TMT: International firms and joint ventures in Japan

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills’ dedicated TMT practice in Japan handles outbound work for some of the biggest clients in the TMT arena and is led by Graeme Preston, who also leads the firm's wider corporate group. The team works in conjunction with the firm’s global network on strategic transactions, regulatory mandates and compliance issues, disputes and risk management work. David Gilmore, who is head of the dispute resolution practice, supports the TMT practice with his expertise in international arbitration proceedings and experience before international panels; he also advises on anti-corruption and compliance mandates and internal investigations. Of counsel James Allsop is also a key contact and also specialises in international arbitration proceedings and investigations in the TMT space.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Preston

Other key lawyers:

David Gilmore; James Allsop


‘They have an excellent global network of people which helps to follow the changes in legal issues in Information Technology.’

‘David Gilmore and James Allsop played an instrumental role in the project. Speed of reply and output, attention to detail and strategic advice on the issue presented impressed our company.’

‘The project we worked on was one that required coordination of multiple teams both internal and external. James Allsop has put in extra effort to make sure the entire team was on the same page. He is also very good at navigating tense situations where the parties could not reach an agreement on how best to proceed. If both parties hadn’t felt heard and understood by him and the team, the project would not have gone as well as it did.’

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp

Bridgestone Corporation

NTT Docomo, Inc.


Sumitomo Corporation

Marubeni Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Bridgestone Corporation on the acquisition of the business and assets relating to, and the grant of an exclusive worldwide licence to the technology of, the iTrack tyre monitoring system from UK-based Transense Technologies.
  • Advised NTT DOCOMO on the divestment of its entire 6.3% stake in Robi Axiata Limited to Bharti International (Singapore) PTE. Limited.
  • Advised SoftBank Group Corp on its role in a Series B equity fundraising by Splyt Group Ltd.

Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise

Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise’s TMT practice sits within the firm’s integrated data and technology transactions group, which operates at the intersection of cross-border technology and IP issues. The practice is led by Stuart Beraha, who focuses on technology, content, branding and IP mandates; he acts for a premier client roster, which includes Yahoo! and Kioxia. Associate Benjamin Han is also a key contact within the group and advises on a variety of IP and commercial matters, as well as assisting clients in the semiconductor, pharmaceuticals and telecoms sectors.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Beraha

Other key lawyers:

Benjamin Han

Key clients

Kioxia Corporation

Yahoo Japan Corporation

Otsuka Medical Devices

TDK Corporation

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group


Work highlights

  • Advising Kioxia Corporation on IP, technology, licensing and commercial issues, including with respect to its joint venture agreements with Western Digital for joint investments in 3D BiCS Flash memory production.
  • Advised Z Holdings Corporation, Yahoo! Japan’s parent holding company, regarding the business integration of Z Holdings and LINE Corporation contemplated by their respective parent companies, SoftBank Corp and NAVER Corporation.
  • Advising Yahoo Japan Corporation in connection with YJ’s negotiation of a Master Agreement regarding its long-standing license agreement with Oath Holdings Inc. (formerly Yahoo!).

Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster draws on the strength of the firm’s corporate and IP practices to provide clients with advice on technology transactions. The team specialises in content issues, IP development work, branding mandates, licensing matters and technology and partnering transactions leveraging the firm's strong cross-border transactional and litigation expertise. Industries of expertise include the software and hardware, semiconductor, life sciences, IP, and biotechnology industries. The practice is led by Masato Hayakawa, who is an IP structuring and negotiation expert, and fields Yukihiro Terazawa, who is a key contact for contentious matters relating to commercial technology transactions. M&A head Ken Siegel also contributes to the practice along with newly elected partner Seth Graham, who handles licensing agreements, joint development activities and IP asset monetisation matters. At the non-partner level, senior associate Aya Eguchi advises on IP acquisitions, developments and transfers.

Practice head(s):

Masato Hayakawa


‘The TMT team is simply outstanding. I work with TMT teams globally and the MoFo team in Tokyo stands out as knowledgeable, pleasant (also to the counterpart), and focus on quick and useful delivery.’

‘Has many lawyers with a profession in various fields and developed a team with all the necessary experts. They turnaround time is very quick and worked around the clock regardless of the time zone difference. They also supported in both English and Japanese which was very helpful.’

‘Seth Graham had knowledge and experience in the IP and technology sector supporting in both business and technical agreements/negotiations.’

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp.

Tencent Holdings Limited


TDK Corporation

Palantir Technologies Inc.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG)

SBI Holdings

Santen Pharmaceutical Co.

Johnson & Johnson

Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advising SoftBank on the $40bn sale of Arm to NVIDIA.
  • Advising Tencent as an investor in a $2.2bn equity raise by Rakuten.
  • Advising Ping An Group on its capital and strategic alliance with Shionogi.

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)’s ‘commercially strategic’ TMT practice advises international and domestic clients on major transactions and regulatory issues, utilising the firm’s integrated technology and communications practice. The group’s experience includes handling financial services issues, IP work, M&A transactions, technology regulatory issues and dispute resolution. The practice is co-led by Kensaku Takase, who is an IP, IT and cloud-based solutions expert, and Yutaka Kimura, who regularly advises on domestic and cross-border TMT M&A, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. Gavin Raftery and Masoto Honma are also names of note, particularly in relation to fintech projects.

Practice head(s):

Kensaku Takase; Yutaka Kimura


‘Baker McKenzie Tokyo has a strong TMT team. First and foremost, they are knowledgeable, updated with current practices and very professional. They have experience working with large-scale clients and are internationally oriented. We have worked with the Tokyo office on many occasions, particularly with partner Yutaka Kimura and have enjoyed the benefit of working with seasoned practitioners familiar with cross border transactions, fluent in English and very responsive.’

‘We have had the pleasure of working with partner Yutaka Kimura and his team, particularly Masahiro Inaba, in a number of tech oriented transactions. Yutaka is an experienced practitioner with a diverse international background which serves him very well in his cross borders practice. He is smart and sharp, he understands the issues quickly and is pragmatic in his approach.’

Key clients


Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited

Pleiad Investment Advisors