DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho > Tokyo, Japan > Firm Profile

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho
TOKYO 105-0005

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

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho’s Japan labour and employment practice is headed by Lawrence Carter. The firm represents many high-profile multinational corporates on all aspects of non-contentious and contentious employment matters. The firm is adept at advising on reductions in workforces, collective bargaining, labour union matters, employee-related investigations, and negotiations. In addition, the firm also represents clients on restrictive covenants and unfair trade practices with respect to trade secrets. Carter’s experience focuses labour and employment matters related to cross-border M&A, as well as privacy matters. Keiji Nasuda is notable for his expertise in contentious labour and employment matters including those involving injunctive relief, and labour tribunal cases. Also of note in the team is Koji Ohtani, who is a key contact for global clients with dealings in Japan.

Practice head(s):

Lawrence Carter

Other key lawyers:

Japan > Corporate and M&A: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho's corporate and M&A practice is instructed by both Japanese and foreign clients on inbound and outbound transactions. Lance Miller and Masahiko Ishida lead the team, the two bringing their extensive expertise and acumen to provide sound and measured US and Japan appropriate advice. Miller is routinely instructed in financing, work-outs, CVC investments, and is known for his work in the financial services, manufacturing , and real estate industries. Ishida is a trusted advisor to many Japanese high-profile clients, such as Marubeni, Mitsui, and Docomo for their large cross-border projects.

Practice head(s):

Lance Miller; Masahiko Ishida

Other key lawyers:

Ryutaro Takeda; Mitsuharu Kataoka


‘DLA Piper team is a truly one stop service team which makes our life a lot easier when we face the multi-jurisdictional legal issues. They are very high quality international counsel with very good skills and we always appreciate their collaboration and seamless service provided by the team led by Mr. Masahiko Ishida in Tokyo office.’

‘Mr. Masahiko Ishida is certainly among the best in the market and the main go-to person in this field. He is incredibly smart, commercial, practical and hard-working. Ryutaro Takeda is an associate who is helping us together with Mr. Masahiko Ishida and his responsiveness and team working with Mr. Masahiko Ishida also gives our life easier.’

‘Quality insight into local and cross-border corporate disputes as well as employment matters; quick turnaround on questions with the right balance of depth and shortness of answers.’

‘Masahiko Ishida was especially insightful on corporate matters and tactics; Yuji Shimada as a junior lawyer was outstanding on the drafting side.’


Japan > Real estate and construction: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho’s real estate team advises clients on all facets of real estate mandates including acquisitions, disposals, investments, securitisations, developments and financings with notable experience acting for hotel and other hospitality brands. Working closely with the firm’s finance, projects and restructuring teams and also leveraging the firm's wider global network, the group is led by Mitsuharu Kataoka, who has particular expertise in advising international hotel and timeshare brands.

Practice head(s):


‘ The team collaboratively works together to ensure requests are handled as soon and smoothly as possible.’

‘Mitsuhara Kataoka is friendly and professional, with excellent English language skills.’

‘The firm is excellent with client service. We can definitely acknowledge their commercial awareness on any matter that we seek advice from them. Their fees for the services are justified considering the meticulous work and quality of their services.’

‘The team collaboratively works together to ensure requests are handled as soon and smoothly as possible.’

Key clients

AJM Global Investments

Hyatt Regency Osaka (HRO)

Daito Trust Construction

SIMEC Atlantis Energy

Marriott Hotels

Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Bristol Myers Squibb

Frasers Hospitality

Gaw Capital

Far East Hospitality Management

Work highlights

  • Advised on Bristol Myers Squibb’s office lease for a new large integrated office in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Advised on Envocore’s construction projects in US military bases in Japan.
  • Advised SIMEC Atlantis Energy on Japanese construction business license matters relating to its tidal power plant construction.

Japan > Tax: International firms and joint ventures Tier 2

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho’s tax offering enters a new era under the leadership of Yoko Koga, who has joined as the new tax director. The firm’s practice is supported by Keitaro Uzawa, a structuring, advisory, and disputes expert. Uzawa regularly advises on cross-border matters for Japanese companies and joint ventures in relation to international and domestic tax.

Practice head(s):

Yoko Koga

Other key lawyers:

Japan > Intellectual property: International firms and joint ventures Tier 3

New to the ranking this year, DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho’s Japanese IP team is co-led by Lance Miller  and Tomomi Fujikouge. The team advises both Japanese and international clients looking to expand into the region in the technology, life sciences, sports and manufacturing industries. Advising on trademark, patent and copyright filings/prosecutions, the firm regularly works with globally well-known brands such as Nike, Amazon, and Match.com.

Practice head(s):

Lance Miller; Tomomi Fujikouge;

Vietnam > Foreign desks Tier 2

DLA Piper has a strong track record in mandates connected with the energy and infrastructure sectors in Vietnam, and it has also been active in Vietnam’s growing tech industry, particularly in sub-sectors such as medtech and proptech. Tokyo-based partner Lance Miller, who heads up the Vietnam practice, has a wealth of experience of finance, corporate and commercial matters. He advises foreign clients on business expansion and investment in Vietnam, as well as acting for Vietnamese clients on their outbound investments. Miller counts local conglomerate VinGroup as a longstanding client. In Singapore, Joe Bauerschmidt, who is noted for his M&A and capital markets experience, acts for clients from areas such as financial services, technology, energy and real estate. Also based in Singapore is David Kuo, who focuses on PE and VC financing. Bangkok-based partner Samata Masagee is also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):


The team always turns around quality work at speed, as well as giving us strategic advice.’

We have been working with DLA’s partner David Kuo for many years on our private equity investments. We truly appreciate David’s dedication to work, the speedy response and his strong commercial sense.’

Key clients

China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited

VMD Kórházi Technológiai Zrt.


VinFast Trading & Production Limited

VinGroup Joint Stock Company

VinSmart HOYER

Work highlights

  • Advising China Construction Bank on the financing of a 650MW power project in An Kanh province, Vietnam.
  • Advising VMD Kórházi Technológiai Zrt. on the investment and construction of Can Tho City Oncology Hospital with 500-bed capacity in Vietnam.
  • Advising the HOYER Group on the acquisition of Kerry-ITS Holdings Pte. Ltd. and its subsidiaries in Singapore, China, Vietnam and Thailand.

Global co-chairs: Frank W. Ryan and Andrew Darwin
Co-chief executive officers: Simon Levine and Frank W. Ryan
Languages: The firm speaks over 60 languages
Offices: Lawyers located in more than 60 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Please see https://www.dlapiper.com for further information about the firm.

DLA Piper has a leading pro bono practice, providing over 200,000 hours’ worth of legal support annually to charities, NGOs, governments in least developed countries and vulnerable individuals around the world. We are one of the largest providers of pro bono legal services globally. Our thriving practice provides support for aforementioned organisations on a wide range of areas that are critical to their missions. This includes research, legal advice and strategic counsel. The global team works collaboratively to ensure a global impact on our key strategic focus areas including: forcible displacement, statelessness, gender-based violence, climate justice, and good governance.

In the Asia Pacific region, we deliver cutting edge pro bono programs. This includes our Know Your Rights Program, focused on fostering legal empowerment for migrants and refugees, and delivering practical legal skills programs to students in developing Pacific Island Nations. We also advise on gender based violence through our partnership with the RainLily Clinic (Hong Kong) and the Refugee Legal Family Violence Clinic (Australia).

Our Pro Bono program is led by a dedicated team of pro bono lawyers who sit within the international Responsible Business Team. As a team we are committed to looking for opportunities to use our strength as a leading global law firm to make a positive contribution to the world around us. We are focused on being a truly sustainable business, makes a positive social and environmental impact. This commitment exists at every level within the firm and is part of our culture.

Our Responsible Business team works internationally on a vast array of ESG topics, aligning to the firm’s ESG strategic priorities. This includes advising on key environmental and conservation matters, working on projects relating to illegal wildlife trafficking, climate and conservation. We also work to promote and invest in projects that advance sustainable development and the rule of law in developing nations.

DLA Piper’s pro bono work forms part of the firm’s wider Sustainability & ESG Strategy, focused on understanding, measuring and managing the firm’s impact in four key areas – our people, clients and suppliers, environment, and society. These focus areas are identified through a formal materiality assessment. We also report on our progress annually via our Sustainability Report. Our ambitions and actions align with globally accepted standards and frameworks (e.g. the UN Global Compact, Business Ambition for 1.5, Science Based Targets initiative, Mindful Business Charter, and others).

We are firmly committed to diversity and inclusion. For us, diversity isn’t just about visible differences, it’s the unique blend of talents, skills, experiences and perspectives that makes each of us an individual and we know it’s crucial to have a culture and environment where those differences are genuinely valued. In 2021, we launched our global diversity and inclusions goals, including ensuring that at least 30% of our partnership is made up of women by 2025 (and 40% by 2030). Our employee networks play a crucial part in helping us learn, reflect and share our experiences in diversity and inclusion.