Kohei Matano is a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Yoshinobu Fujimoto; Masaru Shibahara

Other key lawyers:

Katsuyuki Yamaguchi; Kohei Matano

City-Yuwa Partners

City-Yuwa Partners provides comprehensive wealth management services to a diverse set of high-net-worth individuals, able to offer clients support across corporate, real estate and asset management, as well as legal advice on visa issues and estate planning. The department additionally has litigation expertise, able to achieve resolution through negotiation, mediation, and civil and criminal litigation. Counsel Hitomi Sakai, who is praised for her ‘expertise in international estate law’, co-leads the practice with Shigeaki Itoh. Associate Yuki Takahashi is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Shigeaki Itoh; Hitomi Sakai

Other key lawyers:

Yuki Takahashi


‘The private wealth team not only specializes in Japan inheritance and estate planning, but through their close connection/collaboration with the US/UK lawyers and other major foreign countries, they are in a very unique position in Tokyo to serve the English speaking high-net-worth international family’s needs.’

‘One-stop shop with bilingual capabilities.’

‘I work with Hitomi Sakai sensei exclusively. I value her client service skills along with her bilingual English/Japanese ability and understanding of both US and Japan estate law.’

‘Ms. Hitomi Sakai is earning respect and trust from clients for her timely and quality advices. Her strength is her professional network to support clients as one stop. She also has a great understanding of cultrual diversity that is inherent in global business. She is the author of international estate books and publishing some articles in the leading industrial magazines.’

‘They are highly competent, and are able to serve international clients in English and Japanese, and are responsive to their clients needs.’

‘I have worked with Ms. Hitomi Sakai (counsel) and Ms. Yuki Takahashi (associate). Their expertise in international estate law is unique, and there are only a few lawyers to whom I can refer my clients for resolving any estate matters arising in Japan with confidence.’