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. 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.

Client feedback

“Rich experiences and achievements. Remarkable contributions to our successful deals.” – Banking and finance

“It has deep knowledge of the syndicated loan agreement.” – Banking and finance

“The firm provides professional customer service including quick responses and accurate and quality services. It is highly respected in the financial industry. Given its high-quality service, the firm provides us with an appropriate value for the money.” – Banking and finance

“Strong practices, expertise, swift responses and negotiation skills.” – Capital markets

“Considerable experience and knowledge about a foreign fund business.” – Capital markets

“Constantly showing a strong client-first mindset.” – Corporate and M&A

“Practical legal advice providing solutions from the client’s perspective.” – Corporate and M&A

“Business-oriented, straight-forward communication and cost-conscious.” – Corporate and M&A

“Professional services and advice in making decisions in the process of negotiation on the definitive agreement.” – Corporate and M&A

“Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has the highest reputation in almost all legal business practice areas, and its attorneys have a deep understanding of various legal areas, and a wide network with foreign firms.” – Dispute resolution

“It has many Japanese professionals in the energy field. It can also handle complex international transactions.” – Energy

“Professionalism, responsiveness and quality of legal services.” – Infrastructure

“Full team support by experienced lawyers, and great time management along a very tight schedule. It also provides very clear advice.” – Investment funds

“Competent and reliable market leader.” – Investment funds

“Quick and concise. Provides practical risk assessment, advice and solutions based upon clear evaluation.” – Labour and employment

“Enough knowledge and experience to provide practical advice.” – Regulatory

“The team is extremely responsive to all of my needs, always well-prepared to assist with every issue and proficient at explaining complicated technical issues.” – Tax

Hiroki Aoyama

“He has deep knowledge of the syndicated loan.”

Akira Ehira

“Good and wide legal knowledge.”

“Easy to talk to and has enough experience.”

Hirokazu Hayashi

“Ability to focus on business goals, and to remain available for communication with the client at all times.”

Naoki Ishikawa

“He has a good team which has strength in the Japanese renewable energy sector as well as in the finance field.”

Gaku Ishiwata

“Rich experiences and inspired and precise advice. He significantly contributed to our successful deal.”

Takahiro Kobayashi

“Deep knowledge of the industry. Responsive and provides good solutions on issues that we are facing.”

Atsushi Oishi

“He is continually attentive and responsive in addition to a strong technical background.”

Taro Omoto

“Client-first attitude and quick responses.”

Nobuharu Onishi

“Good team management. Provides beneficial and timely legal advice. He is so attentive that he anticipates our wishes.”

Masanori Sato

“Mr Masanori Sato is one of the most eminent Japanese lawyers in the fields of banking and benchmark issues. We are satisfied with his expertise and legal advice.”

Mugi Sekido

“Its legal advice is always timely, accurate and business-oriented. Also, the firm’s advice is always practical from a real business standpoint. Some lawyers state impractical black-letter law opinions without considering business elements at all, but I have never met such attorneys from MHM. I put complete trust in them.”

Chisako Takaya

“Deep knowledge and experience about labour laws. Quick and concise business-oriented and practical solution provider, not a consultant nor critic.”

Yasuzo Takeno

“Very good communication with our UK team by explaining the unique Japanese legal structure or fund scheme. Provides very quick and clear advice.”

“Market leader that provides clear responses.”

Hajime Tanahashi

“Client-first attitude, rich experience in the field of M&A transactions and excellent negotiation skills.”

Koji Toshima

“Strong client-first mindset.”

Shuhei Uchida

“The firm provided further practical legal advice and did good work on providing solutions from the client’s perspective. The team members also consisted of lawyers with excellent expertise.”

Private equity
Work highlights

Advised Baring Private Equity Asia on its $900 million acquisition of Pioneer Corporation. The transaction comprised a combination of a cash injection to Pioneer and a debt-to-equity swap of a previously provided bridge loan to squeeze-out minority shareholders. Such a structure was unprecedented in Japanese privatisations.

Key clients

Endeavour United, INCJ, Japan Industrial Partners, KKR, Unison Capital

Labour and employment
Work highlights

Assisted a confidential client on union negotiations relating to the shutting-down of the client’s business in Japan.

Key clients

Citigroup Global Markets Japan, Jupiter Asset Management International, Nomura Securities, Toranotec Investment Management, UBS O’Connor

Intellectual property
Work highlights

Handling Shiseido’s worldwide trademark prosecutions including filings, office actions, oppositions, trials and licences all over the world. In 2019, the team handled over 1000 new trademark applications and over 1000 applications for renewal in over 100 countries, and all relevant office actions, oppositions and administrative procedures for the client.

Dispute resolution
Work highlights

Represented Daio Paper Corporation after one of the company’s biggest shareholders brought a lawsuit against its directors alleging that the convertible bonds issued by the company in September 2015 were favourable ones, which is against Japanese laws and regulations. The shareholder claimed compensation for damages and losses incurred by the fall in stock price after the publishing of such issuance.

Key clients

Coincheck, Japan Post, Toshiba Corporation, Yamato Transport

Investment funds
Work highlights

Assisted IQ EQ Management, Goldman Sachs Securities and SMBC Trust Bank to establish new mutual funds in the Cayman Islands and conduct a public offering of such new funds in Japan. This was the first foreign investment trust publicly offered in Japan taking extremely high exposure to a single issuer, after the introduction of new regulations in 2014 requesting diversification of investments. 

Restructuring and insolvency
Work highlights

Represented AOI, a civil engineering and construction business, in a prearranged civil rehabilitation case. Immediately after filing for civil rehabilitation proceedings, the client found a suitable sponsor and was able to obtain debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing.

Corporate and M&A
Work highlights

Advised Tokio Marine Holdings on the acquisition of Privilege Underwriters and its subsidiaries through Tokio Marine’s subsidiary, HCC Insurance Holdings. This was one of the largest acquisitions by Japanese companies in 2019 with a total value of $3.1 billion.

Key clients

Endeavour United, Hitachi, Japan Industrial Partners, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, Z Holdings

Capital markets
Work highlights

Advised the issuer, Japan Post Insurance (JPI), and the sole selling shareholder and JPI’s largest shareholder, Japan Post Holdings, on the first follow-on global offering of JPI after its IPO in 2015 as part of Japan Post Group’s privatisation.

Key clients

Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Kyushu Electric Power Company, Marubeni Corporation, Sanbio, Sumitomo Corporation

Banking and finance
Work highlights

Acted for Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank concerning the Kumamoto Airport concession project. The project involved the reconstruction of an airport terminal building, which required the lenders to make new financing arrangements with mixed features of project finance for both brownfield and greenfield investments.

Key clients

Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Magneti Marelli CK Holdings, The Japanese Bankers Association, Toho Bank

Construction
Work highlights

Assisted on a cross-border EPC contract case for a cruise terminal construction project developed by the biggest cruise operator in the world. Cruise terminal construction is fairly new to the Japanese construction market and this project is expected to be an important precedent in this emerging field.