Firm Profile > Herbert Smith Freehills > Tokyo, Japan

Herbert Smith Freehills
41ST FLOOR, MIDTOWN TOWER
9-7-1 AKASAKA, MINATO-KU
TOKYO 107-6241
Japan

Corporate and M&A: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

The array of cross-border M&A transactions handled by Herbert Smith Freehills' Tokyo office has truly global coverage and supports the investments of its household name Japanese clients including Softbank, Sumitomo and Bridgestone. Its experience working on deals across a range of sectors is a hallmark of the team, with particular expertise in the TMT, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and healthcare industries. Practice head Graeme Preston recently led on several multi-million dollar acquisitions and advised on complex restructurings. Both Damien Roberts and Andrew Blacoe are key names to note, particularly for M&A in the infrastructure, energy and natural resources sectors. Of counsel Joseph Fisher is also highly praised.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The team works closely and simultaneously so that the performance is quick and based on common knowledge of the case, standard and even the knowledge of the conversation made between client and attorneys separately. They are very much responsive to the clients needs.’

‘They speak very frankly which we really appreciate. The opinion is straight forward but never gives negative feelings to client. We often communicate with Damien Roberts. They are a really good team and we are really happy to work with them and their performance is always satisfying.’

‘They are pragmatic, speedy and solution oriented with high legal professionalism and expertise.’

‘Joseph Fisher, based in Tokyo, is excellent in terms of negotiations, drafting and completion.’

‘HSF Japan is one of the very few legal firms who know our industry and how we operate. This knowledge means that they can provide the best advice on fairly niche industry topics. They also have the ability to pull in experts from around the world at short notice when necessary.’

‘I have worked with Joseph Fisher for a number of years now and he has always been excellent in not only giving thoughtful, measured advice, but also his time to help our business grow and develop in the local market. He shows passion and enthusiasm for the service we provide in Japan and for helping to develop our in-house legal team which is extremely helpful. His passion and dedication to understanding how our business works means that his advice is always well received.’

‘Significant practice history in Japan, with outstanding knowledge of local practice and customs and therefore ideally placed to assist inbound companies trying to resolve the myth of Japanese law and business.’

‘Graeme Preston and Damien Roberts, both partners of the firm, are hugely experienced with the Japanese market. Of counsel Joseph Fisher brings a wealth of knowledge adapted to Japanese business customs.’

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp

Sumitomo Corporation

NTT Group

Mitsui & Co. Ltd.

Marubeni Corporation

Mitsubishi Corporation

Asahi Kasei Homes

Nanomi B.V., a subsidiary of Lupin Limited

JOGMEC

Panasonic Corporation

Bridgestone Corporation

Dispute resolution: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Japanese clients from a breadth of sectors, including the infrastructure, energy, TMT, pharmaceuticals, automotive and manufacturing industries, instruct Herbert Smith Freehills on international disputes and crises. The three-partner practice in Tokyo works with the firm's global disputes group across 20 jurisdictions and has a particular strength in international arbitration proceedings. Practice head David Gilmore has over 15 years of experience in Japan, specialising in international commercial dispute resolution. Craig Shepherd, who has relocated to Tokyo from the Dubai office, is an expert in disputes in the construction and infrastructure sectors, while Christopher Hunt represents clients in international arbitrations, acting in sanctions issues, investor-state disputes and cybersecurity matters. Senior associate Yosuke Homma is also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The team had a great knowledge of the arbitration process and work well with Japanese counsel in pushing forward the arbitration, while also utilising the experts in a meaningful manner.’

‘Christopher Hunt is prompt, extremely commercial and has this exceptional ability to think outside of the box so as to achieve the best possible results for his clients.’

‘In our recent complex dispute case involving cross-border M&A and construction, the team had the advantage of having offices worldwide. We were given legal advice on a specific jurisdiction when necessary, with the support from our ‘one-stop’ contact in Japan.’

‘I appreciate their deep understanding of the Japanese culture. This is a key reason for our comfortableness regarding working with them.’

‘I have been working closely with Yusuke Homma, senior associate in the firm, who is a genius. He has rich experience in this practice, and is very thoughtful and well balanced. Not only knowledgeable and logical, he is also a really down-to-earth lawyer, which is very important to deal with when bringing this kind of case to a successful end. I really appreciate his competence very much.’

‘All of the team members have a high sense of professionalism but they are friendly and always try to give us practical advice in light of the client perspective.’

‘David Gilmore leads the team effectively. He has a strong commitment to clients and business partners. Yosuke Homma, senior associate, is a skilled bilingual attorney who can deal with various types of disputes and client communications in both English and Japanese.’

Key clients

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

ITOCHU Corporation

Toyota Motor (Australia)

Sumitomo Corporation

Bridgestone

SoftBank Group

Projects and energy: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Advising on all aspects of energy and infrastructure projects, including development, finance, M&A and contentious issues, Herbert Smith Freehills' practice in Tokyo is led by Andrew Blacoe, a specialist in advising on large-scale transactions and projects in the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors. The team is also strong on novel financing structures for energy and infrastructure assets as well as reflecting the market trend with increased focus on sustainable energy developments and investments for its Japanese client base. Damien Roberts specialises in cross-border M&A transactions for Japanese clients with a focus on the projects, infrastructure, energy and natural resources sectors, particularly into Australia and Southeast Asia. Of counsel finance lawyer Keith Gamble is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Mitsubishi Corporation

Sumitomo Corporation

First Gen Corporation

Marubeni Corporation

ITOCHU Corporation

Development Bank of Japan

Jogmec

Jera

Hitachi Construction Machinery

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Banpu

Sumitomo Metal Mining

Real estate and construction: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills' construction practice is now led by the firm's global head of construction and infrastructure disputes Craig Shepherd, who relocated to Tokyo from Dubai in 2019 following Emma Schaafsma's move to the London office. While the team's expertise in dispute resolution, particularly international arbitration, stands out, highlights also cover the full cycle of a project from drafting contracts and development issues through to the related litigation. Sector specialisms encompass the power, renewables, gas, nuclear, shipbuilding, road and rail industries. Head of the wider dispute resolution team David Gilmore is a key name to note alongside projects and energy practice head Andrew Blacoe.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

First Gen

Sumitomo Metal Mining

Asahi Kasei Homes

Hitachi Construction Machinery

TMT: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Graeme Preston, TMT specialist and head of Herbert Smith Freehills' Asia corporate practice, heads its TMT group at the Tokyo office. Some of Japan's leading trading houses, technology and telecoms companies instruct the team on their strategic transactions, complex disputes, regulatory and compliance needs, and risk management. Collaborating with the firm's global network of offices, the group assists Japanese clients almost exclusively on outbound matters covering numerous jurisdictions, with recent areas of growth in the market seeing more work in southeast Asia and Europe. Andrew Blacoe and Christopher Hunt are key contacts on the corporate and contentious sides, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp

Sumitomo Corporation

NTT Communication

Bridgestone Corporation

Marubeni Corporation

Mitsubishi Corporation

NTT Docomo

Antitrust and competition: International firms and joint ventures Tier 3

With a client base of leading Japanese names such as Sumitomo, Mitsubishi and MUFG Bank, Herbert Smith Freehills' Tokyo office assists with multijurisdictional merger control work. From Tokyo, corporate law expert Graeme Preston co-heads the team, drawing on his experience from his long-term relationships with clients, while Brussels-based Kyriakos Fountoukakos provides specialist antitrust and competition advice to Japanese clients on their operations in the UK and EU. Senior associate Joel Rheuben joined in late 2019 from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, bolstering the team's competition and antitrust capabilities in Tokyo.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘They have very well organised team. I have an impression that each lawyer is responsive.’

Key clients

Sumitomo Corporation

Mitsubishi Corporation

Sojitz Corporation

Marubeni Corporation

ITOCHU Corporation

Furukawa Electric

Panasonic Corporation

JERA Co Inc

Sumitomo Metal Mining

MUFG Bank

Asahi Kasei Homes

Spicers Paper (an Australian affiliate of Japan Pulp & Paper)

Toyota Tsusho

Our Tokyo office opened in 2000, and is consistently recognised as one of the leading law firms in Japan.

We advise Japan’s largest and most high profile companies and international corporations on inbound and outbound cross-border transactions, energy projects and dispute resolution.

As our work focuses on multi-jurisdictional matters for Japanese and multinational corporations, we work in close collaboration with our international network, and can quickly assemble and manage cross-border expertise to meet your needs.

We have one of the largest and most experienced teams of registered foreign lawyers in Tokyo. Half of our lawyers based in Tokyo are fluent in Japanese, with particular expertise in energy, infrastructure and mining, construction and engineering, and technology, media and telecommunications.

Department Name Email Telephone
Dispute Resolution David Gilmore david.gilmore@hsf.com +81 3 5412 5415
Dispute Resolution Craig Shepherd craig.shepherd@hsf.com +81 3 5412 5456
Dispute Resolution Christopher Hunt christopher.hunt@hsf.com +81 3 5412 5401
Corporate/M&A Graeme Preston graeme.preston@hsf.com +81 3 5412 5485
Corporate/M&A Andrew Blacoe andrew.blacoe@hsf.com +81 3 5412 5455
Corporate/M&A Damien Roberts damien.roberts@hsf.com +81 3 5412 5453
English
Japanese