Our Japan practice, based out of our Tokyo office, since 1997 has served clients active in the Japanese market. Our team includes more than 90 lawyers firmwide from our global offices in Asia, Europe and the U.S., who represent Japanese and international companies on both inbound and outbound transactions in a broad range of industries, including energy and infrastructure, technology, and finance. We are proud to help many of Japan’s world-renowned companies, including Canon, Fujifilm, NEC, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sony and Toyota, in their high-stakes matters.

On a daily basis, our 40-lawyer team in the Tokyo office seamlessly cooperates with our other global offices to provide the best and most responsive legal solutions and services for our clients. Our Japan-qualified bengoshi, educated and with practice experience in Japan and abroad, work closely with our Japanese-speaking U.S.-qualified lawyers to provide legal services with an invaluable cross-cultural perspective.

Our team of lawyers leverage a deep knowledge of local laws and business practices and our global network to provide Japanese multinationals with comprehensive legal services in all relevant languages and jurisdictions on a range of matters, including corporate and M&A transactions, intellectual property, dispute resolution, infrastructure and energy projects, real estate and real estate finance, and help to Japanese technology startups in their financing and expansion abroad.


We have a long history of helping clients with cross-border M&A, joint ventures and other commercial transactions. With offices in key jurisdictions around the world, we are particularly adept in transactions that span multiple jurisdictions. We also advise global investors with Japan-based interests.

In some recent notable transactions, we advised:

  • Johnson Controls on its global joint venture with Hitachi, in a transaction that involved more than 10 jurisdictions worldwide and secured a 60 percent ownership stake for our client. The deal won Asian-Counsel’s Deal of the Year 2016.
  • Otis Elevator, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., in the acquisition by its Japan subsidiary, Nippon Otis, of the Japan elevator business of Schindler Elevator and its subsidiary, Mercury.
  • Equinix Inc., the global interconnection and data center company, acting through its Japanese subsidiary in its acquisition financing of JPY 47.5 billion to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Bit-isle Inc., a Japan-listed data center operator, through a tender offer.
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co. and a group of five other Japan-based leasing companies in a $3.4 billion sale-leaseback transaction with Sprint Corp. The transaction involved the sale by Sprint of certain existing wireless network assets to several bankruptcy-remote entities for $3.4 billion and the concurrent leasing back of those assets to Sprint.
  • Toyota Industries and its U.S. subsidiary in their $2.3 billion acquisition of all assets relating to Toyota Motor Credit’s commercial finance business.
  • Technology Companies Group

    Our Japan Technology Companies Group advises local and global technology-driven ventures at all stages of growth on a wide range of legal and strategic matters, including corporate formation and structure, corporate governance, financing activities, employment law, employee compensation and benefits, IP, data privacy, and exit and other strategic transactions. As one of the only full-service technology companies practices with a significant presence in Japan, Silicon Valley and other key markets in the U.S., Europe and Asia, we are uniquely positioned to provide services that can scale with our clients’ global growth.

    We’ve helped:

    • WHILL Inc., a Japan- and Silicon Valley-based designer and developer of personal mobility devices, in general corporate matters and its US$17 million Series B financing.
    • Baidu Inc., a China-based web services company, in its acquisition of popIn Inc., a Japan-based internet data analytics company.
    • A new $100 million venture capital fund with its formation by a leading Japanese securities firm.

    Intellectual Property

    We are one of the most active and successful firms in representing Japanese multinationals in sensitive patent infringement cases before U.S. district courts, the Federal Circuit and the International Trade Commission (ITC). Our team is also known for handling complex disputes in Japan involving patents, copyrights and trademarks, as well as unfair competition and trade secret actions.

    Recently, we helped:

    • Forty Japanese camera manufacturers and retailers in securing a quick and decisive victory in a patent case brought by a subsidiary of the patent aggregator Acacia, involving data used to create digital images.
    • Canon Inc. and Canon USA Inc. in winning on multiple claims arising out of a patent license agreement in connection with certain patents related to printing technology.
    • Nintendo Co. Ltd. in clinching a complete victory in the ITC, which was upheld on appeal, on behalf of Nintendo in a patent case involving the well-known Wii entertainment system.
    • Yamaha Corp. with its defense in an investigation brought by Freescale Semiconductor, alleging patent infringement by certain Yamaha Blu-ray disc players.


    We help our clients navigate complex multijurisdictional commercial disputes on product liability, antitrust, FCPA, UKBA, cybersecurity issues and compliance investigations. Our Employment Law team represents global companies in dispute resolution cases in Japan, also advising on all legal aspects of their employment and HR strategies in Japan.

    Recently we acted for:

    • Hong Kong-based New World TMT in obtaining a series of favorable judgments in a cross-border fraud matter, including a $2.8 billion U.S. judgment and an $80 million judgment from the Tokyo District Court.
    • Toshiba Semiconductor Co. in obtaining a stay of litigation brought in California in favor of arbitration in Tokyo, where we successfully raised significant counterclaims, eventually forcing the plaintiff, BaySand, to settle on new licensing terms significantly more favorable to Toshiba than those in place before the lawsuit.

    Moreover, our lawyers have served as lead counsel in major international arbitrations arising from commercial and investment disputes, and have handled ad hoc and institutional arbitration proceedings in multiple languages and under a variety of arbitral rules and governing laws.

    Energy and Infrastructure

    As the leading renewable energy practice in Japan, we play an active role in the reinvigoration of Japan’s green sector. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry relied on our team for help in structuring Japan’s feed-in tariff policy, designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy.

    We also helped:

    • Setouchi Future Creations LLC (a special-purpose company consisting of GE Energy Financial Services, Toyo Engineering Corp. and Kuni Umi Asset Management Co.) in its joint venture equity investment into the massive 231.44MW Setouchi Solar Project, which will be the largest PV solar project in Japan.
    • Green Power Investment Corp. in its development of a 126.5 MW wind energy project located in Tsugaru City, Aomori Prefecture, in Japan. The commercial operation date is anticipated to be in March 2017. This will be the largest wind energy project in Japan.
    • GE Financial Services, Pattern Energy Group and Green Power Investment Corp. in their development of, and the over JPY 10 billion syndicated project financing for, one of the largest mega solar projects in the Kanto area surrounding Tokyo.

    Real Estate Finance

    Our team advises global investors on their cross-border joint ventures, acquisitions of real estate assets, property developments and complex financing transactions.

    Among others, we advised:

    • Tokyu Land Corp.’s U.S. subsidiary on its equity investment in the 425 Park Avenue project, the first full-block office development on Manhattan’s Park Avenue in three decades.

    Our Office and Our Community

    Our team collaborates on a range of community responsibility projects. For example, we represented the Wild Salmon Center and the Sarufutsu Itou no Kai to protect the endangered Itou, often referred to as Japan’s "legendary fish." We advised on a groundbreaking agreement to create the Sarufutsu Environmental Conservation Forest, said to be the first protected area established on privately owned lands in Japan for the express purpose of aquatic biodiversity conservation. Our team also helped in the development of a legal framework for regulating recreational fishing and promoting ecotourism in the area.

Client Results