THE FIRM With over 40 lawyers primarily dedicated to work in this space, this firm has one of the deepest corporate/M&A benches in Japan. The firm's global reach, international expertise and reliable, responsive service are widely appreciated, and the team acts regularly for some of the best-known names in Japanese business, including Fujitsu, Mitsui and Nikon. A highlight amongst recent deals was advising Hitachi on the USD4.8 billion sale of its subsidiary Hitachi Global Storage Solutions to Western Digital.
Sources say: "They provide advice of unparalleled quality and go the extra mile to ensure that we're covered." "They stand out for their depth of bench and experience."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ken Siegel is the Tokyo office's managing partner, and the head of the M&A practice. "Good at dispensing commercial as well as legal advice," he is generally agreed to be one of the most impressive M&A lawyers in Japan. He recently acted as lead partner advising Toshiba on its USD2.3 billion acquisition of the multinational energy management corporation Landis+Gyr.
Gary Smith is a familiar face on the Tokyo M&A circuit, and is praised for his strategic business acumen, impressive command of Japanese and excellent negotiation skills. He recently advised Taiyo Pharmaceutical on its sale of a 57% share in its business to Israel’s Teva, a deal which gave Taiyo an enterprise value of USD1.3 billion.
Fuyuo Mitomi is the managing partner of Ito & Mitomi and is characterised by one commentator as "an excellent and very user-friendly lawyer." He was recently lead partner advising Kirin on its USD400 million joint venture with China Resources Enterprise of Hong Kong to manufacture soft drinks for distribution across Greater China.
Ryugo Yoshimura is a "well-respected and very hard-working" practitioner and regularly advises Japanese and international businesses, particularly those in the hi-tech and life sciences sectors, on a wide range of cross-border transactions.
Ivan Smallwood is especially respected for the swiftness of his work and his apparent tirelessness. He recently acted as joint lead partner advising Gree on its USD104 million acquisition of the American social gaming network provider OpenFeint.
Stanley Yukevich is hailed as "a really good negotiator for international deals, who knows Japanese corporate culture well." He was recently lead partner advising Terumo on its USD2.6 billion acquisition of Caridian BCT, the largest such deal yet achieved in the medical device sector by a Japanese company.
Dale Araki's experience in the M&A sphere and helpful fluency in both English and Japanese make clients particularly "comfortable to entrust cross-border deals to him." He specialises in advising Japanese businesses on foreign M&A transactions, particularly those with significant IP aspects.