Firm Profile > Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) > Tokyo, Japan

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)
TOKYO 106-0032

Antitrust and competition: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)'s antitrust team routinely advise on matters involving many different jurisdictions, including across North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region, among others. Led by Akira Inoue and Junya Ae, the group covers cartel, internal investigations, merger control, antitrust issues arising from intellectual property transactions, compliance, dawn raids, and criminal proceedings. Also notable are European antitrust law expert Kurt Haegeman who acts as a foreign legal consultant, and senior associate Michio Suzuki.


‘Dr Akira Inoue is better than a team of five lawyers. His advice is based on sound experience of actual cases and insights into the real business arena. In Japan, no one matches him.’

‘Baker McKenzie’s antitrust team works hand-in-hand with its M&A team and has a solid understanding of its clients’ M&A structure.’

‘Dr Akira Inoue has a lot of experience and knowledge about DOJ investigations.’

‘Junya Ae has great expertise when it comes to establishing effective communication strategies with the authorities, which is always an important factor in managing complex antitrust cases.’

Key clients

NHK Spring

KYB Corporation

Sanden Coporation

Kinugawa Rubber Co. Ltd

Okaya Electric Industries Co., Ltd.

Japan Bearing Industry Association

Pioneer Corporation

Murata Manufacturing

Sumitomo Corporation

MUFG Bank, Ltd.


Sumitomo Corporation Americas

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group

Hitachi Ltd.


Banking and finance: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) handles a wide variety of transactional banking work, particularly domestic and cross-border acquisition finance, project finance, PFI/PPP matters, structured finance and real estate finance transactions. The banking and finance team also regularly advise on regulatory issues in the finance sector, particularly on FinTech matters. Naoaki Eguchi has a strong track record in the power project space and jointly leads the group with Gavin Raftery who is an expert in financial regulation and fintech. Masato Honma is a co-leader of the financial institutions group in Tokyo and is another key name to note alongside Shinichiro Kitamura and counsel Haruhiko Ogasawara .


‘Baker McKenzie has huge experience in leveraged finance, its worldwide network is one of the most suitable for cross-border transactions.’

‘Baker McKenzie’s banking and finance team in Japan has a strong expertise in project finance and LBO financing and other complex loan transactions in Japan, as well as a good combination of Japanese bengoshi and foreign attorneys.’

‘Shinichiro Kitamura has huge experience in leveraged finance in Japan, and he is one of the most reliable tough negotiater.’

‘Shinichiro Kitamura and Gavin Raftery are always listen to clients’ needs carefully, and comply to deadlines. Their expertise in loan transactions are truly great but they can also leverage the firm’s other resources. They are top tier lawyers in their field in Japan.’

Key clients

Mizuho Bank


Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank

Shinsei Bank

Pacifico Energy K.K.

Volkswagen Financial Services


Trina Solar Limited

Universal Entertainment Corporation

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

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) fields a full-service offering of bengoshi and gaiben to handle mainstream M&A issues as well as matters arising from listed company acquisitions, transformational divestments, corporate governance initiatives, restructurings, and antitrust investigations. Akifusa Takada spearheads the practice with the support of Hiroshi KondoJeremy White, Jiro Toyokawa, and Asia Pacific M&A group leader Hideo Norikoshi. Also notable is counsel Beelian Tay.


‘The team at Baker McKenzie led by Jeremy White is one of the best – if not the best – teams that clients can hope for in Japan. The team is responsive and willing to take comments from financial advisors and really think about the contents not only from the view of a legal advisor. Such flexibility really helps the client get the most out of their service.’

‘Baker & McKenzie’s team provides clients with excellent legal services, through its multi-national network and efficient teamwork among them. Members of the Tokyo office are efficient at communicating with their overseas counterparts.’

‘This is one of the best global law firms to provide support on complex cross-border situations. The partners in Tokyo are very hands-on and can manage the global team very efficiently. The global network is probably the best among all the top-tier law firms in Japan.’

‘Jeremy White gives accurate and precise comments. He doesn’t just stick to  thinking like a lawyer, but takes a transactional perspective as well. He is always calm and he takes important matters to his hands instead of just leaving everything to his juniors. His comments and emails are extremely succinct and easy to understand as well.’

‘Jeremy White is bright, aggressive and cooperative. He has a great commercial mindset.’

Key clients

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB)

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc (MUFG)

Fuji Oil

Concordia Financial Group Ltd

Hitachi Chemical Company, Ltd.

SECOM Co., Ltd.

Tokio Marine Capital (TMCAP)


Yildiz Holding and GODIVA

Platinum Equity

CITIC Capital Partners

L Catterton

Intellectual property: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)'s intellectual property practice (IP) is led by Kensaku Takase who has expertise across the fields of trade marks, copyright, and design rights. Collectively, Takase's team represents a stellar roster of some of the world's leading brands across the full gamut of matters, including IP transactions, disputes, prosecutions, filings, portfolio management, trade secrets, and anti-counterfeiting campaigns, among others. Other notable practitioners in the group are Daisuke TatsunoKei Takenaka, and the recently promoted to counsel, Yosuke Takenaka.

Labour and employment: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) services a diverse client roster spanning the banking, retail and technology sectors, among others. The employment team led by Tomohisa Muranushi handles employment issues including workplace policy development, restructuring and reorganisation, dismissals and workforce reductions, employee benefits, disputes, labour union relations and restrictive agreements. The group also fields a strong backbench in the form of associate Daichi Kiriyama who is especially strong in the context of international transactions.


‘This is a great team – responsive and practical with a great ability to understand how multinational companies work and where that may create challenges.’

‘The Baker McKenzie team has a broad range of experience with multinational companies, as well as deep local expertise and is well-positioned to advise companies on both the legal and cultural aspects of doing business in Japan. This is particularly important in employment.’

‘Tomohisa Muranushi does a fantastic job leading the team.’

‘In comparison to competitors, Tomohisa Muranushi and Daichi Kiriyama make a solid effort to understand the culture and practices of the company and tailor their approach to legal advice accordingly. This results in higher efficiency and reliability, as well as better client engagement.’

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

The bilingual, multi-disciplinary team at Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) covers both inbound and outbound deals for domestic and foreign companies involving the acquisition, disposition, financing, development, and leasing of a wide variety of properties. Seishi Ikeda heads the firm's real estate practice while Ean Mac Pherson and of counsel Toshio Sasaki jointly lead the construction team which operates as part of the projects group. In recent highlights, Taijiro Suzuki was promoted to the partnership, Masahiro Tanabe was made counsel and Alexander Jampel relocated to Hawaii. Senior associate Maki Kawamura specialises in real estate transactions and is also a key name to note.


‘This team is known for its outstanding understanding of the field in Japan and more-than-expected availability of its partners.’

‘Seishi Ikeda is a true expert in his field and has no issues recommending alternative and innovative solutions.’

Key clients

Conergy Japan KK

Jones Land Lasalle


Pacific Century Group

Lone Star Group

Diamond Realty Management

Deutsche Bank AG

Colt Technologies Services

CPI Property Group

Restructuring and insolvency: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)'s restructuring practice advises corporate debtors on all aspects of restructuring and insolvency proceedings under the Civil Rehabilitation Law, the Corporate Reorganization Law and the Bankruptcy Law. The group also has significant experience in representing local and international creditors, sponsors and lenders against failed corporations. Led by Hiroshi Kasuya , the team features promising junior practitioners such as senior associate Junya Suzuki and associate Masayoshi Kobayashi .


‘Baker McKenzie provides a one-stop-shop experience and a high-quality service all around.’

‘Hiroshi Kasuya has a sound understanding of the unique philosophies of Japanese companies, and always provides timely and adequate support while giving full consideration to these philosophies. He is without doubt the most eminent lawyer in this field.’

Key clients

Takata Corporation

Westinghouse Electric UK Holdings Limited and its group companies

Credit Agricole

Tax: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)'s tax and transfer pricing group provides a full range of domestic and international tax planning, structuring, and economics services to multinational clients and to Japanese businesses seeking tax advice in foreign jurisdictions. The firm fields lawyers, accountants, tax practitioners, and transfer pricing experts under the leadership of Edwin Whatley with the notable support of Shinichi Kobayashi and Ryutaro Ota.

Capital markets: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)'s capital markets team advises Japanese and foreign corporations and government organisations on the offering and sale of securities in domestic and international markets, the development of financial products, IPOs, the offering and sale of bonds, REITs, and the establishment of funds and international tender offers. Although full-service, the group has a particularly strong expertise in the samurai bond space. Seiji Matsuzoe spearheads the practice with a focus on cross-border financing transactions and associated regulations. Also notable are banking and finance expert Gavin Raftery and associate Hiroki Watanabe. Ken Takahashi and Fusako Otsuka retired, while Hitoshi Sumiya joined TMI Associates as a partner.


‘The team consistently shows the most up-to-date knowledge of the regulatory environment in Japan compared to other firms.’

‘Seiji Matsuzoe comes up with very innovative, pioneering ideas.’

Key clients

CPI Property Group

Barclays Securities Japan Limited

KT Corporation

Volkswagen Financial Services Japan

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company

Japan Bank for International Cooperation


Dispute resolution: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) fields both bengoshi and gaiben to handle cross-border litigation, international commercial arbitration, compliance investigations under the FCPA and UK Anti-Bribery Act, as well as domestic litigation. The nine-partner team is chaired by Yoshiaki Muto and has a particular strength in the key sectors of energy, construction and infrastructure, manufacturing, life sciences, telecoms, IT, and financial services. Compliance expert Kengo Nishigaki and senior associate Takeshi Yoshida are also names to note. Experienced arbitrator Joel Greer has moved to ZeLo (Foreign Law Joint Enterprise).

Projects and energy: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)'s projects team focuses on sponsor and developer-side work but has a longstanding client roster of Japanese companies and contractors as well. The group has been advising Japanese utilities on their investments overseas, foreign developers and contractors on their acquisitions of domestic Japanese renewable projects, and its longstanding LNG clients regarding several export terminal projects. The projects team is jointly spearheaded by Ean Mac Pherson and Samir Desai with strong support from the banking and finance department. The firm fields strong gaiben like counsel Stephen Clugston – who recently joined from Norton Rose Fulbright – as well as a very significant bengoshi contingent including counsel Masahiro Tanabe.


‘Baker McKenzie in Japan really impresses with its willingness to collaborate with clients to reach respective goals in mutually beneficial ways. The firm’s approach to relationship-building is aimed at the long term, not the short-term.’

‘Ean Mac Pherson and Masahiro Tanabe generate a lot of trust through their prompt responses and willingness to listen to clients’ needs and co-create solutions; it really is a breath of fresh air!’

Key clients


Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group

SB Energy


Japan Wind Development

Shinsei Bank

Tokyo Century Corporation

Toyota Tsusho Corporation

Pacifico Energy K.K.

TMT: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) assists its varied and enviable client roster on complex legal disputes, major transactions and regulatory issues. The full-service offering is jointly led by IP and IT expert Kensaku Takase and corporate partner Yutaka Kimura and has a particular focus in the rapidly-evolving fintech space. Gavin Raftery regularly advises both financial institution and technology clients in Japan and throughout Asia Pacific on AI, machine learning, crypto-currency and cybersecurity issues.

Key clients

Origami Inc.

Amadeus Code


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When It Comes to People

We are committed to diversity and inclusion in our people, support and development of their talent, and dignity and safety in our workplaces. Baker McKenzie also is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, a voluntary global initiative in which we have committed to align our policies and operations with ten principles in the areas of human rights, fair labor, the environment and anti-corruption.

Diversity and Inclusion

Baker McKenzie was founded on the idea of diversity. From our earliest days, we have strived to nurture a respectful, inclusive environment that encourages diverse individuals to thrive personally and professionally as full contributors to the success of the Firm and the clients we serve. We do not permit or tolerate discrimination in our workplaces. This means:

  • All personnel decisions must be: a) respectful of differences among employees and potential employees, b) based on factors relevant to their ability to perform the work they are, or would be expected to do, and c) in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • This includes decisions related to the recruiting, hiring, assignment, compensation, training and development, promotion and dismissal of personnel, as well as other terms and conditions of employment.
  • Applicable local laws, which we follow, vary, but differences that we strive to overlook in personnel decisions include race, color, creed, religion, citizenship, national origin, ethnicity and/or cultural background, age, sex, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy and disability.

While our approach to diversity and inclusion is multi-faceted, three areas where we have specific policies are:

Ethnic & Cultural Diversity

Ethnicity means different things in different countries, so a single approach to ethnic and cultural diversity is ill-advised. This is why we build practices from the ground up, taking local cultural sensitivities into consideration wherever we practice law. Despite the challenges, we have a strong desire to address a lack of equity around the world and encourage each of our offices to define race/ethnic diversity in a way that suits their local culture, politics, clients and business environment.

Gender Diversity

We believe women must be leaders at all levels of our Firm. We seek to foster women leaders in our senior global roles but we are also focusing on ensuring that women are leaders of our most significant client relationships. Since 2012, we have adopted a gender policy designed to encourage the recruitment and retention of more women, and provide greater opportunities and support for women to assume leadership roles. At the partner level, we have set gender diversity aspirational targets – we are working to ensure that women comprise at least 40% of local/national partners and at least 30% of principals and those in leadership positions.

LGBT Diversity

Everyone should feel comfortable in the workplace, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. We are committed to creating and maintaining an open and supportive working environment. This includes equal opportunity for advancement and development within the firm regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and the equal provision of benefits to same and opposite sex partners or spouses.

We have made great strides in encouraging equality in our Firm and in engaging in these crucial conversations on a global basis. Our seven basic principles include:

Principle 1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality;
Principle 2. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination;
Principle 3. Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers;
Principle 4. Promote education, training and professional development for women;
Principle 5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women;
Principle 6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy; and
Principle 7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.