Firm Profile > Morrison & Foerster LLP > Tokyo, Japan
Morrison & Foerster LLP Offices
SHIN-MARUNOUCHI BUILDING, 29TH FLOOR
5-1, MARUNOUCHI 1-CHOME, CHIYODA-KU
Morrison & Foerster LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
Kei Amemiya's antitrust offering at Morrison & Foerster LLP advises its enviable client roster on a wide range of antitrust matters, including merger reviews as well as cartel, monopolisation, unfair trade practices, and administrative fine cases. In recent highlights, the team has been acting for SoftBank in connection with the antitrust issues arising from its creation of a joint venture with Toyota Motor aimed at providing mobility services using autonomous vehicles. Other key names include investigations expert Kazuyasu Yoneyama and Rony Gerrits, who shares his time between the Brussels and Tokyo offices. Daiske Yoshida recently joined the firm from Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise, while of counsel Tomohiko Kimura arrived from Yabuki Law Offices.
‘The team is able to operate globally, with members of the practice group having fluency to operate not only in their home jurisdictions, but others as well. The team is very tenacious in developing the best arguments for the client.’
‘If a project is related to multiple countries, it is easy for Morrison & Foerster to quickly organize a team that can respond globally.’
‘The team is very international, and very focused on client service. Clients really appreciate the excellent work of Rony Gerrits.’
‘Kei Amemiya always raises, advises and reports at the right time.’
‘Morrison & Foerster is known for its excellent communication skills with clients and its ability to plan strategically.’
Renesas Electronics Corp.
Gilead Sciences Inc.
In recent highlights, Morrison & Foerster LLP acted as lead counsel to enviable clients including SoftBank, Sprint and Toshiba in some of the most high-profile transactions in the market. The firm was instructed by Nissan Motor to advise on the sale of its electric battery operations and production facilities to Envision Group. Managing partner Ken Siegel spearheads a team of dedicated specialists, including Gary Smith and Randy Laxer, which handles the full spectrum of public and private M&A matters. Also notable are Stanley Yukevich and Jeff Schrepfer. Japan- and New York- qualified Nozomi Oda has strengthened the team's cross-border capabilities having arrived from Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise in November 2019. The firm lost Ivan Smallwood and Noah Carr to Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise, while Dale Araki joined K&L Gates, and Isamu Inohara moved to Norton Rose Fulbright.
‘The Morrison & Foerster team is well-organised and helpful. Nothing is beyond its capabilities or out of its reach.’
‘Each of MoFo’s team members has profound experience and expertise. All are thoroughly familiar with the businesses and cultures of their clients. Their response to communications and queries are very quick, and their outputs are quite often more than expected.’
SoftBank Group Corp.
SoftBank Vision Fund
Renesas Electronics Corporation
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Asahi Kasei Corporation
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.
New Relic, Inc.
Louise Stoupe's dispute resolution team at Morrison & Foerster LLP bolstered its partner ranks with the arrival of former Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise antitrust and data privacy expert Daiske Yoshida and the internal promotion of Akira Irie. This expansion builds upon the recent relocation of Rony Gerrits from Brussels and Alexander Lawrence's arrival from New York. The group has an outstanding track record in cross-border litigation on behalf of Japanese clients, as demonstrated by its work for Nikon in a series of US patent litigation actions. Also notable are Max Olson, Chie Yakura, Yukihiro Terazawa and Yuka Teraguchi.
At Morrison & Foerster LLP the intellectual property department is jointly spearheaded by litigation specialist Louise Stoupe and patents expert Robert Hollingshead. The group has substantial experience in advising clients in a variety of fields, including the semiconductor, software, information technology, fintech, pharmaceutical, medical device, and telecoms industries. Recent work highlights pertain to issues including critical patent license and cross-license arrangements, complex software licensing arrangements, cloud computing transactions, open-source software, and emerging blockchain technologies. Max Olson is a key name to note on the contentious front, while technology transactions partner Masato Hayakawa provides crucial advisory counsel. Also notable are Chie Yakura and Yuka Teraguchi. Akira Irie was recently promoted to partner, while Stuart Beraha joined Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise.
Louise Stoupe; Robert Hollingshead
‘MoFo’s many intellectual property experts are knowledgeable on Japanese practices and have easy access to a great international network of lawyers.’
‘Yukihiro Terazawa, Chie Yakura, Yuka Teraguchi, and Robert Hollingshead are of the highest quality and clients can have nothing but good experiences working with them on patent litigation related matters.’
‘The MoFo team knows Japanese companies’ customs in the decision-making process and the preparation of documents.’
‘Chie Yakura is one of the important partners handling intellectual property matters in Japan. She is knowledgeable on foreign intellectual property law as well as Japanese law, especially when it comes to litigation.’
‘Yukihiro Terazawa is a particularly insightful and strategic and skillful leader. Chie Yakura is a reliable and profoundly competent lawyer.’
‘Max Olson quickly recognises the situation at hand and provide the appropriate answers because he knows every fibre of his clients’ business.’
Toshiba and Toshiba Memory Corporation
Morrison & Foerster LLP fields a team of project finance experts with significant expertise in New York law, as well as bengoshi who advise on Japanese law, under the joint leadership of Michael Graffagna and Dale Caldwell (who has recently been on secondment to Softbank). The group combines its enviable international reach with a strong presence in the Japanese renewables field, especially in solar power, where it covers the full gamut of work including M&A, financing, and development. Masahiro Shiga spearheads the bengoshi offering and has played a key role in virtually all of the practice's solar power mandates alongside Joshua Isenberg.
Morrison & Foerster LLP's real estate team represents clients at all stages of the real estate investment cycle, from fund formation, to project acquisition and financing, project and portfolio sales, and public offerings of real estate vehicles. Joint practice heads Masahiro Shiga and Theodore Seltzer regularly act for major commercial lenders, investors, and investment banks in cross-border transactions, as well as in large restructurings and workouts. Also notable are Joshua Isenberg and Mori Inada, the latter of whom has particular expertise in real estate non-recourse finance, LBO finance, project finance, and other structured finance.
Masahiro Shiga; Theodore Seltzer
‘At Morrison & Foerster, the partners, associate and paralegals are clear and organized. Compared to other firms, the work schedule is flexible and knowledge and experience are abundant.’
‘Russell Kawahara is responsive and commercial-minded.’
‘Mori Inada is always willing to take on new tasks, and proactively gives precise advice and is capable of making judgement calls whenever necessary. He is also very friendly and easy to work with.’
Asia Pacific Land (Japan) Limited
Angelo, Gordon & Co.
GreenOak Investment Management
Savills Investment Management
SEKISUI HOUSE, LTD.
Sumitomo Mitsui BankingCorporation
DAIWA HOUSE INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
The dedicated technology transactions team at Morrison & Foerster LLP is led by Masato Hayakawa and specialises in technology, content, branding and other intellectual property development, licensing and partnering transactions. The firm's stellar client roster spans both long-established corporates and startups operating in a vast array of sectors, including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, semiconductor technology and financial services. Seth Graham is one to watch. Stuart Beraha recently departed to Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise.
Other key lawyers:
Yukihiro Terazawa; Ken Siegel; Seth Graham
SoftBank Group Corp.
Renesas Electronics Corp.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Morrison & Foerster LLP's team of US-qualified lawyers and Japanese bengoshi advises sponsors, senior lenders, and mezzanine lenders in high-profile acquisition finance transactions under the joint leadership of Akihiro Wani and Dale Caldwell, the latter of whom has been on secondment with SoftBank. The group focuses on bank regulatory matters, acquisition finance, project finance, real estate finance, and derivatives matters. Also notable are M&A finance and real estate finance expert Keiko Yamazaki, senior of counsel Katsuhiko Fujihira, and of counsel Reiko Omachi, who regularly assists financial institutions with cross-border regulatory issues. Managing associate Yosuke Unami joined Linklaters.
Morrison & Foerster LLP has expanded its stellar client roster with the addition of SoftBank, and advised Yahoo! Japan on its restructuring by way of a dual-tender offer structure. The group has also enhanced its presence in the JREIT space – where practice co-head Kenji Hosokawa is a renowned expert – through its work on the Takara Leben Real Estate Investment Corporation IPO as sole international counsel. Senior adviser Fuyuo Mitomi assists investment banks as underwriter’s counsel in connection with global share offerings by various issuers, while Jesse Gillespie has extensive experience representing issuers and underwriters in registered and unregistered offerings of debt securities, including both high-yield and investment-grade offerings. Also notable are Mitsutoshi Uchida and Akihiro Wani.
Fuyuo Mitomi; Kenji Hosokawa
SoftBank Group Corp.
Daiwa Capital Markets
Japan Internationa lCooperation Agency (JICA)
Yahoo! Japan Corporation
Barclays Bank PLC
Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Co., Ltd.
Morrison & Foerster LLP > Firm Profile
With more than 1,000 lawyers across 17 offices, Morrison & Foerster is a preeminent global law firm dedicated to delivering business-oriented results to clients across Asia, the United States and Europe. Dynamic technology and life science companies, large financial institutions, leading consumer product companies and other market leaders come to MoFo for knowledge, innovation and business aptitude. MoFo handles some of the world’s largest cross-border transactions and resolves major disputes across multiple jurisdictions. The firm has a long-standing commitment to pro bono work and social justice. MoFo is one of the preeminent law firms in Asia, providing integrated US and local law advice. With offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, the firm has handled major matters in China for over 35 years. The Tokyo office is now the largest Japan office of any global firm and one of the largest law firms in Japan, domestic or international. The Singapore office, which opened in 2013, features lawyers with many years of experience in South and Southeast Asia.
Main Areas of Practice
Capital Markets: MoFo’s market leading practice in Asia regularly represents issuers and underwriters in debt and equity financings, as well as in domestic venture capital and private equity investments. It is one of the largest and most active capital markets practices of any international law firm in the region, advising clients on a broad range of corporate financing matters involving Hong Kong, Japan, US, and English law.
Finance: MoFo’s Asia finance practice advises clients throughout the region on a comprehensive range of multi-jurisdictional financing transactions. These include project finance, acquisition and leveraged finance, real estate finance, takeovers, debt structuring and restructuring, syndicated lending and subscription line financing. The Tokyo office has one of the largest finance practices of any international law firm in Japan, with substantial experience handling a wide array of domestic and international financial and financial restructuring transactions.
Intellectual Property: MoFo has the largest IP team in Asia and leads the region in outsourcing, licensing and technology transactions. Only a select number of international firms focus on IP matters in Tokyo, and MoFo has the largest and most comprehensive IP team, with over 30 lawyers practicing in the Tokyo office. In China, MoFo has extensive experience in representing Chinese companies in their IP disputes in the US and in the development of their global IP portfolios. MoFo has also been advising its global clients who seek to proactively protect their IP from infringement and misappropriation in China and implement enforcement actions in China.
Investigations & Regulatory Compliance: MoFo has one of the world’s leading compliance, investigations and anti-corruption practices. The Asia team features lawyers with significant experience in all types of investigations and regulatory compliance issues faced by companies in the region and globally, and includes in its ranks accomplished trial lawyers, former prosecutors and experienced former in-house counsel. The team works seamlessly with the global team which boasts former US government officials specialising in national security, sanctions and international trade, as well as privacy and in-house forensic accounting experts.
Litigation: MoFo’s full-service Asia dispute resolution practice is a fully integrated regional practice, working seamlessly across its five offices in Asia,
to handle all aspects of complex commercial litigation, international arbitration and pre-dispute counselling matters, including IP litigation. The firm has full-service Japanese domestic litigation capabilities, and represents client on high-profile proceedings before the Tokyo District Court, the IP High Court, the Japan Patent Office, and the Japan Customs Office. MoFo also represents clients before the Hong Kong courts and regulatory bodies in Hong Kong.
Mergers & Acquisitions: MoFo advises clients on mergers and acquisitions worldwide. MoFo has the most active M&A practice of any international law firm in Tokyo, which represents Japanese and non Japanese companies both in Japan and around the world. In China, MoFo’s M&A practice combines senior PRC regulatory expertise with international deal execution capability. The firm’s lawyers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong have significant PRC-related cross-border M&A experience. In South and Southeast Asia, the firm’s lawyers have many years of experience in managing complex cross-border transactions across the diverse jurisdictions in the region.
Private Funds: MoFo’s Asia private funds practice represents fund sponsors and investors in the formation and operation of investment funds of all strategies, including buyout, venture capital and other private equity funds, fund-of-funds, distressed company funds, real estate, infrastructure and hedge funds. With funds lawyers based in key financial centers across the globe, the group handles complex and specialised cross-border fund raising, fund formations and investments.
Real Estate: The Asia real estate practice group represents investors in the financing, acquisition, joint venture and development of real estate investments in Asia and internationally. The group has a robust and fast-growing practice representing real estate private equity firms, investment managers, sovereign wealth funds, development companies and REITs that invest in real estate assets and companies in this sector. It is also one of the few groups that have been active in the formation and offering of interests in J-REITs.
Technology Transactions: MoFo has assisted leading media and IT companies, global banks and financial institutions, biotech companies and private equity funds in navigating legal, structuring and commercial challenges arising from handling technology projects in Asia’s rapidly evolving business and regulatory environment.
Staff FiguresNumber of partners worldwide : Approximately 325 Number of other lawyers worldwide : Approximately 765
LanguagesEnglish Japanese Chinese (various dialects)
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Antitrust and competition: International firms and joint ventures
- Corporate and M&A: International firms and joint ventures
- Dispute resolution: International firms and joint ventures
- Intellectual property: International firms and joint ventures
- Projects and energy: International firms and joint ventures
- Real estate and construction: International firms and joint ventures
- TMT: International firms and joint ventures