Morrison Foerster > Tokyo, Japan > Firm Profile

Morrison Foerster
TOKYO 100-6529

Japan > Antitrust and competition: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Morrison Foerster‘s highly rated department is experienced in a range of antitrust and competition issues, including complex litigation, regulatory investigations, merger control filings, and administrative procedures before domestic and international competition authorities. Rony Gerrits, commended by clients for being ‘quick with responses’, leads the practice and is the name to note for international cartel investigations and cases at the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property. The team also includes Chie Yakura and Tomohiko Kimura; Yakura is recommended for litigation involving trade secrets, while Kimura is a key contact for clients seeking representation before the Japan Fair Trade Commission. Yuichi Inase and Tomoki Kodama were promoted to partner in January 2022 and January 2023 respectively.

Practice head(s):

Rony Gerrits


‘Rony Gerrits. Very quick with responses, and entertaining to work with.’

‘Mofo’s antitrust team in Japan is very strong. They have top notch clients in Japan, and they have vast experience in handling merger filing matters for all their M&A transactions, especially in the internet economy.’

‘Rony Gerrits is the leader of that team. He is very commercial and practical. He can quickly grasp the commercial gist of any transaction and develop the best merger filing strategy for the client.’

Key clients

Renesas Electronics Corp.

Toshiba Corporation


Santen Pharmaceutical


ON Semiconductor

Work highlights

  • Represented Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited in an action for unfair competition, alleged breach of contract, interference with contract, and indemnity brought by Cypress Semiconductor in the California Superior Court for Santa Clara County.
  • Represented global online travel agency Expedia Inc. in connection with an antitrust investigation by the JFTC relating to contracts with lodging operators.

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

Morrison Foerster‘s market-leading mergers and acquisitions group in Tokyo is headed by Ken Siegel, who is an expert in representing technology companies in matters such as acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances. The team of more than 50 gaiben and bengoshi also includes the ‘highly experiencedJeremy White, international joint venture specialist Randy Laxer, life sciences and TMT specialist Gary Smith, Stanley Yukevich, and ‘very reliable‘ senior associate Ganesh Vaheisvaran. Other work the practice covers includes advice on shareholder activism situations, tax-free spinoffs, prospective buy–out deals, minority investments, and financing for venture capital investments. Stephen DeCosse rejoined the firm in October 2023.

Practice head(s):

Ken Siegel

Other key lawyers:


‘Solid array of lawyers with both US and UK qualifications. Also a range of skills across venture capital, private equity, and more specialized sector groups.’

‘Jeremy White – highly experienced. Deals with issues in a calm and balanced manner. Inspires confidence.’

‘Ganesh Vaheisvaran is a very reliable and hard working senior associate who undertakes his work diligently and efficiently.’

‘Morrison Foerster’s Tokyo Office M&A practice has not only the high quality of professional skills but also very good people and the proper flexibility in their response to matters.’

‘Among many attributes, what made them really unique was their ability to listen carefully to our situations and needs, to understand what we would like to accomplish.’

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp.

TDK Corporation

Fujitsu Limited

Renesas Electronics Corporation

Tencent Holdings Limited

NTT Communications



L Catterton

Palantir Technologies Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented TDK Corporation and Hong Kong subsidiary Amperex Technologies Limited in a business alliance with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited, a publicly traded company in China.
  • Represented Zeon Corporation, a leading Japanese manufacturer of advanced chemicals and materials, in its acquisition of Aurora Microplates, a US maker of microplates for drug research applications.
  • Advised Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, in its acquisition of Steradian Semiconductors Private Limited, a fabless semiconductor company based in Bengaluru, India, that provides 4D imaging radar solutions, in an all-cash transaction.

Japan > Dispute resolution: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

With knowledge spanning the pharmaceuticals, real estate, and mobile telecoms sectors, Morrison Foerster‘s litigation department is praised for its ‘strong expertise in international disputes’. Louise Stoupe and Yuka Teraguchi co-lead the team, the former is proficient in multi-jurisdictional commercial litigation, while the latter is a key contact for tech clients in disputes involving IP and commercial issues. Max Olson is the name to note for patent litigation disputes regarding trade secrets, and Tomoki Kodama who was promoted to the partnership in January 2023, is also highlighted.

Practice head(s):

Louise Stoupe; Yuka Teraguchi

Other key lawyers:


‘Morrison Foerster has a great team for handling disputes relating to intellectual property matters, particularly patent and antitrust litigation cases.’

‘The Morrison & Forster team is familiar with Japanese corporate practices, including decision-making procedures, the preparation of decision-making documents, and the timely conduct of our intentions.’

‘They have strong expertise in big international disputes involving Japanese companies. They unite organically.’

‘Louise Stoupe is always very strategic, because of her long experiences of working with Japanese companies in big international disputes, she understands the practical aspects of such clients incuding how they operate and make decisions.’

‘‘Max Olson recognises the situation and provides appropriate advice.’

Key clients


Renesas Electronics

Fujitsu Limited

Socionext Inc.

Buffalo Inc.


Rakuten Mobile Inc.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp.

FCNT Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Fujitsu America in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California in relation to a patent infringement dispute with Realtime Data.
  • Represented Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited in an action for alleged breach of contract, interference with contract, indemnity, and unfair competition brought by Cypress Semiconductor in the California Superior Court for Santa Clara County.
  • Successfully represented Chugai Pharmaceutical in a multi-billion dollar patent case against Alexion Pharmaceuticals over infringement of Chugai’s technology for recycling antibodies.

Japan > Intellectual property: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

A large specialist team with a comprehensive IP offering, Morrison Foerster is well placed to handle a broad array of contentious and non-contentious IP transactions with a multi-jurisdictional element. Particular expertise in the software, fintech and medical device sectors is coupled with in-depth knowledge of the automotive and aerospace industries. The team is co-led by Louise Stoupe, Yuka Teraguchi and Masato Hayakawa, who bring their substantial expertise to advise on high-tech disputes, international arbitration and litigation, adversarial patent litigations and licensing negotiations. They are joined by Max Olson, who advises on trade mark, patent litigation and international arbitration and Chie Yakura, who strengthens the practice with her in-depth knowledge of technology transfers and antitrust law. Other practitioners of note include Yukihiro Terazawa, Seth Graham and Akira Irie.

Practice head(s):

Louise Stoupe; Yuka Teraguchi; Masato Hayakawa


‘The team works hard to resolve the difficult problems we have faced. They have worldwide networks, so we can ask any questions concerning any countries and areas around the world. Their advice was very helpful in the field of global personal data protection.’

‘Yukihiro Terazawa is full of not only legal skills but also business-practical sense. His advice for contracts documentations or amendments are very accurate.’

‘Yukihiro Terazawa answers clearly to our questions. If he cannot respond to our requests, he clearly says so and explains his reasons.’

‘They understand what we need. If not, they try to find out what we are looking for and then provide the opinions.’

‘Max Olson has a good knowledge of the industry and the legal issues surrounding it. One can have a good dialogue with him on the topics they want advice. Yuka Teraguchi is very prompt and has a very good knowledge of the issues at hand. She also provides very good feedback.’

‘The Morrison Foerster team is familiar with Japanese corporate practices, including decision-making procedures, the preparation of documents, and the timely conduct of our intentions. In addition, they typically recommend the most effective way to perform the next step in a cost-effective manner.’

‘Akira Irie and Yuka Teraguchi have excellent abilities to understand our technologies, products and its related patents. Their strengths are that they can accurately understand our Japanese documents, our ideas and thoughts, and then can reflect our input in the response to the courts.’

‘Seth Graham is sharp and a great negotiator to have on your side.’

Key clients

Amperex Technologies

Antarctica Capital LLC

ARM Ltd.

Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp.

Buffalo Inc.

Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd

Endurance Acquisition Corp.

FCNT Limited

Fujitsu Client Computing Limited

Fujitsu Limited and its affiliates such as Fujitsu America, Inc., and Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited

JERA Co., Inc.


Mitsubishi Electric Corp.


Rakuten Mobile, Inc., and its affiliates such as Rakuten Group, Inc., and Rakuten Symphony, Inc.

Socionext Inc. and its affiliates such as Socionext America, Inc.

TDK Corporation


Work highlights

  • Prevailed for Chugai Pharmaceutical in a multi-billion dollar patent case against Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. over infringement of Chugai’s technology for recycling antibodies.
  • Representing Teradata in a suit against SAP America, Inc. for trade secret misappropriation, copyright infringement, and antitrust violations.
  • Representing ARM Ltd. in a high-profile case against NuVia and Qualcomm involving a licensing dispute, trade mark, and breach of contract claims.

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

Morrison Foerster’s practice, co-led by Theodore Seltzer and the 'top tier' Masahiro Shiga, is part of the firm's pan-Asian network, exhibiting 'very deep' bench strength when advising domestic and overseas real estate companies.  Junichi Kurokoshi advises real estate developers and operators. Advising on fund formation, project acquisition, and financings, Narutake Takasu focuses on sale and leasing transactions and investment in distressed debt. Joshua Isenberg 'works seamlessly' across different sector, advising on a variety of real estate transactions, including senior and mezzanine financings, as well as construction and development matters. Christopher Spalding, who specialises in non-recourse financings within the real estate sector, was promoted to partner in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Theodore Seltzer; Masahiro Shiga

Other key lawyers:


Highly experienced, very deep bench, and able to tackle very challenging and complex situations with confidence and with a constant focus on client care.’

Josh Isenberg is highly creative and able to work seamlessly across different sectors, asset classes and situations. Masahiro Shiga is top tier and absolutely essential for highly complex and theoretical risks. Chris Spalding is incredibly hard working and disciplined, a key person to drive the deal process forward.’

Key clients

Asia Pacific Land (Japan) Limited

Angelo, Gordon & Co.

Credit Suisse

Farallon Capital

Bentall GreenOak Investment Management

Savills Investment Management


Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation



GLP Pte. Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented Sekisui House, Ltd. in its $514m acquisition of U.S. homebuilder Chesmar Homes, LLC., a developer of single-family homes in Texas.
  • Represented Mori Trust in its acquisition of partial interest in a laboratory and office development project located in Boston, United States, through its subsidiary MORI America LLC.
  • Represented Mori Trust in its c. $500m acquisition of an office building located in Washington, D.C., United States, through its subsidiary MORI America LLC.

Japan > TMT: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Morrison Foerster is well known for its deep expertise in technology transactions and has experience in handling a broad range of mandates, ranging from the structuring and negotiation of license agreements to patent litigation settlements and partnering transactions. Headed by Masato Hayakawa, the team has a great deal of knowledge surrounding the IP aspects of M&A across a variety of industries, advising its diverse client roster which notably includes semiconductor technology companies, biotechnology corporates, and financial institutions. Yukihiro Terazawa leads the privacy and data protection practice at the firm and also has a vast amount of experience handling IP matters for tech companies. Seth Graham is another key name to note within the team, due to his experience regarding licensing agreements, technology transfers, and joint development activities.

Practice head(s):

Masato Hayakawa

Other key lawyers:


‘Seth Graham has been our go-to lawyer for IP and cross-border matters. Seth and his team’s talent and care in structuring transactions, navigating changing regulations, and handling delicate situations and disputes have consistently impressed me and everyone I have referred to them.’

‘Seth Graham has great negotiation skills.’

Key clients

SoftBank Group

SoftBank Corporation

TDK Corporation

Fujitsu Limited

Renesas Electronics Corporation

ON Semiconductor Corporation (onsemi)

Tencent Holdings Limited

NTT Communications

NTT Ltd.

Dassault Systèmes KK

Arm Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented SoftBank Group Corp. and SoftBank Vision Fund in the proposed $65bn sale of UK-headquartered multinational semiconductor and software design company Arm Limited to leading U.S. chip company NVIDIA.
  • Represented TDK Corporation and Hong Kong subsidiary, Amperex Technologies Limited in a business alliance with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited.
  • Represented onsemi in the carve-out and sale of two of semiconductor fabrication facilities in the U.S. and of one Japan facility.

Japan > Capital markets: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

The capital markets group at Morrison Foerster is headed by Fuyuo Mitomi, Mitsutoshi Uchida, and Jesse Gillespie, frequently handling cross-border mandates for large financial institutions and underwriters. The group is particularly experienced in advising on mandates within the US high-yield debt space, with work involving US disclosure rules, derivative matters, investment-grade offerings, and SEC-registered transactions. Key contacts in the team also include Akihiro Wani, associate Naoko Ueda, and of counsels Reiko Omachi and Hiroki Etani. Associate TJ Park is rated by clients as 'one of the best in the industry'. Ex-head of the team Kenji Hosokawa left the practice for an in-house position in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Fuyuo Mitomi; Mitsutoshi Uchida; Jesse Gillespie


‘What I found most impressive was that they were able to draft the necessary documents, including the prospectus, from their vast database in an appropriate and timely manner, and their attitude was very sincere in doing so.’

‘Naoko Ueda has demonstrated his expertise, particularly in Europe, from his career at the FSA, and I believe that he has pioneered the industry standard for continuous disclosure, mainly surrounding SFDR.’

‘Jesse Gillespie has extensive experience in debt capital markets in Asia, and based on this experience, he is able to provide advice that takes into account not only the legal aspects but also the commercial aspects.’

‘TJ Park is one of the best in the industry in terms of the number of J-REIT’s global financing that has been executed in recent years, and has helped us incorporate the latest industry trends into our deals.’

Key clients

SoftBank Group Corp.

Nomura Securities

Daiwa Securities Co. Ltd.

CRE Logistics REIT, Inc.

SMBC Nikko Securities

Mizuho Securities

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Nippon Prologis REIT, Inc.

Barclays Bank PLC


Work highlights

  • Represented SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., Nomura Securities Co., Ltd. and Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd. as underwriters in connection with CRE Logistics REIT, Inc.’s approximately JPY 10.3bn global offering.
  • Represented SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., Nomura Securities Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Ltd., Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd. and Daiwa Securities Co. Ltd. as underwriters in Industrial & Infrastructure Fund Investment Corporation’s approximately JPY 6bn global offering.
  • Represented Daiwa Securities Co. Ltd., Nomura Securities Co., Ltd. and Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd. as underwriters in Kenedix Retail REIT Corporation’s approximately JPY 5.1bn global offering.

Japan > Banking and finance: International firms and joint ventures Tier 3

Morrison Foerster‘s banking and finance practice, complimented for its ‘great depth of knowledge‘, is headed up by Akihiro Wani, who is especially experienced in derivatives transactions and advising major Japanese financial institutions. The general team are also adept at assisting clients with financial regulatory matters, real estate finance mandates, project and acquisition finance issues, and IPOs. Katsuhiko Fujihira departed the team for Kaynex Law Offices in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Akihiro Wani


‘Their specific knowledge and strong engagement/network with regulators in respective jurisdictions.’

‘Great depth of knowledge and experience in the Japanese banking practice and regulations.’

Key clients

CLS Bank International

Financial Services Agency of Japan

Work highlights

  • Advised CLS Bank International on the enforceability of its trade terms and conditions in connection with the settlement of international fund transfers.
  • Provided advice to the Financial Services Agency of Japan as a Financial Policy Monitor with regard to the opinions submitted by the general public to the FSA on financial policies and related practices.

Japan > Projects and energy: International firms and joint ventures Tier 3

With their ‘high standard of expertise, commercial sense and legal skills’, Michael Graffagna and Dale Caldwell lead the projects and energy team at Morrison Foerster. Both partners have extensive experience in conventional power projects, including LNG and gas-to-power, as well as in renewable energy, mining and transportation projects. The practice is a one-stop shop for clients in the energy sector across Japan and on an international scale, with Graffagna handling outbound deals and Caldwell working on domestic and inbound transactions. The team also works in tandem with the firm’s wider Asia energy and infrastructure group on outbound energy and infrastructure projects across the Asia-pacific region. The practice sees projects through from structuring, planning and licensing to construction, financing and operation. Limited recourse financing is a particular focus area for the team and Masahiro Shiga and Yukhi Asano bring broad finance-related expertise to the team. The group’s diverse client base reflects its sponsor focus, ranging from financial institutions to developers. The team is also uniquely positioned to advise technology companies and handle tech-driven renewable energy transactions. Jon Ornolfsson left the team in December 2022.

Practice head(s):

Michael Graffagna; Dale Caldwell

Other key lawyers:

Masahiro Shiga; Yuhki Asano


‘MoFo Tokyo is very strong in all aspects of what we need in terms real estate, renewables and financing work associated with renewables matters. Aside from excellent work, we receive proposals on alternative billing arrangements, trainings, etc.’

‘Dale Caldwell manages the transactions teams very well and stays actively aware of all issues to overcome for our transactions as well as providing high-value advice. Masa Shiga and Yuhki Asano are also very astute in Japanese M&A and Project Financing, respectively, for real estate and renewables projects.’

‘Their team, regardless of who we work with, have the same high standard of expertise, commercial sense and legal skills. They are a go-to firm when we need strong legal counsel for negotiations with tough counterparties.’

‘Mike Graffagna has a great depth of knowledge and experience in a wide variety of oil and gas as well as renewable projects. He knows many projects as well as the counterparties from past involvement, which makes onboarding and progress of transaction highly efficient.’

‘Everyone on the team is very responsive and provides high-quality advice equally. Additionally, when a project requires collaboration with other MoFo offices worldwide, the team organizes those offices and lawyers effectively, creating a seamless communication experience as if they were one team.’

‘Mike Graffagna not only provides high-quality advice but also has a long-standing business relationship with us, which helps him understand our business strategy and needs very well. He offers valuable advice that benefits our business.’

‘Mike Graffagna is capable to suggest win-win resolutions for complicated legal issues.’

Key clients

JERA Co., Inc.

SoftBank Group Corp. / SB Energy

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Corporation

PAG Renewables

First Solar, Inc.

Enfinity Global Inc.

EverStream Energy Capital Management

GSSG Solar

Blue Planet Systems Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented First Solar in the sale of its 293 MW DC utility-scale solar project development platform in Japan, and its solar operations and maintenance platform in Japan with approximately 665 MW DC under management, to PAG.

Firm overview: With more than 1,000 lawyers across 17 offices, Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) is a preeminent global law firm dedicated to delivering business-oriented results to clients across Asia, the United States and Europe. With offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, MoFo has handled major matters in China for over 35 years. In Japan, MoFo has the largest presence of any global firm and is one of the largest law firms in the country, domestic or international. The Singapore office features lawyers with many years of experience in South and Southeast Asia.

Dynamic technology and life science companies, large financial institutions, leading consumer product companies and other market-leading businesses come to MoFo for its knowledge, innovation and business aptitude, as well as its long-standing commitment to diversity and social justice.

Main areas of practice
Capital markets: MoFo’s market-leading practice in Asia regularly represents issuers and underwriters in debt and equity financings. 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, Japanese, US, and English law.

Dispute resolution: MoFo’s full-service Asia dispute resolution practice is an integrated regional practice, working seamlessly across its five offices in Asia to handle all aspects of complex cross-border commercial litigation, international arbitration and pre-dispute counselling matters, including IP litigation. The firm has represented clients in over 100 arbitrations under all major institutional rules across the Asia Pacific region. The firm has a leading Japanese domestic litigation practice, representing clients 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.

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 is a leading firm in Asia in outsourcing, licensing and technology transactions. Only a select number of international firms focus on IP matters in Japan, and MoFo has the largest and most comprehensive IP team, with over 30 lawyers practicing in the Tokyo office. In China, the firm has extensive experience in representing Chinese companies in their IP disputes in the United States and in the development of their global IP portfolios. MoFo also advises global clients on proactive strategies to protect IP rights from infringement and misappropriation in China and on implementing enforcement actions in China.

Investigations and regulatory compliance:  MoFo has one of the world’s leading compliance, investigations and anti-corruption practices. The Asia team features accomplished trial lawyers, former prosecutors and experienced former in-house counsel with significant experience in all types of investigations and regulatory compliance issues such as US economic sanctions, anti-money laundering, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), securities and accounting fraud, and related governance and corporate compliance issues. The Asia team works seamlessly with the firm’s global practice, which includes former US government officials specialising in national security, sanctions and international trade, as well as privacy and in-house forensic accounting experts.

M&A and private equity: MoFo has advised over 190 M&A and private equity deals in Asia in the past five years, worth over US $260bn in total. In South and Southeast Asia, the firm’s lawyers have many years of experience in managing complex cross-border M&A transactions across the diverse jurisdictions in the region.

In Japan, the firm’s M&A practice is one of the most active of any international law firm in the country, representing Japanese and non‑Japanese companies in Japan and around the world. The firm’s lawyers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong combine senior PRC and Hong Kong regulatory expertise with international M&A and Private Equity deal execution capability.

 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 specialized cross-border fundraising, fund formations and investments.

Real estate: The Asia real estate practice represents investors in real estate investments in Asia and internationally, including advising on financing, acquisitions, joint ventures, transactional due-diligence, compliance, risk management and dispute resolution. Clients include private equity real estate firms, investment managers, sovereign wealth funds, development companies and REITs that invest in real estate assets and companies in this sector. MoFo is one of the few firms that has been active in the formation and offering of interests in J-REITs.

Technology transactions: MoFo represents 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.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner, Tokyo Ken Siegel
Managing Partner, Singapore Shirin Tang
Managing Partner, Bejing & Shanghai Paul McKenzie
Managing Partner, Hong Kong Tim Blakely
Number of partners worldwide : Approximately 316
Number of other lawyers worldwide : Approximately 720
Chinese (various dialects)
Chair of the Firm : Eric T. McCrath