Japan - Corporate/M&A: Domestic Lawyers & Law Firms - Global - Chambers and Partners
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Global Guide

Corporate/M&A: Domestic — Japan


Anderson Mori & Tomotsune - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its handling of share purchase agreements, tender offers and strategic alliances. Routinely instructed by domestic corporations across a variety of sectors including natural resources, entertainment and financial services. Wealth of expertise in assisting both sellers and buyers in M&A transactions.

Osamu Hirakawa is a veteran with over four decades of experience assisting multinationals with corporate transactions. Tender offers and prioritisation offerings feature prominently in his work highlights.

Kenichi Masuda specialises in acting as counsel to foreign multinationals on a plethora of corporate transactions involving both private and public companies. His expertise also extends to assisting clients with investments into start-ups and the establishment of venture capital funds.

Hiroki Kodate remains active in representing domestic clients in complex transactions and has acted for Obayashi on its JPY24.6 billion acquisition of common shares in Obayashi Road through a tender offer, rendering the corporation a wholly-owned subsidiary. He is also well versed in supporting clients in outbound transactions.

James Minamoto is a New York qualified lawyer who is well placed to advise foreign companies on a broad spectrum of inbound corporate transactions. He is particularly distinguished for his ability to assist with M&A and strategic alliances, as well as labour and competition regulations.

Singapore-based Atsutoshi Maeda is "technically very good," according to market sources. He is highly proficient in handling corporate matters relating to Japan, including cross-border acquisitions and joint ventures.

About the Team (content provided by Anderson Mori & Tomotsune)

Department profile not yet provided by Anderson Mori & Tomotsune. Please see their firm profile.

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Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Sought out by household-name domestic corporations for its full-service expertise in international M&A transactions into Asia, the USA and Europe. Works together with domestic practitioners in handling inbound acquisitions and reorganisations. Favoured by life science companies as well as manufacturing and technology clients.

Hiroshi Kondo is "very famous for being the rainmaker" in the team, according to a market source, and is "very good and popular with Japanese clients," according to another. His track record includes leading the team that assisted Hakuhodo with its acquisition of Singapore-headquartered Integrated Communications.

Jeremy White represents Japanese manufacturers and other blue-chip companies in outbound acquisitions. He is acknowledged by clients, who report: "He is good at negotiations and logical. He is also able to prioritise things and is able to make ample suggestions." His recent highlights include advising Nissha Printing on the USD135 million acquisition of Graphic Controls from WestView Capital Partners.

Hideo Norikoshi wins praise from clients, who state that he "gives high-quality advice and is extremely cordial." Observers also note: "He is very technical and good at drafting." He offers considerable expertise in cross-border acquisitions and is regularly instructed by technology companies.

Jiro Toyokawa maintains a broad practice which includes assisting with M&A as well as licensing agreements and venture capital funds. He provides additional support on post-merger issues and is skilled in drawing upon his expertise in foreign law to provide holistic advice on cross-border transactions. He also wins praise from sources for his expertise in acting for financial institutions and insurance companies on corporate transactions. He is also well respected for his experience advising on significant cross-border matters.

Akifusa Takada is described by a client as a practitioner who has a "wealth of experience and practical knowledge." He is particularly adept at advising technology companies and acted for Konica Minolta on its USD1 billion acquisition of Ambry Genetics in conjunction with INCJ. He was promoted to head of department in July 2017.

About the Team (content provided by Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise))

The team:

  • comprises approximately 50 Japanese and foreign qualified attorneys handling a wide range of corporate transactional and advisory work, focusing on cross-border public and private M&A, joint ventures, private equity and corporate reorganizations.​
  • is a market leader in advising on outbound M&A deals in the Asia Pacific region.
  • actively engaged in thought leadership initiatives focused on key issues affecting Japanese strategic clients, including global transformation and corporate compliance (see Product Specializations below).

We believe that our team comprising a unique combination of bengoshi and foreign qualified lawyers experienced in wide range of cross-border M&A & corporate transactions involving Japanese and foreign clients, is unrivalled among any global firm currently present in the market. The special ability to understand and navigate local and global issues, hurdles and strengths in cross-border transactions is a service offering that cannot be matched by any of our competitors.

In addition to our mainstream M&A transactional legal services, the Tokyo Corporate / M&A practice group specializes and complements in the following areas:

  • Business transformation and PMI services
  • Corporate compliance

Thomson Reuters ranked Baker McKenzie as the #1 cross-border M&A law firm for completed deals in 2016 by volume in Asia Pacific for the seventh consecutive year. They also ranked us #1 for cross-border and/or overall value and volume across 10 industry sectors.

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Leverages its network of offices to support corporations on a range of inbound and outbound M&A transactions. Deeply experienced in the infrastructure, chemical and technology industries. Additional expertise in privatisations and corporate transactions in the construction and infrastructure sector.

Edward Cole is the managing partner and has extensive experience representing major domestic corporations in cross-border transactions, in addition to notable expertise in tackling M&A transactions concerning infrastructure projects. He is singled out by commentators as a practitioner who is "reliable and well experienced in corporate venture capital matters."

Takeshi Nakao wins praise for his "excellent management of the overall project as well as the client relationship." He regularly secures mandates from a wide variety of clients including manufacturers, trading houses and funds. He advised INPEX on the JPY18.35 billion sale of its share in INPEX Natuna to Medco Daya Sentosa. He is also well versed in merger filings.

About the Team (content provided by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer)

Please visit the Freshfields website for more details about our work in this category: http://www.freshfields.com/en-gb/what-we-do/services/corporate-and-ma/

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Linklaters Tokyo - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Sought out by Japanese multinationals for its prowess in partial and full acquisitions as well as divestitures. Also engaged in corporate reorganisations. Well versed in advising technology and life science companies.

Hiroya Yamazaki frequently advises Japanese corporations on acquisitions of European companies. His workload also includes assisting companies with strategic investments and reorganisations as well as squeeze-outs. He is praised by a client who states: "He knows the business world and how Japanese companies operate. He is very well balanced and comes up with good practical solutions."

About the Team (content provided by Linklaters Tokyo)

Department profile not yet provided by Linklaters Tokyo. Please see their firm profile.

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Mori Hamada & Matsumoto - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Foreign desks Robust China practice specialised in acting on a myriad of cross-border transactions, including FDI and M&A. Trusted counsel to blue-chip corporations and major trading companies and manufacturers. Recently acted for Asahi Group Holdings on the sale of its equity stake in Tingyi-Asahi Beverages to Ting Hsin and Tingyi for USD330 million.

Hajime Tanahashi is a strong choice for clients in the financial sector engaged in M&A transactions. His recent work includes representing Japan Industrial Partners as the seller's counsel in the JPY80 billion divestiture of shares held in Biglobe to KDDI. He attracts praise for his "very pragmatic" approach and is also noted for his depth of expertise in hostile takeover bids.

Gaku Ishiwata is an “excellent and terrific lawyer who is highly regarded by clients” and excels in working on a full spectrum of high-profile transactions. Clients also stress that he is “one of the top M&A lawyers in town, and clients go to him for M&A transactions and private equity” matters. In a recent highlight he acted for Kubota Corporation on the purchase of US-based Great Plains Manufacturing.

Satoko Kuwabara enjoys an excellent reputation for the depth of her specialist expertise in M&A as well as acquisition financings. "She is highly trusted by clients," reports one source, while another comments: "She is very tough in negotiations and is very smart."

Yuto Matsumura is identified as a practitioner who is "very good and technically very confident." One client adds: "Matsumura provides enthusiastic support to his clients. He is also good at finding reasonable and sophisticated solutions." He has expertise in advising an array of clients including those in finance, manufacturing and technology.

Shin Kikuchi is deemed by interviewees to be a "good and diligent lawyer." Recently, he advised the private equity house Nippon Sangyo Suishin Kiko on the purchase of 100% of the equity in Bunkasha Publishing.

Atsushi Oishi is highly proficient in offering advice on cross-border transactions and restructurings. Of late, he played a key role in assisting Hitachi Chemical with the EUR87 million acquisition of a 51% equity stake in FIAMM and its subsidiaries. He is also credited for his proficiency in tax issues.

Tomohiro Tsuchiya is described as a "reliable and diligent" practitioner who is skilled in negotiating corporate transactions. He has deep-rooted expertise in acquisitions in the manufacturing sector and advised Mitsubishi Nichiyu Forklift on the JPY76.8 billion purchase of shares in UniCareer.

Takayuki Kihira has a proven track record in providing counsel to public-private partnerships and represented INCJ in its JPY32.41 billion purchase of Harmonic Drive Systems. One delighted client highlights: "He understands the clients' needs very well and gives them well-considered logical and practical solutions."

Yoshihiro Kojima remains highly involved in assisting Japanese multinationals with cross-border transactions and has acted for Sumitomo Mitsui Trust on establishing a strategic alliance with BNP Paribas Cardif to operate an insurance business in Japan. He has a wealth of knowledge in tax-efficient corporate structuring.

Shigehiko Ishimoto 's forte is advising clients on cross-border transactions between Japan and China. He draws upon two decades of experience to provide assistance with the formation of joint ventures, acquisitions and corporate restructurings.

Yoshio Iteya is a popular choice for corporations seeking to invest into China. His diverse workload includes acting on mergers and acquisitions as well as restructurings. He is also respected for his work advising businesses on transactions concerning Vietnam and Indonesia.

Shi Kang is a foreign-qualified lawyer admitted to practice in both China and New York. He is frequently mandated to assist with a myriad of transactions including divestitures, joint ventures and strategic alliances. He has additional expertise in advising Japanese businesses on the liquidation of PRC subsidiaries.

About the Team (content provided by Mori Hamada & Matsumoto)

Department profile not yet provided by Mori Hamada & Matsumoto. Please see their firm profile.

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Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Foreign desks Standout practice noted for its ability to assist with complex domestic and cross-border transactions, including acquisitions, asset transfers and takeover bids. Impressive China practice distinguished for advising Japan-based financial institutions and manufacturers on a variety of corporate issues in China. In one highlight, it assisted Mitsubishi Materials with the acquisition of the Special Products Division of Luvata Group which included operations in China.

Kenichi Fujinawa is hailed as a practitioner who is "popular in the market," and with over three decades of experience in this sphere he is considered "a top, top M&A practitioner."

Hiroki Inoue is the co-managing partner of the firm. He holds extensive knowledge of corporate transactions and excels in advising manufacturers on acquisition transactions.

Yuko Tamai is identified as a "smart and very good" lawyer who is "very good technically." She is frequently instructed on big-ticket domestic transactions and has counselled Fujifilm on its acquisition of Wako through a tender offer to Takeda Pharmaceutical.

Ryuji Sakai is praised by commentators as a "very good lawyer" who is also a "hard worker and very reliable." His practice focuses on acting for foreign multinationals on inbound transactions, and he is also adept in offering assistance to shareholders in relation to divestitures.

Soichiro Uno is singled out for his prowess in negotiating M&A transactions. Of late, he advised SMBC as the parent company on the integration of Minato Bank, Kansai Urban Banking and Kinki Osaka Bank. He also has additional expertise in corporate governance and compliance.

Tomohiko Iwasaki is, according to sources, "flexible and tends to understands the client's perspectives." He offers over two decades of experience in M&A transactions and advised MMC on the outbound acquisition of the special products division of Luvata.

Hiroshi Mitoma is in demand for his wealth of experience in cross-border acquisitions and has acted for Komatsu on its purchase of Joy Global. He is also adept in his handling of joint ventures and rehabilitations as well as in defending hostile takeovers. Sources note that he is "very smart" and is also prominent in acting on matters concerning private equity funds.

Ryo Okubo is described as a "very practical" lawyer, with one client elaborating that he is "very commercial and understands what the client really needs." He has notable strengths in acting for clients in the TMT sector and represented INCJ in its JPY7.84 billion exit from the digital publishing market.

New York-based Keiko Shimizu's practice consists of assisting clients in the formation and operation of investment vehicles in Japan. She advised Advantage Partners V on the formation of its JPY73 billion private equity fund, and one commentator notes: "She is very meticulous and has very good interpersonal skills."

About the Team (content provided by Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu)

Having considerable corporate/M&A expertise and an unmatched track record, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu is able to assist with its clients’ wide and varied legal needs in connection with complex mergers and acquisitions; strategic alliances; private equity transactions; and general corporate matters.

For more details, please visit our website http://www.noandt.com/en/practice/index.html.

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Nishimura & Asahi - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Experienced at handling a wide array of transactions relating to tender offers, share exchanges and stock acquisitions. Acts for a variety of domestic companies as buyer's counsel in inbound and outbound transactions. Offers advice to clients on joint ventures with Asian companies, with noted strength in assisting clients with acquisitions of Vietnam companies.

Koichi Kusano is a seasoned practitioner with over three decades of experience advising clients on domestic transactions. He is most noted for his depth of knowledge in acting for energy companies and financial institutions.

Asa Shinkawa is identified as an "excellent lawyer who is talented" in tackling a myriad of transactions for buyers as well as sellers. Of late, she advised KKR on its sale of a 22% stake in Panasonic Healthcare to Mitsui.

Yoshinobu Fujimoto receives glowing feedback from interviewees, who note that he is "strong in M&A and has a wealth of experience." He excels in advising on complex transactions including share exchanges and tender offers. He advised Nippon Synthetic Chemical following a joint tender offer and squeeze-out by Mitsubishi Chemical and its subsidiary.

Yo Ota maintains a broad practice advising clients on M&A transactions as well as business integrations. In a recent highlight, he represented Nippon Paint Marine on the formation of a joint venture in Germany with Wilckens Farben GmbH. He is singled out by interviewees for his "practical advice on corporate law" and his ability to provide additional assistance on tax matters.

Tatsuya Tanigawa is most noted for his prowess in advising major domestic companies as buyers in corporate transactions. Of late, he acted for Rakuten on its acquisition of Soukai Drug Company from the major shareholder Sumitomo and other minority shareholders.

Ryutaro Nakayama is frequently called upon by manufacturers to assist with a range of transactions and is noted by one market source to be "active and handling a lot of good deals." He advised Nippon Steel Sumitomo Metal on its takeover bid and acquisition of the majority of shares in Nisshin Steel. He garners further praise for his contributions in the academic sphere.

Hiroshi Uchima is widely praised as a "good negotiator who is also very well respected." He is skilled in leveraging over two decades of experience in advising clients on transactions including tender offers, going-privates and joint ventures.

Naoko Shimura is swiftly establishing a reputation as a practitioner who is "very knowledgeable about cross-border matters and is strong on public M&A." She played an integral part in advising FWD Group Management and Pacific Century on their acquisition of shares in AIG Fuji Life Insurance from AIG.

Hikaru Oguchi specialises in acting for Japanese businesses with transactions in Vietnam covering issues such as M&A, labour and other corporate matters. She is particularly prominent acting for clients in the food and beverages sector, as well as on real estate development. In a recent work highlight, she acted for Nichirei Foods on its share subscription in Lotus Food and Processing.

About the Team (content provided by Nishimura & Asahi)

Department profile not yet provided by Nishimura & Asahi. Please see their firm profile.

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Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Distinguished for its prowess in representing Osaka-based corporations. Garners recognition for its handling of general corporate and restructuring matters in addition to M&A transactions. Prominent in advising pharmaceutical clients as well as corporations active in the Kansai region.

Shiro Kuniya wins praise from sources as the "go-to lawyer in Osaka." He is a popular choice for life science companies and advised Sawai Pharmaceutical on the USD1.05 billion acquisition of a US company.

About the Team (content provided by Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners)

Department profile not yet provided by Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners. Please see their firm profile.

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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates | Skadden Arps Law Office - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Experienced firm trusted by domestic corporations in partial and full cross-border acquisitions, tender offers and joint ventures. Leverages its international network to assist with M&A transactions in the USA and other jurisdictions. Regularly mandated by corporations in a variety of sectors including finance and energy. On the international side, the team has long-standing expertise in tackling global M&A transactions on behalf of sellers and buyers. Leverages its extensive international network on complex cross-border acquisitions involving Japanese companies. Noted for its prowess in cross-border joint ventures.

Mitsuhiro Kamiya is widely praised by peers and clients for his prowess in handling complex transactions and is hailed as "one of the top-notch lawyers on acquisitions." He has significant experience in inbound transactions, and is also skilled in supporting domestic clients with cross-border deals. His work of late includes advising Nippon Shokuba on its acquisition of Sirrus.

Kenton King operates out of the firm's Palo Alto office, having previously practised for a number years in its Tokyo office. A fluent Japanese speaker, he has a wealth of experience assisting Japanese clients in cross-border transactions including mergers and joint ventures. He holds additional expertise representing clients in the private equity and fintech spaces.

Michael Mies is based in the firm's Palo Alto office. He wins praise for his depth of expertise acting for Japanese clients on M&A transactions in the USA, and advised Nippon Shokubai on its acquisition of Sirrus. He also excels in business alliances and corporate finance.

About the Team (content provided by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates | Skadden Arps Law Office)

Building on the firm’s historical strength as one of the world’s leading M&A firms, we have been engaged in structuring and negotiating a wide variety of public and private mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures involving Japanese entities in the United States, Japan and other parts of the world.

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TMI Associates - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Regularly assists corporations with domestic and cross-border transfers, management and leveraged buyouts and other M&A transactions. Offers support in joint ventures, share exchanges and the establishment of special purpose companies. Maintains a proven track record in advising banks and private equity companies as well as manufacturers. Recent additions to the team have bolstered its wealth of expertise.

Masakazu Iwakura joined the team in January 2017 and remains a prominent figure in this field. He holds over three decades of experience acting on myriad corporate transactions including outbound acquisitions and business integrations. He particulary excels in handling M&A transactions on behalf of financial companies.

Takashi Toichi is regarded as a "good, solid lawyer who is very service-oriented." He has a proven track record in acting for Japanese companies in outbound transactions and has additional expertise in private equity and corporate advisory work.

About the Team (content provided by TMI Associates)

Department profile not yet provided by TMI Associates. Please see their firm profile.

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White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Trusted by multinational corporations and private equity funds in complex divestitures, acquisitions and takeover bids. Internationally qualified lawyers work in close conjunction with bengoshi partners to provide robust advice on cross-border transactions, including the acquisition of US and European companies. Portfolio of clients covers a variety of sectors including technology, life sciences and manufacturing.

Brian Strawn offers extensive expertise in acting for leading Japanese corporations on a variety of transactions including assisting with joint ventures, and of late he acted for the Development Bank of Japan in its purchase of Series A Preferred Stock from Willis Lease Finance. One client remarks: "Brian has an exceptional ability to understand and execute in a cross-cultural setting. We found his strategic yet practical perspective to be extremely invaluable to some of our company's challenges."

Sources are swift to single out Jun Usami as a "very good lawyer" who is "flexible to clients' requests." He has a proven track record in assisting with complex M&A transactions, with pronounced expertise in advising on transactions in the financial sector. Of late, he represented Development Bank of Japan in the acquisition of an additional interest in India-based International Tractors. His clientele spans both corporates and financial institutions.

About the Team (content provided by White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association))

To learn more about our practice, please visit: whitecase.com/law

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Senior Statesperson

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

From the Chambers Global guide

Kenichi Fujinawa is hailed as a practitioner who is "popular in the market," and with over three decades of experience in this sphere he is considered "a top, top M&A practitioner."

^ See whole ranking table

Senior Statesperson

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

From the Chambers Global guide

Osamu Hirakawa is a veteran with over four decades of experience assisting multinationals with corporate transactions. Tender offers and prioritisation offerings feature prominently in his work highlights.

^ See whole ranking table

Senior Statesperson

Nishimura & Asahi

From the Chambers Global guide

Koichi Kusano is a seasoned practitioner with over three decades of experience advising clients on domestic transactions. He is most noted for his depth of knowledge in acting for energy companies and financial institutions.

^ See whole ranking table

Eminent Practitioner

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

From the Chambers Global guide

Hiroki Inoue is the co-managing partner of the firm. He holds extensive knowledge of corporate transactions and excels in advising manufacturers on acquisition transactions.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

From the Chambers Global guide

Gaku Ishiwata is an “excellent and terrific lawyer who is highly regarded by clients” and excels in working on a full spectrum of high-profile transactions. Clients also stress that he is “one of the top M&A lawyers in town, and clients go to him for M&A transactions and private equity” matters. In a recent highlight he acted for Kubota Corporation on the purchase of US-based Great Plains Manufacturing.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

TMI Associates

From the Chambers Global guide

Masakazu Iwakura joined the team in January 2017 and remains a prominent figure in this field. He holds over three decades of experience acting on myriad corporate transactions including outbound acquisitions and business integrations. He particulary excels in handling M&A transactions on behalf of financial companies.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates | Skadden Arps Law Office

From the Chambers Global guide

Mitsuhiro Kamiya is widely praised by peers and clients for his prowess in handling complex transactions and is hailed as "one of the top-notch lawyers on acquisitions." He has significant experience in inbound transactions, and is also skilled in supporting domestic clients with cross-border deals. His work of late includes advising Nippon Shokuba on its acquisition of Sirrus.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

From the Chambers Global guide

Hiroshi Kondo is "very famous for being the rainmaker" in the team, according to a market source, and is "very good and popular with Japanese clients," according to another. His track record includes leading the team that assisted Hakuhodo with its acquisition of Singapore-headquartered Integrated Communications.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

From the Chambers Global guide

Satoko Kuwabara enjoys an excellent reputation for the depth of her specialist expertise in M&A as well as acquisition financings. "She is highly trusted by clients," reports one source, while another comments: "She is very tough in negotiations and is very smart."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Nishimura & Asahi

From the Chambers Global guide

Asa Shinkawa is identified as an "excellent lawyer who is talented" in tackling a myriad of transactions for buyers as well as sellers. Of late, she advised KKR on its sale of a 22% stake in Panasonic Healthcare to Mitsui.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

From the Chambers Global guide

Hajime Tanahashi is a strong choice for clients in the financial sector engaged in M&A transactions. His recent work includes representing Japan Industrial Partners as the seller's counsel in the JPY80 billion divestiture of shares held in Biglobe to KDDI. He attracts praise for his "very pragmatic" approach and is also noted for his depth of expertise in hostile takeover bids.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Yoshinobu Fujimoto

Nishimura & Asahi

From the Chambers Global guide

Yoshinobu Fujimoto receives glowing feedback from interviewees, who note that he is "strong in M&A and has a wealth of experience." He excels in advising on complex transactions including share exchanges and tender offers. He advised Nippon Synthetic Chemical following a joint tender offer and squeeze-out by Mitsubishi Chemical and its subsidiary.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

From the Chambers Global guide

Yuto Matsumura is identified as a practitioner who is "very good and technically very confident." One client adds: "Matsumura provides enthusiastic support to his clients. He is also good at finding reasonable and sophisticated solutions." He has expertise in advising an array of clients including those in finance, manufacturing and technology.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Nishimura & Asahi

From the Chambers Global guide

Yo Ota maintains a broad practice advising clients on M&A transactions as well as business integrations. In a recent highlight, he represented Nippon Paint Marine on the formation of a joint venture in Germany with Wilckens Farben GmbH. He is singled out by interviewees for his "practical advice on corporate law" and his ability to provide additional assistance on tax matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

From the Chambers Global guide

Yuko Tamai is identified as a "smart and very good" lawyer who is "very good technically." She is frequently instructed on big-ticket domestic transactions and has counselled Fujifilm on its acquisition of Wako through a tender offer to Takeda Pharmaceutical.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Nishimura & Asahi

From the Chambers Global guide

Tatsuya Tanigawa is most noted for his prowess in advising major domestic companies as buyers in corporate transactions. Of late, he acted for Rakuten on its acquisition of Soukai Drug Company from the major shareholder Sumitomo and other minority shareholders.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)

From the Chambers Global guide

Sources are swift to single out Jun Usami as a "very good lawyer" who is "flexible to clients' requests." He has a proven track record in assisting with complex M&A transactions, with pronounced expertise in advising on transactions in the financial sector. Of late, he represented Development Bank of Japan in the acquisition of an additional interest in India-based International Tractors. His clientele spans both corporates and financial institutions.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Linklaters Tokyo

From the Chambers Global guide

Hiroya Yamazaki frequently advises Japanese corporations on acquisitions of European companies. His workload also includes assisting companies with strategic investments and reorganisations as well as squeeze-outs. He is praised by a client who states: "He knows the business world and how Japanese companies operate. He is very well balanced and comes up with good practical solutions."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

From the Chambers Global guide

Shin Kikuchi is deemed by interviewees to be a "good and diligent lawyer." Recently, he advised the private equity house Nippon Sangyo Suishin Kiko on the purchase of 100% of the equity in Bunkasha Publishing.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

southgate

From the Chambers Global guide

Mangyo Kinoshita of southgate is singled out by one source as a practitioner who is "very reliable and very good at communicating legal concepts in plain English." His practice specialises in assisting mid-sized companies with cross-border M&A and venture capital investments. Lately he advised IDEO on its investment into a Japan-focused venture capital fund and the establishment of a joint venture with Genuine Startups.

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Band 3

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners

From the Chambers Global guide

Shiro Kuniya wins praise from sources as the "go-to lawyer in Osaka." He is a popular choice for life science companies and advised Sawai Pharmaceutical on the USD1.05 billion acquisition of a US company.

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Band 3

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

From the Chambers Global guide

Kenichi Masuda specialises in acting as counsel to foreign multinationals on a plethora of corporate transactions involving both private and public companies. His expertise also extends to assisting clients with investments into start-ups and the establishment of venture capital funds.

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Band 3

Nishimura & Asahi

From the Chambers Global guide

Ryutaro Nakayama is frequently called upon by manufacturers to assist with a range of transactions and is noted by one market source to be "active and handling a lot of good deals." He advised Nippon Steel Sumitomo Metal on its takeover bid and acquisition of the majority of shares in Nisshin Steel. He garners further praise for his contributions in the academic sphere.

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Band 3

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

From the Chambers Global guide

Atsushi Oishi is highly proficient in offering advice on cross-border transactions and restructurings. Of late, he played a key role in assisting Hitachi Chemical with the EUR87 million acquisition of a 51% equity stake in FIAMM and its subsidiaries. He is also credited for his proficiency in tax issues.

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Band 3

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

From the Chambers Global guide

Ryuji Sakai is praised by commentators as a "very good lawyer" who is also a "hard worker and very reliable." His practice focuses on acting for foreign multinationals on inbound transactions, and he is also adept in offering assistance to shareholders in relation to divestitures.

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Band 4

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

From the Chambers Global guide

Tomohiko Iwasaki is, according to sources, "flexible and tends to understands the client's perspectives." He offers over two decades of experience in M&A transactions and advised MMC on the outbound acquisition of the special products division of Luvata.

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Band 4

Tatsuhiko Kamiyama

Clifford Chance

From the Chambers Global guide

Tatsuhiko Kamiyama of Clifford Chance is "a good M&A lawyer who works on global matters," reports one commentator. He is most noted for his abilities in acting for foreign clients in joint ventures with domestic corporations. He also handles outbound acquisitions.

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Band 4

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

From the Chambers Global guide

Takayuki Kihira has a proven track record in providing counsel to public-private partnerships and represented INCJ in its JPY32.41 billion purchase of Harmonic Drive Systems. One delighted client highlights: "He understands the clients' needs very well and gives them well-considered logical and practical solutions."

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Band 4

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

From the Chambers Global guide

Hiroki Kodate remains active in representing domestic clients in complex transactions and has acted for Obayashi on its JPY24.6 billion acquisition of common shares in Obayashi Road through a tender offer, rendering the corporation a wholly-owned subsidiary. He is also well versed in supporting clients in outbound transactions.

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Band 4

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

From the Chambers Global guide

Hiroshi Mitoma is in demand for his wealth of experience in cross-border acquisitions and has acted for Komatsu on its purchase of Joy Global. He is also adept in his handling of joint ventures and rehabilitations as well as in defending hostile takeovers. Sources note that he is "very smart" and is also prominent in acting on matters concerning private equity funds.

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Band 4

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

From the Chambers Global guide

Takeshi Nakao wins praise for his "excellent management of the overall project as well as the client relationship." He regularly secures mandates from a wide variety of clients including manufacturers, trading houses and funds. He advised INPEX on the JPY18.35 billion sale of its share in INPEX Natuna to Medco Daya Sentosa. He is also well versed in merger filings.

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Band 4

Hibiya-Nakata

From the Chambers Global guide

Nobuo Nakata of Hibiya-Nakata concentrates on supporting Japanese clients with outbound transactions. His recent workload includes acting for Outsourcing Inc on its JPY9.79 billion acquisition of Orizon Holding following its debt restructuring. One source notes: "He is very practical and has very good client relationships."

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Band 4

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

From the Chambers Global guide

Akifusa Takada is described by a client as a practitioner who has a "wealth of experience and practical knowledge." He is particularly adept at advising technology companies and acted for Konica Minolta on its USD1 billion acquisition of Ambry Genetics in conjunction with INCJ. He was promoted to head of department in July 2017.

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Band 4

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

From the Chambers Global guide

Jiro Toyokawa maintains a broad practice which includes assisting with M&A as well as licensing agreements and venture capital funds. He provides additional support on post-merger issues and is skilled in drawing upon his expertise in foreign law to provide holistic advice on cross-border transactions. He also wins praise from sources for his expertise in acting for financial institutions and insurance companies on corporate transactions. He is also well respected for his experience advising on significant cross-border matters.

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Band 4

Tomohiro Tsuchiya

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

From the Chambers Global guide

Tomohiro Tsuchiya is described as a "reliable and diligent" practitioner who is skilled in negotiating corporate transactions. He has deep-rooted expertise in acquisitions in the manufacturing sector and advised Mitsubishi Nichiyu Forklift on the JPY76.8 billion purchase of shares in UniCareer.

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Band 4

Nishimura & Asahi

From the Chambers Global guide

Hiroshi Uchima is widely praised as a "good negotiator who is also very well respected." He is skilled in leveraging over two decades of experience in advising clients on transactions including tender offers, going-privates and joint ventures.

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Band 4

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

From the Chambers Global guide

Soichiro Uno is singled out for his prowess in negotiating M&A transactions. Of late, he advised SMBC as the parent company on the integration of Minato Bank, Kansai Urban Banking and Kinki Osaka Bank. He also has additional expertise in corporate governance and compliance.

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Up and Coming

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership

From the Chambers Global guide

Masahiko Ishida is favoured by clients as he is "technically brilliant, commercially pragmatic and provides the value we need from our outside counsel." He wins mandates from both domestic and foreign corporations and advised Cohu on the USD25.4 million acquisition of the remaining shares in Kita Manufacturing.

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Up and Coming

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

From the Chambers Global guide

Yoshihiro Kojima remains highly involved in assisting Japanese multinationals with cross-border transactions and has acted for Sumitomo Mitsui Trust on establishing a strategic alliance with BNP Paribas Cardif to operate an insurance business in Japan. He has a wealth of knowledge in tax-efficient corporate structuring.

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Up and Coming

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

From the Chambers Global guide

Ryo Okubo is described as a "very practical" lawyer, with one client elaborating that he is "very commercial and understands what the client really needs." He has notable strengths in acting for clients in the TMT sector and represented INCJ in its JPY7.84 billion exit from the digital publishing market.

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Up and Coming

Nishimura & Asahi

From the Chambers Global guide

Naoko Shimura is swiftly establishing a reputation as a practitioner who is "very knowledgeable about cross-border matters and is strong on public M&A." She played an integral part in advising FWD Group Management and Pacific Century on their acquisition of shares in AIG Fuji Life Insurance from AIG.

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Up and Coming

TMI Associates

From the Chambers Global guide

Takashi Toichi is regarded as a "good, solid lawyer who is very service-oriented." He has a proven track record in acting for Japanese companies in outbound transactions and has additional expertise in private equity and corporate advisory work.

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