Rising Stars: Bengoshi

TMT: Independent local firms in Japan

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto fields a team with significant experience in litigation, transactions, and regulatory matters. Areas of strength for the department include telecommunication law, technology transfer agreements, and development agreements. Hiromi Hayashi, Atsushi Okada, and Koichiro Iida jointly lead the practice. Hayashi has expertise in telecommunications matters and cybersecurity, Okada covers data protection, AI, and digital health regulations, and Iida handles litigation matters and business regulation. Norihito Sato is also key, and is recognised as an expert in automated vehicles.

Other key lawyers:

Norihito Sato


‘We have a very favorable impression of the MHM team. They are always responsive, very knowledgeable about Japanese privacy law, and provide clients with extremely clear and practical responses on a wide range of questions.’

‘The team leader Atsushi Okada stands out. He is always responsive and calibrates his advice to the level of detail sought. He is also comfortable distilling nuanced privacy law principles into practical advice.’

‘They are a team that is well resourced and has in-depth knowledge of different areas, especially new ones, and can deal with things that cannot be solved elsewhere.’

‘This team provides helpful advice and guidance about any case or issue, including cutting-edge ones. The team’s response time is always fast and keeps up with the speed of our business.’

‘Atsushi Okada: Partner with expertise in Tech/Platform Laws/Privacy area. Excellent English. Very practical and business-oriented. Easy to introduce and recommend to in-house counsel outside of Japan or who do not speak English.’

‘I feel that their expertise in the area of mobility is extremely high. In addition, I feel that the firm\’s deep knowledge of not only the legal but also the business side, such as trends of related businesses and future prospects of the market, is an advantage that other firms did not have.’

‘Mr. Atsushi Okada; I strongly believe that he is one of the leading lawyers in the IP and Data practices. He is well versed in legislative and industry trends and can provide advice tailored to our practical needs.’

‘As a firm and team, this law firm has many experienced lawyers.’

Key clients

Hitachi Ltd.

Toshiba Corporation

Z Holdings Corporation

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation

SoftBank Group Corp.

Safie, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Assisted Paidy Inc. in a ¥300 billion transaction, in which PayPal Inc. acquired all of the shares of Paidy Inc. by way of share transfer.
  • Advised SUMCO Corporation on its ¥125.8 billion offering of shares of common stock in the international market as well as in the Japanese market, acting as issuer counsel.
  • Assisted Sony Semiconductor Solutions in respect to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited’s (TSMC) establishment of a new Kumamoto-based subsidiary, Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing, Inc.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu advises clients across IT, broadcasting, and telecommunication, with an aptitude for handling cutting-edge technologies and businesses. The department has a notable strength in space law, and works with both ‘Old Space’ and ‘New Space’ clients in financings, business collaborations, and contract negotiations. Soichiro Fujiwara, who has expertise in software, web service, and online gaming, co-leads the team alongside Keiji Tonomura, whose broad experience includes fintech, healthtech, cryptocurrency, robotics and AI. Ryo Okubo advises start-ups and technology companies, and is a stand out expert for space matters.

Other key lawyers:

Ryo Okubo



‘Very good grasp of commercial issues.’

‘Quality and responsive.’

‘There is no doubt that Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu is the top law firm in Japan.’

‘The highly skilled professionals are all working hard and most notably they work as a great team and immediately bring in experts from within the firm to help with any issues that may arise.’

‘Soichiro Fujiwara is relied upon for his honest personality, sound knowledge and professional attitude.’

‘I would like to emphasise about them that the quality and sppeed of thier work was always satisfied our serious requests, and I can reccommend them as the best lawyers in cross boarder M&A in Japan with confidence.’

‘Mr.Tomohiko Iwasaki and Mr. Akihiro Tokura are excellent partners compared to other lawyers who has passion and ability to provide clients with high-quality services.’

‘They have always provided us with realistic and detail legal solutions with proactive attitude.’

Key clients


NTT Corporation

Fuji Media Holdings, Inc.

Toyota Motor Corporation

Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.

Broadridge Financial Solutions

Maezawa Yusaku / Maezawa Fund

ispace, Inc.

Komatsu, Ltd.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Sony Group Corporation on set-up of a joint venture with HONDA in the field of electric vehicles.
  • Advised NTT Corporation (NTT) on establishing a joint venture company with SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation that will launch a novel integrated space computing network.
  • Advised Renesas Electronics Corporation on acquisition of Dialog Semiconductor Plc.

Nishimura & Asahi

Nishimura & Asahi‘s large team brings expertise in all areas of TMT, including data protection, international trade, and regulatory issues, as well as high value M&A and corporate advice. The firm advises both governmental clients and major multinationals, and is particularly active in the motor industry. The department is led by corporate and M&A practice heads Asa Shinkawa and Yoshinobu Fujimoto. Key names within the team include the experienced Hiroshi Uchima and Takahiko Date, as well as regulatory specialist Kojiro Fujii. Gai Matsushita joined the firm on 1 April.

Practice head(s):

Asa Shinkawa; Yoshinobu Fujimoto

Key clients

NTT DoCoMo, Inc.

Sony Group Corporation

Toshiba Corporation

Panasonic Corporation

NAVER Corporation

Personal Information Protection Commission

KDDI Corporation

Rakuten, Inc.

Amazon Services International, Inc.

TIS Inc.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Japan Display Inc.

Walsin Technology Corporation

Avex Inc.

GMO Internet, Inc.

Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s largest mobile operator, on the establishment of a new company, Earth Brain Ltd., through a joint venture among Komatsu Ltd., NTT DOCOMO, Sony Semiconductor Solutions and Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.
  • Advising Sony Group on the establishment of a new operating company, named Sony Mobility Inc., that will explore entry into the electric vehicle (EV) market.
  • Advised Toshiba on its transfer of 55% of Toshiba Carrier Corporation (TCC) to US-based Carrier Corporation, a subsidiary of US-based Carrier Global Corporation.

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune advises TMT clients in a broad range of areas, including M&A, finance, regulatory matters, antitrust and corporate law. The department has particular expertise in intellectual property, handling both contentious and non-contentious matters in this area for high-profile clients. Core team members include Yoshikazu Iwase, who specialises in IP litigation, Akihito Nakamachi, who focuses on IP transactions for clients in the technology sector, and Miki Goto, whose experience covers patents, licensing, trade secrets and trademarks. Also key to the team are Yasufumi Shiroyama, Masayuki Yamanouchi, Nobuto Shirane, and Wataru Shimizu.

Key clients

Toyota Motor Corporation

Murata Machinery

Firstface Company Ltd.

Denso Corporation

Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd.

Jtekt Corporation

Advics Co., Ltd.

Ushio Inc.

BluE Nexus Corporation

Taiyo Holdings Co., LTd.

Kaken Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advising private equity fund Bain Capital throughout their public tender offer for the common shares of Hitachi Metals Ltd.

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai supports a broad range of clients, from startups to major international companies, on a diverse set of matters including information and data security, trademark and copyright issues, and terms of service and privacy policies. Chie Kasahara leads the team, having more than 20 years’ experience as an IP, TMT and life sciences practitioner. Takufumi Ochiai is also key. Gai Matsushita has left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Chie Kasahara

Other key lawyers:

Takafumi Ochiai

TMI Associates

TMI Associates provides legal advice and dispute resolution services for issues related to IT and intellectual property rights. The department advises on cutting edge technologies, including satellite data, the development of robotics in outer space, and the Moonshot Research and Development Program. Atsushi Igarashi leads the department, and handles data protection, intellectual property, telecommunications and entertainment. Mihoko Shintani is also key.

Practice head(s):

Atsushi Igarashi

Other key lawyers:

Mihoko Shintani

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 regarding the placement of a “space avatar” (a remote-control robot developed by avatar-in Inc.) in the ISS.
  • Advised the Cabinet Office of Japan regarding the Moonshot Research and Development Program.

Iwata Godo

Iwata Godo is active across the entire spectrum of TMT, with a client list which includes major companies such as Tencent, Microsoft, Mitsubishi Electric and BMW Japan. The firm has diverse expertise across a range of emerging technologies, including internet of things, AI and blockchain, in addition to covering data protection and media related matters. The department is co-led by Akira Matsuda, who specialises in AI and data protection, and Ryohei Kudo, who handles intellectual property, cybersecurity, and TMT related advisory and transactional work.

Practice head(s):

Akira Matsuda; Ryohei Kudo

Other key lawyers:

Makoto Adachi; Tomonori Fujinami


‘Rigourous and international approach.’

‘Iwata Godo is an excellent Japanese firm that truly rises above the usual high standards of Japanese firms. Their practical, smart advice saves clients much time and trouble; their excellent communication skills really saves the day!’

‘Akira Matsuda is a stand-out within the market. Amazing client list and very great respect from within Asia-Pacific and around the world. He’s a great mentor for lawyers in his team, and he has a very “deep bench” of talent.’


The best-kept secret in Tokyo‘, southgate is particularly known for its technology, M&A and venture capital practices. The department has a highly active startup practice, active for entrepreneurs and companies at all levels of development, and investors from Japan and overseas. Co-leading are Mangyo Kinoshita and Eric Marcks, both of whom have over 20 years’ experience in the practice area, alongside Takeshi Iitani and Gaku Yoneyama. Associates Takahito Fujii and Akira Kawashiro are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Takeshi Iitani; Mangyo Kinoshita; Eric Marcks; Gaku Yoneyama

Other key lawyers:

Akira Kawashiro; Pamela Cavallo


‘Despite its size, southgate provided service and work product comparable to any large law firm.’

‘Lawyers were responsive at all hours and had a global knowledge of deal terms and custom. They were a pleasure to work with.’

‘Southgate is very familiar with market practice of the startup scene in Tokyo and the US.’

Key clients


Asahi Broadcasting Corporation

Asahi Kasei


Hitachi Ltd.


Menlo Security



Softbank Corp.

SoftBank Vision Fund





Z Holdings Corporation

ZOZO, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Representation of the SoftBank Vision Fund in its investments in the biotechnology companies Aculys Pharma and AI Medical Service Inc. and the online sneaker and streetwear market platform SODA.
  • Representation of Metaps, the largest shareholder of pring, in its sale of the company to Google.
  • Representation of IBM in the establishment of a joint venture with Resona Bank.

Ushijima & Partners

Ushijima & Partners acts for high-profile domestic clients, able to provide cross-sectoral advice across IP and IT matters. Data protection is a particular area of expertise, with the team able to advise on relevant legislation in numerous international jurisdictions. Hiroyasu Kageshima leads the department, and has broad expertise across system development, personal data, internet service, fintech, and data leakage.

Practice head(s):

Hiroyasu Kageshima

Work highlights

  • Provide legal advice on the amended Act on Protection of Personal Information in Japan to approximately 50 clients, which include the amendment of Privacy Policy, internal rules, Data Transfer Agreement, Data Processing Agreement.

City-Yuwa Partners

City-Yuwa Partners is particularly active in advising online businesses and digital entertainment clients. Arata Nomoto leads the department, and has broad exprience in digital media such as video games and online music, as well as data protection matters.

Practice head(s):

Arata Nomoto

Other key lawyers:

Noriko Higashizawa; Yumiko Aoi