People

Shin Kikuchi

Partner
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Shin Kikuchi

Practice Focus:

Corporate Governance
Corporate Crisis Management
Mergers, Acquisitions and Restructuring

Mr. Kikuchi’s practice covers Corporate Governance, with a special focus on assisting clients with the design and architecture of governance structures as well as dispute resolution regarding corporate governance. He also specializes in Corporate Crisis Management, including internal and independent investigations. In addition, Mr. Kikuchi has many years of experience handling M&A transactions, various dispute resolutions in regulated industries and defamation litigations.

Professional History:

Partner, Gaien Partners (2020-)
Partner, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (1997-1998, 2003-2020)
Partner. Hibiya Park Law Offices (1998-2003)
seconded to Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison (1994)
Associate, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (formerly, Mori Sogo) (1989-1996)
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (1982-1986)

Bar Admissions:

admitted in Japan, 1989
Daini Tokyo Bar Association
admitted in New York, 1996

Education:

Harvard Law School (LL.M.,1994)
The University of Tokyo (LL.B., 1982)

Other Activities:

  • Outside Director of NTT DOCOMO, INC. (2020-)
  • Expert Adviser of Economy Law Committee of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2004-)
  • Visiting Professorr, University of Tokyo Graduate Schools for Law and Politics (2010-2013)
  • Outside Auditor of Jafco Co. Ltd. (2005-2013)

Recognition:

Mr. Kikuchi has been continuously recognized as a leading lawyer in several legal industry publications, including:
  • Nikkei’s “Corporate Legal Affairs and Lawyer Survey” (General Corporate)
  • Chambers Global (M&A)
  • Chambers Asia Pacific (M&A)
  • Best Lawyers

Publications:

  • Co-author of “Legal Practice for Handling Corporate Crises and Wrongdoing Cases [2nd ed.]” (Shouji-houmu, 2018)
  • Co-author of “Shareholders’ Meeting Handbook [4th ed.]” (Shouji-houmu, 2016)
  • Contributor to “Comprehensive Analysis of M&A Laws of Japan” (Yuhikaku Publishing Co., Ltd. 2015)
  • Co-author of “Corporate Restructuring [2nd ed.]” (Seibun-sya, 2015)
  • Co-author of “the Explanation of Draft of the Amendment 2014 of Corporate Law and Preparation for its Enactment” (Seibun-sya, 2014)
  • Co-author of “Corporate Merger” (Shouji-houmu, 2007) et al.

Satoko Kuwabara

Partner
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Satoko Kuwabara

Practice Focus:

Mergers & Acquisitions
M&A Finance
Dispute Resolution related to M&A matters

Ms. Kuwabara’s practice covers M&A transactions, joint ventures, acquisition finance and dispute resolution related to M&A transactions, as well as general corporate matters. She has represented a variety of parties (including both Japanese and international companies, private equity funds, and quasi-governmental entities) in a number of high-profile transactions.

Professional History:

Partner, Gaien Partners (2020-)
Partner, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (1998-2020)
seconded to Freshfields, London (1994-1996)
Associate, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (formerly, Mori Sogo) (1990-1997)

Bar Admissions:

admitted in Japan, 1990
Daini Tokyo Bar Association

Education:

University of Oxford (M. Juris, 1994)
The University of Tokyo (LL.B., 1988)

Other Activities:

  • Outside Auditor of Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (2020-)
  • Outside Auditor of Unicafe Inc. (2020-)
  • Temporary Member of Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (2018-)
    • Member of Offshore Wind Power Promotion Working Group (2018-)
    • Member of Subcommittee on System Reform for Renewable Energy as Main Power Source (2019)
  • Outside Director of Bandai Namco Holdings Inc. (2016-)

Recognition:

Ms. Kuwabara has been continuously recognized as a leading lawyer in several legal industry publications, including:
  • Chambers Global (M&A・Banking)
  • Chambers Asia Pacific (M&A・Banking)
  • The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (M&A・Banking)
  • IFLR1000 Financial and Corporate (M&A・Banking)
  • IFLR1000 Women Leaders
  • Best Lawyers
  • Asia Business Law Journal - Japan's top 100 lawyers

Publications:

  • Co-author of “Analysis of Jupiter Telecommunications Supreme Court Decision: Fair Price Determined by Appraisal Proceeding in a Two-step Squeeze-out Transaction” (Commercial Law Review, 2016)
  • Contributor to “Comprehensive Analysis of M&A Laws of Japan” (Yuhikaku Publishing Co., Ltd. 2015)
  • Contributor to “A Systematic Look at the Issues: the Companies Act 5.” (Dai-ichi Hoki Co. Ltd. 2012)

Junichi Tobimatsu

Partner
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Junichi Tobimatsu

Practice Focus:

Cross-Border Dispute Resolution
Litigation, Arbitration, and Mediation
Corporate Law
Insurance Law
Business Restructuring

Mr. Tobimatsu’s main practice focus is dispute resolution, both domestic and cross-border. His cases have involved disputes on joint ventures, insurance, distributorships, shareholdings, construction, IT, environment, across jurisdictions including Japan, the US, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, UK, Australia, Korea, Brazil, Thailand, and others. He also served as arbitrator in Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and Japan Commercial Arbitration Center (JCAA) arbitrations.
Other than above, he has vast experience in business restructuring matters and insurance-related advices.

Professional History:

Partner, Gaien Partners (2020-)
Founder, Tobimatsu Law (2016-2020)
Associate Professor, The University of Tokyo, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics (2010-2013)
Partner, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (2006-2016)
seconded to Skadden Arps, Palo Alto (2003-2004)
Associate, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (formerly, Mori Sogo) (1998-2005)

Bar Admissions:

admitted in Japan, 1998
Tokyo Bar Association
admitted in New York, 2004
New York State Bar Association

Education:

Stanford Law School (LL.M., 2003)
The University of Tokyo (LL.B., 1996)

Other Activities:

  • Director/Secretary General, Japan Association of Arbitrators (JAA)
  • Regulation Screening Assessor, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan (2011)
  • Budget Screening Assessor, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan (2010)

Recognition:

Mr. Tobimatsu has been recognized continuously as a leading lawyer in several legal industry publications, including:
  • Chambers Global (Dispute Resolution)
  • Chambers Asia Pacific (Dispute Resolution)
  • Best Lawyers in Japan (Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation, Insurance Law)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Japan (Arbitration)

Publications:

  • “Q&A on Initial Responses in Corporate Legal Affairs - Troubleshooting Issues with Overseas Transactions“ , 2020
  • Co-author of “A Primer for Litigators” Chuo Keizai, 2018
  • Co-author of “Theory and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration” Maruzen Yushodo, 2016
  • Co-author of “Comprehensive Analysis of M&A Laws of Japan” Yuhikaku, 2015
  • Co-author of “For Practical Use: Selected Court Decisions Related to International Business - “International Civil Preservation”” Yuhikaku, 2015
  • Co-author of “Civil Litigation System in Asian Countries - Part 3: Indonesia” Business Houmu, 2014
  • “Difficulties in deciding jurisdiction” IFLR Dispute Resolution Guide, 2014
  • “Is ‘public policy’ an authorization to take a second look at an arbitration award? Not in Japan” Practical Law Company, 2013
  • “Practical Issues Concerning Proposed Reform of the Japanese Civil Code: Part 7” New Business Law, 2010
  • “Foreign Insolvency Proceedings in Japan” ALB, 2010
  • “The Future of Pre-Packaged Rehabilitation” IFLR The 2009 Guide to Insolvency and Restructuring, 2009
  • “Arbitration in Japan” Asian Counsel, 2008
  • Co-author of “Practices of Civil Rehabilitation Procedures (Completely Revised and Updated 3rd Edition)” Minjiho Kenkyukai, 2007

Hisafumi Sato

Partner
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Hisafumi Sato

Practice Focus:

Business litigation (claims for damages between business entities, warranty, system development, disputes regarding continuing contracts, etc.) and settlement of other similar kinds of disputes
Compliance, labor-related legal practice (Belonged to the court’s labor concentration department as a judge)

Professional History:

Partner, Gaien Partners (2020-)
Partner, STW & Partners (currently, SHIOMIZAKA) (2009-2020)
Associate, STW & Partners (currently, SHIOMIZAKA) (2008-2009)
Judge (2000-2008)

Bar Admissions:

admitted in Japan, 2008
Tokyo Bar Association

Education:

Waseda University (LL.M., 1998)

Other Activities:

  • Assumed the office of Special Member of the Committee for Adjustment of Construction Work Disputes, Tokyo Metropolitan Government (2018-)

Publications:

  • “Quick Reference: 125 Q&As to Solve HR Concerns and Issues after the Work-style Reform” 2019 (Editor, Co-Author)
  • “What Viewpoint Should Legal Affairs Managers Have When Dealing with a Lawsuit?” 2018
  • “Legal Issues about Human Resources Management — Guidelines and Procedures” 2018
    “Basic Guide for Aspiring Litigation Lawyers — from Engagement to Resolution of Civil Cases —“ 2018 (Co-Author)
  • “A Commentary on the Amendment of the Civil Code (Claims Law) and Actual Transaction Activities for Real Property” 2018 (Co-Author)
  • “Backgrounds and Key Points of the Currently Considered Amendment to Labor-related Acts —About Amendment to Acts for Tighter Regulation of Businesses—“ 2017・”Discussion: Litigation Activities for Company Cases (Vol. 1 & 2)” 2016 (Co-Author)・”Skills and Techniques in Litigation — On-site Report on Enterprise and IP Litigation” 2015 (Co-Author)
  • “Key Points for Drafting Court Documents — Labor-related Cases” 2015
  • “Common Knowledge of Litigation: Etiquette before Court — Checklist for key points you can’t miss”
  • “Legal Risk Seminar for Medium-sized Companies (6): Points to Consider regarding Internal Management (Primarily Labor Environment)” 2011 (Co-Author)
  • “Clause-by-Clause Discussions: Civil Code Cases (9) Relatives” 2009 (Co-Author)

Seminars:

  • Risk-management lecture “Risk Management of Employment-related Legal Affairs in Corporate Management — with a Commentary on Work-style Reform Legislation” Japan Audit & Supervisory Board Members Association, December 3, 7 and 13, 2018
  • “Practice of Civil Litigation from the Perspective of Judges — Looking Back Over the 20 Years Since the Enforcement of the New Code of Civil Procedure” Japan Law Foundation, May 16, 2018 (as a commentator)
    ・”How Judges Have Changed their Views on Nuclear-related Suits and other Technology-related Suits — How Businesses Should React to the Change” The Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association, Special Committee of Nuclear Power Quality Assurance, March 16, 2018
  • “Basic Knowledge of Civil Litigation Practice for In-house Legal Professionals” Claim Management Practice Study Group hosted by Shojihomu, February 16, 2018
  • “What You Need for Successful Corporate Litigation” Hosted by the Association of Corporate Legal Departments, September 16, 2016
  • “History and Updates on Civil Litigation” Mini Symposium of Claim Management Practice Study Group “Where Trend of Business Law Has an Influence on Legal Evaluation Practice” hosted by Shojihomu, December 12, 2013

Akihiro Yamamoto

Associate
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Akihiro Yamamoto

Professional History:

Associate, Gaien Partners (formerly, Tobimatsu Law) (2017-)
Lecturer, The University of Tokyo, School of Law (2017-2020)
Associate, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (2016)

Bar Admissions:

admitted in Japan, 2015
Dai-ichi Tokyo Bar Association

Education:

The University of Tokyo, School of Law (2014)
Tokyo Metropolitan University, Faculty of Urban Liberal Arts (2012)

Publications:

  • “Q&A on Initial Responses in Corporate Legal Affairs - Troubleshooting Issues with Overseas Transactions“ , 2020
  • Contributor of “Practical Commentary of Labor Standards Act and Labor Contract Act, 2nd Edition”, The Institute of Labour Administration, 2020
  • Co-author of “Quick Reference for Human Resource and Labor Management After Work Style Reform: 125 Q&As for Practical Issues and Problems” Nihon Kajo Shuppan, 2019
  • Co-author of “Detailed Explanation of Laws Concerning Work Style Reform” Roudou Kaihatsu Kenkyukai, 2019
  • Co-author of “Drone Business and Legal Restrictions” Seibunsha, 2017

Miki Lee

Associate
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Miki Lee

Professional History:

Associate, Gaien Partners (formerly, Tobimatsu Law) (2018-)
Academic Advisor, Waseda Law School (2018-)
Associate, Ushijima & Partners (2016)

Bar Admissions:

admitted in Japan, 2015
Daini Tokyo Bar Association

Education:

Waseda Law School (2014)
Osaka University, Faculty of Law (2011)

Publications:

  • “Q&A on Initial Responses in Corporate Legal Affairs - Troubleshooting Issues with Overseas Transactions“ , 2020
  • Co-author of “International Fintech Guide” Multilaw, 2017