Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise > Tokyo, Japan > Firm Profile

Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise
MARUNOUCHI BUILDING, 32ND FLOOR
2-4-1 MARUNOUCHI, CHIYODA-KU
TOKYO 100-6332
Japan

Japan > Projects and energy: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

The Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise’s projects development and finance practice is praised for its extensive expertise in structuring and executing complex, multi-sources project financings across its network of global offices in landmark projects and infrastructure transactions. The team is led by Stephen McWilliams and acts as lead counsel for lenders, borrowers, project companies, developers, acquirers, sellers, governments, and state-related entities. Key industries of expertise include energy, infrastructure, mining, transport, and telecoms, with McWilliams advising on sponsor and lender mandates across the LNG, petrochemicals, and renewables sectors. Other key names to note are Michael Yoshii who counts Marubeni, Mitsubishi, and Meralco PowerGen as his key clients, and counsel Richard Chul Kim who is fluent in Japanese, Korean, and English.

Practice head(s):

Stephen McWilliams

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

INPEX Corporation

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

JERA Co., Inc.

Marubeni Corporation

Mitsubishi Materials Corporation

Mizuho Bank

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

PT Pertamina

Tokyo Gas

Work highlights

  • Advised a group of export credit agencies and a consortium of commercial bank lenders on the refinancing of approximately US$8.3 billion for the Ichthys LNG project in Australia.
  • Advised the European Investment Bank, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), Euler Hermes, the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), BPI France and 12 commercial banks and other lending institutions in the US$1.6 billion financing for Sweden’s Northvolt, a European sustainable battery developer and manufacturer specialising in lithium-ion technology for electric vehicles.
  • Advised the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft GmbH (DEG) on the financing for the construction and operation of a 35-MW solar power plant in Paturia, Manikgonj, Bangladesh.

Japan > TMT: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise’s TMT practice sits within the firm’s integrated data and technology transactions group, which operates at the intersection of cross-border technology and IP issues. The practice is led by Stuart Beraha, who focuses on technology, content, branding and IP mandates; he acts for a premier client roster, which includes Yahoo! and Kioxia. Associate Benjamin Han is also a key contact within the group and advises on a variety of IP and commercial matters, as well as assisting clients in the semiconductor, pharmaceuticals and telecoms sectors.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Kioxia Corporation

Yahoo Japan Corporation

Otsuka Medical Devices

TDK Corporation

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group

SoftBank

Work highlights

  • Advising Kioxia Corporation on IP, technology, licensing and commercial issues, including with respect to its joint venture agreements with Western Digital for joint investments in 3D BiCS Flash memory production.
  • Advised Z Holdings Corporation, Yahoo! Japan’s parent holding company, regarding the business integration of Z Holdings and LINE Corporation contemplated by their respective parent companies, SoftBank Corp and NAVER Corporation.
  • Advising Yahoo Japan Corporation in connection with YJ’s negotiation of a Master Agreement regarding its long-standing license agreement with Oath Holdings Inc. (formerly Yahoo!).

Japan > Corporate and M&A: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise’s corporate and M&A offering has a wide breadth of expertise where it serves leading Japanese and multinational companies on complex, cross-border transactions. Both inbound and outbound in nature, the practice is known for serving companies in the communications, semiconductor, life sciences, technology, and financial services sectors. The practice has been further enhanced with the hire of Hiroaki Takagi from Nishimura & Asahi. Hiro’s strengths are in Japanese public company representation and Japan regulatory matters. Ivan Smallwood and Noah Carr are of note, with Carr recently representing Japanese blue-chip corporates across a range of industries; he is advising Yahoo and Z Holdings in their business integration with LINE. Michael Yoshii is also a key contact within the team.

Key clients

SoftBank

Kioxia Corporation

Yahoo Japan Corporation

Otsuka Medical Devices

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group

TDK Corporation

DXC Technology

Work highlights

  • Advised Z Holdings Corporation and Yahoo Japan in the business integration of Yahoo Japan, LINE Corporation, and their subsidiaries.
  • Advised ARA Asset Management in its US$1.3 billion joint buyout, together with Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing, of Kenedix, Inc.
  • Advised SoftBank in its investment in the bike-sharing business of DiDi, China’s largest ride-hailing and smart mobility company.

Japan > Dispute resolution: International firms and joint ventures Tier 4

Kaede Toh heads the renewed litigation and disputes practice at Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise following her move from  Ropes & Gray LLP. Toh’s practice consists of an established track record representing Asia-based clients in white collar defence matters. Toh also advises on anti-corruption diligence in M&A and private equity transactions, and advises on compliance and and-corruption policies in the IP sector.

Practice head(s):

Kaede Toh

Key clients

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Toyo Denso

Sumida Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represent Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.in a securities class action pending in United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
  • Represent Toyo Denso in multidistrict litigations in relations to fix prices allegations.
  • Represent Sumida Corporation and certain subsidiaries, in an antitrust class action.

South Korea > Projects and energy: foreign firms

Known for its expertise in multi-sourced project financings, Latham & Watkins LLP advises clients across the energy, infrastructure, mining, transport and telecoms sectors. Its client base includes major sponsors and lenders such as KEXIM, K-Sure and Hanwha Energy. Splitting his time between Singapore and Tokyo, Stephen McWilliams is head of the practice and has extensive experience in LNG, petrochemicals, renewables and infrastructure deals across Asia-Pacific. Joseph Bevash and Sungjin Kang are project finance experts based in Hong Kong and Seoul respectively.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

The Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM)

Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure)

Korea Midland Power Co., Ltd. (KOMIPO)

Daelim Industrial

Daelim Energy Co., Ltd.

Korea Southern Power Co., Ltd. (KOSPO)

Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC)

PT Pertamina (Persero)

Hanwha Energy

Work highlights

  • Advising PT Pertamina (Persero) on the upgrade and expansion of the Cilicap, Balongan, Plaju, Dumai and Balikpapan refineries in Indonesia.

The firm: Latham & Watkins is a leading international law firm serving multinational companies, start-ups, investment banks, private equity funds, venture capital firms, sovereign wealth funds, governments and other organisations. The firm’s globally integrated platform spans Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the US, and consists of internationally recognised practices across a wide spectrum of transactional, litigation, corporate and regulatory areas. Latham attorneys offer unrivalled legal resources and strategic commercial thinking to provide clients with innovative solutions to complex commercial matters.

Asia practice: Businesses and investors seeking innovative solutions to their most complex corporate, financial, regulatory and litigation challenges turn to Latham in Asia for strategic thinking and experienced counsel. Latham has extensive experience advising on the international aspects of a broad range of corporate and finance transactions for clients across the region, notably Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. With more than 150 lawyers operating from six offices in Asia, Latham provides clients in the region and clients looking to do business in Asia with expert advice under US, English, Hong Kong, Japanese and Singapore law. Latham’s deep roots in the financial and economic markets in the region are further strengthened by the firm’s local language capabilities.

Latham continues to receive awards and acclaim from a number of leading financial and legal publications for landmark and precedent-setting deals.

Areas of practice: The firm’s Asia practice has received considerable market recognition for its involvement in many of the most important single-country and in-region, inbound and outbound cross-border transactions. The team has extensive expertise across numerous practices, including: project development and finance (particularly in the areas of infrastructure, energy and natural resources); banking and acquisition finance; M&A; private equity; restructurings; privatisations; debt and equity capital markets; general company representation; foreign direct investment; commercial litigation and arbitration (with a particular focus on contentious insolvencies, securities and shareholder disputes); white-collar and government investigations; antitrust and competition; and technology, media and commercial transactions.

With a presence in Japan for more than 20 years, Latham & Watkins has developed a strong, fully integrated team of Bengoshi and registered foreign lawyers (with dual-language capabilities) with a thorough understanding of the nature of the business practices and objectives affecting clients in Japan and international clients with Japanese interests. The combination of experience and expertise working on deals and matters of all sizes in a wide range of industry sectors, has enabled the practice to provide effective and strategic legal advice in the areas of project development and finance; M&A; joint ventures and strategic alliances; employment; capital markets; banking; structured finance; intellectual property; antitrust and competition; international dispute resolution; arbitration; telecommunications; emerging companies; and public company representation. Attorneys in the Tokyo office have been involved in a number of transactions and cases that are the largest or first of their kind, and are consistently recognised as leading lawyers in numerous practice areas.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Arbitration
Antitrust and competition
Banking, leveraged and structured finance
Capital markets
Financial regulatory
Foreign direct investment
Outsourcing
Technology transactions
M&A
Private equity
Project development and finance
Public company representation
Restructuring, insolvency and workouts
Tax
Number of lawyers : more than 2,400
in Asia : 120+
English
Japanese
Korean