Shearman & Sterling > Tokyo, Japan > Firm Profile

Shearman & Sterling
TOKYO 100-0011

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

Shearman & Sterling acts on complex cross-border matters, including outbound investments, foreign direct investments, and both public and private acquisitions and divestitures. The department is active in a broad range of industries, including financial, healthcare and logistics, with particular aptitude in the energy sector. Lead partner Karl Pires has more than 20 years’ experience in the practice area, and covers strategic acquisitions, minority investments and joint ventures. Capital markets specialists Toshiro Mochizuki and Masahisa Ikeda are also key within the team. Kana Morimura, who has experience working in both the US and Japan, was promoted to partner in July 2021.

Practice head(s):

Karl Pires


‘Its team is always well organized and efficient.’

‘The instructions are very clear and we feel comfortable to work with this team.’

‘Karl Pires is leading the M&A team of Sherman Japan. He is sophisticated and has deep knowledge about M&A deals. He is also fluent in Japanese.’

Key clients

Bunge Limited (NYSE:BG)

Furusato Industries, Ltd.

GC Holdings Co., Ltd.


Maeda Corporation


Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings Co., Ltd.

Mercuria Investment Co., Ltd.

Mubadala Investment Company

Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. and Osaka USA Corporation (OGUSA)

Qxpress Pte. Ltd.

Secom Co., Ltd.

Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd.

The Aomori Bank, Ltd.

The Michinoku Bank, Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Osaka Gas and its U.S. subsidiary Osaka Gas USA Corporation, in connection with the agreement with Oriden LLC to jointly develop a portfolio of more than 700 MWdc (600 MWac) of utility-scale solar and storage projects throughout certain U.S. markets.
  • Advised Maeda Corporation, a Japan-based construction company, on its adoption of a holding company structure through a share transfer by three companies.
  • Advised Japanese regional banks The Aomori Bank, Ltd., and The Michinoku Bank, Ltd. on their adoption of a holding company structure through a share transfer.

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

At Shearman & Sterling, the Tokyo-based capital markets team is recognised for its track record in handling SEC registration fillings and business combinations as well as cross-border corporate governance matters, most notably disclosure controls and insider trading policies. Led by Masahisa Ikeda, the practice offers corporate issuers, financial institutions and government entities assistance with a wide range of capital markets matters, including Regulation S offerings, US security law compliance, securities filings and listings on the NASDAQ and European stock exchanges. Working alongside Ikeda are Toshiro Mochizuki, who focuses on global offerings, disclosure requirements and business combinations, and regulatory compliance expert Kana Morimura.

Practice head(s):

Masahisa Ikeda

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Advantest Corporation

GC Holdings Co., Ltd

LINE Corporation

Maeda Corporation

Maruka Corporation

Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings Co., Ltd

Mercuria Investment Co., Ltd

Sawai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd

Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd

The Aomori Bank, Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Maeda Corporation, a Japan-based construction company, on its adoption of a holding company structure through a share transfer.
  • Acted for Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings Co., Ltd on its business combination through a share exchange with Cocokara Fine Inc.
  • Assisted Japanese regional banks The Aomori Bank, Ltd and The Michinoku Bank, Ltd with their adoption of a holding company structure through a share transfer.

Japan > Projects and energy: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

Shearman & Sterling‘s projects and energy group has a deep knowledge of the Japanese local market, where it fosters a close relationship with large domestic banks, companies and sponsors. Led by Etienne Gelencser, the team frequently assists clients with project financing, joint ventures, investments and project bond issuances in the Americas, Asia and EMEA. Gelencser has extensive experience handling projects in the renewables, infrastructure and oil and gas sectors. Karl Pires is noted for his expertise in acquisitions of energy projects, including onshore and offshore wind farms and solar power plants.

Practice head(s):

Etienne Gelencsér

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Development Bank of Japan, Inc

Ichthys LNG Pty., Ltd

Itochu Corporation







Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI)

Osaka Gas


TEPCO Renewables

Work highlights

  • Acted for Osaka Gas and its US subsidiary Osaka Gas USA Corporation on the agreement with Oriden LLC to jointly develop a portfolio of more than 700 MWdc (600 MWac) of utility-scale solar and storage projects throughout certain US markets.
  • Assisted Osaka Gas and its US subsidiary Osaka Gas USA Corporation with OGUSA’s joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group through its US subsidiary Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc to acquire the 15.7 MWdc Brighter Future Solar Farm project in Caldwell County, North Carolina from the project developer Oriden LLC.
  • Advised JERA, along with some of its subsidiaries, Tokyo Electric Power Company International and Tokyo Electric Power Company International Paiton on the sale of a stake in PT Paiton Energy to PT Medco Daya Energi Sentosa.

Japan > Investment funds: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

Shearman & Sterling‘s asset management and fund formation team acts largely for major Japanese funds investing off shore and private fund investments (including private equity funds, hedge, real estate and funds of funds). Team head Etienne Gelencsér offers considerable expertise in advising private equity firms and Japanese financial institutions in the establishment of Japan focused offshore funds together with related portfolio acquisitions. Clients are also offered expertise in regulatory regimes and new fund product design.

Practice head(s):

Etienne Gelencsér

Other key lawyers:

Naomi King


‘Etienne Gelencser and his funds team know the investment funds space in Japan very well and have great experience.’

‘Etienne Gelencser is very knowledgeable and great to work with.’

Key clients

DBJ Asset Management Co Ltd

Development Bank of Japan Inc

Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF)

Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

Japan > Antitrust and competition: International firms and joint ventures Tier 3

Shearman & Sterling‘s Tokyo office works in collaboration with the US and Europe teams to assist leading Japanese corporates and financial institutions with complex US and EU antitrust matters, from merger control filings and joint ventures to class actions and cartel investigations. Masahisa Ikeda has extensive experience in representing clients in government investigations and before the US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Anti-corruption matters, economic sanctions and compliance projects are the area of expertise of Toshiro Mochizuki while Kana Morimura focuses on corporate matters and antitrust disputes.

Practice head(s):

Masahisa Ikeda; Toshiro Mochizuki; Kana Morimura

India > Foreign firms

Shearman & Sterling handles a range of high-profile and high-value India-focused transactions, acting for domestic and international clients in inbound and outbound investments. Key areas of focus for the practice include capital markets, M&A, private equity, project finance, international arbitration and fund formation, and it services clients from various offices across its large international network. Hong Kong-based partner Kyungwon (Won) Lee is a key contact for capital markets work, including corporate finance and securities transactions; Singapore’s Andrew Schleider is another name to note for capital markets, drawing on over 20 years of experience advising underwriters and issuers on a range of corporate finance transactions; and Etienne Gelencsér in Tokyo is recommended for projects and energy-related transactions. Sanjeev Dhuna joined from Allen & Overy LLP in July 2021 in London, while Sidharth Bhasin and James Clayton-Payne left the firm in August of the same year.

Key clients

Axis Capital Limited

Citigroup Global Markets India Private Limited

Greenko Energy Holdings Limited

Goldman Sachs (India) Securities Private Limited

HDFC Bank Limited

ICICI Securities Limited

J.P. Morgan India Private Limited

Morgan Stanley India Company Private Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Greenko Energy Holdings and Greenko Wind Projects (Mauritius) in connection with the latter’s $750m bond offering.
  • Advised the initial purchasers in connection with Reliance Industries’ $4bn bond issue.
  • Advised the underwriters in connection with One 97 Communications’ $2.5bn IPO.

Myanmar > Foreign desks

Spread across the firm’s Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo offices, Shearman & Sterling LLP‘s practice has demonstrable experience advising international clients on energy mandates and project developments in Myanmar. In Singapore, Bill McCormack, who focuses on renewable energy projects, jointly leads the team alongside David Clinch, who advises on transactions and projects across the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors. Anna Chung, who operates from the Seoul office, and Tokyo-based Etienne Gelencsér, act for lenders and sponsors on projects across the Asia Pacific region, including Myanmar, while Singapore-based Jean-Louis Neves Mandelli focuses on power projects.

Practice head(s):

Bill McCormack; David Clinch

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised International Finance Corporation and the lenders in connection with the development and financing of the greenfield run-of-river 60 MW Deedoke hydropower project located on the Myitnge River in Myanmar.

The firm: Shearman & Sterling’s Tokyo office was established in 1997 and the office has a proven track record in successfully executing many complex, multi-jurisdictional, time-sensitive transactions for clients. The Japan practice consists of some of the country’s leading lawyers, who have been involved in some of Japan’s largest and most high-profile and complex transactions. The lawyers are qualified to practice US or English law, fluent in the Japanese language and have extensive experience with local legal and business practices – enabling the firm to effectively assist foreign clients in navigating the numerous legal, business and cultural complexities of doing business in Japan. It also has extensive experience advising Japanese clients on a diverse range of matters, including making outbound strategic investments, negotiating with foreign government authorities, and managing disclosures and other investor relations issues. The Tokyo office has advised on many of the largest M&A deals involving Japanese entities, including inbound and outbound deals and private equity transactions, and listed major Japanese blue-chip companies on the US and European stock exchanges. The firm has also launched some of the most significant global securities offerings and ground-breaking privatisations issued by corporations and Japanese government organisations; structured numerous offshore and onshore investment funds, including the first corporate restructuring fund in Japan; as well as advised on significant power (including nuclear and renewable), infrastructure and oil and gas projects.

Shearman & Sterling has represented many of the world’s leading corporations, financial institutions, emerging growth companies, state- owned enterprises, governments and governmental organisations for more than 146 years. It is committed to providing legal advice that is insightful and valuable to clients. The firm distinguishes itself by harnessing the intellectual strength and deep experience of its lawyers across its extensive global footprint. It has the capability to mobilise resources throughout its 23 offices worldwide to provide clients with professional legal advice and support. The firm’s lawyers are fluent in more than 60 languages and they practice Hong Kong, US, English, French, German, Italian, EU, OHADA and Saudi law, as well as Dubai International Financial Centre law and Abu Dhabi Global Market law. The firm is organised as a single, integrated partnership with approximately 850 attorneys in 23 offices located throughout Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, please visit Shearman & Sterling’s website at

Areas of practice: Shearman & Sterling’s main practice areas include: anti-corruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), antitrust, appellate litigation, capital markets, compensation, governance and ERISA, corporate governance, criminal law, regulation and enforcement, derivatives and structured products, emerging growth, environmental, European bank recovery and resolution, finance, financial institutions advisory and financial regulatory, financial institutions investigations and enforcement, financial restructuring and insolvency, intellectual property litigation, intellectual property transactions, international arbitration, international trade and investment, investment funds, Islamic finance, leveraged finance, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, privacy and data protection, private client, private equity and hedge funds, privatisation, pro bono, project development and finance, public international law, real estate, state controlled companies/sovereign wealth funds, structured finance, and tax.

Antitrust and competition Masahisa Ikeda
Banking and finance Etienne Gelencsér
Investment funds Etienne Gelencsér
Capital markets Masahisa Ikeda
Capital markets Toshiro Mochizuki
Projects and energy Etienne Gelencsér
Projects and energy George Borovas
Corporate and M&A Karl Pires
Corporate and M&A Masahisa Ikeda
Private equity Karl Pires
Private equity Masahisa Ikeda
Dispute resolution Masahisa Ikeda
Nuclear George Borovas
Number of lawyers : 850 approx
In Tokyo : 15 approx