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Clifford Chance Law Office

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Japan: Banking and finance

Banking and finance – International firms and joint ventures
Banking and finance – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance Law Office

Under the leadership of Masayuki Okamoto, the 'very professional and reliable' banking team at Clifford Chance Law Office provides the full gamut of services for an enviable client roster of heavyweight domestic and multinational names. Recently strengthened by the promotion to partner of Hans Menski, and the arrival of senior associate Dan Park from the Seoul office, the practice acted as transaction counsel and special Japanese advisor to Avalon Capital as seller and financier of an aircraft to ORIX. Client-recommended counsel Akihiko Takamatsu handled a refinancing transaction for Sky Aviation by way of an aircraft-backed secularisation, and Ross Howard teamed up with Yusuke Abe to advise Vinci Airports on the privatisation of Kobe Airport through a 42-year concession. Other work highlights include acquisition and asset financing mandates in the shipping sector where Hidehiko Suzuki is a key name to note.

Leading individuals

Hidehiko Suzuki (Bengoshi) - Clifford Chance Law Office

Masayuki Okamoto (Bengoshi) - Clifford Chance Law Office

Next Generation Partners

Akihiko Takamatsu (Bengoshi) - Clifford Chance Law Office

Hans Menski (Gaiben) - Clifford Chance Law Office

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Japan: Capital markets

Capital markets – International firms and joint ventures
Capital markets – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance Law Office

Clifford Chance Law Office 'is very flexible and copes with changing timetables efficiently to always successfully close transactions'; clients also value how the capital markets team 'has a truly in-depth understanding of Japanese clients and operational terms'. Known as a 'great leader', practice head Reiko Sakimura acted for the investors in Toshiba's $5.5bn share placement by way of third-party allotment, and represented Nomura as sole bookrunner and lead manager in the dual-tranche issue of JPY140bn in zero coupon convertible bonds by ANA Holdings to raise funds for investment in fuel-saving aircraft. In other highlights, several foreign governments appointed Sakimura and Eiichi Kanda to assist with the issuance of 'samurai' bonds in both public and private placements. Also notable are Leng-Fong Lai and counsel Yasuko Moriwaki, who acted for Harmonic Drive Systems in its global share offering.

Leading individuals

Leng-Fong Lai (Gaiben) - Clifford Chance Law Office

Reiko Sakimura (Gaiben) - Clifford Chance Law Office

Next Generation Partners

Yasuko Moriwaki (Gaiben) - Clifford Chance Law Office

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Japan: Corporate and M&A

Corporate and M&A – International firms and joint ventures
Corporate and M&A – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance Law Office

Clifford Chance Law Office's 'performance during the corporate process is incredible'; one client 'cannot imagine any other firm could make a transaction flow as smoothly'. The group 'provides a 'one-stop-shop' experience including legal services in areas such as tax, intellectual property and antitrust regulations'. Natsuko Sugihara led the advice to Fujitsu on the sale of 51% stake in one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries to Lenovo and another 5% to the DBJ, while Tatsuhiko Kamiyama assisted a Japanese placement company with its purchase of a majority shareholding in a technology company. Other key clients include NTT, Mitsubishi, Mitsui and CVC. Masafumi Shikakura was recently promoted to counsel and Richard Graham joined the Tokyo office on secondment from Sydney. The 'thoroughly capable, flexible and reliable' senior associate Yvonne Zhong is highly recommended by clients.

Next Generation Partners

Natsuko Sugihara (Gaiben) - Clifford Chance Law Office

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Japan: Projects and energy

Projects and energy – International firms and joint ventures
Projects and energy – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance Law Office

The international law expertise of Ross Howard and Yusuke Abe 's knowledge of Japanese law enables Clifford Chance Law Office to advise on both inbound and outbound mandates in the projects space. The pair recently collaborated with Akihiko Takamatsu to represent VINCI in its bid with ORIX and Kansai Airports for a 42-year concession connected to the privatisation of Kobe airport. In other highlights, Eiichi Kanda acted for a Japanese investment firm in its disposal of a stake in Japan Renewable Energy to entities by GIC, while recently made up Hans Menski and senior associate Dan Park (who recently transferred from the Seoul office) advised lenders on the financing for the development of a large-scale coal-fired IPP in South East Asia.

Next Generation Partners

Hans Menski (Gaiben) - Clifford Chance Law Office

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Japan: Real estate and construction

Real estate and construction – International firms and joint ventures
Real estate and construction – International firms and joint ventures - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance Law Office

Clients note Clifford Chance Law Office's real estate practice for 'meeting their requests precisely' and 'always providing correct advice'. Managing partner Eiichi Kanda is singled out in particular; he recently led the advice to a Middle Eastern state-owned oil fund on a development project related to the construction of a hotel in Japan, and oversaw the acquisition of an office building to be converted into a hotel via equity investments on behalf of a fund and its sponsor. Elsewhere, Leng-Fong Lai represented a hospitality group in its acquisition of land in Ginza from Mitsui Fudosan and the development of a new hotel, while counsel Satoshi Nomura was part of the team which handled the refinancing of TMK bonds issued by two TMKs holding residential properties in Tokyo on behalf of a Luxembourg fund. Other key names to note include Natsuko Sugihara, financing expert Yusuke Abe and Yoshiaki Shimizu, who was recently promoted to counsel.

Leading individuals

Eiichi Kanda (Bengoshi) - Clifford Chance Law Office

Next Generation Partners

Satoshi Nomura (Bengoshi) - Clifford Chance Law Office

Yoshiaki Shimizu (Bengoshi) - Clifford Chance Law Office

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Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Clifford Chance LLP in other jurisdictions.

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Legal Developments in Japan

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Taking control of a Japanese publicly listed company:

    Introductory notes for successfully completing an M&A
  • Yuasa and Hara Business Law News

    Contents of the Issue Law on liability for breach of contract Review on the amendment to the cabinet office order on Corporate Disclosure

    The Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter (“the Minister”), has published the Criminal Justice Bill 2011 (“the Bill”). The main purpose of the Bill is stated to be “…to amend the criminal law to improve certain procedural matters and strengthen Garda investigative powers. The intention is that such improvements will assist in reducing the delays associated with the investigation and prosecution of complex crime, in particular white collar crime.”
  • Japan: New legislative framework for Sukuk

    The new framework passed in May 2011 will provide a solid legal platform for issuing Sukuk Ijarah under Japanese law. NAOKI ISHIKAWA highlights key legal structures and tax treatment in respect of the anticipated Sukuk issuances in Japan.
  • Yakult Bottle Acquired Distinctiveness

    Do you know about Yakult's delicious lactic acid drink which is contained in a small bottle? Yakult's lactic acid drink (hereafter referred to as "Yakult drink") is the most famous lactic acid drink in Japan and today is also being sold in many countries around the world. When you are enjoying Yakult drink, please keep in mind the case mentioned below.
  • Tax: Japan: International Joint Ventures

    Tax on international joint ventures. Country Q&A (Japan).
  • Japan: Recent Developments in Practice and Law

    The successful closing of two Islamic fi nance transactions which was announced in July 2010 by Nomura Holdings have paved a concrete path for Japanese corporations to consider overseas Islamic fi nance markets for their fund raising activities. The fi rst transaction was in Asia for the issuance of Sukuk Ijarah and the second was in the Middle East for the establishment of a Commodity Murabahah facility (Nomura Deals).
  • Renewable energy takes off in Japan

    Like many other countries, Japan has decided to reform its renewable energy (RE) policy, to dramatically increase the use of renewable energy. The core policy mechanism is a feed-in tariff (FIT). This chapter summarises the contemplated Japanese FIT and its practical impact on existing and future investment in this sector, providing an overview of:
  • Licensing - 2010

    Q & A on Licensing in Japan 
  • Law on the Civil Jurisdiction of Japanese Courts over Foreign Countries, etc.

    The Law has been enacted to clarify the scope of application of the civil jurisdiction of Japanese courts over foreign countries, etc., and set exceptions to civil preocedings involving foreign countries, etc., based on the United Nations Convention on the Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their property (UN Convention on Immunities) (see Article 1).