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Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)


Japan: Antitrust and competition

Antitrust and competition – International firms and joint ventures
Antitrust and competition – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

The antitrust and competition team at Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) is jointly led by Akira Inoue and Junya Ae and provides the full spectrum of services including cartel investigations, IP-related matters and merger clearance mandates. NHK Spring Company appointed the group to represent it in the global cartel investigation into the disk suspension used for hard disk drives in the US, Japan, Brazil and Taiwan. Ae led a team including senior associate Michio Suzuki representing Okaya Electric in global investigations arising from damages and class action claims in the US and Canada seeking recovery of losses suffered from alleged cartel behaviour among capacitor manufacturers. Experienced European antitrust practitioner Kurt Haegeman joined the team as a legal foreign consultant from the Brussels office and is also a name to note alongside counsel Tetsuro Sato.

Leading individuals

Akira Inoue (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Junya Ae (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Next generation lawyers

Michio Suzuki (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Banking and finance

Banking and finance – International firms and joint ventures
Banking and finance – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) advised SMBC on the financing of Asahi's €7.3bn acquisition of several brands in Eastern Europe being spun-off from SABMiller, and acted for Total and SunPower in the financing of a photovoltaic power plant in Miyako. Counsel Haruhiko Ogasawara teamed up with practice co-head Gavin Raftery to assist Pacifico with the structuring, licensing, documenting and closings of a private fund established to invest in solar power projects in Japan. Meanwhile, Tsutomu Kobayashi led the advice to Shinsei Bank, the arranger and lender of a syndicated loan to the Canadian Solar Infrastructure Fund. Other key contacts include practice co-head Naoaki Eguchi, Yasuhisa Takatori, Pierre Chiasson and Shinichiro Kitamura.

Leading individuals

Gavin Raftery (Gaiben) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Naoaki Eguchi (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Next generation lawyers

Haruhiko Ogasawara (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Capital markets

Capital markets – International firms and joint ventures
Capital markets – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)'s Ken Takahashi recently retired from the practice and was replaced by Seiji Matsuzoe, who moved over from White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association). Transaction specialists Gavin Raftery and Masato Honma assisted a number of major car companies with issuances under their respective auto-loan securitisation platforms. Also notable are Seishi Ikeda, who acted for a leading international bank trust in its acquisition of convertible bonds with warrants, and Shinichiro Kitamura, who advised a global technology company and its Japanese subsidiary on a series of offerings of senior notes which were privately placed with investors in the US pursuant to a note purchase agreement. Associate Hiroki Watanabe is also a key name to note.

Leading individuals

Gavin Raftery (Gaiben) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Ken Takahashi (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Corporate and M&A

Corporate and M&A – International firms and joint ventures
Corporate and M&A – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) 'always either meets or exceeds the standards of a global top-tier firm', according to one client. Especially noted for 'their anticipation of issues, the depth and utilisation of their global network and their response times', the corporate lawyers in the Tokyo office include names such as the 'dedicated, competent and hardworking' Jeremy White, who is described by a source as 'one of the best for cross-border Japanese work'. Corporate practice leader Akifusa Takada assisted Konica Minolta with its takeover of Ambry Genetics as well as the negotiation of its intra-company arrangement with its co-investor, INCJ. Elsewhere, Hiroshi Kasuya recently led the advice to Takata, and a number of Japanese debtors, regarding its restructuring in Japan and 20 foreign jurisdictions, while Yutaka Kimura acted for Bunka Shutter in its acquisition of the entire share capital of an Australian company which manufactures and sells garage shutter equipment.  Other names to note include Hiroshi Kondo, Jiro Toyokawa, Hideo Norikoshi, and associates Beelian Tay and Chizu Matsumaru, the latter impresses clients through her 'cool-headed and collected advice'.

Leading individuals

Hiroshi Kondo (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Jeremy White (Gaiben) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Next generation lawyers

Beelian Tay (Gaiben) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution – International firms and joint ventures
Dispute resolution – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

At Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) the dispute resolution team is comprised of Japanese and international lawyers who cover the full spectrum of disputes and risk management matters across a vast range of industry sectors. Following a series of cyber frauds, a global life science company appointed a team led by practice head Yoshiaki Muto to oversee its crime reporting and investigation proceedings in Japan, while Kengo Nishigaki advised a Japanese medical devices company on an internal investigation pertaining to alleged bribery and conflict of interest offences in South East Asia. Joel Greer handled a number of JCAA arbitration cases and assisted a heavyweight corporate name on a mediation with a Middle Eastern party over a project construction dispute. Other key names include Tomohisa Muranushi, Hideyuki Yamamoto, antitrust specialist Akira Inoue and intellectual property expert Daisuke Tatsuno.

Leading individuals

Yoshiaki Muto (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Intellectual property

Intellectual property – International firms and joint ventures
Intellectual property – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

‘A deep knowledge of the area’ makes Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) a go-to firm for intellectual property work. Practice head and trade mark, copyright and designs specialist Kensaku Takase leads a team of 13 specialist attorneys with local and international expertise. The group handles the full range of IP matters including portfolio management, IP-related transactions, IP disputes, anti-counterfeiting issues, trade secret protection, copyrights and designs. Daisuke Tatsuno is also a name to note and focuses on the registration, protection and licensing of IP rights.

Leading individuals

Kensaku Takase - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Labour and employment

Labour and employment – International firms and joint ventures
Labour and employment – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

The ‘excellent’ team at Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) ‘provides complex employment law advice’ and utilises its global network to handle domestic and cross-border matters for multinational companies with operations in Japan including those in the banking, commercial, retail and technology sectors. The ‘knowledgeable and very calm’ Tomohisa Muranushi is a member of the firm’s corporate M&A practice group and heads up the labour and employment team; he has notable experience in designing terms and conditions of employment, workforce reductions and labour disputes, and provides ‘concise and practical advice’.

Leading individuals

Tomohisa Muranushi (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Projects and energy

Projects and energy – International firms and joint ventures
Projects and energy – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Under the leadership of Anne Hung, Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) fields a dedicated team focusing on energy, mining and infrastructure mandates from a wide range of Japanese clients. Naoaki Eguchi and Tsutomu Kobayashi recently led the advice to Fukushima Gas Power and its sponsors on the development and financing of a natural gas-fired power project, while Pierre Chiasson teamed up with Gavin Raftery to assist Pacifico Energy with the development, construction, financing and sale of a solar power project in Okayama. Other key contacts include of counsel Samir Desai, who acted in a corporate transaction pertaining to the operation and maintenance of submarine power transmission assets in Germany, and Ean Mac Pherson, who along with counsel Toshio Sasaki handled Conergy's purchase, development and sale of a solar project.

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Japan: Real estate and construction

Real estate and construction – International firms and joint ventures
Real estate and construction – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

At Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) the real estate team operates as part of the major projects, energy, infrastructure and mining department. Practice co-head Ean Mac Pherson acted in the real estate aspects and construction law issues related to major infrastructure and energy projects; he co-heads the construction practice with Toshio Sasaki. In recent other highlights, Alexander Jampel acted for a two major life insurance companies in the non-recourse loans secured by a large mixed-use office, retail and residential building held in trust in Tokyo, and Seishi Ikeda represented the asset manager in a foreign Asian fund's acquisition of an office building in Tokyo. Chris Hodgens oversaw the real estate aspects of several major new hotel developments in South East Asia. On the junior side, senior associates Maki Kawamura and Taijiro Suzuki are key names to note alongside counsel Haruhiko Ogasawara.

Leading individuals

Alexander Jampel (Gaiben) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Seishi Ikeda (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Next generation lawyers

Maki Kawamura (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Taijiro Suzuki (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Restructuring and insolvency

Restructuring and insolvency – International firms and joint ventures
Restructuring and insolvency – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) provides expertise across restructuring, insolvency, distressed M&A, non-performing loans and debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing. The team specialises in cross-border restructurings and insolvency cases and provides advice on matters related to cross-border workouts, Chapter 11 and Chapter 15 proceedings under the US Bankruptcy Code, and UK bankruptcy litigation. It also has significant experience in representing local and international creditors, sponsors and lenders against failed corporations. Hiroshi Kasuya heads up the group and was recently promoted to partner; he focuses on insolvency and restructuring matters, M&A and litigation. In a high-profile highlight his team is representing Takata Japan and other Japanese debtors in connection with the its restructuring and the related civil rehabilitation proceedings.

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Japan: TMT

TMT – International firms and joint ventures
TMT – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) advises clients across the spectrum of the communications industry, from wireline operators and equipment manufacturers to satellite network and media content providers. The group has significant strength in the fintech sector, thanks to a multi-disciplinary team, which advises on transactional and regulatory issues. Practice head Kensaku Takase focuses on IT and IP law and regularly handles IT deals related to outsourcing, licensing, and cloud-based solutions; he also has experience in General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance programmes. Associate Tsugihiro Okada is also recommended; he focuses on data protection, telecoms law and antitrust matters. The team recently advised the Tokyo Stock Exchange listed Lifull on its A$187m scheme of arrangement acquisition of Mitula Group; the transaction created a leading global online classifieds and marketplaces group.

Next generation lawyers

Tsugihiro Okada - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Japan: Tax

Tax – International firms and joint ventures
Tax – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) advises various multinationals on a range of tax and transfer pricing issues in Japan including tax restructuring, planning, litigation and customs matters. The department also has a comprehensive tax, transfer pricing and economics practice, which fields practitioners with extensive in-house government experience; several team members have held key positions in Japan's tax authority. Edwin Whatley leads the practice and is highly experienced in both US and Japanese tax law; Shinichi Kobayashi is also a name to note and advises on a range of tax and transfer pricing issues.

Leading individuals

Edwin Whatley (Gaiben) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Shinichi Kobayashi (Bengoshi) - Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

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Legal Developments by:
Baker McKenzie LLP

  • The New Turkish Code of Obligations: Important Changes for Leases of Residential & Business Premises

    For decades, the primary Turkish laws governing leases of residential and business premises have been the Law on Leasing Real Property dated May 27, 1955 (the “Lease Law”) and the Turkish Code of Obligations No. 818 dated April 22, 1926 (the “Obligations Code”). Both of these laws, however, will be repealed and replaced with the new Turkish Code of Obligations No. 6098 dated January 11, 2011 (the “New Obligations Code”), which will enter into force on July 7, 2012.
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Legal Developments in Japan

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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  • Japan: New legislative framework for Sukuk

    The new framework passed in May 2011 will provide a solid legal platform for issuing Sukuk Ijarah under Japanese law. NAOKI ISHIKAWA highlights key legal structures and tax treatment in respect of the anticipated Sukuk issuances in Japan.
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    Tax on international joint ventures. Country Q&A (Japan).
  • Japan: Recent Developments in Practice and Law

    The successful closing of two Islamic fi nance transactions which was announced in July 2010 by Nomura Holdings have paved a concrete path for Japanese corporations to consider overseas Islamic fi nance markets for their fund raising activities. The fi rst transaction was in Asia for the issuance of Sukuk Ijarah and the second was in the Middle East for the establishment of a Commodity Murabahah facility (Nomura Deals).
  • Renewable energy takes off in Japan

    Like many other countries, Japan has decided to reform its renewable energy (RE) policy, to dramatically increase the use of renewable energy. The core policy mechanism is a feed-in tariff (FIT). This chapter summarises the contemplated Japanese FIT and its practical impact on existing and future investment in this sector, providing an overview of:
  • Licensing - 2010

    Q & A on Licensing in Japan 
  • Law on the Civil Jurisdiction of Japanese Courts over Foreign Countries, etc.

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