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Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

As part of Japan’s Big Four, the firm has a prestigious reputation both domestically and internationally. It is active on some of the country’s largest commercial and corporate law mandates, which are handled by large and multi-talented practice groups totalling 97 partners and over 200 associates. Since 2012, the firm has expanded exponentially in the region, opening sites in Singapore, Bangkok, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Yangon, Osaka and Jakarta, making it one of the legal powerhouses of East Asia. More than half the firm’s work has cross-border elements, with an array of multinational clients seeking its advice, particularly in relation to banking, capital markets, competition, real estate and corporate law.


The firm has an excellent bench of lawyers with extensive experience in high-value real estate transactions, especially real estate finance and investment. Masanori Sato is a top ranking finance lawyer who takes the lead on a number of the firm’s most prominent structured and acquisition finance mandates, as well as matters relating to Japan real estate investment trusts (J-REITs). Eriko Ozawa and Yasuhiko Fujitsu are also top names for the financing of large office buildings, residential and commercial developments.

Toru Ishiguro shines in our research for his banking regulatory law expertise, as well as for his abilities in handling complex Japanese securities offerings. Yuto Matsumura is also recognised in our banking chapter assuming leading roles in many of the firm’s biggest banking finance mandates. In addition, he is widely regarded for his skilful handling of M&A transactions involving banks and other financial institutions.

Gaku Ishiwata is recognised one of the top corporate lawyers in Japan; he has led on major recent M&A transactions such as Mizkan's acquisition of Ragu and Bertolli Brands from Unilever for US$2.15 billion. He is also an invaluable adviser on governance issues. Harumichi Uchida is regarded as “one of the finest lawyers of his generation”. He is sought after for his longstanding experience in handling high-end M&A deals. He is also one of the most renowned competition lawyers in the country with a prestigious merger control and behavioural practice.

A further three lawyers are recognised in the firm’s excellent competition practice, including Kenji Ito, a former official at the Japan Fair Trade Commission. He is considered “the top choice” in Japan for merger clearance of cross-border M&A transactions and government investigations of international cartels.

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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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W11 1QQ, UK