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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

People & Places

Japan

Clifford Chance has worked for more than 40 years on Japan related matters. We understand Japanese business and have a strong track record of high-profile work for international clients investing in Japan, and for Japanese companies building their overseas business.

A well-established team

The firm has advised Japanese clients since 1974 and opened the Tokyo office in 1987. Our lawyers know the culture and practicalities of Japanese business and advise clients on both international and Japanese law. Our fully-integrated practice of Japanese and foreign lawyers working side-by-side ensures that we are familiar with both local and international legal and business practices, enabling us to provide relevant and culturally-attuned advice. We have top-ranked teams across practices: Capital Markets, Corporate, Finance and Litigation and Dispute Resolution.

A proven track record on inbound and outbound transactions

We have longstanding relationships with Japanese companies, banks, and institutions. When we work with these clients on cross-border matters their team often includes domestic lawyers and specialist lawyers from our 23-country network. We're used to working in these extended teams to cover every aspect of a deal – from fund- raising and regulatory filings to documenting international-law issues in Japanese.

A proactive approach to client relationships

Our lawyers work hard to keep clients briefed on new developments. These range from technical updates on regulatory changes and new forms of finance, to sharing our partners' deep sector-knowledge of market trends and opportunities. We are also always searching for innovative ways to deliver the best service to our clients.

Recent highlights

Awards

  • 2019: Finance Law Firm of the Year (Chambers and Partners Japan Awards)
  • 2019: Client Service Firm of the Year (Chambers and Partners Japan Awards)
  • 2017: Projects, Energy and Infrastructure Deal of the Year (Asian Legal Business Japan Law Awards)

Recent assignments

Directory listings and client comments

Directory Listings

Chambers Asia Pacific 2018, 2019, 2020

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance (Domestic Firms)
  • Tier One in Capital Markets: International: Asia and Euro Markets

Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance: International firms and joint ventures
  • Tier One in Capital Markets: International firms and joint ventures

Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance: International firms and joint ventures
  • Tier One in Capital Markets: International firms and joint ventures
  • Tier One in Structured finance/ securitisation: International firms and joint ventures

IFLR 1000 (2019)

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance: Banking - Foreign
  • Tier One in Capital Markets: Debt – Foreign
  • Tier one in Capital Markets: Structured finance and securitisation – Foreign

IFLR 1000 (2018)

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance: Banking - Foreign
  • Tier One in Capital Markets: Debt – Foreign
  • Tier one in Capital Markets: Structured finance and securitisation – Foreign

Client comments

  • "They are very responsive, and their advice is always practical while logical. The weakness is that I sometimes feel that they don't have strong governmental connections in Japan as compared to local big firms."
    IFLR 1000 (2019) – Project Finance (Foreign firms)
  • "Very responsive and knowledgeable about the market. Very familiar with a variety of products and structures. They give advice geared to optimize a solution for a client."
  • "They are very responsive, and their advice is always practical while logical. The weakness is that I sometimes feel that they don't have strong governmental connections in Japan as compared to local big firms."
    IFLR 1000 (2019) – Capital Markets: Debt – Foreign
  • "Very responsive and knowledgeable about the market. Very familiar with a variety of products and structures. They give advice geared to optimize a solution for a client."
  • "They are very responsive, and their advice is always practical while logical. The weakness is that I sometimes feel that they don't have strong governmental connections in Japan as compared to local big firms."
    IFLR 1000 (2019) – Capital Markets: Structured finance and securitisation – Foreign
  • "Compared to other English law firms, they have more Japanese lawyers and there is a high level of confidence in cross-border cases where multiple applicable laws apply," explains one client, adding: "In addition, their knowledge of aircraft finance is very high."
  • "experienced and have a deep understanding of huge projects involving government financial institutions."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2019 – Banking and Finance (Domestic firms)
  • "They are reliable and very experienced in the structured finance market," report impressed clients, singling the team out as "definitely one of our first choices for large international financing transactions."
  • "provide comprehensive high-level legal services for cross-border transactions."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2019 – Banking and Finance (International firms)
  • "They try to increase the client's satisfaction by meeting deadlines strictly, they are very responsive and whenever any regulations change they immediately provide us with that information proactively. I really appreciate that."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2019 – Capital Markets: International: Asia and Euro Markets
  • "The team's services are excellent and it has a deep understanding of Japanese clients," highlights one client, while another adds: "It's business-oriented and understands the business practice in Japan."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, 2018
  • "The firm's attitude is very client-focused."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, 2018
  • "They are very professional and we appreciate the speed and the quality of their work."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, 2018
  • "As ‘the standout firm in the market’, Clifford Chance Law Office has ‘a deep understanding of Japanese clients’ and provides them with ‘a professional, knowledgeable and pragmatic service’, which is ‘unmatched by others in the field’." 
    The Legal 500, 2018
  • "Clifford Chance Law Office has ‘an excellent level of service, which brings to the table an unbeatable mix of international and Japanese approaches that are detail-oriented, pragmatic and professional’"
    The Legal 500, 2018

Areas of expertise

Practice areas

Sectors