Japan: M&A and Governance 2017

In this chapter we highlight 34 leading lawyers who stand out for their impressive expertise handling public and private M&A, joint ventures, private equity, and cross-border transactions, as well as advising boards of directors with respect to the most difficult and sensitive corporate disclosure, governance and policy issues.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Masakazu Iwakura TMI Associates, Tokyo
2. Yo Ota Nishimura & Asahi, Tokyo
3. Koichi Kusano Nishimura & Asahi, Tokyo
4. Takashi Ejiri Nishimura & Asahi, Tokyo

Full-service national firm ANDERSON MORI & TOMOTSUNE illustrates its strong corporate offering in the Japanese market achieving seven listings this year.
James Masaru Minamoto* regularly assists foreign clients with their activities in Japan and is also widely recognised for his work representing Japanese clients in contentious proceedings in the US.
With 40 years’ experience, Tsuyoshi Nagahama is considered a leading light in M&A matters. Peers praise his first-rate counsel, which he provides to both Japanese and multinational corporations.
Kenichi Masuda stands out for his impressive expertise in cross-border transactions as well as his particular experience advising foreign clients in share transfers involving Japanese companies. 
Hiroki Kodate is a highly regarded name in the market and is internationally recognised for his “logical and reasonable approach” to complex matters.
Hirohito Akagami enjoys a superb reputation among peers who highlight his vast experience in M&A matters.
Osamu Hirakawa receives wide-ranging endorsements for his expert handing of cross-border transactions.
Osamu Tanaka also gains recognition in this chapter, and draws widespread praise from international sources for his outstanding work in the field.

NISHIMURA & ASAHI also performs well this year with six practitioners nominated for their work in the space.
Yo Ota is described as a “very smart and extremely bright” M&A lawyer. He is a prominent name in the field with a strong reputation for his exceptional transactional work.    
Koichi Kusano is at the forefront of the Japanese market and boasts strong expertise handling cross-border transactions. 
Asa Shinkawa is a brilliant lawyer with “an impressive client base”. Her top-tier corporate practice encompasses M&A transactions, corporate disputes and governance issues.
Peers speak highly of Takashi Ejiri, a cross-border specialist with extensive transactional experience.
Kazuhiro Takei is a “very prominent” figure in the market, well known for his excellent work in Japanese and international M&A transactions.
Stephen Bohrer* heads the firm’s cross-border transactions group. He boasts invaluable transactional expertise in Asia and the US and is well regarded for his brilliant work in the space.

Five lawyers from NAGASHIMA OHNO & TSUNEMATSU are included in this chapter.
Hiroki Inoue is a distinguished practitioner with a wealth of experience in M&A matters and cross-border disputes.
Kenichi Fujinawa is a leading lawyer in the region. He represents Japanese and foreign clients in cross-border transactions and is described as “a pre-eminent figure in the M&A industry”.

MORI HAMADA & MATSUMOTO sees four impressive practitioners listed this year.
Gaku Ishiwata is within the top tier of practitioners and is “very prominent” in large-scale transactions, according to respondents.
Harumichi Uchida ranks highly for his Japanese practice, receiving wide-ranging endorsements for his great expertise in the field.

Masakazu Iwakura at TMI ASSOCIATES is one of the foremost practitioners in the Japanese corporate market, and remains a firm favourite among clients who commend his impeccable level of service.
Masami Hadama is also highlighted in this chapter for his excellent work in the space.

At SIMPSON THACHER & BARTLETT David Sneider* is a widely recognised figure in the M&A market. He impresses market commentators with his astute commercial insights and fantastic work in large cross-border transactions. 

MORRISON & FOERSTER’s Kenneth Siegel* frequently acts on large international deals and stands out as being “in the new generation of M&A leaders”.

PAUL WEISS RIFKIND WHARTON & GARRISON is home to Kaye Yoshino* who is “incredibly talented” when it comes to dealing with matters at the intersection between M&A and competition law.

* Foreign-qualified lawyer

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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