The Legal 500 is delighted to formally announce the 2022 GC Summit: Japan. For the first time since 2019 we will journey back to the Land of the Rising Sun to bring together Japan’s top in-house counsel and leading legal thought leaders in the way only a GC Summit event can.
In association with our partners for this event, Allen & Overy, King & Spalding, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, Ikeda & Someya, Nishimura & Asahi, So & Sato Law Offices, EY Law Company, City-Yuwa Partners, Iwata Godo, Miura & Partners and TozziniFreire Advogados; we are honoured to present to you this schedule of sessions that will cover a wide range of the issues and challenges facing in-house counsel in Japan today.
Among other topics, we will tackle legal technology, international arbitration, cross-border M&A, cyber security, merger controls, energy, contemporary employment issues and fintech.
Drawing on the vast experience of our highly accomplished speakers, this event will provide practical, hands-on advice. It is a must-attend for any in-house counsel in Japan who are aiming to reach the next level of their professional development.
8.15am Breakfast and registration
8.50am Welcoming note from The Legal 500 editor and GC keynote speaker
- Joe Boswell, The Legal 500
- Natsue Ishida, managing director of legal & intellectual property division, SEGA SAMMY HOLDINGS
9.00am Disruption of the legal department – how can the in-house legal function face new challenges today as they prepare for tomorrow
- Eri Maeda, Director, EY Law Co.
- Yasushi Murofushi, Senior Counsel, EY Law Co.
- Ayako Shotoku, Group General Counsel, Panasonic Holdings Corporation
- Tatsuya Morita, CCO, Executive Officer, Legal and Internal Control Administration Departments, Sojitz Corporation
- Naosuke Fujita, General Counsel, Government Pension Investment Fund
9.50am Ignite session – The Legal 500 lightning talks
Three presentations on key hot topics facing in-house counsel in Japan.
- Topic 1: Challenges and trends for subsidiaries in emerging markets
Presented by Jun Makuta, partner in the corporate law practice and Japan desk co-ordinator, TozziniFreire Advogados, and Shin Jae Kim, head of compliance and investigation area & head of the Asia practice group, TozziniFreire Advogados
- Topic 2: Understanding and overcoming data protection and cyber security challenges and the path to compliance
Presented by Akira Matsuda, partner, Iwata Goda
- Topic 3: Key Minority Protections for Investors acquiring a Minority Stake in an Energy Project
Presented by Mark Davies, partner, King & Spalding
10.50am Coffee break
11.00am Cross-border M&A dynamics – what makes a successful post-pandemic transaction?
- Yoshinobu Fujimoto, partner, Nishimura & Asahi
- Yoshiyuki Kizu, partner, Nishimura & Asahi
- Hikaru Oguchi, partner, Nishimura & Asahi
- Yuzo Otsuka, managing director, head of Japan M&A advisory, banking section, Barclays
11.50am The evolving workplace: practical guidance on effectively resolving labour disputes in Japan
- Noriko Higashizawa, partner, City-Yuwa Partners
- Akira Nagasaki, partner, City-Yuwa Partners
- Hiromi Shiraishi, country counsel, HP Japan
- Takashi Ohno, Japan employment law lead, Accenture
- Kosuke Hasegawa, partner, City-Yuwa Partners
1.40pm Recent developments and uniqueness in Japanese competition law
- Tsuyoshi Ikeda, founding partner, Ikeda & Someya
- Aya Yasui, associate, Ikeda & Someya
- Shingo Kasahara, director for Policy Planning Office, Economic Affairs Bureau, Japan Fair Trade Commission
- Naokuni Kuwagata, corporate officer and country legal head Japan, Novartis Pharma K.K.
- Sayaka Habe, Project Manager, Legal Department, Toyota Tsusho Corporation
2.30pm Divestment: managing transactions from a sell-side perspective – strategies and foreign trade practices
- Tokutaka Ito, partner, Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho
- Taro Nakashima, partner, Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho
- Nick Wall, partner, Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho
- Hiroyuki Urase, general manager, legal & compliance department, Sony Financial Group Inc
3.20pm Coffee break
3.35pm Emerging Tech – Web3, AI, Metaverse, Robotics etc.
- So Saito, partner, So & Sato
- Yuki Sato, partner, So & Sato
- Takeshi (Tak) Onishi, partner, World Innovation Lab (WiL)
- Hiroyuki Jinno, director, HIRAC FUND
- Kei Sugawara, Vice-Chairperson & CFO, istyle, Inc
4.25pm An insight into the regulation of litigation funding in Japan
- Yoshie Midorikawa, partner, Miura & Partners
4.45pm Cross-border carve-out transactions – challenges and how to tackle them from transaction structure to post-merger integration
- Dr. Axel Kuhlmann foreign law partner, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
- Kosuke Hamaguchi, partner, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
- Takahiro Oishi, associate, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
- Yuko Shimomura, senior legal counsel, INPEX
5.35pm Closing remarks
- Joe Boswell, The Legal 500
- Emi Takeda, legal director and board member, Accenture
5.40pm Networking drinks
6.30pm Event concludes
Akira Matsuda, partner, Iwata Godo
Akira Matsuda is an attorney-at-law (admitted in Japan and New York) and a partner at Iwata Godo heading the AI/TMT and data protection practice group. He is based in Tokyo and Singapore. His practice focuses on cross-border transactions, including M&A, as well as international disputes (litigation and arbitration), and advice on digital and TMT-related matters. Mr Matsuda regularly advises Japanese and foreign clients on data security issues ( Japanese laws, Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act and the EU General Data Protection Regulation) including on the structuring of global compliance systems. He also advises on complicated cross-border corporate investigation matters.
Yoshiyuki Kizu, partner, Nishimura & Asahi
Yoshi is a seasoned cross-border deal lawyer with a focus on Europe-related matters and provides a tailored legal services in a timely and flexible manner by maximizing the experiences of working in leading firms in Germany, France and Italy.
Yoshi’s practice covers various M&A transactions, cross border deals, and day-to-day commercial businesses, with a focus on Europe-related matters. He lived in Europe approx. 8 years including studying at the master of law at UCL in London, working approx. 3 years in leading firms in Frankfurt, Paris and Italy, a short secondment in Barcelona/Madrid and having regular business trips all across Europe including the Netherlands, Nordic countries and Eastern Europe.
As a leading partner of Europe practice and cross-border team, Yoshi provides a tailored legal services in a timely and flexible manner.
Hikaru Oguchi, partner, Nishimura & Asahi
Hikaru leads Nishimura & Asahi’s Vietnam practice, providing legal advice on a broad range of areas in relation to foreign investment into Vietnam, including green field investment in restricted areas, the food and beverages industry, M&A transactions, general corporate matters and labor matters, as well as exits from investments by foreign investors. In collaboration with her partners in Tokyo, she has also handled various crisis management cases and dispute resolution cases for foreign investors.
She took the initiative in launching the firm’s ASEAN practice in 2012 following the establishment of the firm’s Ho Chi Minh City office in 2010, and Hanoi office in 2011. Since 2012, she has served concurrently as head of the two offices and as the Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Vietnam practice.
Mark Davies, partner, King & Spalding
Mark Davies is a partner in our Corporate, Finance and Investments practice and based in Tokyo. Mark focuses on the development and financing of large-scale infrastructure and energy projects in the LNG, conventional power, renewables (onshore and offshore wind power and solar power projects), oil & gas and petrochemicals sectors. He has advised on numerous market-leading projects across Asia and globally. Mark has been advising on major energy and infrastructure projects for more than 20 years. He represents sponsors and lenders on complex, multi-source financings, involving ECAs, MDBs, commercial banks and debt capital markets funding.
Noriko Higashizawa, partner, City-Yuwa Partners
Noriko Higashizawa has extensive experience representing global companies on labour and employment matters including dispute resolution such as litigation and arbitration. She has led various labour disputes to successful and satisfactory resolutions using strategies that consider employee-friendly Japanese labour laws. She has also provided legal advice on general corporate matters and has been acting as local counsel role for her international clients. She serves a variety of clients across industries, including a globally-known hotel chain, a logistics company, automobile parts companies, pharmaceutical & medical device companies, a broadcasting company and telecommunication and Internet companies. She has been a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel since 2008 and served as a Vice Chair International of Employment and Diversity committees. She obtained her LL.M. degree from Duke University Law School. Before joining City-Yuwa, Ms. Higashizawa was a partner at a major U.S. law firm.
Akira Nagasaki, partner, City-Yuwa Partners
Akira Nagasaki, whose English is at native level due to being brought up in the US, is assisting numerous foreign clients in the areas of employment law, international transactions, international trade law and environmental law. He has represented clients in Japan and overseas in numerous M&A deals, cross-border transactions, and trade law issues. He was even one of the examiners of the national Bar Examination in the area of environmental law.
So Saito, partner, So & Sato
So Saito set up the firm, formerly-named So Law Office in 2015 after having practiced law primarily in finance area, such as securitization, funds and derivatives for sixteen (16) years at one of the biggest Japanese law firms. He currently advises domestic and international clients in blockchain, fintech, venture finance, etc. He also assists startups and tech-companies such as VR/AR, AI, drone, MediTech, BioTech companies.
Tsuyoshi (Yoshi) Ikeda, representative partner, Ikeda & Someya
Yoshi served as an investigator of the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) where he participated in around 20 dawn raids; prepared the implementation of the leniency system; and investigated a case involving standard essential patents. With his success in the most cutting-edge cases of cartel, merger review, and other types of antitrust/competition cases, Yoshi has been recognized as one of the most prominent antitrust/competition law practitioners in Japan by lawyer ranking institutes such as Who’s Who Legal.
Yoshie Midorikawa, partner, Miura & Partners
Yoshie Midorikawa is a founding partner at Miura & Partners, having helped establish the firm in 2019.
She has extensive experience in complex disputes and arbitration under the rules of the ICC, HKIAC, SIAC, UNCITRAL, LCIA, and ICSID. She is listed on the Panel of Arbitrators of JCAA, THAC, and SHAC.
Having worked with leading law firms in Japan and Singapore, she has handled parallel proceedings across multiple jurisdictions as well as domestic disputes before Japanese courts. Through learning in the United States, practicing in Singapore, and serving on an international law firm’s arbitration team, among other accomplishments, she has developed expertise operating in diverse international environments. She has also served as a board member of listed companies in Japan, improving their corporate governance. Her deep understanding of the civil law system, her working experience in international environments, including common law jurisdictions, and her knowledge of business, enable her to bring practical and nuanced legal solutions to international commercial disputes.
Yuki Sato, partner, So & Sato
Yuki Sato has represented both domestic and foreign companies in various types of M&A transactions, cross-border investments, joint venture and many projects by providing legal advice on structuring, due diligence, drafting and negotiating relevant contracts. She has also represented both issuers and investors in complicated equity financing including private equity funds and venture capitals. She advises companies on commercial and corporate matters. She has extensive experience assisting foreign companies with their operations in Japan, advising on company formation, regulatory and competition matters as well as employment issues. Her clients are diverse; among them were financial institutions, listed Japanese manufacturers and information technology start-ups.
Yuzo Otsuka, managing director, head of Japan M&A advisory, banking section, Barclays
An alumni of the prestigious universities of Tokyo and Chicago, Yuzo Otsuka has enjoyed an extremely impressive career in the financial industry, and now operates at the highest levels of the Tokyo banking scene. Beginning his career at Lehman Brothers and then Morgan Stanley, he set out on what would eventually be a 14-year stint with UBS Investment Bank in 2001, eventually rising to the rank of managing director and head of Investment Banking for Japan. After a role as a managing director at Lazard, he moved to his current role at Barclays Securities Japan. Here, he is a managing director and head of Japan M&A advisory, utilising his skillset to overcome myriad daily challenges.
Joe Boswell, The Legal 500
Joe Boswell has been a part of The Legal 500’s editorial team, specialising on the in-house legal community, for more than six years. He now heads the GC Powerlist team, acting as chief editor for the over 40 separate editions of the GC Powerlist series which serve as The Legal 500’s flagship title celebrating the world’s top in-house counsel.
During the course of researching for the GC Powerlist series, Boswell has interviewed a vast number of world-renowned general counsel, chief legal officers, and legal directors about overcoming the challenges they face, their legal innovations, and how they see the general counsel role progressing in coming years. As well as this, he is a regular speaker at Legal 500 summits, roundtables, award ceremonies and other events, and often writes in-depth reports on business and legal issues.
Boswell is an alumnus of both the University of Sussex in The United Kingdom and the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in The Netherlands.
Yasushi Murofushi, senior counsel, EY Law Japan
Yasushi Murofushi is a senior counsel co-leading the legal function consulting and legal managed services at EY Law Japan. He has been practicing as a Japanese-qualified lawyer for 37 years. Yasushi’s extensive experience encompasses a role as Japan general counsel for Credit Suisse (2000-17) and as a partner at a number of major international law firms for a total of 15 years. He also served as the president of the Japan In-house Lawyers Association (JILA) (2012-18).
Eri Maeda, co-leader, legal function consulting and legal managed services business, EY Law Japan
Eri Maeda co-leads the legal function consulting and legal managed services business at EY Law Japan. She began her career at a major Japanese law firm in 2007 and transitioned to in-house legal counsel for Asahi Kasei, a major Japanese chemical manufacturer in 2011. She also spent time as in-house legal counsel for Johnson & Johnson and was the lead legal counsel of EY Strategy.
Jun Makuta, partner, corporate law practice and Japan desk co-ordinator, TozziniFreire Advogados
Jun’s deep knowledge of Japanese legal matters is reinforced by his experience working in Tokyo, where from 2007-08 he served as a Brazilian law consultant within the legal department of one of Japan’s largest business groups. He also has significant expertise in civil litigation, commercial law and corporate restructuring and recovery. Graduate of law, Jun holds specializations in Business Management, in Economic and Corporate Law, and in Contracts. He is recommended by relevant international legal guides, such as The Legal 500, Chambers Global, Chambers Latin America, Latin Lawyer 250, and IFLR1000, and is recognized by Latin Lawyer – Masters of M&A. Additionally, Jun is a member of the Brazil-Japan Comparative Law Institute.
Shin Jae Kim, head of the compliance and investigation area and head of the Asia practice group, TozziniFreire Advogados
Shin Jae Kim is a pioneer in the development of the compliance field in Brazil. She is a specialist in the strategic co-ordination of initiatives that involve relationships with government bodies and corporate investigations. Respected for her leading practice and more than 30 years of experience in corporate law and M&A transactions, she counsels investors from several different countries in their inbound and outbound investments. In addition, Shin chairs and speaks at several forums and international events focused on anti-corruption, corporate governance, investigations matters, and crisis management. Shin also co-headed the creation of the Latin American Compliance & Investigation League (LACIL), which comprises the top Latin American law firms in this practice. She is consistently recommended as a leading lawyer by international legal publications, such as The Legal 500, Chambers Global, Chambers Latin America, Who’s Who Legal, Latin Lawyer 250, and Análise Advocacia 500
Dr. Axel Kuhlmann, foreign law partner, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
Axel Kuhlmann is a corporate and M&A lawyer qualified in Germany and a foreign law partner of Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu. He has wide-ranging experience in the German and European market advising Japanese and global companies on all kinds of German law issues and on their business activities in Germany and other European countries. He also regularly advises German clients on their business activities in Japan, including corporate housekeeping and labour law matters of their Japanese subsidiaries.
Axel graduated from the University of Passau, Germany, and holds a doctor’s degree (Dr. iur.) from the same university. Before joining Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, Axel worked for one of Germany’s leading business law firms as associated partner in the field of corporate and M&A and a member of the firm’s Japan advisory group.
Naokuni Kuwagata, corporate officer and country legal head Japan, Novartis Pharma K.K.
Naokuni Kuwagata leads the Japan legal team of Novartis and is a member of both the global legal leadership team of Innovative Medicine International and the Japan leadership team. Before joining Novartis, he worked for Panasonic Corporation as a compliance investigation manager, leading the operation of the integrated global hotline and internal investigation from a global HQ perspective.
He also used to work for a leading law firm in Japan for 15 years, including working in the US and India. He is admitted both in Japan and New York and holds an LLM degree from the Duke University School of Law in the US.
Aya Yasui, associate, Ikeda & Someya
Aya Yasui has a long history of experience in general corporate matters, including international transactions, at both U.S. law firm and domestic general law firm, with a particular focus on counseling clients on antitrust, personal information protection, and privacy issues. Her experience also includes recent high-profile antitrust cases such as a commitment with the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), cartel, merger control and big-tech related cases. She has been transferred to a major foreign company and has legal experience at an automobile manufacturer as General Manager.
Kosuke Hamaguchi, partner, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
Kosuke Hamaguchi’s practice mainly involves public and private M&A transactions and corporate governance. He also regularly advises clients on corporate crisis management. Based upon his experiences overseas, he represents international companies in numerous cross-border projects. In particular, he is recognised for his expertise in strategic M&A transactions and alliances.
Takahiro Oishi, associate, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
Takahiro Oishi is an associate at leading Japanese law firm Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu and has built up a wealth of experience working on M&A transactions, having been at the firm since 2011. Takahiro graduated from Columbia Law School and has also worked in London for an international law firm.
Hiromi Shiraishi, country counsel, HP Japan
A graduate of the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California, Hiromi Shiraishi has held positions with established law firms in both the United States and Japan, most recently as a counsel for Nishimura & Asahi. Her in-house legal journey is one that displays versatility and a refreshing diversity in roles. It began in the International Legal Affairs Bureau of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Japan, where she was a deputy director, before moving on to a six-and-and-a-half year stint at Nokia; here, she rose to the rank of head of legal and compliance for Japan. Moving into the renewable energy sector with RENOVA after this, she began her most recent position with HP in August 2019.
Ayako Shotoku, group general counsel, Panasonic Holdings Corporation
Ayako Shotoku is the Group General Counsel and a member of the Board of Directors at Panasonic Holdings Corporation. She has over thirty years of in-house legal counsel experience and began her career at Matsushita Electric Industrial in 1991 (which was renamed to Panasonic Corporation in 2008). Previously, she held roles in Panasonic’s group companies such as Automotive, Connected Solutions, and AVC Networks.
Tatsuya Morita, CCO and COO, legal department, internal control administration department, Sojitz Corporation
Tatsuya Morita leads the Legal Department and the Internal Control Administration Department of Sojitz Corporation, which is one of the major Japanese trading firms. He has worked for Sojitz Corporation for more than 20 years as a member of the Legal Department, where he deals with all varieties of legal and compliance issues. His work includes preparing, reviewing, and negotiating the various transactional documents arising from cross border transactions and managing legal disputes. He also has compliance experience including setting up the global compliance system for the entire Sojitz Group and managing a vast array of compliance issues.
Naosuke Fujita, general counsel, Government Pension Investment Fund
Naosuke Fujita has been general counsel for the Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan (GPIF) since September 2020. Naosuke qualified in Japan in 1987 and has worked as an associate and partner at Japanese and US global law firms. Prior to working at GPIF, he served as general counsel in Japan of a foreign investment bank for ten years. He is a graduate of Waseda University and University of Michigan (LLM). He serves as co-representative of Lawyers for LGBT and Allies Network, a non-profit organisation that strives to realise an equal environment where every person can be their true self.
Shingo Kasahara, director for policy planning office, economic affairs bureau, Japan Fair Trade Commission
Shingo Kasahara is currently directing a unit in charge of antitrust policymaking and legislative affairs within Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC). In his more than 20 years’ service, Shingo has been engaged in a wide range of projects; for instance, series of amendments of the Antimonopoly Act, the formation of relevant guidelines and international agreements as well as some major law enforcements.
He also has experience to lead investigations against false advertisements at the Consumer Affairs Agency and the supervision of sovereign investment funds at the Ministry of Finance.
Yuko Shimomura, senior legal counsel, INPEX
Yuko Shimomura is senior legal counsel at INPEX CORPORATION. Before joining INPEX, he worked as attorney with Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu since 2012 with a particular focus on corporate and (cross-border) M&A matters including acquisition finance. He also supported the overseas operations of Japanese companies when working for Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu’s New York office. Yuko graduated from Keio University Law School and New York University School of Law.
Natsue Ishida, managing director of legal & intellectual property division, SEGA SAMMY HOLDINGS
Natsue Ishida is a legal and compliance professional with over 20 years of client service and in-house legal experience, serving as the head of legal and compliance functions for global companies in various industries including commercial vehicles, cosmetics, medical devices and electronics, and as a legal counsel for a major Japanese securities firm.
Ishida also has experience working in the United States and Europe in the areas of global data protection and transfer pricing in the international headquarters of a large multinational accounting firm.
She is a member of the New York State Bar and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional in the United States.
Emi Takeda, legal director and board member, Accenture
Emi is a senior international lawyer with over 20 year experience at top global law firms and as head of legal for Accenture Japan. In her current role as Managing Director – Legal, and Board Member at Accenture Japan, she manages a team of more than 80 lawyers and contract professionals. Emi received her LL.B. from the University of Tokyo and graduated from the Legal Training and Research Institute of Japan. Emi received her LL.M. from Columbia Law School. Emi is a Japanese bengoshi admitted to practice in Japan and she is also admitted in New York.
Takashi Ohno, head of employment law (Japan)–Accenture
Takashi Ohno is a senior manager and head of employment law for Japan at Accenture, where he coordinates a demanding portfolio on behalf of the global Information technology major. Prior to joining Accenture, he was an attorney for Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu in both Japan and the United States, where he specialised in international arbitration, international and domestic litigation, investigation, and international transactions. His career has also encompassed the public sector–he was a court judge for criminal matters at the Yokohama District Court and for civil disputes, medical lawsuits and bankruptcy at the District court of Fukuoka. Takashi Ohno is a graduate of The University of Chicago, Columbia Law School, Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, and Sophia University in Tokyo.
Yoshinobu Fujimoto, partner, Nishimura & Asahi
Yoshinobu was promoted to partner in 1999. He is experienced in NP loans, real property, and equity investment cases dealing with foreign capital funds and companies. In addition to domestic M&A and business integration cases, recently engaged in many M&A and JV cases by Japanese corporations in the USA, Europe, and Asian countries.
Takeshi (Tak) Onishi, Partner, World Innovation Lab (WiL)
Tak Onishi is responsible for managing and developing WiL’s investment portfolio in Japan as Portfolio Manager. WiL is a US & Japan-based VC with capital from governments and leading global corporations in Japan and throughout Asia.
Tak has over 20 years of experience in investment banking and commercial banking covering internet, media, and telecom companies. Prior to joining WiL, he served as managing director of the investment banking division of Mizuho Securities, where he led numerous domestic and international M&A deals and IPO transactions. In the company’s earlier years at the Industry Bank of Japan, Tak served as a primary research analyst. Tak holds an MBA from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Tokyo.
Kei Sugawara, vice-chairperson & CFO, istyle, Inc.
Kei Sugawara is currently serving as Vice-Chairperson and CFO at istyle. He also holds the positions of Managing Partner of iSGS Investment Work, and many public/private companies. Prior to his current positions, He was an active management consultant at Accenture and Arthur D. Little. Received his MBA from the University of Bristol.
Hiroyuki Jinno, director, HIRAC FUND
After graduating from liberal arts college in California, Hiro joined Barclays Securities Japan Limited and engaged in financial advisory services including cross-border M&A and debt financing. In terms of debt financing, Hiro was involved in first negative yielding covered bonds issuance in Japan.
In 2020, Hiro joined HIRAC FUND (VC at Money Forward) and has engaged in investment, portfolio management, and fund raising.
Nick Wall, partner, Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho
Nick Wall is widely recognised in Tokyo among clients and peers for his legal skills, business acumen, and fully bilingual English and Japanese ability. Nick has over 20 years’ experience advising on Japanese inbound and outbound corporate M&A and joint ventures with significant experience in a number of sectors including automotive, consumer and retail, financial services, manufacturing and technology.
Tokutaka Ito, partner, Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho
Tokutaka Ito has both inbound and outbound corporate experience for Japanese and international clients. He focuses on cross-border M&A transactions, joint ventures, restructurings and general corporate across a range of sectors including financial services, technology, media and telecommunications, general industries, pharmaceuticals, and mining sectors. He has also worked as an investment banker at a major international investment bank in Tokyo.
Taro Nakashima, partner, Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho
Taro Nakashima specialises in cross-border M&A transactions, with significant experience advising Japanese clients on their outbound transactions as well as international clients investing in Japan.
He has experience across a variety of deal types and structures, including public and private M&A, competitive bids and transactions involving complex structures. He advises clients across a wide range of industries, with particular experience in the manufacturing, technology, financial services, consumer and life science sectors.
Kosuke Hasegawa, partner, City-Yuwa Partners
Hiroyuki Urase, general manager, legal & compliance department, Sony Financial Group Inc
Hiroyuki Urase worked in the legal department of Sony Corporation (currently Sony Group Corporation) for over 25 years, and has been involved in many legal matters including M&A, joint ventures, corporate alliances and business incubation as deputy general manager of the legal department. In July 2016, he was assigned to be general manager of the compliance department (currently legal and compliance department) of Sony Financial Holdings (currently Sony Financial Group) which oversees the financial business of Sony Group, and since then he has been serving as head of legal, ethics, compliance and intellectual property matters at Sony Group’s finance sector.
Sayaka Habe, project manager, legal department, Toyota Tsusho Corporation
Sayaka Habe is a project manager of the legal department of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, one of the trading companies in Japan. Before joining TTC, she has work experience to work for the manufactures in auto-parts industries and food company. She also used to work in a global major law firm, which includes working experience in Vietnam.
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Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu is the first integrated full-service law firm in Japan and one of the foremost providers of international and commercial legal services based in Tokyo. In representing its leading domestic and international clients, the firm has successfully structured and negotiated many of the largest and most significant corporate, finance and real estate transactions related to Japan. The firm has extensive corporate and litigation capabilities spanning key commercial areas such as antitrust, intellectual property, labor and taxation.
It is known for path-breaking domestic and cross-border risk management/ corporate governance cases, such as fraud investigations and white-collar criminal defence, and for handling insolvency and restructuring proceedings including large-scale corporate reorganisations. In order to deliver optimal service and value to its clients, the over 500 lawyers of the firm, including about 40 experienced attorneys from various jurisdictions outside Japan, work together in customised teams to provide the expertise and experience specifically required for each client matter.
IKEDA & SOMEYA, as a law firm of a new era, can offer unparalleled skills and experience in the fields of antitrust/competition and consumer law. The firm’s attorneys have a wealth of experience, coming from diverse backgrounds which include ex-officials at enforcement agencies and former in-house counsel. In addition to general legal counselling and case work, the firm offer various packaged services to help companies implement practical solutions for real and complex problems.
Nishimura & Asahi is Japan’s largest law firm, covering all aspects of domestic and international business and corporate activity. The firm has over 800 Japanese and foreign professionals* — employing more than 900 support staff, including senior Japanese and foreign business support professionals, and paralegals.
With the continued expansion of its international presence and clientele, the firm has four domestic and 14 overseas offices. Through the firm’s domestic and global networks, we are ideally placed to provide clients with a borderless one-stop service, from Japan to the world.
* Including some Associate and Alliance offices
The firm started out in 2015 as So Law Office before expanding into So & Sato Law Office in 2019. It is a boutique firm that is uniquely positioned to advise international and domestic corporate clients on complicated matters, especially new business involving technologies.
The firm’s lawyers have backgrounds working at one of the biggest Japanese law firms and a reputable global law firm, and have extensive experience handling transactions in the areas of finance, funds, M&A, joint venture and crisis management.
It offers high-quality advice in the above areas coupled with tailored service to deliver the best results to its clients. Furthermore, the firm has deep knowledge in the area of advanced technologies and cutting-edge business models, such as blockchain, virtual currency, artificial intelligence and robotics.
EY Law Co., (EY Law) through its association with EY, one of the “Big Four” global professional services firms providing the spectrum of top-tier advisory and consulting services to clients around the world, provides exceptional quality legal advice to the world’s leading businesses. EY Law differentiates themselves in the market by implementing a truly multidisciplinary, cross-service lines approach, providing solutions-oriented services to clients by closely collaborating with other experts and leveraging a global network of lawyers in over 90 jurisdictions.
EY Law aims to help corporate legal departments transform their practice and deliver meaningful value to the business though EY’s Legal Managed Services (LMS) and Legal Function Consulting (LFC) (collectively referred to as Legal Operations). EY Law accomplishes this by helping client realize efficiency improvements, risk mitigation, cost control and helping transform their legal processes, talent models, data, and technology strategies to drive cost-effective and innovative legal function operating models and sustainable processes.
Our Legal Advisory Services, includes full coverage of traditional practice areas such as M&A, general corporate and commercial, labor and employment, competition and antitrust, real estate, digital law, dispute resolution and corporate governance and compliance.
With an integrated team of more than 166 Japan-qualified lawyers, foreign attorneys, judicial scriveners and immigration law specialists, and an equal number of staff, City-Yuwa is one of the leading law firms in Japan. Many lawyers City-Yuwa lawyers have joined the firm with years of experience working in other professions before joining, including former prosecutors, high-ranking governmental officials, in-house counsels for financial institutions, trading companies and other businesses.
City-Yuwa’s practice areas include corporate and commercial, M&A, distribution, finance and banking, securities, insurance, real estate, insolvency and restructuring, litigation and arbitration, IP/IT, labour and employment, anti-trust and competition, energy, data protection, compliance and white-collar criminal defense. In addition to a large team of lawyers dealing with English-language transactions, City-Yuwa has a dedicated bilingual team for German and Korean Practices.
With respect to labour and employment law practice, City-Yuwa lawyers have extensive experience advising companies with practical and professional advice on labour issues and employment matters and always aim to deeply consider each companies’ characteristics and corporate culture and structure.
Also worthy of note is that among the leading law firms in Japan, City-Yuwa is unique in having a strong and large team for resolving various types of disputes. In particular, City-Yuwa’s labour and employment team provides its international clients with practical and strategic measures to resolve delicate and complex labour disputes under the often employee-friendly laws in Japan.
Iwata Godo is one of Japan’s premier and oldest law firms. It was established in 1902 as one of the first business law firms by Chuzo Iwata, an attorney-at-law who subsequently held various positions, including serving as Minister of Justice and president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.
It is a full-service firm with about 70 attorneys and each of its practice areas is highly regarded. It is the firm of choice for clients with respect to their most challenging legal issues, including in relation to data protection. Over the past few years, Iwata Godo has hosted a number of international seminars and conferences on data protection, often in coordination with ‘best friend’ firms that are renowned firms and market leaders in their jurisdictions.
Opened in 2015 and located in the heart of Japan’s premier business district, King & Spalding’s Tokyo office was the firm’s 18th overall. Its lawyers in Tokyo advise Japanese and Korean companies and financial institutions across a broad range of complex infrastructure, energy and natural resources matters around the world. The office is active on matters and projects throughout Asia, North and South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.
King & Spalding’s Tokyo office consists of a core team of partners who are well-known in the Japanese and Asia Pacific market. They have more than two decades’ experience representing major Japanese and Korean participants in the energy and resources sector, including export credit agencies and financial institutions, as well as some of the region’s largest trading houses, power and gas utility companies, and other blue-chip project sponsors and participants. They also have extensive experience advising and supporting clients in the resolution of disputes, with particular expertise in energy and resources, infrastructure, transport and trade, and IP disputes.
In 1988, Allen & Overy was one of the first international law firms to establish an office in Tokyo. For over 30 years, the Allen & Overy Tokyo office has provided comprehensive legal services to a wide range of corporate clients (both domestic and international), banks, financial institutions, trading companies and energy companies.
The Tokyo practice specializes in the following major areas: Corporate and M&A, Projects, Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure (PENRI) and Banking & Finance.
A&O’s longstanding history in this market, combined with an extensive network of offices worldwide, with both international and Japanese law capability and bilingual lawyers, means that the firm are often the first port of call for companies seeking assistance, whether it be on their inbound or outbound transactions.
TozziniFreire’s Japan Desk was created to offer tailor-made services to Japanese companies, with whom the firm has maintained relationships for decades. Today, the Desk is one of the biggest among Brazilian law firms. Working in a multidisciplinary fashion, the group fully assists Japanese clients in their businesses in Brazil, having significant experience in mergers and acquisitions, infrastructure projects, establishment of subsidiaries, joint ventures with local partners and in selling their products in the Brazilian market.
The group has many of Japan’s major trading companies as its clients, as well as large and mid-sized industrial and financial companies, frequently acting as a project coordinator and having the support of specialized practices within the firm. The team has professionals with work experience in Japan, both in major law firms and companies. The group also has partnerships with law firms in Japan and Japanese offices of international firms that operate in global acquisitions involving Brazilian and Japanese companies.
Miura & Partners was founded in January 2019 by Mr Ryota Miura, together with a team of experienced lawyers, with the goal of establishing a professional law firm where client satisfaction is the starting point. M&P’s lawyers believe that the role of legal professionals is not just to advise on specific legal provisions, but to provide comprehensive legal advice and support to assist clients in achieving their business goals.
M&P covers virtually all legal issues for corporate clients, including M&A, joint venture, finance, corporate and financial regulation, competition law, intellectual property law, litigation, general corporate legal matters, international trade, and domestic and cross border disputes. M&P’s geographical coverage is expansive, assisting clients in their ventures across the globe. M&P’s lawyers also have in-depth knowledge of new technologies and legal practices in evolving fields such as blockchain, start-ups, fintech, big data, and medical and healthcare.