Japan: M&A and Governance 2018

This year’s research shines the spotlight on 38 eminent corporate lawyers, who stand out for their sophisticated advice on complex transactions and a range of governance matters.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Gaku Ishiwata Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, Tokyo
2. Koichi Kusano Nishimura & Asahi, Tokyo
3. Hiroki Kodate Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, Tokyo
4. Asa Shinkawa Nishimura & Asahi, Tokyo

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune is a leading name in the corporate sphere in Japan and achieves eight listings in this chapter.
Hiroki Kodate is a highly regarded corporate lawyer and a go-to adviser to Japanese and foreign clients. Peers describe him as “an admirable lawyer” and he is widely recognised as “one of the best operators in the market”.
Kenichi Masuda has a strong corporate practice in the Asia Pacific region. He has extensive cross-border experience and receives wide-ranging endorsements for his sophisticated corporate advice.
Hirohito Akagami is a highly regarded M&A lawyer with extensive expertise advising investors on a broad range of complex transactions.
Tsutomu Miyano is a well-known corporate law adviser with extensive experience advising Japanese and multinational clients on large commercial transactions.
Kenichi Masuda has a strong corporate practice in the region. He has extensive cross-border experience and receives wide-ranging endorsements for his sophisticated corporate advice. 

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto sees five highly regarded practitioners listed here.
Gaku Ishiwata is a leading figure in the market and is commended as a go-to lawyer for complex transactions. Peers say, “He is certainly one of the top M&A lawyers in the market.”
Atsushi Oishi is a standout practitioner who impresses clients with “his well-balanced, practical advice”. Sources note, “Not only does he provide pure legal advice, but he also suggests commercial solutions to consider.”
Yuto Matsumura is “a very strong practitioner” who comes highly recommended for his first-class corporate governance practice as well as his expert handling of complex M&A matters and restructurings.

Five lawyers from Nishimura & Asahi are listed here.
Peers say Koichi Kusano is “a huge name in the market”. He is regularly engaged in high-profile deals and is “certainly very well regarded” for his work in the space.
Asa Shinkawa is regularly engaged to advise major corporate clients and financial institutions on high-profile M&A deals and tender offers. Peers say, “She is terrific and great to work with.”
Yo Ota is a long-standing fixture in the M&A market. He is a highly regarded practitioner who is well known for his expertise in domestic and cross-border transactions. He also boasts a strong corporate governance practice.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu is also home to five prominent experts.
Hiroki Inoue is widely endorsed as “a top name in the market” by peers, who commend his “excellent” handling of sophisticated M&A transactions and corporate mandates.
Hiroshi Mitoma is commended for “his high-quality work and productive and positive approach” to complex corporate transactions and governance issues.
Kenichi Fujinawa is “a very senior figure” in Japan with long-standing experience in M&A and corporate governance. He has a broad international practice spanning Asia, North America and Latin America.

This year’s research highlights two prominent lawyers from Morrison & Foerster’s corporate group.
Kenneth Siegel* leads the M&A practice at the firm and is “an obvious choice for the big deals”, according to peers who add, “He is a top US lawyer in Japan.”
Gary Mitchel Smith* stands out as “a very impressive M&A lawyer” and enjoys an excellent reputation for his work on complex commercial deals.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom achieves two listings in this chapter.
Mitsuhiro Kamiya stands out as “a very well-known and highly regarded” practitioner with an impressive track record in high-profile M&A and joint venture transactions. According to one peer, “He has had a very good year and is doing the best out of anyone.”
Nobuhisa Ishizuka is a highly regarded expert in outbound investment transactions and joint ventures and is a trusted adviser to domestic and international clients.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s David Sneider* is a highly regarded lawyer who is “a big name” in the Japanese M&A market. He is regularly engaged to advise on outbound transactions to the US and is a go-to adviser on big-ticket deals.

Kenneth Lebrun* heads the regional M&A practice at Shearman & Sterling and stands out as “one of the best international players in the Japanese market”. Peers speak highly of “his flexibility and well-focused advice”.

At Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Edward Cole* is “a very well-regarded practitioner” and a seasoned corporate law adviser. He advises large Japanese clients and draws praise as “a very good operator”.

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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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