Norton Rose Fulbright > Tokyo, Japan > Firm Profile

Norton Rose Fulbright
TOKYO 1000-0004

Japan > Banking and finance: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

Clients seeking assistance from the banking and finance team at Norton Rose Fulbright are able to receive advice on a variety of finance matters, including asset finance, corporate finance, and aviation finance work. The practice has been especially busy with restructuring transactions and LIBOR cases, as well as IPOs, joint venture financings, and project finance work, for which department head George Gibson is the name to note. Paul Coggins is adept at advising clients in offshore sectors and international shipping, with a specialism in financing ships using cross-border project and asset-based leasing and debt facilities. Akihiko Takamatsu joined the practice from Clifford Chance in February 2023.

Practice head(s):

George Gibson

Other key lawyers:


‘Client friendly, and a very good level of knowledge.’

‘They are eager to help even when our business proposal is at brainstorming stage, which is extremely important to us.’

‘Very patient and understand very well the interests of different stakeholders. I would highly recommend Akihiko Takamatsu.’

‘Deep knowledge of asset financing, not only within one area, but throughout the globe.’

‘Paul Coggins differentiates himself from others with his vast knowledge and understanding on the Japanese trading firms.’

‘Paul Coggins and his team are excellent. He and his team are dedicated in supporting our transactions.’

Key clients

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited

BNP Paribas

ING Bank

Japan Bank for International Cooperation


Mitsubishi Corporation

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.

Mizuho Bank


Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co. Ltd.

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha

ORIX Corporation

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

ITOCHU Corporation

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.

Tokyo Century Corporation

Japan > Projects and energy: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

Advising Japan-based clients on outbound energy and infrastructure projects is a particular strength of the team at Norton Rose Fulbright. The projects and energy practice provides a full-service offering, extending beyond project development and finance to include advice on corporate and M&A matters and dispute resolution. George Gibson, head of the firm’s Tokyo office, leads the team; his broad experience across a range of sectors sees the group advise on power, water, oil and gas, petrochemicals and nuclear projects. Paul Coggins focuses his practice on the international shipping and offshore sectors and has led the team on a number of LNG vessel matters. The firm has an extensive and varied client base, including ECAs, international banks and sponsors, and counsel Andrew Clarke advises Japanese corporate clients and utilities. The addition of Akihiko Takamatsu in February 2023 from Clifford Chance has strengthened the team’s advice inbound energy and infrastructure projects, with particular expertise in solar PV and renewable energy projects.

Practice head(s):

George Gibson


‘NRF has strong capability in new energy matters such as green and blue ammonia projects.’

‘The team is spread out to various cities in Australia and Japan, but using the online systems there is a good communication among the team members including ourselves.’

‘They are able to create a team with the appropriate expertise for each transaction throughout their global network. They also put legaltech into great use, efficiently managing large volume document review and transaction progress.’

‘Norton Rose are professional as to the legal matters and know well about the Japanese clients’ internal decision making process that helps us in negotiating with the counterpart because Norton Rose takes the timing of our internal decision making process into account.’

‘Andrew Clarke, has excellent communication skills that enable the clients to consult with him frankly. Also, he approaches the counterpart frequently with a relaxed manner to listen to the counterpart’s real concerns that make the negotiation efficient.’

‘George Gibson is an excellent coordinator, overseeing the entire team and regularly follows up for feedback to improve performance.’

‘Norton Rose Fulbright has an excellent network system between its offices. They always collaborate well with offices in other jurisdictions and the teamwork makes the project management efficient and good quality.’

‘George Gibson, always takes care of his team’s performance and manages them very well. Also, he knows when to respect commercial decisions and preferences so our management relies on his advice.’

Work highlights

  • Advising Chuden on a potential investment in OMC Power Private Limited through a subscription for new shares for 25% of the equity on a post-issuance basis.
  • Advising Shizen Energy on the $480bn investment by CDPQ in connection with accelerating the energy transition in Japan and key international markets, including development of solar power, wind power, hydroelectric power, and biomass power.
  • Advising Marubeni Corporation and Transelec Holdings Rentas Limitada as winning bidders in the tender by the National Copper Corporation of Chile (CODELCO) of a $1.2bn BOOT contract for the construction of a water desalination plant in Antofagasta, Chile.

Japan > Corporate and M&A: International firms and joint ventures Tier 4

The team at Norton Rose Fulbright advises clients on both inbound and outbound corporate M&A transactions, with a particular emphasis on the energy sector. Sam Inohara heads up the practice and is focused on cross-border M&A and joint ventures, with support provided from associate Andrew Clarke. Akihiko Takamatsu joined the practice from Clifford Chance in February 2023.

Practice head(s):

Sam Inohara

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Chubu Electric Power Co.

Sumitomo Chemical Company Limited

Mitsui & Co.

Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Co.

Marubeni Corporation

JERA Storage Investment B.V.

Tokyo Gas Co.

Mizuho Marubeni Leasing Corporation

Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company Limited

Sumitomo Chemical Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Chuden on a potential investment in OMC Power Private Limited through a subscription for new shares for 25% of the equity on a post-issuance basis.
  • Advised Shizen Energy, a renewable energy leader in Japan, on the JPY70bn investment by CDPQ in connection with accelerating the energy transition in Japan and key international markets, including development of solar power, wind power, hydroelectric power, and biomass power.
  • Continued to act for JERA Storage Investment B.V., JERA Co. and TEPCO Power Grid as regards to their continued investment in the UK battery storage developer and operator, Zenobe Energy Ltd.

The firm: Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm providing the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. The firm has 3000+ lawyers and other legal staff based in more than 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Norton Rose Fulbright opened its Tokyo office in 2008 and has a broad client base, including prominent Japanese banks, government agencies, shipyards, trading houses, insurers and other major corporates. The firm advises on a range of legal issues, particularly in the banking, energy, infrastructure and transport sectors.

Lawyers in the firm’s Tokyo office are qualified in Japan, the UK, US and Australia, and practice Japanese, English and US law, regularly working with clients expanding into global markets including the Americas, Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Department Name Email Telephone
Head of Tokyo George Gibson
Photo Name Position Profile
Paul Coggins photo Paul Coggins Paul is a banking and finance lawyer based in Tokyo, focusing on…
George Gibson photo George Gibson George Gibson is a banking, projects and export finance lawyer based in…
Sam Inohara photo Sam Inohara Sam Inohara is a corporate lawyer based in our Tokyo office. Sam’s…
Akihiko Takamatsu photo Akihiko Takamatsu Akihiko (Aki) Takamatsu is a partner based in our Tokyo office and…
Number of lawyers : 3,000+
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