Nels Hansen

Partner, Tokyo


“Clients single out Nels Hansen for his ‘high level of legal expertise, high level of business understanding and ability to communicate in Japanese.’ He regularly advises domestic and international investment firms and technology corporations on their outbound and inbound acquisitions….”
Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020


Nels Hansen is a partner in our Corporate/M&A practice group, based in Tokyo. He has helped clients complete more than US$100 billion 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. 

In connection with M&A mandates and otherwise, he also has assisted numerous targets of activist shareholder situations in the U.S. and Japan. This experience, together with mandates on behalf of engagement and/or activist hedge funds themselves in the U.S. 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 U.S., Japan and Europe, and private equity and venture capital investment in Asia, Europe and the U.S., 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. 

Fluent in Japanese, Nels worked in Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry and at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade & Industry from May 2009 to November 2010. Since 2015, Mr. Hansen has served at Keio Law School as the lecturer for the course "M&A and Strategic Alliances."

He is a member of the Tokyo Bar Association.

Bars and Courts
Registered Foreign Attorney in Japan (Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi)
New York State Bar
California State Bar
Harvard Law School
Special Student
Keio Law School
Stanford University


Representation of the 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 (2020)

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

Mizuho Leasing Company, Limited on its pending take-private acquisition of Aircastle Limited (NYSE:AYR) with an approximately US$2.4 billion equity value (2019)

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

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, a global leader in the manufacture and sales of electric and electronic equipment used in energy and electric systems, industrial automation, information and communication systems, electronic devices and home appliances, in its investment in the Series A financing of Realtime Robotics, Inc., Boston-based developer of motion-planning technologies for industrial robots and autonomous vehicles (2019)

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

A Japanese listed company in its shareholding situation and response to a potential hostile takeover attempt (2018-2019)

Fir Tree Partners, in its acquisition of a stake in Kyushu Railway Company (2018), Inc, as lead investor in Singapore-based restaurant management platform provider TabSquare's S$10 million (US$7.2 million) Series B funding round (2018)

ValueAct Capital in its acquisition of a stake in Olympus Corporation, ValueAct's first investment in Japan (2018)