Leading Individuals: Gaiben

Rising Stars: Bengoshi

TMT: Independent local firms in Japan

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto continues to handle the full spectrum of TMT-related matters. The group displays vast experience in multinational restructuring, high-value transactions, regulatory matters, and IP litigation. The exceptional team is co-led by partners Koichiro Iida, Atsushi Okada, and Hiromi Hayashi. Iida advises a number of banks and tech companies on regulatory issues concerning data protection, Okada is well placed to handle mandates involving autonomous vehicles, drones, and digital health regulation, and Hayashi is known for advising on license requirements under the Radio Wave Act. For matters on cybersecurity, IT, and data protection, Daisuke Tsuta comes highly recommended. Norihito Sato has broad expertise in the automotive sector.

Practice head(s):

Koichiro Iida; Hiromi Hayashi; Atsushi Okada

Other key lawyers:

Daisuke Tsuta; Norihito Sato


‘Experienced as a team, expertise, practical advice, quick responses on cases, and quick updates to the latest trends.’

‘Quick response time, good negotiation skills, and a wide variety of realistic alternatives.’

‘In the past, we worked with Mori Hamada & Matsumoto for the several M&A deals. Those deals were very complicated because my company has highly diversified businesses. Mori Hamada & Matsumoto had supported the deals with excellent experiences and knowledge. Thay can organize the complication of the deals and offer appropriate solution.’

‘Norihito Sato helped us with his diverse and sophisticated experience, knowledge and skills.’

‘As MHM is a full-lineup law firm, they can provide a one-stop services to clients. We usually assign this firm for M&A transaction and disputes, but we can ask them relevant areas, for instance, regulatory matters.’

‘The team has plenty of knowledge regarding autonomous driving and MaaS (Mobility as a Service) areas and connection with Japanese authorities.’

Key clients

Hitachi Ltd.

Toshiba Corporation

Z Holdings Corporation

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT)

SoftBank Group Corp.

Safie, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Hitachi, Ltd. on its disposition of Hitachi Metals, Ltd. to Bain Capital Private Equity, LP
  • Advised Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation on its capital restructuring of its subsidiaries including the split of the global business of NTT DATA Corporation, a listed subsidiary.
  • Advised Hitachi, Ltd. on the capital restructuring of Hitachi Astemo, Ltd. including issuance of preferred shares of Hitachi Astemo, Ltd. to JIC Capital, Ltd., a domestic private equity fund, and partial sale of Hitachi’s shares in Hitachi Astemo, Ltd. to Honda Motor Co. Ltd.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Hailed by clients as a 'beacon of legal excellence', the team at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu maintains its stellar reputation for advising clients on M&A and corporate transactions within the tech industry, and is particularly skilled at handling space-related matters involving cross-border business collaborations, satellite services, space tourism, and space resource mining. The team is co-led by Soichiro Fujiwara and Keiji Tonomura, whose collective experience spans the full range of TMT related issues, having both advised international and domestic clients on matters concerning software, online gaming, metaverse, robotics, and healthtech. Ryo Okubois well known for his deep experience of the telecommunication, IT, and space industries.

Practice head(s):

Soichiro Fujiwara; Keiji Tonomura

Other key lawyers:

Ryo Okubo


‘NO&T is the epitome of strategic legal partnership. In the face of the extraordinary challenges of 2022, where the Japanese Ministry of Justice exerted unprecedented pressure on international IT companies, NO&T emerged as our resolute guardian, clearly demonstrating their strategic and practical superiority.’

‘Their unrivalled ability to navigate complex legal terrain enabled them to devise innovative, robust solutions that were precisely tailored to protect our interests. Their superior risk management approach wasn’t just brilliant, it was bespoke.’

‘NO&T is at the forefront of legal innovation, embracing the cutting-edge intersection of law and technology. They use advanced practices such as predictive data analytics to improve the accuracy of their legal services and streamline processes, giving them a futuristic edge. When it comes to collaboration, NO&T goes beyond the traditional client-lawyer dynamic and seamlessly integrates into our operations as a valued extension of our team.’

‘The real jewel in NO&T’s crown is Soichiro Fujiwara. His legal acumen and innovative problem-solving skills are a potent combination that consistently delivers successful results. His distinctive approach, characterised by unyielding commitment, strategic foresight and the ability to find creative solutions under pressure, is truly unique.’

‘We deeply admire and value Soichiro Fujiwara’s relentless passion, innovative thinking and unwavering commitment to our cause. In essence, the legal prowess of NO&T and the exceptional skills of Soichiro Fujiwara provide an unparalleled service characterised by expertise, innovation and client-focused dedication. Their exceptional work on our behalf is testament to their position as a beacon of legal excellence.’

‘Keiji Tonomura is very clever, has extensive experience in the area of TMT and provides exact legal analysis and good advice.’

Key clients


NTT Corporation

Fuji Media Holdings, Inc.

Toyota Motor Corporation

Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.

Broadridge Financial Solutions

Maezawa Yusaku / Maezawa Fund

Space Compass Corporation

ispace, Inc.

Komatsu, Ltd.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised and assisted Sony Group Corporation in its establishment of a joint venture company with HONDA Motor Co., Ltd. that engages in the sale of high-value-added electric vehicles and provides services for mobility.
  • Advised and assisted ispace in successfully securing an award from NASA to send payloads to the far side of the moon and in its other space resource missions.
  • Advised NTT Data Corporation, as lead counsel, on the acquisition of its 55% shares in NTT Inc. from Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation.

Nishimura & Asahi

Spearheaded by partners Asa Shinkawa and Yoshinobu Fujimoto, Nishimura & Asahi houses an excellent team of TMT experts. The firm handles a wide variety of matters for fintech and automotive industry clients, and has experience advising on a range of matters from litigation and joint ventures, to data protection, privacy, and regulatory concerns. Takahiko Date is recommended for his deep expertise in handling M&A and corporate restructuring transactions, while Kojiro Fujii has in-depth knowledge of the public policies and regulations governing the TMT sector. Other key members of the team include Hiroshi Uchima and Gai Matsushita.

Practice head(s):

Asa Shinkawa; Yoshinobu Fujimoto

Other key lawyers:

Takahiko Date; Kojiro Fujii; Hiroshi Uchima; Gai Matsushita

Key clients

The Carlyle Group

Personal Information Protection Commission

KDDI Corporation

Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc.

ITOCHU Corporation

Bain Capital Private Equity

Hitachi Metals

Toshiba Corporation

Sony Corporation

Rakuten, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advising Toshiba on its consideration of strategic alternatives, including an ongoing privatization.
  • Advised Bain Capital Private Equity LP on its acquisition of all shares in Evident Corporation, a specified subsidiary of Olympus Corporation, a Japan-based global manufacturer of optical and digital precision technology, for the purpose of acquiring Olympus’ Scientific Solutions Business.
  • Advising Hitachi Metals on a M&A transaction that includes a tender offer for Hitachi Metals’ shares from a consortium comprised of Bain Capital, Japan Industrial Partners, and Japan Industrial Solutions; the seller is Japanese technology giant Hitachi Ltd.

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

In addition to leveraging its strong international network, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune recently established its own data privacy and digital practice group which is dedicated to advising on all matters concerning data privacy, data protection, and cybersecurity. The team has vast experience in advising its varied client base of domestic and international TMT companies on regulatory matters, M&A, and crisis management. Miki Goto, who is known for his 'special' expertise and 'profound' knowledge of data protection and IP, advises numerous large electronic companies. Takashi Nakazaki is recommended for his expertise in advising on software development, platform services, and digital forensics related mandates. Kensuke Inoue and Hitoshi Ishihara are key names of note within the team.

Practice head(s):

Yasufumi Shiroyama; Yoshikazu Iwase; Akihito Nakamachi; Wataru Shimizu; Miki Goto; Masayuki Yamanouchi; Nobuto Shirane

Other key lawyers:

Takashi Nakazaki; Kensuke Inoue; Hitoshi Ishihara


‘We worked on several matters with Miki Goto and his team in the area of data protection, where Miki Goto has developed special expertise and profound knowledge. He is a very experienced international lawyer who knows how to navigate in this environment very well.’

‘We also work with Takashi Nakazaki, whose special technical understanding is outstanding.’

Key clients

Toyota Motor Corporation

Murata Machinery (Muratec)

Firstface Company Ltd.


Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd.




BluE Nexus Corporation

Taiyo Holdings Co., LTd.


Amazon Japan G.K.

Japan Digital Space Economy Federation

Personal Information Protection Commission


Bandai Namco Entertainment

Rakuten Vissel Kobe, Inc.

Sony Corporation

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Work highlights

  • Advised Japan Digital Space Economy Federation in its preparation and publication of a pioneering report entitled ‘Report for Economic Development of Digital Economy’, which identifies and discusses various legal issues involving Metaverse, including, IP, data protection/privacy as well as block-chain technology (such as NFT).
  • Advised Bandai Namco Entertainment on setting up an investment fund that is aimed at creating partnerships with technology startups to accelerate the company’s goal of creating new experiences around its most popular entertainment properties. The firm then advised on the subsequent acquisition and investment into various companies.

Atsumi & Sakai

Chie Kasahara and Harukuni Ito co-lead the TMT team at Atsumi & Sakai, alongside Fumiaki Matsuoka and Osamu Fujiwara, who head the data, privacy, and cybersecurity team. The firm assists clients with a wide variety of matters, including cyber-attacks, IP disputes, and compliance with the Personal Information Protection Act. Takufumi Ochiai sits within the firm’s fintech team, and represents both Japanese and foreign clients. Kasahara and Ito primarily act for pharma clients in IP and data protection related matters, Matsuoka focuses on cyber security issues, and Fujiwara is noted for his broad corporate expertise.

Practice head(s):

Chie Kasahara; Harukuni Ito; Fumiaki Matsuoka; Osamu Fujiwara

Other key lawyers:

Takafumi Ochiai

Key clients

National Banking Funds Settlement Network

Working Group of the Digital Agency and the Digital Temporary Administrative Investigation Committee

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare,

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

Japan Research institute

Secretariat for the Promotion of Regional Development, Cabinet Office

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

Japan Information Processing Development Corporation (JIPDEC)


Work highlights

TMI Associates

Specialising in matters related to IT and intellectual property rights within the TMT sector, TMI Associates is led by Atsushi Igarashi, who has extensive experience advising on data protection and privacy issues for companies within the areas of technology, telecommunication, media, and entertainment. Partner Mihoko Shintani is recommended for matters relating to robotics, AI, satellite data, and food tech. Other exceptional members of the team include partners Takuya Yamago for his skill within the telecom industry, and Tetsuya OI for his experience with cloud services, internet infrastructure, and ad technology.

Practice head(s):

Atsushi Igarashi

Other key lawyers:

Mihoko Shintani; Takuya Yamago; Tetsuya Oi


‘Takuya Yamago has excellent skills in understanding English, which is something that I often find lacking in other firms. This allows for easy communication with him and his team and, most importantly, no misunderstandings on instructions or advice. He also has cross-disciplinary expertise, including on law enforcement (in addition to tech and telecom) – and is therefore able to service us across all our legal requirements.’

‘The TMT team has expertise across tech and telecom areas, which allows them to provide very insightful, relevant, and holistic advice on developments in the TMT space, including on privacy, AI, cybersecurity, and telecommunications. They are also flexible on meeting and communication tools, which allows for very easy collaboration with the team.’

Key clients

ARM Treasure Data Inc.

LINE Corporation


Synspective, Inc.


ANA NEO Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised ANA Holdings regarding the development of a new game in collaboration with Mr. Hajime Tabata, one of the developers of the successful “Final Fantasy” games.
  • Advised avatarin Inc on all legal work in “AVATAR project” which aims to develop avatar as a social infrastructure and conduct various avatar demonstration experiments promoted through industry-academia collaboration.


Southgate with its ‘unique ability to bridge international gaps’ is a go-to firm for global investors looking for an experienced team to handle M&A and venture capital matters within the technology sector. Co-led by partners Eric Marcks, Takeshi Iitani, and Gaku Yoneyama, the firm regularly represents startups in Japan as well as across the world. Other key members of the team include associates Takahito Fujii and Akira Kawashiro.

Practice head(s):

Takeshi Iitani; Eric Marcks; Gaku Yoneyama

Other key lawyers:

Takahito Fujii; Akira Kawashiro


‘Southgate have a unique ability to bridge international gaps via a strong knowledge of international law. It’s more than knowing the law, their unique superpower is how to navigate the gray areas and unwritten “guidelines” in Japanese business and culture.’

‘They are good at thinking from a business perspective and are professional in providing legal services. Their suggestions provide the legal department with good topics to discuss with the business team better.’

Key clients


Asahi Broadcasting Corporation






Softbank Corp.

Yahoo Japan

ZOZO, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented the Japanese AI/legal tech startup LegalOn Technologies in its JPY 13.7bn Series D fundraising. The firm negotiated the investment documents against each of these investors and led to a successful close of one of the five largest fundraisings in Japan in 2022.
  • Represented Twin Engine Inc., the renowned anime product studio, in its multi-billion JPY Series B financing. The firm handled all aspects of the transaction, including drafting and negotiating the financing documents and business alliance agreements between the client and certain investors.
  • Represented Nihon Kohden Corporation, the listed Japanese medical devices company, in its acquisition of 100% of the shares of Software Team Srl, an Italian software developer of notification alarms used in medical devices.

Ushijima & Partners

Ushijima & Partners have experience in providing support to businesses on new information & communication technology; the firm also regularly advises on cybersecurity and data protection matters from various jurisdictions, including U.S., China, and the EU. The TMT team is headed by partner Hiroyasu Kageshima, who handles a variety of matters, including data leakage, internet service, personal data, and IT system development. Partner Kohei Tsuji is an expert in data privacy and has experience with complex cross-border personal information transfers in over numerous jurisdictions.

Practice head(s):

Hiroyasu Kageshima

Other key lawyers:

Kohei Tsuji

Work highlights

City-Yuwa Partners

The practice at City-Yuwa Partners is jointly led by Arata Nomoto and Yumiko Aoi. Nomoto primarily assists digital entertainment clients on IP transactions and advertising, while Aoi maintains a tech focused practice, having deep knowledge of corporate matters and employment disputes. The team is particularly experienced with representing game developers and publishers in matters concerning copyright infringement, e-commerce, online events, and licensing.

Practice head(s):

Arata Nomoto; Yumiko Aoi

Work highlights

Shusaku Yamamoto Patent Law Offices

Shusaku Yamamoto Patent Law Offices is well-placed to advise a diverse range of clients within the TMT sector on cryptocurrency, data infrastructure technology, and blockchains. The team, led by managing partner Kensaku Yamamoto, regularly acts for clients in multi-jurisdictional infringement litigation cases, patent term extensions, and regulatory matters. The team is particularly skilled at handling matters within the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries.

Practice head(s):

Kensaku Yamamoto


‘The team has great experience and excellent responsiveness. There was certainty in the advice and immense knowledge throughout.’ 

Work highlights