Mori Hamada & Matsumoto > Tokyo, Japan > Firm Profile

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto
TOKYO 100-8222

Japan > Antitrust and competition: Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto handles merger control, competition compliance, cartel investigations and other antitrust matters for a broad range of clients, including major domestic corporates and high profile multinationals. The department has strength in handling complex and large-scale cross-border merger filings, with considerable experience working on international matters. Kenji Ito, whose experience includes government investigation, private action, and antitrust counselling, leads the team with Hideki Utsunomiya, who is a notable thought leader in the field, with a record of speaking on antitrust topics at international conferences, and providing advice to the government. M&A specialist Tomoya Fujita, and counsel Saori Takekoshi are also key names.

Practice head(s):


‘MHM knows about international antitrust and competition issues and procedures, which makes MHM capable of providing one-stop services for various clients’ various matters world-wide.’

‘MHM also works regularly with the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), and has extensive experience advising the clients on the antitrust and competition issues in Japan.’

‘They know about the clients’ business practices and can bring various insightful professional consultations and services to the clients.’

‘Very knowledgeable about practices in countries other than Japan.’

‘Mori Hamada has the strongest team in antitrust in Japan. They are well balanced between mergers, cartels, disputes and counseling.’

‘They are very practical and commercial, and they are well sophisticated in complex international investigations.’

‘Kenji Ito is thoughtful, creative, and does well at seeing around corners. He is experienced in multi-jurisdiction investigations which makes him valuable in difficult international cartel cases.’

‘Hideki Utsunomiya is equally strong and good to work with. He is also thoughtful and patient, and particularly good with clients.’

Key clients

Hitachi, Ltd

JXTG Holdings, Inc

FamilyMart Co., Ltd

Japan > Banking and finance: Independent local firms Tier 1

‘Reliable top-tier choiceMori Hamada & Matsumoto advises leading financial institutions and major investors on the full range of financing transactions, with expertise in corporate loans, structured finance, real estate finance, and mezzanine finance. This is supplemented by significant experience in financial services regulation. Lead partner Masanori Sato has expertise in structured finance, capital markets, and real estate. Hiroki Aoyama covers syndicated loans, LBOs, and project finance, while Takahiro Kobayashi advises on securitisation, with a specialism in the energy sector. Also key are Yusuke Suehiro and Kei Shirakawa, who cover a broad range of financing transactions.

Practice head(s):


‘The firm is a reliable top-tier choice for its many international and domestic clients.’

‘It has a close relationship with other leading law firms in relevant jurisdictions, taking advantage of its overseas offices and strong global network with international law firms.’

‘Masanori Sato is extremely experienced and understands how to deal with complicated issues. Hiroki Aoyama is proactive and knowledgeable.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Invesco on the first case of TOB Finance for J-REIT.
  • Represented Mizuho Bank and participating financial institutions for a project financing transaction for 112 MW Woody Biomass Combustion Power Plant.

Japan > Capital markets: Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto‘s ‘well known‘ team has a long history of capital markets expertise, and advise a range of high profile clients on the full range of matters, including IPOs, global equity offerings, and mutual funds offerings. The stature of the firm is reflected in that the department was chosen to represent the Japanese Ministry of Finance as issuer and selling shareholder in the global share offer by Japan Post Holdings. Katsumasa Suzuki and Taro Omoto lead the capital markets team, while the structured finance & derivatives practice is headed by Masanori Sato and Akira Ehira. Equity and debt transactions specialist Katsuyuki Tainaka is also key, and is recognised for his expertise in the field of green bonds.


‘Partners are well-known professionals in capital markets, with extensive knowledge and experience. They were able to deal with a lot of issues swiftly.’

‘The Mori Hamada & Matsumoto team has extensive knowledge and know-how in capital markets. They always try to provide us with the solution which is the closest possible to our best interests, in a very timely manner.’

‘Partner Mr. Ishibashi always tries to propose well thought out advice, that gives clear direction about what to consider and what to give up, when we come across difficult situations and business judgement is required.’

‘Always proposing how to move the projects forward, which makes a difference from other firms.’

‘Mr Masayuki Ishibashi is a specific stand-out partner.’

‘Very significant know-how and responsiveness regarding the diversity of financing.’

‘Strong expertise in both capital market practice and M&A. You can receive seamless advice from MHM team on a deal involving both areas.’

‘These lawyers provide us with quality advice and lead us to practical solutions based on their abundant knowledge and experiences of both capital markets and M&A transactions, and sound understanding of investment banking business.’

Key clients

Shinsei Bank, Limited

Goldman Sachs International and Goldman Sachs Japan

Co., Ltd.

J.P. Morgan Securities Plc

Merrill Lynch International and BofA Securities Japan Co.,


Morgan Stanley & Co. International Plc., Mitsubishi UFJ

Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Ltd. and Morgan Stanley

MUFG Securities Co., Ltd.

UBS AG, London Branch

Daiwa Securities Co. Ltd.

Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd.,

Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.

SMBC Nikko Capital Markets Limited and SMBC Nikko

Securities Inc.

Japan Bankers Association

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Canadian Solar Infrastructure Fund, Inc.

Enex Infrastructure Investment Corporation

Takara Leben Infrastructure Fund


SoftBank Group Corp.

Marubeni Corporation

Nippon Life Insurance Company

Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd.

Toyota Industries Corporation

Daiwa House REIT Investment Corporation

Mori Hills REIT Investment Corporation

PGIM Real Estate Finance, LLC

Tosei Asset Advisors, Inc.

SUMCO Corporation

Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd.


VisasQ Inc.


Work highlights

  • Advised Japan Post Holdings Co., Ltd. and the Ministry of Finance, Japan on the global share offer by Japan Post Holdings.
  • Advised SUMCO Corporation on its offering of shares of common stock in the international market as well as in the Japanese market.
  • Advised Morgan Stanley Securities, Co., Ltd. in respect to the securitisation of subordinated loans made to Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company in an amount of JPY200 billion.

Japan > Corporate and M&A: Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has expertise in regulatory-oriented M&A advice and complex cross-border transactions, with a client list which includes blue-chip industrial companies, banks, financial institutions and private equity funds. The department has particular strengths in the technology sector. Hajime Tanahashi and Gaku Ishiwata co-lead the team. Tanahashi specialises in M&A and private equity, as well as corporate governance and venture financing. Ishiwata shares the core expertise in M&A and private equity, and handles general corporate matters. The large team includes numerous highly experienced practitioners, with other key individuals including Atsushi Oishi, Akira Matsushita, Shuhei Uchida and Yohsuke Higashi.

Practice head(s):

Hajime Tanahashi; Gaku Ishiwata

Other key lawyers:


‘Kenichi Sekiguchi provides us with excellent outcomes and values. Of course his hardworking and intelligence contribute to us a lot, but his pragmatic way of thinking and sensitivity to what his clients really want/need make him an almost irreplaceable lawyer for us.’

‘Gaku Ishiwata is a luminary among Japanese M&A lawyers, but also responsive and deeply engaged in all of his matters.’

‘Shuhei Uchida and Yohsuke Higashi are two other rising stars within the firm.’

‘They have a great team. The lawyers we worked with are all very reliable.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for Hitachi, Ltd. in respect to its disposal of Hitachi Metals, Ltd. to Bain Capital Private Equity, LP.
  • Handled the Counter Tender Offer and Privatization of Invesco Office J-REIT by Invesco Ltd.
  • Advised Paidy, Inc. on its acquisition by PayPal, Inc.

Japan > Dispute resolution: Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto caters to major clients such as Japan Post Co. Ltd, Hitachi, and Toshiba on high value and high profile disputes. The department covers a broad range of industry sectors including fintech, construction, IT, entertainment and finance. Kana Manabe jointly leads the department with Mugi Sekido, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the pratice area, and is published on US civil litigation. Koichiro Iida covers a broad range of disputes, including tax, employment, and administrative, while American lawyer Daniel Allen is an international arbitration specialist with experience in commercial arbitrations and investor-state disputes.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘The team is very involved, well informed and responsive.’

‘This practice’s legal advice is always timely, accurate and also business-oriented.’

‘Mugi Sekido has high level language skills, deep understanding, and extensive experience in handling international conflicts for Japanese clients. He conveys our messages to US attorneys quite accurately and “digests” their complicated legal language into easy terms for us to understand.’

Key clients

SoftBank Corp. (mobile telecoms leader, formerly Vodafone)

Japan Post Co., Ltd.

Yamato Transport Co., Ltd

Hitachi, Ltd.

Toshiba Corporation

Daio Paper Corporation

BICCAMERA INC (Japan’s leading consumer electronics retailer)

Eksportfinans ASA (“Eksportfinans”) (Norwegian export finance institution)

Tokyo Boeki Materials, Ltd. (Japanese trading company)

Coincheck, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented Japan Post Co., Ltd. in defence of claims brought under the Labour Contract Act by a high number of fixed-term employees over differences between the terms and conditions of their employment contracts and those of employees employed permanently.
  • Represented Toshiba in defence of claims brought by former or current shareholders in tort alleging “improper” disclosure of financial information by Toshiba in past years.
  • Represent Coincheck, Inc. in respect to lawsuits seeking compensation launched by investors after the client was hacked in January 2018, resulting in the theft of approximately JPY58 billion in cryptocurrency NEM.

Japan > Fintech - Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has considerable expertise across technology, financial services regulatory law and intellectual property, and brings this to a range of high profile domestic and international clients, including traditional players, disruptors, collaborators and start-ups. The team contains multiple practitioners with prior experience working within regulatory and governmental bodies and as such boasts strong relationships with and insights into these organisations. Co-leading the department are Masakazu Masujima, whose practice includes crypto-assets, crowdfunding and insurtech, Takane Hori, who handles data protection and cybersecurity, and Atsushi Okada, whose broad expertise includes payment services, cybersecurity and data protection. Kei Furuichi  has left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Masakazu Masujima; Takane Hori; Atsushi Okada

Other key lawyers:

Masafumi Masuda; Masayuki Ishibashi


‘There are three excellent law firms on crypto assets in Japan. They are one of them. They fully understand the business trends, discussed issues of law makers. Also, it has great connections all over the world.’

‘The practice is one of the premier firms and has broad reach and respect in Japan and outside of Japan. They have exceptional depth in capital markets and a strong base in general corporate.’

‘Masakazu Masujima – exceptional partner. Exceptional in general corporate and Fintech, and unusually strong in both the USA (Columbia Law, years working in NYC) and Japan as a leading figure in proposing and advising the government on new financial regulations and governance.’

‘The firm and Mr. Masafumi Masuda in particular has been very competent and diligent in their guidance for us, bringing a high level of expertise, including first hand experience from secondments working for relevant regulators.’

‘The firm’s client service, commercial awareness of the fintech, blockchain, NFT and crypto, space, and value for money is very good.’

‘Masayuki Ishibashi is a specific stand-out partner. I have great trust in him.’

‘Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has knowledge about blockchain, security tokens, NFTs, etc, not only from the viewpoint of financial legal affairs but also technology, and can obtain very advanced and professional advice.’

‘The company had a high level of expertise in fintech (especially in the field of digital securities), led by Attorney Ishibashi.’

Key clients

Hakuhodo DY Music & Pictures, Inc.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited

GMO Internet, Inc.



JustInCase, Inc.



TIS Inc.

MEDIA DO Co., Ltd.


Accenture Japan Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted Kanmu, in respect to its plans to launch Pool, a “credit card that can be used to build assets at hand”, and its design of an innovative combination of selling financial products and issuing credit cards.
  • Assisted Tosei Asset Advisors, Inc. as it utilized the GK-TK scheme, which is one of the most typical schemes of asset securitization in Japan, to securitize real estate.
  • Assisted DeCurret Inc. in respect to the development of its “Crypto Assets Business” and its “Digital Currency Business”, with the aim of “digitizing the role of all currencies and values and contributing to the creation of a prosperous society”.

Japan > Intellectual property: Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto‘s well regarded intellectual property team covers all relevant areas of intellectual property, with significant experience in infringement cases involving patents, design patents, trademarks and copyrights, invalidation trials, appeals, and employee interventions. The department represents both domestic and multinational clients, and has the depth to support these both globally and before the highest Japanese courts. Yutaka Miyoshi, who has broad disputes expertise across patent litigation, copyright litigation, and trade secret litigation, co-leads the department alongside Yoshifumi Onodera, who is experienced in both domestic and international dipute resolution and arbitration, particularly across China and other Asian countries. Also co-leading is Atsushi Okada, who covers IP infringement litigation, IP transactions and data protection. Associate Hideaki Kuwahara is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Yutaka Miyoshi; Yoshifumi Onodera; Atsushi Okada

Other key lawyers:


‘IP team of MHM is eager to understand the characteristics and requirements of the clients and try to coordinate the necessary resources including legal advices from legal counsels outside Japan and provide the requested advices.’

‘We trust Mr. Yoshifumi Onodera as an experienced IP partner, who has in-depth knowledge about IP laws and cases, China practice and litigation. His attitude to learn each client’s aims in its business field and collaborate with the client to reach the goal is really excellent.’

‘Very powerful and experienced team for patent litigation and licensing matters, integrated in a broader full service practice which allows them to cover also antitrust matters and related matters.’

‘Mori Hamada & Matsumoto listens kindly and makes precise comments for our question.’

‘Correspondence is superior to other law offices and leads to the solutions to problems quickly.’

‘Atsushi Okada responds faster than other lawyers and gives us the exact answer we seek.’

Key clients

Pfizer Japan Inc.

Hospira Japan Co., Ltd. (currently Pfizer Japan, Inc.)

Mitsuba Corporation

Koei Techmo

Shiseido Company, Limited


Work highlights

  • Representing Shiseido Company, Limited, one of the global leaders in beauty and personal care, in respect to a wide range of their most important intellectula property matters.
  • Handling major discount retailer Pan Pacific International Holdings Corporation’s worldwide trademark prosecutions.

Japan > Investment funds: Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is highly active advising on public offerings and private placements of investment funds, particularly in non-Japanese jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands, Ireland, and Luxembourg. Additionally, the department is known for advising new non-Japanese funds offered within Japan, who receive complete after care, including maintenance services. Yasuzo Takeno and Ken Miura jointly lead the team. Takeno has significant experience in structuring, public offerings, and private placement of off-shore investment funds, while Miura advises on a range of capital market transactions. Nobuharu Onishi is particularly active for international clients, and has a broad practice including asset management, financial regulation and investment companies.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Market leader for registration of foreign investment funds in Japan.’

‘Very knowledgeable and reactive.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on the public offering of a real estate investment trust (REIT) operated by the world’s largest real estate investor.
  • Advised on the public offering of AU$ class units of US Core Fixed Income Fund of Manulife Investment Trust.

Japan > Labour and employment: Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto offers comprehensive labour, employment and industrial relations services to high profile corporate clients. The department secondees lawyers to the Ministry of Helath, Labour and Welfare to stay at the legislative cutting edge, and brings this experience to areas such as the transition and migration of staff, terminations and benefits, and trade disputes. The team is co-led by experienced litigator Chisako Takaya, foreign employment expert Taichi Arai, and Yoshikazu Abe, whose practice includes corporate human resources and labour union issues. Also key are Shiho Ono, who is particularly experienced in labour disputes, Yuko Kanamaru, who focuses on foreign companies active within Japan, and counsel Fumiko Hama, who has experience in matters such as employee dismissal, overtime alloweance, and personnel reduction.

Practice head(s):

Chisako Takaya, Taichi Arai, Yoshikazu Abe

Other key lawyers:

Fumiko Hama; Masahiro Ueda; Rina Shimada

Key clients

Japan Post Co., Ltd.

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

Shiseido Company Limited.

Sotetsu Holdings, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represent Japan Post in class-action type litigation filed with 7 district courts and 180 plaintiffs.
  • Advised labour law related issues in the acquisition transaction of Shisheido’s personal care buisness.
  • Represent Sotetsu Holdings, Inc. Corporation in the illegal labour practice procedure at the Central labour Relations Commissiona and Tokyo District and High Court, which was finally confirmed by the Supreme Court.

Japan > Private wealth: Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto‘s full service practice has significant tax expertise, supplemented by MHM Tax Advisory Services, which is staffed by lawyers, tax accountants, and certified public accountants. The department is particularly strong in complex cross-border matters and high-value estate planning. Litigation is also a key area, and the team boasts a strong record of handling disputes between taxpayers and Japanese tax authorities. Atsushi Oishi handles tax, estate planning and M&A transactions in connection with wealthy individuals, and has experience of tax investigations and filing appeals against tax authorities. Oishi co-leads the team alongside Makoto Sakai, whose focus is domestic and cross-border private wealth management from both corporate and tax planning perspectives. Hiroshi Oyama is experienced in tax planning and disputes. Associate Yoshihiko Abe is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Atsushi Oishi; Makoto Sakai

Other key lawyers:


‘The firm possess broad knowledge and provides excellent opinions on taxes and trust businesses in the areas of family governance and wealth management.’

‘Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is outstanding in the market compared to other law firms, and they are always very reliable.’

‘Mr. Oishi is an expert on family governance. Compared to others, his expertise in structuring schemes utilizing taxation, trusts are outstanding. Also, Mr. Oishi has extensive experience in cross-border matters, which enables him to provide valuable opinions that cannot be obtained elsewhere.’

‘The team is comprised of such legal professionals and tax law professionals, recruited from major tax accounting firms so that the team can provide one-stop services for private wealth clients in Japan.’

‘Mr. Atsushi Oishi is a leading partner for this practice. He started his career from corporate finance such as M&A advisory and entered private wealth practice by setting up his team of experts. His leadership is instrumental in providing unified, one-stop services.’

‘The point is MHM can provide us both side at the same time and our client could receive and be satisfied his questions at the same time.’

‘The lawyers and tax accountants of MHM are well experienced experts and provide us practical advice.’

Japan > Projects and energy: Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto combines advisory, litigation, and M&A specialists to field a team able to cover the full range of projects and energy law advice. The wind, biomass, photovoltaic and infrastructure sectors are notable areas of strength, with the department active on a range of high-value and complex matters in these industries. The department is particularly strong on cross-border matters, and benefits from its network of offices which extends across Japan and East Asia. The team is co-led by Masanori Sato, Takahiro Kobayashi, Takeshi Mukawa, Naoki Ishikawa and Shigeki Okatani. Yusuke Murakami and Yusuke Suehiro are also key within the department, with Murakami handling energy and infrastructure work, while Suehiro has particular experience in project financing transactions. Counsel Hironobu Noma has notable experience in this area, due to spending time seconded to the project finance department of Mizuho Bank.

Practice head(s):

Masanori Sato; Takahiro Kobayashi; Takeshi Mukawa; Naoki Ishikawa; Shigeki Okatani

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

JERA Co., Inc.

Marubeni Corporation

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.

TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) Holdings, Inc.

TEPCO Renewable Power, Inc.

ENEOS Corporation

Enex Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Development Bank of Japan

Kyudenko Corporation

Shinsei Bank, Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Japan’s biggest oil refiner, ENEOS Corporation, in its acquisition of Japan Renewable Energy from Goldman Sachs and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund (GIC), for JPY 200 billion.
  • Represented Mizuho Bank and participating financial institutions for a project financing transaction for 112 MW Woody Biomass Combustion Power Plant in Tahara, Aichi prefecture.
  • Represented e-rex Co., Ltd., Shikoku Electric Power Co., Inc., other sponsors for a construction and project financing transaction for 75 MW Woody Biomass Combustion Power Plant in Sakaide, Kagawa, Japan.

Japan > Real estate and construction: Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto provides the full range of real estate services, including development, acquistion, and divestment, both for clients operating within Japan, and those managing properties internationally. The department also has broad expertise across J-REITs, real estate funds, and other real estate investments. Department head Eriko Ozawa handles private real estate funds and financing, and is experienced in both domestic and cross-border transactions. Satoru Hasumoto specialises in real estate financing, and has notable experience in inbound and outbound investments, while Masahito Saeki covers J-REITs, and is praised for his ‘deep knowledge and experience'. Masanori Sato, whose practice covers real estate and energy projects, is also a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Eriko Ozawa


‘Good collaboration with firms overseas.’

‘Mr. Masahito Saeki: prompt response, broad experience.’

‘Mr. Masahito Saeki and his team are tenacious in explaining Japanese law to foreign legal teams.’

‘Whenever we get confused or lost, Eriko Ozawa always gives us sound advice.’

‘I think Satoru Hasumoto is one of the most competent lowers in his age group. He is second to none about new methods in the field of asset liquidation.’

‘Masahito Saeki possesses deep knowledge and experience in the fields of J-REIT and real estate. As he has a career of more than 15 years of advising on these matters, he has accumulated such knowledge and experience and he is now one of the most reliable practitioners to advise those matters in Japan.’

Key clients

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited

Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd. and Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Diamond Realty Management Inc.

Mitsubishi Corporation

Goldman Sachs Asset Management Co., Ltd.

PGIM Real Estate Finance

Google Inc.

Government Pension Investment Fund

Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.

Baring Private Equity Asia

Work highlights

  • Acted as issuer counsel and sponsor counsel for the IPO and listing of a Singapore REIT (Daiwa House Logistics Trust) sponsored by Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.
  • Advised Kintetsu Group in launching a joint venture with Blackstone in relation to a hotel portfolio.
  • Advised Hulic on acquisition of Dentsu Headquarters Buildings.

Japan > Restructuring and insolvency: Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto advises debtors, creditors and financial advisors in the full range of Japanese bankruptcy and reorganisation proceedings, with experience in pre-packaged reorganisations and out-of-court workouts. The practice is active on corporate restructuring, debt restructuring, and DIP financing, and acts on major cross-border insolvencies on behalf of high profile clients. Soichiro Fujiwara, Ryota Yamasaki, and Takahiro Inou are joint team leads. Fujiwara has significant expertise in restructuring, litigation and M&A, while Yamasaki bring additional experience in corporate law and legal compliance, and Inou covers out-of-court restructurings by ADR and other schemes. Dai Katagiri, who was promoted to partner in January 2021, specialises in litigation, M&A, and corporate law.

Other key lawyers:


‘MHM team has strong integrity for the clients and the projects which we collaborate with them. They also have not only a lot of experience and knowledge but also flexibility for progressing our work. MHM’s professionals are covered wide industries, specialities.’

‘Restructuring and insolvency team of MHM is large enough to deliver good services for complex projects. They have a lot of credentials that show their capabilities and experiences.’

‘Takahiro Inou is very reliable lawyer in this field. He has deep knowledge and experiences with restructuring and insolvency engagements. His communication skill is also great to negotiate with creditors and make clients confortable.’

‘Team is practical and supports our business well. Not only the legal aspect, the team understands nature of our business.’

‘Takahiro Inou is the lead partner who supports our business. I continue to work his him and his team as they understand the nature of our business and provides adivice in practical way.’

‘Great knowledge and experience on difficult restructuring situations.’

‘Very hands on. Provide well thought-through advice.’

‘They were a great team with lots of experience.’

Key clients

KOIKE Co., Ltd.

Daiwa PI Partners Co. Ltd.

Eikido Co., Ltd.

Saikaya Co., Ltd.

Gurunavi, Inc.

Advantage Partners, Inc.

Nippon Sangyo Suishin Kiko Ltd.

Heights Capital Management, Inc.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted KOIKE Co., Ltd. in respect to complex and challenging civil rehabilitation proceedings undergone by the client after its revenues came under pressure due to changes in consumer trends.
  • Assisted Daiwa PI Partners Co. Ltd. with the corporate reorganisation proceedings of F-Power Co. Ltd., one of the largest power producers and suppliers in Japan.
  • Acted as legal advisor in the out-of-court workout of Eikido Co., Ltd., a long-established company that manufactures and wholesales confectioneries to major Japanese coffee shop and restaurant chains.

Japan > Risk management and investigations: Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has a long history of expertise across crisis management and investigations, with a significant history of advising major domestic and international clients across the full range of matters. Areas of strength include unfair competition, insider trading, accounting irregularities, and bribery and corruption. Yasuhiko Fujitsu, whose focus is capital markets related matters such as insider trading and market manipulations, co-leads the department alongside cross-border risk management and investigation expert Hideaki Umetsu. Also co-leading is Hiroshi Yamauchi, who handles risk management and dispute resolution, with particular expertise in external and internal investigations and criminal matters. Hiromasa Arai and Suguru Miyata are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Yasuhiko Fujitsu; Hideaki Umetsu; Hiroshi Yamauchi

Other key lawyers:


‘Hiroshi Yamauchi of Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has global experience on compliance issues and is skilled at leading the team members.’

‘Quick and accurate advice, especially Mr. Yamauchi.’

‘Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is most sophisticated and strong legal team regarding the investigation for the allegation of inappropriate accounting in Japan.’

‘Hideaki Umetsu; A great communicator and negotiator. He is excellent in explaining issues in Japan in a way understandable to non Japanese stake holders and let Japanese client reach feasible results by filling with the gaps between Japan and other countries.’

‘Hiroshi Yamauchi, a partner attorney at the MHM Crisis Management Practice Team, is probably the most experienced partner in the crisis management practice area, coordinating cases and giving the best legal advice to clients.’

‘Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi, a partner, provides very practical and convincing advice in the area of crisis management with a quick response time. He also anticipates client needs and voluntarily provides useful information.’

‘Their responses are very quick and the quality provided from them is high.’

Key clients

Japan Display Inc.

Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.

Joyson Safety Systems Japan Co., Ltd.

EduLab, Inc.

KYB Corporation

Work highlights

  • Assisted Joyson Safety Systems Japan Co., Ltd. in respect to a case of misconduct regarding the client’s products.
  • Assisted Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (Kepco) in respect to a widely publicised political corruption scandal involving its executives and employees and a former politician.
  • Assisted, as a member of a Special Investigation Committee, with the investigation of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., regarding the discovery of potential data falsification of its subsidiary’s products.

Japan > Tax: Independent local firms Tier 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is particularly strong in M&A, corporate reorganisations, and cross-border transactions. In addition, the firm has a wealth management practice which assists high-net-worth individuals with estate planning, and a highly regarded tax litigation practice. Atsushi Oishi, Makoto Sakai and Hiroyuki Kurihara jointly lead the team, and have significant experience in wealth management, complex M&A, and tax investigations and disputes. Hiroshi Oyama, who was promoted to partner in 2020, is noted for his knowledge of international tax matters.

Other key lawyers:


‘The Mori Hamada & Matsumoto teams’ strength is their one-stop professional services: they are truly capable of advising clients from both legal and tax perspectives.’

‘It is absolutely favorable to clients, especially to those involving M&A transactions, like us. This characteristic differentiates them from other law firms.’

‘We have engaged Hiroyuki Kurihara, partner at Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, as our department’s primary legal and tax advisor since 2019. His advice is not only thoughtful but also so practical that we can always put it into practice.’

Key clients

Ministry of Finance

Hitachi, Ltd.

Crocs, Inc.

UACJ Corporation

Softbank Group Corp.

Randstad Holding nv

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

GCA Savvian Corporation

Astellas Pharma Inc.

Baring Private Equity Asia

Johnson & Johnson

Shiseido Company, Limited

J-STAR Co., Ltd.

Appier Group, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented the founder of Sazaby League, Ltd. in a first-ever dispute case for the fair value of class stock and obtained a National Tax Tribunal decision in its favour, ordering the rescission of the tax authority’s disposition for taxation of at least JPY 8 billion in full.
  • Advised Paidy Inc. on its acquisition by PayPal Holdings, Inc. for JPY 300 billion (equivalent to USD 2.7 billion) by way of a share transfer.
  • Advised VisasQ Inc. on its acquisition of Coleman Research Group, a New York-based expert network service provider, for USD 102 million.

Japan > TMT: Independent local firms Tier 1

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:


‘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.

Japan > Shipping: Independent local firms

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is building a significant shipping practice, acquiring a Setouchi office in April 2020, and cultivating expertise within its team.

Firm overview: Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (MHM) is one of the largest full-service Tokyo headquartered international law firms. A significant proportion of the firm’s work is international in nature, representing clients in cross-border transactions, litigation and other dispute resolution proceedings.

The firm’s professionals: The firm has over 660 lawyers and 590 support staff (including patent attorneys, licensed tax accountants, legal assistants and translators). The firm’s senior lawyers include a number of highly respected practitioners and leaders from the Japanese and international legal community, including prominent law professors from the University of Tokyo, and a former Prosecutor-General from the Public Prosecutors Office.

The firm also has experienced lawyers qualified in the US, England and Wales, the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and more.

Offices and Asia practice group: MHM has very strong full-service local law practices in Bangkok (Chandler MHM Limited) and Yangon (Myanmar Legal MHM Limited) and it is expanding its range of local law services in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The firm also has offices in Singapore (its ASEAN hub), Shanghai and Beijing. It has strong working relationships with leading firms throughout Asia (as well as in Europe and the Americas), which enables it to work for its clients as a single, integrated team.

MHM has expanded domestically by opening offices in Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Takamatsu.

Areas of practice: The firm is highly recognised by both clients and legal professionals in the following practice areas: mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, finance, international capital markets (including J-REITS), fintech, insurance, asset management, loans and securitisations, private equity, insolvency/restructuring, dispute resolution, intellectual property and antitrust and competition. Other core practice areas include tax and labour law.

Corporate and commercial
Mergers and acquisitions
Capital markets
Structured finance
Asset management
Dispute resolution
Insolvency and restructuring
Intellectual property
Labour and employment
Tax, wealth management
Real estate
Criminal defence
China practice
Venture capital
Private equity funds
Projects, energy and infrastructure
Number of lawyers : 676
Number of partners : 165
Bahasa (Malay and Indonesia)

  • Advising Hitachi in the sale of Hitachi Metals to Bain Capital through a USD 5.4 billion tender offer
  • Advising Paidy, a well-known fintech company, in respect to Paypal’s USD 2.7 billion acquisition of Paidy
  • Advising KKR in its acquisition of Yayoi (a major accounting software provider), a transaction valued at USD 2.1 billion
  • Advising NIPPO (a TSE listed company) in its take private transaction through a USD 1.8 billion tender offer
  • Advising Apollo Global Management in its acquisition of Thermal and Emission Control Materials from Mitsubishi Chemical at USD 762 million
  • Japan Post Holdings Co., Ltd., Japan Post Bank Co., Ltd., and Japan Post Insurance Co., Ltd. in their JPY1.43 trillion concurrent global initial public offerings and global follow-on offerings
  • Socionext Inc, in its JPY76billion global initial public offering
  • NTT Finance Corporation in its JPY1 trillion senior notes offering and USD7 billion senior notes and EUR2 billion senior notes offering
  • Nippon Prologis REIT, Inc. in its JPY 32 billion global follow on offering in 2021
  • Advance Logistics Investment Corporation in its JPY 10 billion follow on offering in 2022
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Ltd. in arranging “value securitisation” for Spiber Inc., a biotech venture company
  • The Japanese Bankers Association and Japan Syndication and Loan-trading Association in connection with the permanent cessation of LIBOR
  • Represents Toshiba Corporation in lawsuits brought by former or current shareholders in tort alleging “improper” disclosure of financial information in past years
  • IPO and Listing of a Singapore REIT (Daiwa House Logistics Trust) sponsored by Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.
  • Represents Kanmu, a payment service provider offering the Visa prepaid card and its design of an innovative combination of selling financial products and issuing credit cards
  • Represents Tosei Asset Advisors, Inc. as it utilized the GK-TK scheme, which is one of the most typical schemes of asset securitization in Japan, to securitize real estate by issuance of security token (STO)
  • Represents DeCurret Inc., a service provider of Crypto Assets Business and the Digital Currency Business, in its reorganization of its group
  • Kawasaki Heavy Industries in its investigation by the special investigation committee
  • Represented the founders of Sazaby League, Ltd. in a first-ever tax dispute for the fair value of class stock and obtained a National Tax Tribunal decision in its favour, ordering the rescission of the tax authority’s disposition for taxation of at least JPY 8 billion in full
  • Represents Japan Post in famous class-action types of litigation under the Employment Contract Act, which were filed with Sapporo, Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, Kochi, Fukuoka and Nagasaki District Courts. Around 180 employees with fixed-term employment contract are plaintiffs
  • Marelli Holdings Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries, one of the world’s leading independent suppliers to the automotive industry with around 160 subsidiaries in more than 20 countries, in debt/capital restructuring through the combination of out-of-court corporate workout (Turnaround ADR) and in-court insolvency proceedings (simplified rehabilitation proceedings)
  • Represented Teijin Pharma in its purchase of a portfolio of four non-core type 2 diabetes products sold in Japan from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited which closed on April 1, 2021
  • Provides total legal support to Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)* with respect to its project assisting Japanese companies’ China business from China’s economic security/export controls perspectives
  • JETRO, established pursuant to JETRO Act, is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world
  • Represents ENEOS Corporation in its acquisition of Japan Renewable Energy for JPY 200 billion from Goldman Sachs and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, GIC
  • Launch of SUDACHI Small Amount and Short Term Insurance
  • Advising international law firms and clients in relation to disputes in Myanmar including providing advice and expert opinion on Myanmar contract law, foreign exchange regulations, telecommunications regulations, oil and gas law, insolvency law and enforcement of international arbitral awards
  • Advised CB Bank PCL on developing standard form documentation for its day-to-day lending transactions, a project that will develop the basis for the client’s lending business. We have also advised the client on several loan transactions to prominent Myanmar entities
  • Advising Sumitomo Warehouse in the sale of its US subsidiary Westwood Shipping Lines and related vessels to Swire Group
  • Represented Japanese company Paidy Inc. as the target of PayPal, Inc., which acquired all of the shares of Paidy Inc., a, by way of share transfer, having already worked closely with the client to successfully support its growth to become a unicorn startup
  • Representation of a numerous number of founders and their families of Japanese listed companies and major non-listed companies in their private matters

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (MHM) have adopted an MHM Diversity & Inclusion Policy and make every effort to realize the dynamic society expressed in the Policy.

MHM received the “2018 Family Friendly Award” from the Daini Tokyo Bar Association for such initiatives that we offer to the firm’s members to take maternity, childcare and family care leaves, which we recommend all members to take proactively, and we also provide a variety of systems for shortened work hours that members may choose according to their individual preferences or situations such as when they are providing childcare or family care. In addition, we have introduced a mentoring system for associates to consult with senior attorneys about balancing childcare and work, and financial assistance for childminding services. These systems are being used all members of the firm regardless of gender.

We also have a SOGI study group within the firm that holds periodic meetings and carries out awareness campaigns during Pride Month, and many members of the firm have participated in the activities of the Lawyers for LGBT & Allies Network since its establishment, and we provide cooperation for its various projects.

In February 2019, we endorsed the viewpoint issued by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) supporting marriage equality in Japan. This endorsement was the first of its kind by a Japan-headquartered law firm and received media coverage.

The Financial Times published its 7th annual Asia Pacific Innovative Lawyers report on 7 August 2020, in which we were highly commended among shortlisted candidates in the “Responsible Law Firms” category. The report highlighted MHM’s initiative to support the ACCJ’s statement that marriage equality in Japan will have economic benefits for the country.

We were also shortlisted in the category of “Outstanding Pro Bono Programme – Regional” in Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: Asia Pacific 2020 published by Chambers & Partners. Toru Ishiguro, Senior Advisor to the firm, and Yasuzo Takeno, Partner were also shortlisted in “Individual Lawyer of the Year” categories. We also received double awards for Pro Bono and Japan Domestic Law Advisers of the Year on Chambers Asia-Pacific & Greater China Region Awards 2022.

MHM actively participates in pro bono projects, including legal education projects and refugee assistance activities, mainly through team-based endeavors undertaken by our younger lawyers. Examples of these projects include:

  • In collaboration with one of our clients, a large global investment bank, a team of the firm’s younger lawyers gave a well-received legal lecture to junior-high-school and high-school students at a children’s home.
  • In collaboration with the Japan Association for Refugees, a team of the firm’s younger lawyers filed an application for refugee status on behalf of an applicant who has suffered persecution in Africa.
  • Some of the firm’s lawyers who are native speakers of English participated in a well-received English study camp for children of families with financial difficulties. On August 16, 2019, four of the firm’s lawyers participated in “Watashi no Mirai (My Future) Program,” an overnight program through which they provided law-related education to senior high school students in a children’s home.

Our international network combines substantive on the ground capability in ASEAN with long-standing working relationships with local and other international law firms. We offer broad local and international capability in Indonesia (ATD law in association with MHM), Myanmar (Myanmar Legal MHM), Thailand (Chandler MHM) and Vietnam (MHM Vietnam). Our offices in Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing work closely with leading local counsel to provide a seamless service for our clients.

Our extensive network of lawyers across Asia Pacific work together on cross border transactions to provide an international standard of practicing law supported by decades of local experience.