Nishimura & Asahi > Tokyo, Japan > Firm Profile

Nishimura & Asahi
OTEMON TOWER, 1-1-2 OTEMACHI
CHIYODA-KU
TOKYO 100-8124
Japan

Japan > Antitrust and competition: Independent local firms Tier 1

Nishimura & Asahi is known for handling major domestic merger cases, as well as merger filings in Japan as local counsel for cross-border and offshore M&A transactions. The firm combines this experience with expertise in cases subject to Second Phase review at the JFTC and has particular strength in merger control in the energy space; the practice is also active in the steel, automotive, pharmaceutical, IT-digital and semiconductor sectors. The team has notable strength in negotiating with the JFTC and is led by Kozo Kawai, who focuses on antitrust and competition law, international trade affairs, disputes and regulatory investigations.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Nippon Steel Corporation

Toshiba Corporation

SHOWA DENKO K.K.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” LINE)

Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Broadcom Inc.

Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.

ENEOS Holdings, Inc.

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Google Japan G.K.

Amazon Japan G.K.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.

Aisin Corporation

NAVER Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Mitsui Sugar Co., Ltd. on a complex business integration and a capital and business alliance among Japan’s leading sugar manufacturers.
  • Advised Nippon Paper Crecia on its business alliance with Try-Fu Co., Ltd. related to the towel paper business. Both Nippon Paper Crecia and Try-Fu are major producers of paper towels in Japan.
  • Advised South Korean internet giant NAVER Corporation on an agreement among NAVER, its subsidiary LINE Corporation, SoftBank Corporation, and Z Holdings Corporation (Softbank’s subsidiary, which is the parent company of Yahoo Japan), on the integration of LINE and ZHD.

Japan > Banking and finance: Independent local firms Tier 1

Distinguished by its advice to both financiers and borrowers, Nishimura & Asahi assists banks and financial institutions with a range of domestic and cross-border banking transactions, including asset financing, acquisition financing, corporate and syndicated loans. The large asset finance practice advises Japanese leasing companies across the spectrum of leasing transactions, notably aircraft financing, ship financing, container leasing transactions and plant facilities leasing. Other strengths for the firm include finance regulations and compliance. Asset finance specialist Katsu Sengoku leads the team that includes projects and asset finance lawyer gaiben Adrian Joyce; Hideo Horikoshi, who handles banking, acquisition finance, project finance, syndicated lending and other international transactions; and Takashi Saito, who focuses on acquisition finance, subscription finance, syndicated lending and banking transactions.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Showa Denko K.K.

NAVER Corporation

Integral Corporation

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Shinsei Bank, Ltd.

Garrett Motion Inc.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Ltd.

Resona Bank, Ltd.

Japan Airport Terminal Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Handled the structuring, negotiations, documentation, closing logistics, and other aspects of  financing transactions for Showa Denko, in relation to the financing for a tender offer to acquire Hitachi Chemical.
  • Advised on financing for NAVER J.Hub Corporation’s joint tender offer, issued together with SoftBank Corporation, to acquire LINE Corporation.
  • Advised Integral Corporation, a Japanese private equity fund, on the financing for its tender offer to acquire Mamezou Holdings.

Japan > Capital markets: Independent local firms Tier 1

Nishimura & Asahi provides full coverage for capital-market transactions, from debt, equity and hybrid securities to J-REITs. The firm’s practice stands out for its ability to assist with securitization in all asset classes, both domestic and cross-border transactions. Another area of strength is derivatives transactions, including advising on documentation, business conduct rules, dispute resolution, margin regulations and capital regulations. Team leader Kohei Koikawa is known for expertise in equity and debt transactions, notably IPOs, follow-on offerings, convertible bonds, hybrid securities, global bonds, Euro bonds, Samurai bonds and J-REITs. Also active in the area is finance specialist Masaru Ono.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Visional, Inc.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Japan Finance Corporation

Orient Corporation

SMBC Nikko Securities

Sosei Group Corporation

Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co., Ltd.

Maruwa Unyu Kikan Co., Ltd.

SBI Holdings, Inc.

Japan Airport Terminal Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Visional, a well-known Japanese unicorn that provides an online direct recruiting platform called bizreach, on its pre-IPO placement, global IPO and listing on the TSE.
  • Advised Takeda on its issuance of unsecured senior notes, denominated in US dollars and in Euro, and issued in multiple tranches. Takeda plans to use the proceeds from the offering primarily to prepay debt incurred in connection with Takeda’s acquisition of Shire plc in 2019, which was the largest acquisition ever conducted by a Japanese company.
  • Advised Japan Finance Corporation, the deal coordinator, on a transaction where fourteen Japanese regional financial institutions that extend various loans to small and medium-sized enterprises transferred the credit risk of the loans to investors by way of credit default swap transactions.

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

With over 70 partners active in the area, Nishimura & Asahi provides huge depth of expertise in a range of international and domestic M&A transactions. Specialisms for the firm include strategic planning, due diligence, negotiations, communication with relevant government authorities and closing procedures. The multidisciplinary team is co-led by corporate and private equity expert Asa Shinkawa and Yoshinobu Fujimoto, who handles cross-border M&A transactions, joint ventures and corporate defence work. Also notable are Masaki Hosaka, and Yuki Oi, who advises high-tech, industrial and financial institutions on large-scale M&A transactions and corporate affairs.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

NTT DoCoMo, Inc.

Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd.

NAVER Corporation

Showa Denko K.K.

ITOCHU Corporation

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Japan Display Inc.

Rakuten, Inc.

Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co., Ltd.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P.

Work highlights

  • Advised NTT, Japan’s leading telecom services provider, who acquired the remaining 33.79% stake in NTT DoCoMo, Inc., Japan’s leading mobile carrier, via a recommended tender offer, the largest ever made for a Japanese company and one of the three largest global deals in 2020. After the transaction, DoCoMo was delisted from the TSE.
  • Advised Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd., the world’s largest convenience-store franchisor, on the purchase of the US convenience store and retail fuel businesses of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 7-Eleven, Inc., its US subsidiary. This was one of the largest global M&A transactions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Advised Naver Corporation, the South Korean internet giant, on the agreement among NAVER, its subsidiary Line Corporation, SoftBank Corporation and Softbank’s subsidiary, Z Holdings Corporation, the parent company of Yahoo Japan, to integrate Line and ZHD.

Japan > Dispute resolution: Independent local firms Tier 1

The Nishimura & Asahi dispute resolution team represents clients in product liability defence, consumer complaints and disputes related to contract, franchises, tax, insurance, labour law, IP and bankruptcy. The firm handles cross-border and domestic litigation, and as a full-service firm, it can offer multidisciplinary expertise that includes corporate, finance, labour and insolvency and restructuring. It is also a leading firm for international arbitration, with a practice that encompasses commercial and investment treaty arbitrations. Hiroyuki Tezuka has expertise in court proceedings, as well as being active in international arbitration. He leads the team that includes Akihiro Hironaka, who focuses on large disputes, particularly in the automotive and pharmaceutical sectors; Yutaro Kawabata, whose forte is matters arising out of the termination of contracts;  and the Germany and New York qualified Lars Markert, who is admitted as a foreign-registered lawyer in Japan and brings international arbitration experience. Former judge Makiko Takabe joined as an of counsel in October 2021.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Marubeni Corporation

Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd

Mochida Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Panasonic Corporation

Toshiba Corporation

Shionogi Co. & Ltd.

AIG General Insurance Co., Ltd.

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Sharp Corporation

Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented a major Japanese company in the arbitration, involving claims for payment totalling 91 billion South African Rand (approx. USD 7.3 billion, at the time of filing of the request for arbitration) relating to a joint venture between Japanese companies to engage in power plant construction projects.
  • Represented a telecommunications company in an international arbitration before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.
  • Defending a German automotive supplier against a Japanese automotive supplier in a product liability action before the Yokohama District Court.

Japan > Intellectual property: Independent local firms Tier 1

Nishimura & Asahi‘s IP practice offers the capacity to deal with current and emerging legal issues related to domestic and international IP related changes. The team regularly collaborates with tangential teams to provide a comprehensive service, such as the tax and commercial and corporate teams. The firm regularly advises clients on matters involving AI, the IoT, as well as the media and entertainment sectors. The trademark side of the practice is often instructed in prosecution and enforcements in infringement and anti-counterfeiting, brand protection, and regulatory oversight. Yoshiyuki Miyashita is the head of the practice, who’s expertise includes transactions and dispute settlement across TMT sectors. Hitomi Iwase leads the trademark division, covering the technology, life-sciences, healthcare, entertainment and fashion industries. Hiroshi Suga also has litigation experience, particularly in IP licensing matters and information management.

Practice head(s):

Yoshiyuki Miyashita

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Dentsu Inc.

The Asahi Shimbun Company

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation

Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented Amazon Services International, Inc. (an affiliate of Amazon. com, Inc.) before the Tokyo District Court brought by a copyright holder/licensor (“Plaintiff”) who alleges that our client’s failure to distribute the Plaintiff’s content constitutes a tort and breach of contract.
  • Advised Takeda on the sale of its subsidiary, Takeda Consumer Healthcare, to an acquisition company controlled by funds managed by The Blackstone Group Inc. and its affiliates for JPY 242 billion (approx. USD 2.3 billion).
  • Represented a building contractor (patentee & plaintiff); on November 13, 2020, we commenced a patent infringement lawsuit in the Tokyo District Court against one of the infringers of a patent for the method and apparatus for removing asbestos-containing material from wall surfaces.

Japan > Investment funds: Independent local firms Tier 1

Advising across the spectrum of investment fund issues, from documentation and compliance to product design and planning, Nishimura & Asahi provides comprehensive experience in the area. The firm handles traditional asset management activities, including investment trusts and investment advisors, as well as advising on the structuring, documentation and formation of alternative investments, notably private equity funds, infrastructure funds, venture capital investment funds, private-placement real estate funds and offshore funds. In addition to these seriveces, the practice can draw from the firm’s strengths in M&A and fundraising to assist with the investment and exit stage after fund formation. Makoto Igarashi representing investment managers in fundraising and investment; he co-leads the team with Kei Ito, whose expertise includes investment trusts, ETFs and alternative investments for institutional investors. Another key name is Yoshiharu Kawamata, who covers domestic and international investment fund matters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Nomura Holdings, Inc.

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Mizuho Capital Partners Co., Ltd.

Longreach Group

Aspirant Group Inc.

Nomura Mezzanine Partners Co., Ltd.

Government Pension Investment Fund, Japan

Pattern Energy Group

Toyota Motor Corporation

Toshiba Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising Nomura Holdings, Inc. on the establishment of a Japan-China industrial cooperation fund.
  • Advised Pattern Energy Group and its affiliate, Green Power Investment Corporation, on the establishment of Green Power Renewable No. 1 Investment LP, the largest fund in Japan focused on wind and solar energy investment.
  • Advised Nomura Holdings, Inc. and Nomura Mezzanine Partners Co., Ltd. on the establishment of both a new mezzanine fund manager, N-MEZ, and a Japanese partnership-type mezzanine fund, N-MEZ Investment Business Limited Partnership 1.

Japan > Labour and employment: Independent local firms Tier 1

Nishimura & Asahi brings expertise in M&A, organizational restructuring and bankruptcy to its labour and employment practice, combining this with experience advising enterprises on their daily personnel and labour issues and the structuring of compliance systems. Employment disputes is a core strength for the firm, that also specialises in the crossover between technology and employment law, notably issues relating to HR data, HR-tech and AI. Yuri Sugano advises foreign and domestic clients on labour and employment matters, including advising on the Japanese government’s work-style reform programme. She co-leads the team with Jiro Abe, who handles restructuring, post-merger integration, union negotiations, negotiations between labour offices and labour disputes.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Yamanishi Co., Ltd.

Pepper Food Service Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Yamanishi, one of the top shipbuilding companies in Tohoku, on its reorganisation.
  • Advised Pepper Food, a Japanese company operating restaurant chains and franchises throughout Japan and overseas, on its financial restructuring, including efforts to reduce its labour costs.

Japan > Private wealth: Independent local firms Tier 1

The Nishimura & Asahi private wealth practice brings together expertise in corporate governance, succession planning and inheritance, combining this with strength from within the firm in tax, insolvency and litigation. Cross-border expertise in another key feature of the practice, which advises high-net-worth individuals on a range of global assets and regulation. Wealth management and corporate specialist Yoshinobu Fujimoto focuses on business succession planning, inheritance issues and international taxation; he co-leads the team with Masaru Shibahara, who handles disputes in the area and advises across the spectrum of business succession matters, from M&A to the drafting of family charters.

Japan > Projects and energy: Independent local firms Tier 1

Specialising in project finance, as well as the development and procurement of natural resources, Nishimura & Asahi has broad expertise in the area. In addition to advising on the traditional coal and gas sectors the firm is increasingly active advising on the booming renewables space, notably the offshore wind sector in Japan. The practice handles a range of infrastructure projects, including PFI projects and concession projects based on Japan’s PFI Act and amusement theme parks. In terms of international expertise, the group advises on LNG projects, mining projects, refinery projects, IPP projects and infrastructure across a number of jurisdictions countries; US and EU sanctions issues is another specialism. Tomohiro Sato leads the deep bench of projects, energy and finance experts, key names including Maya Ito, Sadayuki Matsudaira, Norio Maeda and Nathan Schmidt. The firm’s international strength was further boosted in 2020 by the arrival of projects and asset finance expert Adrian Joyce from Norton Rose Fulbright and Alexander Woody from White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Renova, Inc.

Sonnedix Japan

Tokyu Land Corporation

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Ltd.

Toyota Motor Corporation

Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co., Ltd.

JX Mining & Metals Corporation

Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

Pattern Energy Group LP

Showa Denko K.K.

Tohoku Electric Power Co., Ltd.

Hudson Sustainable Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Pattern Renewable Energy Fund on the establishment of the largest fund in Japan focused on wind and solar energy investments.
  • Advised Kansai Airports Co., Ltd. on USD 1.85 billion additional financing facility for Kansai Airports on a project finance basis.
  • Advised Renova Inc., a Japanese developer and operator of renewable power plants on a USD 590 million loan agreement by its joint venture company.

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

In the real estate space Nishimura & Asahi has a strong finance practice as well as being active in real estate development matters. The firm handles the purchase, investment, leasing and management of real estate assets. Structured finance and international finance expert Yoshihiko Kawakami leads the team in this area. On the construction side, the practice acts in a range of dispute resolution matters, as well as advising construction companies across the sector; construction contracts and law specialist Shintaro Uno is head of the practice.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., Ltd.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Tokyu Land Corporation Kajima Corporation

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., Ltd.

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation

ORIX Corporation Mitsui & Co. Asset Management Holdings Ltd.

Mori Trust Co., Ltd.

Tokyo Tatemono Investment Advisors Co., Ltd.

Kajima Real Estate Investment Advisors Inc.

The Blackstone Group Japan K.K.

Shimizu Corporation

Marubeni Corporation

Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Corporation

Penta-Ocean Construction Co., Ltd.

Kajima Corporation

Nippon Steel Engineering

Nippon Shokubai

Taisei Corporation

Toyo Construction Co., Ltd.

Samty Co., Ltd.

Toshiba Plant Systems & Services Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised ITOCHU Corporation on all aspects of its transaction with Warner Bros. Japan LLC, Seibu Railway Co., Ltd. and Fuyo General Lease Co., Ltd. to redevelop the famous 94-year-old Tokyo amusement park Toshimaen into an amusement park themed around Warner Bros.’ flagship Harry Potter series.
  • Advised Avex Inc., a Japanese entertainment company, on the sale of its headquarters building in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo.
  • Marubeni is establishing manufacturing plants to produce a large volume of paper products in Vietnam. Represented Marubeni and prepared all of the EPC contracts with the contractors.

Japan > Restructuring and insolvency: Independent local firms Tier 1

Known for traditional insolvency work, particularly representing debtors, Nishimura & Asahi is also strong in restructuring and insolvency transactions involving out-of-court workouts and turnarounds. As well as acting in large-scale matters, the firm handles petitions for bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings on behalf of small and medium-sized companies. The practice is active in Japan and throughout Asia, with increasing experience in cross-border workouts and global restructuring. Kenichi Minami leads the department and has a track record in out-of-court workouts and turnarounds.  A deep bench the expertise includes Hajime Ueno, who specialises in structured finance and handles a range of restructuring and insolvency issues.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Yamanishi Co., Ltd.

Pepper Food Service Co., Ltd.

Toyota Industries Corporation

Garrett Motion Inc., Garrett Motion Japan Inc.

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Seibi Kogyo Co., Ltd.

Toshiba Corporation

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Works Applications Co., Ltd.

Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Yamanishi Co., Ltd., a shipbuilding company based in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, Japan, in filing for corporate reorganisation protection.
  • Advised Pepper Food Service Co., Ltd. in its financial restructuring efforts.
  • Supported Garrett Motion Inc. and Garrett Motion Japan Inc. – Chapter 11, the Japan subsidiary of a US auto parts-maker through its Chapter 11 proceedings, an unusual occurrence for a Japanese company.

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

Combining former prosecutors, high-tech crime specialists and government, private and foreign attorneys, Nishimura & Asahi’s corporate crises practice assists clients investigated by government authorities for securities and financial fraud, foreign corrupt practices, white-collar crime and other form of misconduct. The firm specialises in advising on responses to investigations by and inquiries from authorities, dealing with stock exchanges and responses to the media, as well as providing experience in a range of international cases. Hiroshi Kimeda leads the practice and focuses on corporate crisis management and litigation. Key names in the team include foreign investigations and regulatory authorities expert Kaku Hirao, Kei Umebayashi, who previously worked for the Special Investigative Section of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, and Tomoyuki Numata, whose forte is managing corporate crises and responding to Japan’s Fair Trade Commission.

Practice head(s):

Japan > Tax: Independent local firms Tier 1

Renowned for its handling of contentious tax issues, Nishimura & Asahi’s tax team maintains an excellent track record of Japanese court victories. Headed by Yo Ota, the team also advises on tax assessment reversals and audits. In addition, the firm also offers bespoke tax solutions and strategies for corporate restructurings and M&A, financing arrangements and financial product development. Ota has extensive experience in international and domestic M&A and cross-border transactions, particularly in the IP and media arenas. The team is also home to Akihiro Hironaka, who’s practice focuses on tax disputes and litigation, often with cross-border complications. Other key practitioners include Yasutaka Nishikori and Tsuyoshi Ito; their practices focus on financial instruments, tax planning, and transactions.

Practice head(s):

Yo Ota

Key clients

Shionogi & Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Ltd.

Rakuten, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented Shionogi & Co. in a tax dispute before the Tokyo District Court, involving an issue arising from the in-kind contribution of a partnership interest for development of a drug to fight AIDS.
  • Represented Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank in a tax dispute involving withholding tax obligations due on interest paid to non-resident bondholders in the Tokyo District Court seeking cancellation of tax assessments by the Japanese tax authority.
  • Advised KKR and Rakuten with respect to the overall deal structure, drafting various agreements and assisting with the negotiations with the relevant parties, and also supported the smooth completion of the various acquisitions.

Japan > TMT: Independent local firms Tier 1

Providing a full service to its TMT clients as well as funds active in the area, Nishimura & Asahi specialises in cross border work, M&A and corporate advice. The firm provides strengths in international trade, anti-trust, merger filings, IP and large-scale transactions for private equity funds, internet companies and motor industry clients. In terms of innovation, the practice is at the forefront of the digital transformation trend with its New Normal Project, to optimize remote working conditions, enhance communications and deal with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Corporate and M&A practice heads Asa Shinkawa and Yoshinobu Fujimoto lead the overall team that includes experienced TMT practitioners Hiroshi Uchima and Takahiko Date.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

NTT DoCoMo, Inc.

NAVER Corporation

TIS Inc.

Amazon Services International, Inc.

Rakuten, Inc.

Japan Display Inc.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Walsin Technology Corporation

Avex Inc.

Money Forward, Inc.

Beijing Bytedance Technology Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised NTT, Japan’s leading telecom services provider, who acquired the remaining 33.79% stake in NTT DoCoMo, Inc., Japan’s leading mobile carrier, via a recommended tender offer, the largest ever made for a Japanese company and one of the three largest global deals in 2020.
  • As lead counsel to NAVER, played a cross-border “hub” role in structuring, negotiating, and implementing all facets of a complex series of transactions.
  • Advised TIS, an existing investor in Grab, on Grab’s efforts to obtain USD 4.5 billion in financing and on preparations for the NASDAQ listing, in particular on the conversion of the investment shares TIS acquired in Grab in 2020 to shares of the new listed company.

Japan > Fintech - Independent local firms Tier 2

The experienced fintech practice of Nishimura & Asahi combines strengths in the payment area with regulatory knowledge and a close relationship with the Financial Services Agency of Japan (JFSA). As well as working on crypto assets and new product deals, the firm handles a range of crowdfunding related matters in the fintech space. Naoya Ariyoshi advises a range of banks, trust banks, securities firms, non-bank financial entities and fintech ventures. He leads a strong team that includes Susumu Tanizawa, who specialises in financial regulations, capital markets, asset management and other financial transactions related to fintech.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

NAVER Corporation

Japan Financial Services Intermediary Business Association

Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.

KKR Japan Ltd.

Japan Post Capital Co., Ltd.

Rakuten Wallet, Inc.

Crowd Credit, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised NAVER Corporation on the integration of Z Holdings Corporation and Line Corporation, an enormous deal in the FinTech area; both of these major company groups include numerous FinTech subsidiaries and other affiliates involved with e-money, cryptocurrency, and mobile securities. NAVER Corporation is the parent company of LINE Corporation.
  • Assisted Japan Financial Services Intermediary Business Association in the establishment of a self-regulatory organisation for financial services intermediaries, including drafting its self-regulatory rules.
  • Advised Nomura Securities on its launch of an app-based service called “FINTOS!,” which provides various kinds of financial investment information via an app.

Japan > Shipping: Independent local firms Tier 2

New to the rankings, Nishimura & Asahi‘s shipping team regularly acts for lenders, lessors, lessees and ECAs in cross-border and domestic asset finance transactions relating to vessels and marine containers. The firm advises on chartering/financing and marine container leasing/financing transactions (JOLCO). The team is led by Katsu Sengoku, a shipping asset finance expert. Kosuke Shibukawa is also a shipping finance and investment expert. The ‘superbAdrian Joyce adds additional strength to the team with project and asset finance expertise relating to the shipping, offshore and LNG sectors.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Adrian Joyce has a broad base of expertise, but I can say without hesitating that he is truly unrivalled in LNG, finance and shipping matters, and he has established himself as the “go to” in the Japan market. I think this is because he is extremely knowledgeable and is quickly able to get to the crux of any issues and provide the most suitable and commercial solution. He is well trusted by our business and legal teams.’

‘Mr. Adrian Joyce, Partner stands out as a legal counsel in Shipping Finance practice in Tokyo as he provides legal advice service in a manner which exactly fits the client needs. High satisfaction areas include, experience, speed, documentation accuracy, billing flexibility, and client friendly interaction skills.’

‘I have been working with Nishimura since the summer of 2020. Two reasons: 1. Japanese legal advice and expertise led by strong figures (Sengoku-sensei and Partner Adrian Joyce) and 2. Track record on international maritime cases. Very good as an institution. One of best maritime law firms/extremely high commercial awareness, and best value for money’. 

‘Adrian Joyce is always superb. He is very dependable, client-first attitude, and my first call maritime lawyer when dealing with international situations in various aspects – financing, restructuring, arbitration. Rafael Bong who works for Adrian in the maritime practice is worth mentioning. While his years in this space are still nascent, his attitude is worth special mentions.’

Japan’s largest international law firm: Nishimura & Asahi is Japan’s largest law firm, covering all aspects of domestic and international business and corporate activity. We have over 700 Japanese and foreign lawyers — employing more than 850 support staff, including tax accountants, patent attorneys, senior Japanese and foreign business support professionals, and paralegals.

The highest global standards: Many attorneys and staff at our firm speak other languages and have advanced international law degrees and bar admissions — with experience working at other top global law firms. We have also established strong professional relationships with the most eminent law firms worldwide, enabling us to focus on international corporate and financial transactions, advising both Japanese and foreign clients to the highest international standards.

Cutting-edge business issues: We work with the most prominent Japanese and global corporations, to find novel solutions for their industries’ most innovative changes and disruptive challenges.

Commitment to excellence: Through the enhancement of professional and organisational synergies — a result of our expansion — an unprecedented level of client service is made possible in highly specialised and complex areas of commercial law. We understand our clients’ growing needs and our fully integrated team of lawyers and professional staff is proud to share the same fundamental philosophy: An uncompromising commitment to excellence.

International presence: With the continued expansion of our international presence and clientele, we have four domestic and 14 overseas offices. Through our domestic and global networks, we are ideally placed to provide clients with a borderless one-stop service, from Japan to the rest of the world.

Number of partners: 202
Number of lawyers: 719

Offices
Tokyo

Otemon Tower, 1-1-2 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8124
Tel: +81-3-6250-6200

Nagoya
JR Central Towers 41F, 1-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 450-6041
Tel: +81-52-533-2590

Osaka
Umeda Hankyu BldgTower 35F, 8-1 Kakudacho, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0017
Tel: +81-6-6366-3013

Fukuoka
Denki Bldg Kyosokan 9F, 2-1-82 Watanabe-dori, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0004
Tel: +81-92-717-7300

Bangkok
SCL Nishimura & Asahi Limited
34F, Athenee Tower, 63 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel: +66-2-126-9100

Beijing
Unit 08, 4F, Office Tower 2, China Central Place, 79 Jianguo Road,
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100025
Tel: +86-10-8588-8600

Shanghai
40F Park Place, 1601 Nanjing West Road, Jingan District, Shanghai 200040
Tel: +86-21-5280-3700

Dubai
Afridi & Angell Legal Consultants Japan Desk (N&A)
Unit 406, Index Tower, International Financial Centre, PO Box 418797, Dubai
Tel: +971-4-386-3456

Frankfurt (main office)
Neue Mainzer Str. 66-68, 60311 Frankfurt am Main
Tel: +49-(0)69-870-077-620

Düsseldorf (branch office)
Königsallee 92a, 40212 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49-(0)211-5403-9512

Hanoi
Nishimura & Asahi (Vietnam) Law Firm
Suite 607, 63 Ly Thai To Bldg, 63 Ly Thai To Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Tel: +84-24-3946-0870

Ho Chi Minh City
Branch Office of Nishimura & Asahi (Vietnam) Law Firm
Room 1102, 11F, Sun Wah Tower, 115 Nguyen Hue, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84-28-3821-4432

Jakarta *1
Walalangi & Partners
Pacific Century Place, 19F, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman Kav 52-53, SCBD Lot 10, Senayan, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan, DKI Jakarta 12190
Tel: +62-21-5080-8600

Rosetini & Partners Law Firm
Office 8, 18F, SCBD Lot 28, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53, Jakarta 12190
Tel: +62-21-2933-3617

New York
Nishimura & Asahi NY LLP
1251 Avenue of the Americas, 23F, New York, NY 10020
Tel: +1-212-830-1600

Singapore
Nishimura & Asahi (Singapore) LLP
79 Robinson Road #14-01, Singapore 068897
Tel: +65-6922-7670

Taipei
7F., Exchange Square 1, No.89, Songren Rd., Xinyi District, Taipei City 110-413
Tel: +886-2-8729-7900

Yangon
Nishimura & Asahi Myanmar Limited
#310, 3F, Prime Hill Business Square, No 60 Shwe Dagon Pagoda Road,
Dagon Township, Yangon
Tel: +95-1-8382632

Hong Kong *2:
Okada Law Firm
Room 1403A, 14/F, New World Tower I, 16-18 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2336-8586

*1 Associate office;  *2 Affiliate office

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Managing Partner Ryutaro Nakayamainfo@nishimura.com+81-3-6250-6200
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Kaku Hirao photo Kaku HiraoPartner
Akihiro Hironaka photo Akihiro HironakaPartner; Large scale and complex litigation; Product liability litigation; International arbitration; Compliance.
Maya Ito photo Maya ItoMaya Ito is a partner at Nishimura & Asahi.  She leads the…
Kei Ito photo Kei ItoA partner specializing in asset management, investment funds, banking, derivatives, securities, other…
Adrian Joyce photo Adrian JoycePartner, Nishimura & Asahi
Yoshiharu Kawamata photo Yoshiharu KawamataA partner specializing in investment funds, asset management, banking, securities regulations, corporate…
Dr Lars Markert photo Dr Lars MarkertPartner focusing on international commercial and investment arbitration
Tomoyuki Numata photo Tomoyuki NumataTomoyuki Numata specializes in crisis management and competition law compliance, with a…
Yuki OI photo Yuki OIPartner
Yo Ota photo Yo OtaPartner since 2003
Tomohiro Sato photo Tomohiro SatoPartner
Nathan Schmidt photo Nathan SchmidtPartner
Hajime Ueno photo Hajime UenoPartner in Restructuring & Insolvency practice group; Banking and Securitization/Structured Finance practice…
Kei Umebayashi photo Kei UmebayashiPartner
Natalie Yap photo Natalie YapNatalie is an English solicitor-advocate and Counsel with the International Dispute Resolution…
Japanese
English (fluent)
Chinese (Mandarin)
Spanish
French
Indonesian
German
Korean
Vietnamese
Thai
Filipino
Malay
Taiwanese
Burmese
Swedish
Cantonese
Catalan
Cebuano
Gaelic

Nishimura & Asahi is committed to fostering and strengthening diversity and inclusion at our firm. We believe the ideal organization is one in which a wide array of skills come together and function cohesively, and where, collectively and individually, there is respect and support for the different forms of diversity, including gender, age, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, in all areas where we operate. Diversity and inclusion have been essential to our growing success, enabling us to respond to the needs of our clients across jurisdictions by providing them with multi-faceted approaches and different perspectives.

Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

1. Establishment of a dedicated council and organization

In line with our firm’s adoption of a policy of proactively promoting diversity and inclusion (“D&I”), we established the D&I Promotion Council, which is comprised of our lawyers, other professionals, and staff members; furthermore, we have begun activities to implement specific measures in accordance with the policy. Prior to that, we established the Diversity Promotion Office as a dedicated organization within our firm to promote diversity and inclusion, which cooperates with the D&I Promotion Council to work on D&I related service.

2. Endorsement of the Viewpoint on Marriage Equality by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ)

We endorse “Support the Recruitment and Retention of Talent by Instituting Marriage Equality,” the viewpoint recommending that the Government of Japan extend freedom of marriage to same-sex couples in Japan, published by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ).

3. Establishment of “Nishimura & Asahi Regulation on the Recognition of Domestic Partner, etc.”

We established the “Nishimura & Asahi Regulation on the Recognition of Domestic Partners, etc.” which ensures that domestic partners (common-law spouses and same-sex partners) and the children of such domestic partners are treated in accordance with the firm’s rules and regulations on spouses and their children.

External Evaluation

  • PRIDE Index 2020: We received the top rating (Gold).
  • FT Innovative Lawyers Awards Asia-Pacific 2020: We were highly recognized in the category of “Responsible law firms”.