Kei Matsumoto

Kei Matsumoto is our exclusively recommended Brand Enforcement expert in Japan on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Kei directly using the contact details listed above.

Kei is a member of the Firm’s IP Tech group in Tokyo. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, he worked in the patent litigation division of a major United States law firm, where he handled patent litigation involving Japanese companies and other litigation in the United States. Kei also has considerable experience in dispute resolution cases inside and outside the courts as well as corporate/Mergers and acquisitions related cases. Kei is a native Japanese speaker and is fluent in English.

Kei Matsumoto primarily handles intellectual property transactions and domestic and international patent disputes. He provides overall legal advice on the protection of intellectual property, contents of contracts and other related issues to Japanese companies establishing operations overseas as well as clients in IT industry. He also handles M&A related work and a variety of dispute resolution cases. Recently, Kei focuses on practices related to the Long-Term Care Insurance Act and other social security issues.

Office Overview:

Our Japan office advises clients on some of the most significant transactions in the Asia-Pacific market, including Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company’s USD 5.7 billion acquisition of Protective Life Corporation and Gestamp Solar’s project financing for construction of a 31.6 MW photovoltaic project in Ibaraki Prefecture – the largest solar financing provided to a foreign sponsor in Japan.

Mikio Tanaka

Mikio Tanaka is our exclusively recommended Cross-Border Transaction Law expert in Japan on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Mikio directly using the contact details listed above.

Mikio is a cross-border corporate Partner at City-Yuwa Partners in Tokyo. He has extensive professional experience in advising global and domestic companies across many industries, including medical devices, healthcare, automobile, machinery, electronics, chemical, food, fashion, jewellery, air and surface transports, and clean energy. His area of practice encompasses M&A and other commercial/corporate transactions, joint venture, license agreement, formation and termination of distribution networks, and representation of companies in various commercial disputes.

Mikio has spent 15 years in Europe mostly in Germany and has working experience at a leading German law firm in Frankfurt a.M. after he completed his post-graduate studies at the University of Cambridge in the UK. He leads the firm’s German practice team which consists of tri-lingual (JP/EN/DE) Japan-qualified lawyers, which is quite unique in Japan where language barrier is very high.  He is a tri-lingual lawyer fluent in English, German and Japanese, and also speaks basic Russian.

He is the regular author of articles on latest developments in Japanese law for the magazines of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan since 2008, and gave lectures on Japanese business law at Hitotsubashi, Marburg and Augsburg Universities.

Mikio fulfills his social responsibility by his commitment to the Bars – He is the vice-chairperson of the international committees of the national and of local bars.

Firm Overview:

The Tokyo-based City-Yuwa Partners is one of the leading full-service business law firms in Japan. Its area of practice includes corporate and commercial, many types of M&As, distribution, finance and banking, insurance, real estates, insolvency and restructuring, litigation and arbitration, IP/IT, labor and employment, anti-trust and competition, energy, data protection, compliance and economic crime.

City-Yuwa Partners has also a very strong and big litigation team and has successfully represented one of the top electric power companies in Japan in a largest series of disputes in Japanese judicial history.

The Firm is also practicing in the area of maritime and ship finance – One of the Partners of City-Yuwa is the only Japanese lawyer who is also qualified to practice Marshall Islands law.

Masahito Amano

Masahito Amano is our exclusively recommended Capital Markets and M&A expert in Japan on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Masahito directly using the contact details listed above.

Professional Experience

Legal Research and Training Institute, the Supreme Court of Japan (1982-1984)
Nishimura & Asahi Law Office (current name), practicing primarily international capital market, corporate finance and structured finance area (1984-1992)
Hughes, Hubbard & Reed Law Office (New York), practicing general corporate law (1990-1991)
Merrill Lynch Japan Securities (1992)
General Counsel of Merrill Lynch Japan Securities (1996-2008)
Member of the Board of Directors of Merrill Lynch Japan Securities (2001-2009)
Head of Legal, Bank of America Group, Japan (including Merrill Lynch Japan Securities) (2009-2019)
Masuda & Partners Law Office-Senior Advisor (2019-present)

Professional Licenses

Admitted to the Japanese Bar, Japan (1981)

Key Experience at Merrill Lynch/Bank of America

-Contributed by providing legal support regarding documentation and regulatory aspects in order to further the establishment and development of Merrill Lynch/Bank of America’s investment banking and wholesale security businesses in Japan. My duties also included legal support and oversight of the execution of critical transactions related thereto, among other things, Equity and Equity Linked Capital Market (including IPOs, Privatizations, Global Add on Offerings, CB and Convertible Preferred Offerings), M&A Advisory (including advisory business for friendly, competing or raid defense M&A deals), Leveraged Financing, Securitization and Principal Investment.

-Involvement in Merrill Lynch/Bank of America’s own M&A, Strategic Alliance, Reorganization and other projects in Japan driven by its U.S. corporate strategy team including Consolidation of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch Japan Operations, Sale of Joint venture stakes in Private Banking Wealth Management business, Creation of Joint Venture as to Private Banking Wealth Management business with an alliance Mega Bank and Acquisition of Security Firm’s Retail business operations, resources and infrastructure.

-Analyzing and advising local and global regulatory development, dealing with regulators including the Financial Services Agency, Bank of Japan, Security Surveillance Commission and Japan Fair Trade Commission as well as managing litigations and incidents.

-Contributed to corporate governance in Japan, including management and administration from legal aspect of the board of directors and shareholders meetings of local legal entities as well as participation in the board and local management and transaction vetting committees as a regular member.


Japanese and English

Professional Activities, Memberships and Appointments
Member of the Whole Sale Business Discussion Committee of Japan Securities Dealers Association (2013-2018)
Visiting instructor, Waseda University, Graduate School of Finance, Accounting and Law (2009-2014)


Waseda University, Faculty of Law, Japan (1981, LL.B.)
University of Washington (Seattle), Graduate School of Law, USA (1989, LL.M.)

Firm Description

Masuda & Partners Law Office was established in February 2008 under the leadership of experienced and forward-thinking Japanese lawyer, Eiji Masuda, with the able assistance of his colleagues.

From the start our firm has committed to offering the highest quality legal services possible, in a sophisticated and timely manner, so as to meet our clients’ ‘true’ needs, given the ever growing expectations for lawyers in today’s rapidly and greatly changing globalized world.

The firm aims to establish a powerful structure of optimum size and offers the most efficient and effective legal options for our clients, while ensuring that all members of our firm can trust and collaborate very closely with one another.

The firm has the support of many clients, colleagues and friends that share Masuda & Partners’ sense of commitment and vision. With that support, our firm is advancing its mission and continues to develop in order to make our clientele’s goals a reality.

Areas of practice

Corporate law and the financial instruments and exchange law: our firm provides a wide range of legal advice not only pertaining to general corporate and corporate law, but also regarding public and private offerings, disclosure requirements, takeover bids, reporting on large shareholdings, insider trading and other prohibited practices. Our firm also provides legal advice on regulations and codes of conduct for financial instruments business products under the financial instruments and exchange law.

Mergers and acquisitions: the firm provides legal advice on due diligence as well as drafting and negotiations regarding mergers and acquisitions. Our firm regularly advises on defensive measures against hostile takeover bids, either through lawyer-client consultations or through membership of independent committees established by several listed companies. The firm is assisted by the counsel of Professor Minoru Tokumoto of Tsukuba University, one of Japan’s leading scholars, who has intimate familiarity in the area and by the counsel of Professor Tsuyoshi Kinoshita, a previous Professor of Law at the University of Tokyo, Hokkaido University, Chuo University and St. Paul University, located in the United States of America.

Compliance/corporate governance: under the leadership of managing partner Eiji Masuda, our firm provides legal advice on compliance matters (including defensive measures for inspections conducted by the Financial Service Agency) for banks, securities companies, insurance companies and other financial institutions, either through lawyer-client consultations or through membership on Compliance Committees established by several highly sophisticated enterprises. Our firm also regularly advises on risk/crisis management regarding white-collar crime, including corporate crime and corporate liability for employee misconduct, relying on the practical experience of Eiji Masuda, who served as General Counsel (Private Client Group) and Executive Officer of Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Co, Ltd. The firm supports companies in various industries by presenting and conducting seminars as well as company training sessions.

Personnel/labour matters: the firm provides a full range of legal advice and services on personnel and labour law matters. Our firm represents clients in litigation as well as providing alternative resolutions in labour disputes.

Securitisation/new financial products: our firm offers legal advice on securitisation of real estate and innovative financial products, including those that use collective investment schemes.

Litigation and dispute resolution: the firm’s teamwork oriented litigation/dispute resolution is strong and focused. Our team works on large-scale, complex commercial disputes that cover both domestic and cross-border jurisdictions, acting as lead counsel when providing advice pertaining to aspects of Japanese law.

Asia practice: our firm has devoted itself to establish a strong network with excellent local law firms throughout South East Asia. Taking advantage of this network, the firm is able to provide a wide range of legal services on both inbound and outbound matters regarding South East Asia-related business.

Satoru Hasumoto

Satoru Hasumoto is our exclusively recommended Real Estate Law expert in Japan on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Satoru directly using the contact details listed above.

Satoru has considerable experience in a wide range of real estate work. He advises corporates, investors and financial institutions on all aspects of real estate transactions, including acquisition, disposals, development, planning, leasing and financing. His practice also includes advising multinational companies on their outbound and inbound investments from and to Japan. These includes data centre facilities, hotels, logistic facilities, offices, residentials and other types of real properties. His extensive practice also covers structured finance, leveraged buyout finance and project finance.

Satoru Hasumoto graduated from Keio University (LL.B., 2007) and was seconded to the IB Products Group of Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd. (2013-2014). He later graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (LL.M., Wharton Business and Law Certificate, 2015). Satoru practiced with Slaughter and May in London (2015-2016).

Firm Overview:

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is a full service law firm that has served clients with distinction since its establishment, in December 2002, by the merger of Mori Sogo and Hamada & Matsumoto. Even as business conditions have rapidly shifted both within Japan and internationally, the firm’s goal has been to grow with our clients through tireless effort and constant innovation.

Led by top-rated lawyers across a wide array of practice areas, our large team of legal professionals and support staff offer the firm their experience, expertise and hard work to bring our clients the best results in every matter we handle. Our team strives to build new frameworks to tackle cutting-edge problems, to break down barriers on tough cases, and to find a common resolution in matters with many conflicting interests.

Based on this solid foundation of experience, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto also contributes significantly to the constant evolution and improvement of the Japanese legal system, and to the creation of a legal infrastructure that will enable our clients to excel.

Akira Nakazawa

Akira Nakazawa is our exclusively recommended Corporate Law expert in Japan on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Akira directly using the contact details listed above.

Akira focuses his practice on banking, asset finance, securitisation and structured finance. Akira also advices on overall corporate transactions including M&A, tender offer, private equity investments. In addition to transactional matters, he advices on Japanese regulatory matters including finance, life sciences, food and sanitary laws, privacy and data protection, and anti-corruption. He also has vast experiences in compliance matters for various companies including financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies.

Akira Nakazawa was educated at Tokyo University and the Legal Research and Training Institute of the Supreme Court of Japan. He was admitted as a Japanese bengoshi in 1997 and is a member of the Dai-ichi Tokyo Bar Association and the New York Bar. He completed an LL.M at Northwestern University School of Law in 2002. Previously he worked at one of the Japanese mega banks. He speaks Japanese and English.

Firm Overview:

Vanguard Lawyers Tokyo specialises in providing Japanese legal services to a broad range of multinational clients in the areas of Japanese employment law, dispute resolution, financial regulatory matters, life science regulatory matters and corporate matters. We have worked on a variety of challenging, high profile and complex mandates in recent years. Thanks to various projects we have worked on to date and the support and assistance our clients have extended to us, we have been highly ranked in the respective fields mentioned above in various international legal publications such as Chambers and Legal 500. Most recently, Vanguard Lawyers Tokyo was awarded “the Labour and Employment Law Firm of the Year (Japan Law Awards 2019) by the Asian Legal Business.

Keeping the basic philosophy represented by the word “Vanguard” in mind, we provide creative solutions, and proactive and practical advice to multinational clients to navigate complex Japanese legal issues.

Akira Matsuda

Akira Matsuda is our exclusively recommended Data Security Law expert in Japan on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Akira directly using the contact details listed above.

Akira is a partner at Iwata Godo and head of the AI/TMT practice group.  He is an Attorney-at-Law admitted in Japan and based both in Tokyo and Singapore.  His practice focuses on cross-border transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and capital markets, as well as international disputes (litigation/arbitration).  Mr. Matsuda is also advising many Japanese and foreign clients for data security issues, in terms of Japanese laws, Singapore PDPA, and GDPR including structuring of global compliance systems.

Akira Matsuda is a graduate of the University of Tokyo (LL.B.) and Columbia Law School (LL.M.).

Firm Overview:

Iwata Godo was established in 1902 as one of the pioneering law firms in Japan specialising in legal services for business corporations by the late Chuzo Iwata, an attorney at law, who was to serve later in his career in such various important posts in politics, judiciary and academia as the Minister of Justice, a member of the House of Peers, the President of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and the President of Gakushikai (the Association of Imperial University Graduates). Ever since, Iwata Godo has been providing its legal services to numerous leading Japanese corporations and other entities, constantly developing its practices alongside of Japanese corporate economy and coming through the rough periods of pre and post World War II.

We have been actively expanding our practices over these periods in response to the widening range of corporate activities which have become ever more specialised and complex. In addition to the traditional corporate law practices such as representing business entities in lawsuits and other procedures, advising on various corporate actions (ex. acquisition of treasury stock, capital increase or decrease, apportionment of surplus, amendment of the articles of association etc.), providing guidance in steering the general meeting of shareholders, giving advice on drafting and interpreting contracts, M&A, labour laws, compliance and so on, we have been producing good track record in various fields of practice including financial transactions, competition law, intellectual property, IT-related law and international transactions.

In order to provide swift and appropriate services in response to such wide range of legal issues, we have number of talented attorneys in our firm who are thoroughly acquainted with international legal practices through their studies abroad and who have good grasp of state-of-the-art business practices based on their experiences being seconded to government-managed financial institutions, major private financial institutions or major trading companies.

In addition, we welcomed the participation of a Chinese attorney who is a partner of one of the leading Chinese law firms as well as an attorney practicing UK law who had worked for many years as a partner in one of the major law firms in the United Kingdom. Drawing upon the competency of these lawyers practicing foreign laws as well as of the number of Japanese attorneys who are fluent in foreign languages, Iwata Godo now provides legal services, in cooperation with local law firms, not only in the United States and European countries but also in Asian countries which have gained significance as business markets. We have thus established an adequate practice structure whereby we can always respond to the legal issues faced by our clients both promptly and appropriately. Especially in Chinese Law, Iwata Godo works in standing cooperation with Jin Mao P.R.C. Lawyers, a leading Chinese corporate law firm in Shanghai City.

Attorneys of Iwata Godo aspire to leave their marks on history that will survive over the vicissitudes of the times and deem it as their duty to keep providing the best legal services without becoming complacent with the tradition of the firm. Iwata Godo will continue to serve our clients upholding high aims and ideals.