Atsumi & Sakai

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Practice Group System

In keeping with our reputation for innovation and forward thinking, Atsumi & Sakai introduced a Practice Group System in 2008.

Under this new system, our attorneys are organized into five practice groups based on experience, expertise and personal interest, being:

  • Finance
  • Corporate
  • Funds
  • Litigation and Insolvency
  • International Practice

Each of our lawyers and registered foreign lawyers is a member of two or more Practice Groups, so enabling us to offer multi-disciplinary advice and providing international perspective and experience to the work of each group.

The Practice Group System will allow us to build on and focus our award winning expertise in these areas of specialization and more efficiently provide our clients with innovative solutions to legal issues that arise in their business.

An outline of each group is set out below.

Finance Practice Group

Building from Atsumi & Sakai’s recognized position as a leading law firm in Japan for securitization and structured finance, the Finance Practice Group advises both domestic and overseas clients on all manner of financial transactions, frequently providing innovative structures and solutions. The group advises corporations, financial institutions and sovereign entities on:

  • Structured finance
  • Ship and aircraft finance
  • Derivative transactions
  • Securitization transactions using trusts and special purpose companies
  • Bulk sale of performing and non-performing loans
  • Real estate finance
  • Public offerings of JREIT and securitization vehicles
  • BIS (Bank for International Settlements) finance

We have constantly been on the cutting edge in the fields of structured finance, project finance and asset finance, including securitization. We were the first law firm in Japan to handle residential mortgage-backed securities, collateralized loan obligations and commercial mortgage-backed securities held by domestic banks. We advise on the development of new types of products, such as in the clean energy sector, acquisition finance and project finance.

Our expertise in finance has consistently been recognized both domestically and internationally. We have been awarded “Deal of the Year” by the International Financial Law Review three times and have been recognized as the “Best Securitization Law Firm in Asia” by International Securitization Report. In addition, many Partners in the Finance Practice Group have been individually recognized as leaders in the fields of banking, capital markets, structured finance, securitization and real estate.

Corporate Practice Group

Our Corporate Practice Group advises on the complete spectrum of corporate and commercial law, from employment agreements and shareholder meetings to structuring and effecting billion-dollar plus cross-border M&A transactions, including:

  • M&A
  • Joint Ventures
  • Cross-border Transactions
  • Private Equity
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Labor and Employment
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Antimonopoly
  • Licensing
  • Distribution
  • Entertainment Law

The group advises both local and domestic clients across all business fields. As the only independent Tokyo law firm with foreign Partners, we are uniquely placed to provide advice to international clients in a format they expect.

Our size also enables us to undertake significant due diligence, even on short notice, a service we provide both to our own clients and to leading foreign law firms both in Tokyo and from overseas.

Partners in our Corporate Practice Group are publicly recognized as being leaders in the fields of Private Equity & Venture Capital, Corporate Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions. We were chosen by Asian Counsel magazine as Firm of the Year 2008 for Japan in the field of Commercial Transactions and as “Most Responsive Firm in Japan” in 2009.

Funds Practice Group

The Funds Practice Group offers a comprehensive service for the establishment, offering, operation and management of both Japanese and offshore funds, including:

  • The public offering and private placement of Japanese funds, including structuring products, establishing vehicles, negotiating and drafting agreements and preparing annual securities reports, etc.
  • The offering of interests in offshore funds, including advising on appropriate “health warnings” and offering restrictions, commenting on local market descriptions and providing accurate Japanese translations of offering documents where needed.
  • Regulatory advice, including:
    • Large shareholding, short sale and direct investment reports
    • Take-over bid procedures, strategies and issues
    • Insider trading
    • Governmental filings to take advantage of private placement exemptions
    • Governmental audits
    • Applications for licenses

Litigation and Insolvency Practice Group

Our Litigation and Insolvency Practice Group handles disputes and investigations across all fields of business, including:

  • Financial Regulation
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Labor
  • Criminal and Malpractice
  • Administrative
  • Regulatory
  • Commercial
  • Debt Collection
  • Enforcement
  • Anti-trust

We have the expertise and resources to assist our clients to respond appropriately and swiftly when disputes arise and can advise on all stages of a dispute, from interim measures and pre-proceeding counseling, to appeals and enforcement, and whether before courts or in domestic or international alternative dispute resolution proceedings such as civil mediation and arbitration. Our lawyers act both in Japan and in co-operation with overseas law firms on offshore disputes for Japanese clients.

Our Litigation and Insolvency Practice Group also handles corporate insolvency matters and actively participates in insolvency-related proceedings such as civil rehabilitation, corporate reorganization, bankruptcy and special liquidation. We represent debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, lenders, trustees, receivers and liquidators, and have performed various roles in insolvency proceedings, including administrator, petitioning agent and agent for the creditor. In co-operation with our Corporate Practice Group, we also advise on the purchase or sale of assets in the insolvency process.

International Practice Group

Our international Practice Group draws together the considerable international experience of our foreign partners and Consultant, and the international and domestic expertise of our Japanese lawyers. Our foreign partners and Consultant have significant experience of working on international transactions while with leading law firms such as Clifford Chance, Norton Rose, Dorsey & Whitney, Morgan Lewis, Orrick, and O’Melveny & Myers, based in locations including New York, London, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Tokyo. In addition, some of our Japanese partners have previously worked as partners or in other senior positions in the Tokyo and/or overseas offices of firms such as Linklaters, Orrick and Skadden, Arps.

Our international partners enable us to advise on the laws of the US states of New York and California, the Federal laws of the United States, the laws of Germany, the People's Republic of China, the state of Queensland, Australia and Australian Federal laws, and to provide clear, concise and business-orientated advice in a format and to the standard that international clients expect. Some of the group’s lawyers are independently recognized as experts in the fields of private equity, M&A and securitization.

The group advises both foreign and Japanese clients on all manner of cross-border transactions, focusing on:

  • M&A
  • Funds
  • Structured finance
  • Private equity
  • Joint ventures
  • Commercial transactions
  • Employment
  • Intellectual property rights & licensing
  • Real Estate