Japan

About

Our Firm's history in Japan and our global platform are ideal for providing the legal guidance clients need to succeed in today's markets. With more than 30 years of experience in Tokyo, we bring insight and experience in relation to corporate law matters, mergers and acquisitions, financial transactions and regulation, projects and energy, commercial disputes, antitrust, intellectual property and real estate.

White & Case was the first foreign law firm in Japan to establish a joint enterprise with Japan-licensed bengoshi, providing clients with one-stop access to Japanese and global legal services. Our deep knowledge at local, regional and global levels enables us to guide our clients through the most complex matters they face today.

White & Case established its office in Tokyo in 1987. Since then, we have grown into one of the largest law firms in Japan, drawing upon a diverse team of bengoshi and lawyers qualified internationally, principally in the United States and England & Wales, who consistently deliver results for our clients. Most of our lawyers are fluent in English and Japanese, and are longstanding residents of Japan. With a deep understanding of local business and industry trends, we guide clients through the cultural intricacies of doing cross-border business involving Japan, both inbound and outbound.

One of the critical elements of our success in Japan has been that we are a full-service law firm and able to advise on virtually all business matters, including corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, financial transactions and regulation, projects and energy, commercial disputes, antitrust, intellectual property and real estate.

We assemble the best teams and work seamlessly across borders for our clients.

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Coronavirus: Managing business impact and legal risks
The outbreak of the COVID-19 has quickly evolved from a local issue to a global crisis. There is a vast array of operational and legal issues that businesses must address. We are providing regular legal updates, some of which are translated into Japanese, on issues affecting our clients’ businesses around the world aiming to help our clients manage business impact and legal risks.

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Asset finance
Asset-based finance transactions are typically complex and highly structured, reflect important tax and accounting considerations, and require careful analysis to ensure that the needs and requirements of all participants are appropriately addressed. We deliver the experience needed to succeed in these transactions, whatever the role undertaken by our clients.

Our Tokyo practice is particularly known for its aircraft and shipping finance capabilities. This practice involves all types of leasing and finance matters, including operating leasing, leveraged leasing, secured lending, securitizations, warehouse facilities, export credit-supported transactions, portfolio acquisitions, manufacturer-supported transactions and restructurings.

Bank finance and restructuring
Bank finance and restructuring are at the core of White & Case's practice globally. Our clients benefit from our ability to support and guide them in executing complex, heavily negotiated financial transactions across multiple time zones and jurisdictions.

Our banking and finance team has extensive experience in syndicated loans and all manner of acquisition financings, leveraged buyouts, secured and unsecured financing transactions, securitizations and structured financings. Members of our team have played key roles in many groundbreaking transactions.

Our dedicated business restructuring and insolvency group is highly regarded in the market for its ability to provide a blended service across the five core areas of banking, capital markets, insolvency, litigation and private equity.

We advise creditors, debtors and other market participants on all aspects of distressed business enterprise transactions and regularly act for insolvency appointment takers from the major accountancy firms and boutique players. Our emphasis is on finding constructive, innovative and cost-efficient solutions.

Our dual-qualified and bilingual restructuring and insolvency lawyers in Tokyo form a formidable team that is well-versed in the full range of Japanese, US, and English insolvency and restructuring techniques.

Capital markets
With offices in all the world's leading financial centers, White & Case has the flexibility to provide cutting-edge advice on all aspects of securities and capital markets transactions in Japan and throughout the world. Our team accommodates clients' changing fund-raising strategies based on market conditions.

Our capital markets practice offers tailored advice on a wide variety of securities offerings, including Samurai bonds, initial public offerings, private offerings, rights offerings, high yield and investment-grade debt offerings, debt buybacks, structured financings and tender offer bids. We have considerable experience assisting on simultaneous public offerings in multiple locations and have advised on global depository receipt transactions by Japanese companies. We are highly experienced in groundbreaking capital markets transactions.

Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions
Our M&A team is composed of both Japan-admitted bengoshi and lawyers admitted in other jurisdictions, principally the United States and England & Wales, and is led by seasoned international and Japanese lawyers recognized as longstanding leaders in the Tokyo legal market and business community.

We are not interested in simply conducting due diligence and documenting deals. We seek to provide tangible value to our clients at every stage of a transaction, from identifying strategic objectives and designing optimal transaction structures that advance those objectives to evaluating and managing operational and legal risks, advising on corporate governance issues, and planning and supporting post-closing integration.

Our Japan M&A team brings to each transaction the full array of White & Case's unparalleled global resources in a seamless, cost-effective manner, enabling us to run extremely complex transactions involving numerous, worldwide jurisdictions entirely out of our Tokyo office.

Disputes and competition
Our Tokyo dispute resolution team consists of Japanese, US and UK-admitted lawyers. This team assists in developing effective safeguards to avoid disputes and risks before they arise, and achieves fast, cost-effective solutions when they do. Our Tokyo office has a depth of experience in dispute resolution methods across all business, financial and industrial sectors and activities, with particular experience in disputes and counseling involving: antitrust and competition, aviation and shipping, construction and engineering, distribution and supply agreements, employment issues, finance transaction disputes, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, infrastructure projects, insolvency and restructuring, intellectual property, international trade/WTO, M&A and joint ventures, product liability and product safety, regulatory investigations, and white collar crime.

Our team is able to draw on the resources of our global network of more than 500 dispute resolution-specialized lawyers, ensuring that we act seamlessly for clients across multiple jurisdictions and time zones.

Project development and finance
We have developed an array of innovative solutions for some of the largest projects in the world, earning us a reputation for offering creative advice that meets the commercial needs of our clients.

Our Tokyo-based team advises on legal matters related to project structuring and development, financing, mergers and acquisitions, offtake and transportation, government regulation, construction, operation and maintenance, and other project- related issues. We advise across sectors ranging from oil and gas, LNG, petrochemicals and mining and metals, to power, clean technology and renewables, telecommunications and other infrastructure. Our team has advised on some of the largest and most prominent deals in the world, including the majority of LNG projects in the market today.

We have represented sponsors and lenders on a number of landmark transactions worldwide. Our work includes representing Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the commercial lenders in Sakhalin II, the world's largest oil & gas project to have limited recourse project financing—this was Russia's largest-ever foreign investment and project financing. We have also represented leading Japanese gas and electric utilities in relation to equity investments in greenfield LNG projects and arrangements for foundation LNG offtake from those projects.

Real estate
In today's complex world, virtually all real estate investment is multifaceted. The success of real estate projects and investments often hinges on innovative structuring, financing and development techniques. We offer integrated advice across a range of practice areas, uniquely tailored for each transaction. Our team of responsive and commercially focused lawyers is experienced in virtually every aspect of Japanese real estate and real estate financing. Our lawyers have an understanding of the business issues you face, and they provide integrated and focused solutions, transforming local knowledge into clear advice.

Drawing upon the experience and capabilities of White & Case worldwide, our Japan practice provides a full range of legal services relating to the ownership, assembly, acquisition, development, construction, litigation, operation, management, financing and securitization of real estate and nonperforming loan assets in Japan.

 

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Band 1 for Banking & Finance: International, Japan Region
Band 1 for International Trade, Japan Region
Chambers Global and Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020

Band 1 for International & Cross-Border Capabilities, Japan Region
Chambers Global 2020

Tier 1 in Antitrust and Competition, Japan Region
Tier 1 in Corporate and M&A, Japan Region
Tier 1 in Projects and Energy, Japan Region
Tier 1 in Real Estate and Construction, Japan Region
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020

Best International Law Firm Country Award – Japan
Euromoney Asia Women in Law Award 2019 

M&A Deal of the Year (Premium)
(Takeda Pharmaceutical's Acquisition of Shire plc)
Asian Legal Business (ALB) Japan Law Awards 2019

Real Estate Deal of the Year
(AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets' Joint Venture with ESR)
Asian Legal Business (ALB) Japan Law Awards 2019

Projects, Energy and Infrastructure Law Firm of the Year
Asian Legal Business (ALB) Japan Law Awards 2017

M&A Deal of the Year (Premium), Technology, Media and Telecommunications
Deal of the Year, and Japan Deal of the Year
(SoftBank's Acquisition of ARM Holdings)
Asian Legal Business (ALB) Japan Law Awards 2017

Experience

Acquisition of EDF Trading's coal and freight business
JERA on the acquisition by its wholly owned subsidiary JERA Trading Singapore Pte Ltd. of EDF Trading Ltd.'s coal and freight business.

US$ multibillion financing of gas liquefaction facility in Mozambique
Lenders including Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) in the US$ multibillion financing of the development of a gas liquefaction facility in Mozambique to monetize recent large-scale gas discoveries in the Rovuma Area 1 Offshore Basin.

US$2.4 billion acquisition of Aircastle Ltd.
Mizuho Leasing Company, Ltd. in its US$2.4 billion acquisition of Aircastle Ltd., a Bermuda aircraft leasing company, with consortium partner Marubeni Corporation.

JPY 1 trillion refinancing for Bain Capital
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., MUFG Bank, Ltd. and Mizuho Bank, Ltd., as mandated lead arrangers, on the JPY 1 trillion refinancing of the leveraged facilities for Bain Capital's acquisition of Toshiba Memory.

JBIC US$1 billion loan facilities for SMBC Aviation Capital Limited
JBIC on its US$1 billion loan facilities for SMBC Aviation Capital Ltd. (SMBCAC) to provide SMBCAC funds to procure aircraft up to March 2024.

Kato Kagaku Co. Ltd. on cornstarch cartel
Kato Kagaku on a price-fixing claim filed against Kato Kagaku by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) as part of the JFTC's investigation into an alleged cartel. It was the first and only case in which the JFTC overturned its surcharge payment order entirely.

Acquisition of six logistics properties in Japan for US$1 billion
E-Shang Redwood on the formation of a perpetual core fund and joint venture among ESR, AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets (AXA IM) and a major sovereign wealth fund on the acquisition of six logistics properties in Japan for US$1 billion. It was awarded Asian Legal Business Japan Law's "Real Estate Deal of the Year" in 2019.