Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Japan

Analysis

Overview

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is highly regarded in the market for its expertise in most practice areas and sectors. It maintains an excellent reputation for undertaking sophisticated domestic and cross-border transactions as well as contentious matters. As one of the largest full-service Japanese law firms with over 550 lawyers, the firm is counsel of choice for some of the major Japanese corporations and foreign multinationals, assisting clients from a broad range of sectors including financial services, energy, manufacturing and real estate. Key figures include banking and finance practitioner Masanori Sato, capital markets focused Katsumasa Suzuki, M&A and private equity expert Gaku Ishiwata, investment funds lawyer Ken Miura and restructuring and insolvency specialist Soichiro Fujiwara. Naoya Shiota, a previous partner, left the firm in September 2021.

Client feedback 

“The firm created a positive story about our new financial products by checking all related laws and rules.” – Banking and finance

“They have deep knowledge about syndicated loan documentation and structuring.” – Banking and finance

“Reassuring legal support. Willing to create a new standard.” .”– Capital markets

“Work hard and study hard about the issuer. They are also flexible when providing reasonable solutions.” – Capital markets

“Very professional mindset with extensive knowledge and experience in capital markets.”– Capital markets

Knowing we have a strong cost consciousness, they always think from our perspective. They respond quickly and support the project by forming a team with excellent expertise.” – Corporate and M&A

“They have very deep insight on the legal procedure of Japanese offshore wind farm auction. Though we joined this auction first time, our JV was qualified in terms of auction process thanks to their advice.”

“Has accurate knowledge of a wide area.” – Corporate and M&A

“In complex cases involving multiple countries and having many structures, it is possible to respond to documentation such as contracts and disclosure documents in addition to legal advice.” – Corporate and M&A

“Their legal advice is always timely, accurate and business oriented. Also, I have the impression that not only the partners but also the associates of the firm have a truly deep understanding of our companies and our businesses. Their advice is always practical from a real business standpoint. They have outstanding writing skills, and the speed necessary to run alongside the business.” – Dispute resolution

“They provide legal advice and lead us in a court trial in an efficient, proper and professional manner.” – Dispute resolution

“Deep knowledge in the electricity market in Japan.” – Energy

“Compared to other firms, the firm has the advantage of being able to respond flexibly with deep understanding our demands.” – Energy

“Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is always gathering information on our related issues and providing the useful information with their legal advice.” – Investment fund

“Speedy and high-quality services.” – Labour and employment

“Concise assessment of the situation, practical recommendations, and clear course of action.” – Labour and employment

“Great advice, great documentation, and great deal support at the court.” – Labour and employment

“Regarding the stock purchase agreement, their advice was so helpful that we could successfully improve our sales price and avoid the risk of settlement.” – Private equity

“They have done all sorts of explanation to the Singapore consultants and Singapore authorities, including explanation of Japanese real estate customs. For some parts, they were required to explain not only from legal perspective but how things are typically treated in business decision in Japan.” – Real estate

“Their advice is always correct and accurate based on the deep understanding of the J-REIT and real estate market in Japan.” – Real estate

“They are one of the largest law firms in Japan and the quality level of their advice is best in Japan.” – Real estate

Yoshikazu Abe

“Rich experiences and knowledge.”

“High level of expertise.”

Hiroki Aoyama

“Accurate legal advice based on extensive legal knowledge and customer orientation.”

“He has deep knowledge in syndicated loan documentation and structuring including M&A finance.”

“He has rich experience and knowledge of the business, especially in banking business.”

Hiromasa Arai

“Shows integrity and commitment to the project.”

Akira Ehira

“He has deep knowledge on close-out netting and provided stable opinion on our template agreement for physical electricity trading, the close-out netting provision of which is brand new for Japan.”

“He checked all related laws and rules to create a positive story to get a green light from Japanese regulators about new financial products.”

Yasuhiko Fujitsu

“He always provides legal advice with a deep insight and attempts to address issues by showing the big picture. He has gained an excellent reputation in the crisis management area.”

Fumiko Hama

“Professional and responsive with a quick turnaround time. Also, courteous and helpful.”

Toru Hasumoto

“He's always been very supportive and energetic.”

Suzuki Katsumasa

“He advises very clearly and accurately in accordance with the situation.”

Takahiro Kobayashi

“Broad and deep legal knowledge.”

Yoshihiro Kojima

“He knows our business, our client business and the M&A dynamism.”

“An experienced and reliable M&A lawyer.”

Masakazu Kumagai

“He has a good understanding of the capital market practice and its trends. He provides the best advice based on his legal expertise. He also analyses legal risks accurately and provides appropriate advice on deals with highly novel and complex structure.”

Yuki Matsuda

“He is very intelligent and responsive.”

Akira Matsushita

He has a wealth of practical experience and expertise in M&A. He is able to give accurate advice with an understanding of practical positions.”

Suguru Miyata

“Specialised knowledge and the ability to guide clients in a positive way through adversities.”

Yusuke Murakami

“Great analytical skills with thorough and clear explanation.”

“He has deep knowledge on Japanese renewable energy regulation. He is also familiar with the domestic and international renewable market.”

“Responsive with solid knowledge.”

Masahito Saeki

“He dealt with all legal questions as well as many not legal (real estate market related) questions that rose from multiple parties in Singapore. Some questions were actually not standard for Japanese lawyers to answer, but he dealt with all these issues and had done explanation and persuaded the parties.”

“Prompt and calm handling of happenings in our company. Tenacious explanations to Singaporean lawyers on Japanese property law. There were numerous unexpected questions and happenings throughout the project, which Saeki and his team have patiently and promptly dealt with. When there was any question raised by international consultants and authorities, Saeki and his team always came up with some solution or explanation to be provided.”

“He has a lot of experience and knowledge so that he can advise in detail.”

Masanori Sato

“He provides professional advice and quick response.”

Mugi Sekido

“In German litigation, Sekido sensei has been handling the case by himself after his staff left the firm. He is cost effective and understands our objective and requirements perfectly with his outstanding skills and personality to manage our local counsel and hired experts as one team.”

“With high-level language skills, deep understanding and extensive experiences in handling international conflict for many Japanese clients, he conveys our messages to US attorneys quite accurately and digest their complicated legal languages into simplified terms for our easy understanding.”

Yusuke Suehiro

“He always gives us deep and sophisticated legal advice.”

Katsumasa Suzuki

“Proactively provide knowledge and information in new fields.”

“Extensive and in-depth knowledge of the capital market.”

Yasuzo Takeno

“The legal advice of Yasuzo Takeno always lead to the solutions to our important issues. He understands our business and our needs very well.”

Hajime Tanahashi

“He is good at client management, and he has tons of experience in private equity fund transactions. He is always kind and gives appropriate advice to us.”

Hiroshi Yamauchi

“Always thinks about the best way to solve the customer's problem and gives speedy advice on the matter with cost-consciousness.”

“His team's quality of legal service is very high. He is familiar with J-REIT practices.”

“He has a very good business acumen.”

“He provides legal advice in a proactive and timely manner. His response is always prompt and friendly.  His experience in the investigation for product fraud issue is outstanding.”

Shigeki Okatani

“He always looks into what we need and how we would like to proceed in advance, then gives us advice with detailed analysis. And currently, they also consider our budget including legal fees in advance.”

Shuhei Uchida

“Professional and appropriate advice.”

Takashi Ugajin

“He has tactics in his way of thinking with solid legal knowledge and experiences. His response is pretty quick, which we think is one of the important requirements especially in dealing with international business.”

“Good listener. Provided realistic solutions. Clearly outlined our risk aperture. Understood our position as a start-up and found fair and reasonable ways to address our challenges.”

Hideaki Umetsu

“He is an expert in risk management.He tells us exactly what his clients want in a crisis.”

Private equity

Work highlights 

Advised Integral Corporation on its acquisition of Oliver Corporation, a company that manufactures and sells furnishings.

Advised Baring Private Equity Asia on its sale of Increment P Corporation.

Key clients

Apollo Global Management, Invesco, Japan Industrial Partners, KKR, MBK Partners, Polaris Capital Group

Labour and employment

Work highlights 

Advised Shiseido Company on the employment aspects of the recent sale of its personal care business.

Intellectual property

Work highlights 

Advised Shiseido on its worldwide trademark prosecutions including filings, office actions, oppositions, trials and licenses.

Dispute resolution

Work highlights 

Represented Japan Post, one of Japan’s largest employers, in defending claims brought under the Labour Contract Act.

Represented Toshiba in the defence of claims brought by former or current shareholders in tort alleging improper disclosure of financial information in past years.

Key clients

Coincheck, Toshiba Corporation

Investment funds

Work highlights 

Advised Pacific Investment Management Company on its public offering of Bermuda investment fund for wrap accounts.

Advised Citigroup First Investment Management on the public offering of a series of Cayman unit trusts.

Key clients

Alliance Bernstein

Restructuring and insolvency

Work highlights 

Acting as counsel to KOIKE in respect to its civil rehabilitation proceedings.

Representing Daiwa PI Partners in respect to F-Power’s corporate reorganisation proceedings.

Corporate and M&A

Work highlights 

Acted as legal counsel for NIPPO Corporation, a Tokyo Stock Exchange listed company, in respect to its acquisition through a tender offer by a consortium formed by Goldman Sachs and ENEOS.

Advised Johnson & Johnson on its divestment and sale of shares in Sedona Enterprise.

Key clients

Google, Integral Corporation, KKR, VisasQ, Yahoo Japan Corporation

Capital markets

Work highlights 

Advised Japan Post Holdings Co and Ministry of Finance, Japan on its global offering of shares.

Advised SUMCO Corporation on its $9.1 billion global offering of shares.

Key clients

Daiwa House REIT Investment Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Morgan Stanley Securities, Nippon Paint Holdings, Nomura Research Institute, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Banking and finance

Work highlights 

Assisted JBA and JSLA in respect to their post-LIBOR issues, including various regulatory issues and the creation of a set of universal guidelines for the Japanese financial markets and the participants in these markets.

Acted as the counsel to Invesco on financing of the tender offer for the investment units of Invesco office J-REIT.

Acted as the lead legal counsel to Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities (MUMSS) in respect to the financing for Spiber, a biotech venture company, through a value securitisation scheme.

Key clients

Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Securities, iSigma Capital Corporation

Regulatory

Work highlights

Assisted Japan Display in one of the biggest corporate accounting fraud cases in Japan in the past decade.

Assisted with the investigation of EduLab, a Japanese Edtech company, regarding the discovery of suspicious transactions.

Energy

Work highlights 

Represented ENEOS Corporation as buyer’s counsel in the client’s historic acquisition of Japan Renewable Energy.

Represented one of the country’s biggest onshore-wind developers, CEF, in procuring a bridge loan from SMFL MIRAI Partners Company for the construction of Tsuyama Wind Farm.

Represented Mizuho Bank and financial institutions on the project financing transaction of the 112 MW Woody Biomass Combustion Power Plant.

Key clients

e-rex, Shikoku Electric Power, Takara Asset Management, Takara Leben Infrastructure Fund, TESS Holdings, Tokyo Gas

Real estate

Work highlights 

Advised Daiwa House Logistics Trust, Daiwa House Asset Management Asia and Daiwa House Industry on the IPO and Listing of a Singapore REIT.

Advised Hulic, a Japanese leading real estate company, on its acquisition of Dentsu headquarters building through a SPC.

Advised Kintetsu Railway on the launch of a joint venture with Blackstone in relation to a hotel portfolio.

Key clients

Daiwa House REIT Investment Corporation, Diamond Realty Management, Mori Hills REIT Investment Corporation, Nippon Prologis REIT, Tosei Asset Advisors