Our Japanese practice

Fieldfisher's Japanese practice has been helping Japanese companies since the early 1950s.  We act for over 200 Japanese companies.  Over this time we have developed a sensitivity and  understanding of Japanese corporate culture and commercial requirements. We believe our Japanese practice is one of the largest among UK law firms.

Our Japanese corporate clients include the country's leading banks, trading houses, pharmaceutical and technology companies, retailers and other major players across a wide range of sectors. We have Japanese lawyers in our team and advise on matters and projects including M&A, project financing, competition and EU regulation, trade, employment and immigration.

We also work closely with a network of Japanese law firms for our cross-border deals and multi-jurisdictional regulatory investigations and audits.

Our Corporate Group

The lawyers in the corporate group come from every specialisation and bring a refreshing responsiveness and quality to everything they do.  Whether our client wishes to invest in a small growth company, establish an innovation centre, make a major acquisition, or is seeking an exit or IPO, we have the capability and deep sector knowledge and tax expertise to give the legal support clients need.

Our Competition and EU Regulatory Group

The legal and regulatory environment in which companies operate is increasingly complex and inter-related as regulators are more interventionist and collaborative.  We advise on the whole range of EU competitor, regulatory and trade law issues and devise innovative and successful legal solutions to the problems that our diverse client base presents.

Our Finance Group

In our finance group we provide expert advice and have many years of experience in advising global investment banks and trading houses, international and domestic banks, asset managers, investment funds (retail, institutional and alternative), private equity sponsors, other financial institutions, industry bodies, sovereign entities, corporate end-users and ultra high net worth individuals on a wide variety of international and domestic banking and finance transactions.

Our Inward Investment Group

Ever since the early 1980s, our firm has championed inward investment from all over the world, with around 40% of our turnover coming from outside the UK and a substantial proportion from Japanese corporations.  Our work covers everything from advice on establishment, choice of jurisdiction, immigration, trade and competition, employment / incentivisation, IP, contract or licence review, M&A/JVs, and privacy.

Our Energy Group

Our Oil & Gas specialists that sit within our Energy Group have acted for a number Japanese companies investing on the UK continental shelf. The type of instructions that we typically receive range from assisting clients on field exploration and development activity to more mainstream asset, infrastructure construction and investment, and corporate acquisition and disposal.

Our Life Sciences Group

Our life sciences group, with members across our European offices, provides a broad range of legal services to Japanese companies developing and manufacturing medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotech products. We have deep expertise advising medical device, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to compliantly get their products onto markets across Europe and on the full breadth of legal services including transactional work, regulatory advice, IP protection and enforcement services and dispute resolution.

Our Technology Group

The use and importance of technology, media and communications (TMC) in everyday life has increased exponentially, and with it, the need for insightful bespoke legal advice.  In an increasingly converged TMC world, we recognise the traditional boundaries don't always apply and can draw upon our insights and understanding from different corners of the market.  We are regularly advising Japanese companies across every sub-sector of tech from augmented reality, data processing, 3D printing, gaming, and medical devices through to general electronics manufacturers, we understand the challenges you face and, as creative problem solvers, we are equipped to smooth your path to success.


Notable deals and highlights

  • We successfully defended a Japanse carrier in an air cargo fuel surcharge cartel investigation and a Japanese Bank in the Libor/Tibor investigation.
  • We are currently advising on multiple EU investigations including automotive parts and maritime car carriers.
  • We advised Tokyo listed Recruit Holdings on its acquisition of Wahanda, the online marketplace for health, beauty and wellness, which has operations in the UK, Germany, Lithuania, France and the Netherlands.
  • We are currently working with various Japanese household electronics companies looking at making investments into European growth companies.
  • We are working with a number of groups headquartered in Japan on various regulatory and corporate governance matters.
  • We advised the shareholders of EdTech company Quipper on its sale to Recruit Holdings.
  • We are advising a number of Japanese chemical companies on EU chemical regulatory matters.