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Morrison & Foerster

US global heavyweight Morrison & Foerster was among one of the first international firms to open an office in Japan. The Tokyo offering has gone on from strength to strength since then, and now counts itself as the country’s sixth largest law firm – among both international and national law firms. It is a “dominant player” in cross border matters in the real-estate, corporate, competition, high-technology and IP sectors and is able to provide clients with the considerable reach and scope that only an international firm can offer.

The firm is particularly strong in the real estate space, boasting five “exceptionally talented” lawyers practising both domestic and international law. Masahiro Shiga is praised for his “unflappable demeanour in high-stakes real estate transactions”. Keisuke Mochizuki is credited with providing “top-class service” in matters including fund formations, real estate finance transactions and major property acquisitions and development projects. Junichi Kurokoshi is deemed an “incredibly adroit practitioner” and “tough negotiator” by respondents. The “pre-eminent” Theodore Seltzer* has considerable expertise representing US, Japanese and international institutional investors in cross-border real estate acquisition, financing and disposition. Finally, the firm’s complement is completed by the “highly sought-after” Andrew Morrison* who is deemed a “skilled” transactional lawyer.

Two standout foreign attorneys at law are selected in the chapter dedicated to IP litigation. Robert Hollingshead* is described as an “excellent strategist” specialising in representing US and international clients in disputes in the high-technology, life sciences, IT and telecommunications sectors. Alongside him, Max Olson* is celebrated as a “highly visible and prominent force in the market”, litigating on behalf of clients such as Fujitsu, TDK and Sega Corporation.

The firm’s excellent competition practice is staffed by Kei Amemiya, a former Japan Fair Trade Commission investigator with considerable experience handling merger reviews, abuse of dominance, international cartel and unfair trade practices cases. Kentaro Hirayama is also considered a top name in the field known for advising domestic and foreign clients in the whole gamut of competition-related matters.

Managing partner Kenneth Siegel* shines in our research for his vast experience representing high-technology companies on major M&A transactions and joint ventures. His impressive list of clients includes Hitachi, Toshiba, Fujitsu and SoftBank; who he has represented in over $80 billion of M&A transactions since 2010. The highly sought-after Gary Mitchel Smith* is also recognised in our M&A/corporate governance chapter for his skilful handling of M&A transactions in the media, high-technology and life sciences industries.

The firm also garners listings in the technology, capital markets, energy and natural resources, project finance chapters of this guide which serves to highlight the firm’s breadth and depth of expertise.


*  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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