K&L Gates > Tokyo, Japan > Firm Profile

K&L Gates
TOKYO 105-6328

Japan > Labour and employment: International firms and joint ventures Tier 1

Tokyo-based K&L Gates ‘considers local laws as well as the needs of the client‘ and focuses exclusively on representing management-side clients in employment matters. The practice has seen an increase in contentious work and, on the advisory side, acts for a variety of public and private employers at a domestic and global level, leveraging the firm's large global network; it is particularly noted for its retail. banking and manufacturing sector expertise. Heading up the team are workplace dispute expert Takahiro Hoshino and managing partner Ryan Dwyer, while Nobuki Wada is also noted for his experience in employment litigation including dismissals and mental health-related issues.

Practice head(s):

Takahiro Hoshino; Ryan Dwyer

Other key lawyers:


‘K&L gates is the best partner for us because they can give useful and appropriate support for our issues. We haven’t found any other firm which can provide such a great contribution to us.’

‘Their guidance is very helpful for us to avoid any confusion and misunderstanding.’

‘They consider local laws as well as the needs of the client. This is very helpful for us to make appropriate decisions.’

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

K&L Gates‘ banking and asset finance practice is lauded by clients as a ‘go-to‘ team, and as ‘one of the strongest aviation legal firms in Asia‘. The practice has particular expertise in asset finance transactions with aviation and shipping aspects, with additional experience in real estate transactions, cross-border leasing cases, and both secured and unsecured loans. Robert Melson, described as a ‘superior force‘, leads the team and specialises in aircraft finance work. Other key names include Sebastian Smith, Takahiro Kawaguchi, and of counsel Eiko Grieger.

Practice head(s):

Robert Melson


‘K&L Gates is one of the strongest aviation legal firms in Asia but with particular experience, know-how and strength in depth in the Japan market.’

‘For lessors and lenders in Japan, KLG is one of the premier, most experienced and professional “go-to” firms in the aviation sector.’

‘Bob Melson is a superior force in the Japanese aviation sector. Bob is always fully engaged, available, professional and always adept in finding commercial solutions.’

Key clients

JP Lease Products & Services Co., Ltd.

Financial Partners Group

JIA Trust Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised FPG on the acquisition of Queen Kapi‘olani Hotel in Waikiki, HI.
  • Advised on New York, Japanese and English law aspects on the creation of a warehouse facility to subsidiaries of JP Lease to fund new aircraft deliveries into the US market and to refinance existing loans for aircraft less than two years old in the European and US markets.
  • Assisted JP Lease Products & Services in closing a Japanese Operating Lease with Call Option financing of three Airbus A320 aircraft with ICBC Financial Leasing as intermediate Lessee.

The Firm: K&L Gates has seven offices that are strategically located in major financial and commercial centers across Asia. Our full-service Asia-based team is closely integrated with the firm’s offices in Australia, Europe, South America, and the United States. The collaboration across our global platform, coupled with our focus on long-term relationship building, allows us to effectively advise our clients on a national and global basis.

We established our presence in Asia by opening our Hong Kong office in 1996. Today, we are strategically located in key financial and commercial centers throughout Asia. We have lawyers on the ground in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo. In 2019, we further expanded our capabilities in Singapore by combining with Singapore law firm Straits Law Practice LLC, creating K&L Gates Straits Law LLC and becoming one of a few international law firms in Singapore with the capability to advise clients on Singapore law and cross-border legal issues. The combined firm has bolstered our disputes, corporate, funds, and banking and finance service offerings and further opened our global platform to clients across Southeast Asia. We also have designated India, Indonesia, and Malaysia practices, allowing our capabilities to span beyond our physical office locations.

Through our integrated network of offices, we are positioned to advise both domestic and international clients throughout Asia Pacific and beyond. Our lawyers understand the legal challenges that clients face today, and they have the experience to respond to those needs creatively and efficiently. Our on-the-ground experience, knowledge, and networks in each market enable us to give clients valuable insights into local policies and practices. We have advised local and multinational companies at every stage of their development in Asia, from local start-ups, to mid-sized overseas companies looking to enter the market or mid-sized regional companies looking for outbound opportunities, to experienced global businesses with well-established operations in the region. We also regularly advise local governments, NGOs, educational institutions, financial institutions, and other key market players. To learn more about our service offerings, visit klgates.com/services.


Asia: Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo. Australia: Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney. Europe: Berlin, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Munich, Paris. Middle East: Doha, Dubai. United States: Austin, Boston, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Harrisburg, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Newark, Orange County, Palo Alto, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, Research Triangle Park, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Wilmington. South America: Sao Paulo.