Ayako Kawano | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Ayako Kawano
Ayako Kawano

Ayako Kawano

Partner, Tokyo

T +81 3 6384 3276

T +81 3 6384 3300

E [email protected]

“Ayako Kawano is an impressive J-REITs lawyer, and is also accomplished in other areas of law involving real estate assets, advising on the acquisition, disposal and restructuring of property portfolios.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific


Ayako advises international and domestic clients on acquisitions, dispositions and the restructuring of distressed loan and real estate portfolios. Clients also benefit from her experience in the areas of private equity investments, restructuring and cross-border bankruptcy-related mergers and acquisitions.

Ayako's real estate knowledge covers a broad range of practices, from the formation of funds, to acquisitions and dispositions, including J-REITs and complex financing deals.

Dual-qualified in Japan and New York, she has a deep understanding of the complexities of international finance, and has worked on numerous cross-border transactions affecting clients with interests in Japan, Asia, Europe and the United States.

Ayako is a member of the Daini Tokyo Bar Association.

Bars and Courts

  • Japan Bar


  • LLM, Harvard Law School
  • LLB, Osaka University


  • English
  • Japanese


gumi Inc., 2018

Ayako advised gumi Inc. in its joint venture gumi Cryptos LLC, a cryptocurrency and blockchain technology-focused fund company.

Skymark Airlines Restructuring, 2015

Ayako advised CIT Aerospace, a provider of leasing and financing solutions for aircraft fleets worldwide, in connection with the restructuring of Skymark Airlines, Japan's third largest airline which filed for bankruptcy in January of 2015.

Ellipsiz Ltd.'s acquisition of Tokyo cathode Laboratory Co., Ltd., 2014

Ayako advised Ellipsiz Ltd. and its US-based subsidiary, SV Probe Pte. Ltd., on the acquisition by business transfer of Tokyo Cathode Laboratory Co., Ltd. (TCL), a Japanese probe card manufacturer and supplier, out of TCL's Civil Rehabilitation Procedure filed with the Tokyo District Court. She also advised on and the further acquisition of the shares of or assets held by TCL's subsidiaries located in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Guangzhou, China.

Commerzbank's sale of Commerz Japan Real Estate Finance Corporation, 2014

Ayako worked as part of the international team which advised Commerzbank AG on the sale of its Tokyo-based subsidiary, Commerz Japan Real Estate Finance Corporation (CJREFC), to leading Asia-focused alternative investment manager PAG. As part of the transaction, the primarily subordinated loans held by CJREFC, which total around €700 million, are being transferred to the buyer.

Qualcomm's US$120 million investment in Sharp, 2012

Ayako led the team which represented US-based Qualcomm Incorporated in its investment of up to US$120 million in Sharp Corporation, listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Qualcomm invested US$60 million in exchange for newly issued shares, representing approximately 2.5% of Sharp's outstanding share capital at the end of 2012, and another US$60 million in 2013 contingent upon the satisfaction of certain milestones.

Awards & Recognition

Leading Lawyer (Band 2), Chambers Global 2013

Capital Markets: Domestic: J-REITs – Japan