Leading Individuals: Gaiben

Next Generation Partners: Gaiben

Rising Stars: Bengoshi

Projects and energy: Independent local firms in Japan

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune advises domestic and international clients on high value projects both within Japan and overseas. The department has particular expertise in the energy and resources sector, and provides comprehensive support for the structuring and implementation of projects. Takashi Akahane leads the team, and is respected for his expertise in project finance and private finance initiatives, with a record of advising Japanese ministries, municipalities, and multinationals. Reiji Takahashi focuses on renewable energy projects, independent power plants, and resource development, while the England and Wales qualified Teruma Naito leads on outbound project finance, and handles power, water, oil and gas. Kunihiro Yokoi, whose practice includes power, renewable energy, transportation, and real estate matters, is also key.

Practice head(s):

Takashi Akahane

Other key lawyers:

Reiji Takahashi; Kunihiro Yokoi; Teruma Naito


‘The level of service has been satisfactory in every respect.’

‘We are satisfied with their expertise and their prompt and accurate response to the risk of frequent regulatory changes.’

‘They have also been very attentive to our communication needs, and we have been able to receive their advice with confidence.’

‘Partner, Reiji Takhashi is excellent.’

‘They have a lot of achievements and knowledge in this field in Japan.’

Key clients

Hokuriku Electric Power Company

Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd

Barclays Securities Japan Ltd.

Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd.

Tokyo International Air Terminal Corporation

Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Mizuho Bank, Ltd

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Electric Power Development Co., Ltd.

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.

Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Ltd.

Japan Renewable Energy Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Hokuriku Electric Power Company on the joint development of the 2400MW Fujairah F3 gas combined cycle power project with the government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
  • Advised Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd, on obtaining majority stakes in project companies constructing and developing biomass power plants in Hokkaido, Japan.
  • Acted as counsel for Barclays Securities Japan, in the arranging of the issuance of project bonds for developing a large scale mega-solar project.

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto combines advisory, litigation, and M&A specialists to field a team able to cover the full range of projects and energy law advice. The wind, biomass, photovoltaic and infrastructure sectors are notable areas of strength, with the department active on a range of high-value and complex matters in these industries. The department is particularly strong on cross-border matters, and benefits from its network of offices which extends across Japan and East Asia. The team is co-led by Masanori Sato, Takahiro Kobayashi, Takeshi Mukawa, Naoki Ishikawa and Shigeki Okatani. Yusuke Murakami and Yusuke Suehiro are also key within the department, with Murakami handling energy and infrastructure work, while Suehiro has particular experience in project financing transactions. Counsel Hironobu Noma has notable experience in this area, due to spending time seconded to the project finance department of Mizuho Bank.

Practice head(s):

Masanori Sato; Takahiro Kobayashi; Takeshi Mukawa; Naoki Ishikawa; Shigeki Okatani

Other key lawyers:

Yusuke Murakami; Hironobu Noma

Key clients

JERA Co., Inc.

Marubeni Corporation

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.

TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) Holdings, Inc.

TEPCO Renewable Power, Inc.

ENEOS Corporation

Enex Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Development Bank of Japan

Kyudenko Corporation

Shinsei Bank, Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Japan’s biggest oil refiner, ENEOS Corporation, in its acquisition of Japan Renewable Energy from Goldman Sachs and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund (GIC), for JPY 200 billion.
  • Represented Mizuho Bank and participating financial institutions for a project financing transaction for 112 MW Woody Biomass Combustion Power Plant in Tahara, Aichi prefecture.
  • Represented e-rex Co., Ltd., Shikoku Electric Power Co., Inc., other sponsors for a construction and project financing transaction for 75 MW Woody Biomass Combustion Power Plant in Sakaide, Kagawa, Japan.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu is active on a wide range of energy law matters and infrastructure projects, and advises major power utility companies including Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, TEPCO Power Grid, and Hokkaido Electric Power. The department is highly active within the domestic Japanese market, but also has significant experience advising on overseas projects. The team is co-led by real estate specialist Shunpei Tanaka and Jiro Mikami, who has broad project finance expertise, with an emphasis on infrastructure and energy. Also key within the team are Kei Okubo, who has particular experience in the energy sector, and Kiyoshi Honda, who handles energy and real estate transactions. Takao Higuchi is well respected in this practice area for his knowledge of energy, infrastruture and project finance.

Practice head(s):

Shunpei Tanaka; Jiro Mikami

Other key lawyers:

Takao Higuchi; Kei Okubo; Kiyoshi Honda; Rintaro Hinaro; Terukazu Katsuyama


‘Kiyoshi Honda and Naoki Ikeda have deep knowledge of EPC and Project Finance, and a high ability to understand the needs of customers and our business. So, their suggestions are always excellent and beyond our expectation. And they have done the mission even if an unreasonable deadline.’

‘The best-known law firm in Japan. In-depth knowledge of Japan’s energy market.’

‘Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu has a particularly broad scope of practice compared to other law firms.’

‘The current legal issues are multifaceted and require an in- depth understanding of each matters and Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu is particularly superior to other law firms in this regard.’

‘They have high-level expertise and professionalism. In addition, there appears to be an information sharing system among multiple partners and their partners have appropriate control over the quality of the associate’s deliverables.’

‘Our experience with Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu was great.’

‘Without the help of the team, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, we would not have proceeded with our M&A projects and the establishment of the company in the UK.’

‘Each person from Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu was outstanding.’

Key clients

Development Bank of Japan Inc.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.

The Tokyo Electric Generation Company, Incorporated.

TEPCO Power Grid, Incorporated

JERA Co., Inc.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Group

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited.

Japan International Cooperation Agency

Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Inc.

ABLE Co., Ltd.

Renova, Inc.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Equinix Inc./Equinix Japan Kabushiki Kaisha

Z Energy Co., Ltd.

Japan Infrastructure Initiative Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Carbon Neutral Fund 1 Investment Limited Partnership and Z Energy Co., Ltd. on the formation of Carbone Neutral Fund.
  • Advised MUFG Bank. Ltd. and Japan Infrastructure Initiative Co., Ltd. on the investment in Californian Operator of Hydrogen Fueling Stations.
  • Advised GE Energy Financial Services on refinancing of the project finance for five solar power plant projects.

Nishimura & Asahi

Nishimura & Asahi‘s long established project finance & energy group provides specialised legal services for project financing and the development and procurement of natural resources and energy. The department has a strong reputation for its work on infrastructure and power projects, and highly active in the renewable energy sector, with significant experience across solar, wind, geothermal and biomass. Co-leading the team are Tomohiro Sato, who specialises in project finance transactions relating to renewable energy projects, IPP projects, and PFI, and Nagahide Sato, who has significant experience in PFI and electricity business work. Core team members include cross-border project finance expert Maya Ito, energy sector specialist Sadayuki Matsudaira, and Norio Maeda, whose practice covers all stages of project development, from acquisition to financing. The international reach of the team is marked by its inclusion of gaiben partners Adrian Joyce, Alexander Woody and Nathan Schmidt.

Practice head(s):

Tomohiro Sato; Nagahide Sato

Other key lawyers:

Maya Ito; Sadayuki Matsudaira; Norio Maeda; Nathan Schmidt; Adrian Joyce; Alexander Woody

Key clients

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Renova, Inc.

Sonnedix Japan

Tokyu Land Corporation

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Ltd.

Toyota Motor Corporation

Daiwa Energy & Infrastructure Co. Ltd.

Mitsubishi HC Capital Inc.

JX Mining & Metals Corporation

Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

Pattern Energy Group LP

Showa Denko K.K.

Tohoku Electric Power Co., Ltd.

Hudson Sustainable Group

Work highlights

  • Advised an infrastructure fund managed by asset management division of Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd. on its sale of Japan Renewable Energy Co. Ltd. to ENEOS Corporation.
  • Advised JFE Engineering Corporation on the establishment of a joint venture for a large scale waste-to-energy project in Vietnam, with Thuan Thanh Environment Joint Stock Company, a major recycling company in Vietnam.
  • Advised the borrower on project financing for Tahara biomass power plant, one of the largest biomass power plants in Japan (112MW).

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai has broad expertise in the projects and energy fields, with significant experience across LNG, petrochemicals, coal, mining, and renewable energy, for which wind power projects are a particular focus. The department is also notably active on infrastructure projects, with matters including advising Mitsubishi UFJ Reserach Institute, Aichi Prefecture and Nagoya City on the development of the site for the 20th Asian Games, to be held in 2026. The department is co-lead by Miho Niunoya, Takeshi Takahashi, Michiaki Hosoi, Makoto Fujii, Keita Imaizumi, and Ryosuke Oue. Akira Shimazaki, who made partner in January 2021, is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Miho Niunoya; Takeshi Takahashi; Michiaki Hosoi; Makoto Fujii; Keita Imaizumi; Ryosuke Oue

Other key lawyers:

Akira Shimazaki; Yutaka Sakai

Key clients

Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. (MRI)

The Japan Research Institute, Limited (JRI)

Photovolt Development Partners GmbH

Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co., Ltd.

EY Strategy and Consulting Co., Ltd.

City-Yuwa Partners

City-Yuwa Partners has a strong record within the renewable energy sector, and advises a range of clients on projects both domestically and across East Asia. Solar and wind power are key areas for the department, which provides support from due diligence and financing, to construction and operation. The department also provides support to power companies for regulatory and compliance matters under the Electricity Utilities Industry Law. Masamichi Sakamoto leads the team, bringing experience across banking, finance, investment, real estate and energy. Yukinori Sasaki is another key name, and specialises in real estate financing and project financing.

Practice head(s):

Masamichi Sakamoto

Other key lawyers:

Yukinori Sasaki


‘City-Yuwa Partners provide appropriate and flexible legal advices in order to understand laws from every legal aspect.’

‘Their unique and valuable legal services have significantly contributed to our bank’s effective consideration and judgement of every financing transaction from the viewpoints both of our credit control and business promotion.’

‘Mr. Sakamoto, as the stand-out partner of City-Yuwa Partners, has established and maintained strong and effective personal connections over the domestic market and overseas countries. He has been effectively cooperating and working together with specialists not only in legal areas but also in other related areas to support our bank’s project finance, renewable energy/Japan operating lease transactions.’

TMI Associates

TMI Associates provides comprehensive financing support, with experience handling the full range of renewable energy projects. The department also has significant expertise advising financial advisers, real estate developers and major construction companies on development projects, urban redevelopments, and PPP and PFI projects. Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi, whose broad practice includes structured finance, project finance, and real estate investment, leads the team. Other key names include finance specialist Takenobu Imaeda, Yoshikazu Noma, who has dual specialisations in banking and finance regulations and dispute resolution, and Mizuki Koshimoto, whose area of focus is inbound renewable energy transactions.

Practice head(s):

Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi

Other key lawyers:

Mizuki Koshimoto; Yoshikazu Noma; Takenobu Imaeda; Yuki Kono; Tsugumichi Watanabe


‘Koshimoto sensei has a commercial mind and know the company’s requirements very well.’

‘They are responsive to complex inquiries.’

‘Mr. Mizuki Koshimoto and Mr. Tsugumichi Watanabe are very capable of legal advice on investments in real estate and power plants. In addition, they are very familiar with financing transactions.’

‘TMI Associates, and the team led by Mr. Koshimoto, provide professional services.’

‘They provide flexible and practicable service based on the experiences, knowledge and deep understanding of local business & judicial system.’

Key clients

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., Ltd.

Aozora Bank, Ltd.

Siemens Gamesa Renweable Energy PTY Ltd.

Siemens Energy K.K.

Bunpu Japan K.K.

Everstream Capital Management

Eneseed Co., Ltd


Integrity Partners LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Oita Prefecture in relation to the private-sector-led establishment of the first horizontal spaceport in Asia in Oita Prefecture of Japan with the cooperation of the Japanese and US governments.
  • Advised Bouygues regarding the large solar power generation project in Japan.

Kaynex Law Offices

Kaynex Law Offices is particularly active on renewable energy developments, with significant experience in the acquisition and financing of solar projects. Founding partner Kota Kikuchi leads the department, and brings over a decade of experience in the practice area. Kikuchi works with both domestic and international clients, advising on the whole lifecycle of project develpment from sourcing and acquisition to regulatory matters and dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Kota Kikuchi