White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) > Tokyo, Japan > Firm Profile

White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)
Marunouchi Trust Tower Main
26th Floor, 1-8-3 Marunouchi
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005
Japan

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

White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)’s Tokyo office operates one of the leading antitrust and competition practices in Japan, advising Japanese and international clients on high-profile antitrust matters in Japan and abroad. The firm offers antitrust advise in relations to M&A matters, cartel investigations, and counselling for an impressive client list. The practice is led by Toshio Dokei, who has a background as a judge and provides insights to clients on contentious antitrust matters. Dokei also regularly represents clients before the Japanese Fair Trade Commission and courts. Also of note is Takako Onoki, who has extensive experience advising on antitrust investigations and litigation for global mergers and transactions. Recent highlights for the firm include advising Panasonic Corporation on its acquisition of the remaining 80% of capital stock interests of Blue Yonder.

Practice head(s):

Toshio Dokei

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘They make good use of the time difference between the United States and Japan and respond quickly. They have achieved a great result in the settlement negotiation of the proceeding.’

‘The White & Case office in Tokyo has very good ties with the Japan Fair Trade Commission, which is helpful for us.’

‘We sought their advice in relation to the ongoing investigation by the authority. They provided their service to us promptly and their fees were reasonable. Their advice and products were easy for our management team to understand, which was very helpful for us, the legal division.

‘They have experience handling high profile antitrust cases involving foreign capitalized businesses in Japan, are well aware of antitrust case trends globally. They have good insight on the regulatory and enforcement practices in Japan, as they have on staff an advisor who is a respected professor in this field and the ex-JFTC official.’

‘They are very customer-friendly and generous with their time. They sponsored several complementary events and webinars during the pandemic, which were helpful. They also volunteer their time generously to help the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan on a pro-bono basis. They should be recognized for their valuable contributions to the legal community in Japan.’

Key clients

Panasonic Corporation

DIC Corporation

GlobalWafers

PhRMA

Maruyasu Industries Co., Ltd.

Mizuho Leasing Company, Limited.

Canon Medical Systems Corp.

Saudi Arabian Oil Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Panasonic Corporation on its acquisition of Blue Yonder,a leading end-to-end, digital fulfillment platform provider, at an enterprise value of US$8.5 billion on a cash-free, debt-free basis.
  • Advised Saudi Aramco on its US$70 billion acquisition of SABIC. White & Case secured unconditional merger approvals for the deal in 25 jurisdictions, including Japan, the EU, China, India, and Brazil.
  • Advised DIC Corporation and its US subsidiary Sun Chemical Corporation, in connection with DIC’s proposed acquisition of BASF’s global pigments business, known as BASF Colors & Effects (BCE).

Japan > Banking and finance: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) offers a premier banking and finance practice that routinely handles high-profile financing transactions in Japan. Expertise within the team spans matters including acquisition and leveraged financings, asset finance, structured financings, insolvency and restructurings, and regulatory issues. Led by Zenya Onishi, the team acted for Starwood Capital Group tender offer for Invesco Office J-REIT Inc – a first-ever tender offer that aimed to take private a listed REIT. Clara Shirota, who joined the team from Clifford Chance, has bolstered the firm’s sponsor-side practice. The team also has a significant energy and natural resources financing practice.

Practice head(s):

Zenya Onishi

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘White & Case is one of the leading law firm in Japan specialized in aircraft finance and the firm has a strong legal team with proficient expertise and experience with competitive pricing to provide various legal services related to aviation finance.’

‘Mr. Zenya Onishi and Ms. Clara Shirota have extensive knowledge and experience in cross-border acquisition finance.’

Key clients

CVC Capital Partners

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

MUFG Bank

Mizuho Bank

Nomura Capital Investment Co.

Aozora Bank

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Starwood Capital Group

Work highlights

  • Representing MUFG Bank, SMBC, Mizuho Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank in connection with the funding of the tender offer for the acquisition of Hitachi Metals Ltd. by a consortium led by global private equity firm Bain Capital, a deal that is reportedly valued at approximately ¥817 billion (US$7.5 billion).
  • Representing Starwood Capital Group, a global private investment firm focused on real estate and energy infrastructure investments, on the tender offer for Invesco Office J-REIT, Inc., a listed J-REIT in Japan.
  • Representing CVC Capital Partners, the leading Luxembourg and UK-based private equity and investment advisory firm with circa US$111 billion in secured commitments, in connection with the financing for the proposed acquisition of Shiseido Co.’s shampoo and affordable skincare business for JPY 150 billion to JPY 200 billion (circa US$1.45 billion to US$1.9 billion).

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

White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) continues to be instructed by Japanese clients in some of the regions largest and prominent M&A deals. Co-led by Brian Strawn  and Jun Usami , the team is well known for its expertise in the manufacturing industry, advising household name clients such as Panasonic and IHI. The team also advises on corporate transactions in the TMT sector. Strawn has extensive experience in the automotive industries; he advised on a US$7.2bn tender offer for the shares of LINE. Usami has also had a strong year, recently representing Panasonic on its acquisition of the remaining 80% of the capital stock interests of Blue Yonder. Nels Hansen was promoted to partner in early 2020, as was Shino Asayama in early 2021. Clara Shirota joined the team following her departure from Clifford Chance, boosting the team’s private equity practice.

Practice head(s):

Brian Strawn; Jun Usami

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is a very diversified one. Team members come from all over the world. This enable them to understand different regions’ legal environments, in turn they are able to provide appropriate advice in different jurisdictions.

‘They have a global network so that if necessary, they can always assign the most suitable member to take care of my cases.’

‘Given our business is making venture investments globally, we need a lawyer who understands multiple jurisdiction laws and also has deep knowledge and experience in the corporate laws. Nels stands out because he speaks both Japanese and English, understands both Japan and US corporate laws and also experienced a lot of cases with variable situations.’

‘Their unique service structure is that the Tokyo Office plays the role as the contact point with their clients and simultaneouly as the hub in the world-wide network of White & Case. Japanese clients including us can communicate with very smoothly with the Tokyo Office, and can utilize White & Case excellent resources through them.’

‘We have had very long good relationship with White & Case Tokyo Office and abundant co-work experience. Through these history, we have great trust in them. This is because they always have stable attitude to be close with their clients and try hard to grasp the essence of their clients’ requirements. They are always very quick in response, and kind. These outstanding elements must have strengthen our trust in them. ’

‘White & Case’s strength lies in its in-depth knowledge of and extensive experience with Japanese companies and business practices. Particularly in cross-border M&A, White & Case’s strength lies in its ability to provide up-to-date and professional legal advice in a speedy manner through its overseas network. Brian Strawn, has a wealth of experience, and based on his business experience, he is able to make excellent risk assessments and provide the best advice based on the client’s business strategy.’

‘Shino Asayama has excellent documentation skills. Based on a deep understanding of the client’s intentions, she is able to quickly present solutions and provide documentation. ’

‘W&C seeks out bilingual attorneys more than other firms in Tokyo. W&C is especially good at helping Japanese corporations do deals outside Japan.’

Key clients

Starwood Capital Group

Panasonic Corporation

The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of LINE Corporation

SoftBank Group Corp.

Central Japan Railway Company (“JR Tokai”)

BofA Securities Japan Co., Ltd.

Canon Medical Systems Corp.

Nomura Securities International, Inc.

Toyota Motor Corporation

ValueAct Capital

DIC Corporation

IHI Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Starwood Capital Group, a global private investment firm focused on real estate and energy infrastructure investments, on the tender offer for Invesco Office J-REIT, Inc., a listed J-REIT in Japan, for 22,500 JPY per investment unit, by pooled investment vehicles managed and/or controlled by Starwood Capital Group.
  • Advised Panasonic Corporation on its acquisition of the remaining 80% of the capital stock interests of Blue Yonder, a leading end-to-end, digital fulfillment platform provider, at an enterprise value of US$8.5 billion on a cash-free, debt-free basis. This transaction adds to the 20% stake of Blue Yonder which Panasonic Corporation acquired in July 2020, also represented by White & Case.
  • Advised the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of LINE Corporation (LINE) in connection with a proposed tender offer for the shares of LINE and subsequent business integration of LINE and Z Corporation (formerly known as Yahoo Japan).

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

White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)’s six-partner projects and energy group includes oil and gas, LNG, renewables, and infrastructure sector experts who are instructed by key Japanese and international financial institutions, banks, utility companies and export credit agencies. Working closely with the firm’s Singapore office, it is also a popular choice for complex LNG price review and disputes matters. Practice head Paul Harrison continues to advise on large-scale project finance transactions, with recent instructions involving advising a number of lenders on the multibillion-dollar financing for the development of a gas liquefaction facility in Mozambique. The team also houses Micah Sadoyama and senior associate Michael Richter who specialise in oil and gas, and the LNG sector. Toshio Dokei is a further name to note. Since publication, Alexander Woody departed to Nishimura & Asahi.

Practice head(s):

Paul Harrison

Testimonials

‘Unrivalled deep understanding.’

‘Paul Harrison is smart, experienced and full of unique insights.’

‘Deep global strength in all areas of energy project development and investment, especially with a focus on the energy transition. The partners are approachable and make themselves available. A real pleasure to work with.’

‘Their professional services leave nothing to be desired. High degree of expertise, quick and reasonable response anytime, amazing negotiation skills, and excellent personality.’

‘Micah Sadoyama has excellent LNG experience and is very down to earth and approachable.’

Key clients

ADB

Canadian Solar

The Development Bank of Japan

JBIC

JERA

Mitsui

MUFG Bank

The Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

Saudi Aramco

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised leading global financial institutions as joint bookrunners, on a Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of US$1.1 billion senior secured notes by MV24 Capital.
  • Advised a number of lenders on the US$ multi-billion financing of the development of a gas liquefaction facility in Mozambique.
  • Advised Ghazanfar Group on the development and financing of a 58.6 MW gas-fired power plant in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, the first private power project in Afghanistan to use domestically produced natural gas.

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

White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)’s real estate and construction practice focuses on inbound and outbound transactions relating to the full gamut of real estate assets, acting for developers, owners, private and institutional investors, investment funds, lenders, and underwriters. Mizuho Yamada heads up the team which has seen an uptick in data centre instructions; the group recently advised on ESR’s acquisition of an Osaka data centre asset part of $2.15bn project. Also of note in the team is Ayako Kawano, who is an expert in J-REITs and complex financing deals.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is very reliable. They understand client’s needs and concerns and show pragmatism in finding solutions to address them.’

‘Both Mizuho Yamada and Kazuo Kasai are composed and knowledgeable. Quick to get the client’s objectives and to suggest constructive solutions. They bring a valuable insight on local market standards.’

‘Fantastic team with tremendous work ethic. Flexibility to entertain both Japanese and Western approaches to build a bridge between the two and deliver an excellent outcome. Superb service particularly as it was all done virtually.’

‘We were truly satisfied with their expert advice as well as timely response, which helped us to proceed the deal within the expected time frame.’

‘The depth of experience that W&C Japan team possesses is evident across the team’s high efficiency and concrete translation of our commercial intentions.’

‘One of the individuals that stand out to us is the main Partner, Mizuho Yamada. He has gone above and beyond in terms of liaising with external tax consultants to generate the most optimal tax structure for us. His expertise and flexibility have fully catered to our commercial viewpoints in this transaction.’

Key clients

Starwood Capital Group

Pacific Alliance Group (formerly known as Secured Capital Japan)

ESR

Work highlights

  • Advised Starwood Capital Group on the tender offer for Invesco Office J-REIT one of the first ever tender offers that aims to take private a listed REIT in Japan and the first ever hostile tender offer for a listed REIT in Japan.
  • Acted for ESR on the $368m acquisition of ESR Kuki Distribution Centre.
  • Advised ESR on its acquisition of an Osaka data centre asset, as part of a planned $2.15bn project.

Japan > Restructuring and insolvency: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

Ayako Kawano leads the restructuring and insolvency practice at White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association), which advises international corporations on the Japanese aspects of bankruptcy, insolvency and workout matters, working closely with the firm’s wider global network. Clients stem from a wide range of industries including the financial services, mining, energy, aviation and shipping sectors.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Hertz Global Holdings, Inc.

Swissport International Ltd.

Avianca

Work highlights

  • Advised Avianca on the export credit-supported financing for more than 70 Airbus aircraft and the restructuring of the ECA-supported fleet of Avianca Taca Holding.
  • Advised Swissport Group on its restructuring and recapitalisation.
  • Advised STA Travel group entities in various jurisdictions following STA Travel Holding AG’s, the STA group’s parent company, decision to file for insolvency in Switzerland.

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