Japan: Private Funds 2016
Long considered a difficult jurisdiction for private funds, Japan now looks to be opening up both domestically and internationally. Domestically, the country’s risk-averse culture seems to be warming towards the international private equity market, as Japan’s huge $1.2 trillion public pension fund looks to invest in private equity as a way to boost its profit margins. For international parties, the much-discussed Article 63 Exemption will now allow offshore managers seeking Japanese investors to circumvent stringent restrictions on foreign investors. This should make the country a more appetising jurisdiction for investment. Seven lawyers have been chosen as the key players in the market.
Morgan Lewis & Bockius garners two listings in this chapter. Christopher Wells* is a “leading light” in international investment funds in Japan. He is described by clients as “dynamic and considered”, and “always gives great advice”. Tomoko Fuminaga is “highly experienced”, having represented numerous foreign and domestic clients on investment fund structuring.
At Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, two practitioners are also featured. Ken Miura is “one of the best” for private equity fund formation, while Yasuzo Takeno has been a leading figure over the last 20 years in investment fund structuring and the private placement of offshore investment funds in Japan.
Nishimura & Asahi also achieves two listings. Kei Ito is recognised as a “key figure” both domestically and internationally. One client describes him as providing “long-term, workable solutions”. Masaru Ono is “highly sought after” for his “well-thought through” approach.
Anderson Mori & Tomotsune’s Kunihiko Morishita is extensively experienced in the investment fund space; clients say that “he is difficult to top for his vast knowledge” of the field.
* Foreign-qualified lawyer