Nels Hansen

Partner, Tokyo


“He is excellent. He has strong passion and enthusiasm to make deals successful for clients, and he goes the extra mile in his efforts.” “Clearly, he is one of the most experienced lawyers in Tokyo in the field of investor engagement.”
Chambers Asia-Pacific 2023


Nels Hansen is a partner in our Corporate/M&A practice group, based in Tokyo. He has helped clients complete hundreds of billions of dollars in completed mergers and acquisitions, hostile or contested transactions, investments and joint ventures, acting primarily for technology, media and telecommunications companies, energy-related companies and private equity and venture capital funds.

He also has assisted numerous targets of activist shareholder situations in the US and Japan. This experience, together with mandates on behalf of engagement and/or activist hedge funds themselves in the US and Japan, helps our Tokyo team to guide Japanese and international clients in activist shareholder situations with a uniquely global perspective and understanding of both sides of the table.

His assistance of international clients with public and private company targeted M&A in the US, Japan and Europe, and private equity and venture capital investment in Asia, Europe and the US, form the core of his practice. In 2018, the FT Innovative Lawyers Asia-Pacific Awards selected Nels as a 'Commended' lawyer in the 'Accessing New Capital and Markets' category for assisting a client in a combined venture capital and project financing.

Nels has served on the Japanese Law Translation Council of the Ministry of Justice since April 2020. Since 2015, Nels has served at Keio Law School as the lecturer for the course "M&A and Strategic Alliances." Nels previously worked in Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry and at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade & Industry.

He is a member of the Tokyo Bar Association.

Bars and Courts
New York State Bar
California State Bar
Registered Foreign Lawyer in Japan (Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi) (Jurisdiction of Primary Qualification: [California])
Harvard Law School
Special Student
Keio Law School
Stanford University


PayPal Holdings, Inc. on its acquisition of Paidy Inc., a leading two-sided payments platform and provider of buy now, pay later solutions in Japan, for an enterprise value of ¥300 billion, or approximately US$2.7 billion (2021)

Starwood Capital Group on its tender offer for Invesco Office J-REIT, Inc., a listed J-REIT in Japan, for ¥22,500 per investment unit (total equity value of approximately ¥198 billion, publicly reported debt of ¥126 billion, for an enterprise value of approximately ¥325 billion) (2021)

Panasonic Corporation on its acquisition of the remaining 80% of the capital stock interests of Blue Yonder, a leading end-to-end, digital fulfillment platform provider, at an enterprise value of US$8.5 billion on a cash-free, debt-free basis. The transaction will be carried out by way of a merger of a wholly-owned subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation with and into Blue Yonder, with Blue Yonder as the surviving corporation following the merger. This transaction adds to the 20% stake of Blue Yonder which Panasonic Corporation acquired in July 2020, also represented by White & Case (2021)

SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company, in the business combination between its portfolio company, Berkshire Grey, Inc., a US based robotics company, and Revolution Acceleration Acquisition Corp (Nasdaq: RAAC), a special purpose acquisition company, to create a leading publicly listed robotics and automation solutions company with a post-transaction equity value of up to US$ 2.7 billion (2021)

Panasonic Corporation on its 20 percent strategic equity investment in Blue Yonder, a leading US end-to-end supply chain software provider with an estimated enterprise value of US$5.5 billion. Panasonic Corporation is a global corporation developing innovative technologies and solutions for wide-ranging applications in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive and B2B sectors (2020)

Special committee of LINE Corporation (LINE) in the sale process of LINE in its pending take-private by Naver Corp. and SoftBank Group Corp., to be followed by a merger between LINE with internet portal Yahoo Japan Corp., in a transaction valuing LINE at approximately US$12 billion. This transaction was awarded "M&A Deal of the Year: North Asia" at the Asia Legal Awards 2020 and "M&A Deal of the Year (Premium)" at the ALB Japan Law Awards 2020 (2020)

Several Japanese listed companies in their response to investments by activist shareholders (2019 – 2020)

ValueAct Capital in its acquisition of a stake in JSR Corporation (2020)

Mizuho Leasing Company, Limited on its take-private acquisition of Aircastle Limited (NYSE: AYR) with an approximately US$2.4 billion equity value (2020)

A global private equity fund in its acquisition of a biotech startup in the United States (2019)

Awards and Recognition

Leading Lawyer: Corporate/M&A: International—Japan, Chambers Global 2023 and Chambers Asia-Pacific 2023

Next Generation Partner: Gaiben: Corporate and M&A: International Firms and Joint Ventures—Japan, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2023

Leading Lawyer: M&A—Japan, IFLR1000 2021