14JAPAN LAWYERS GUIDE 2018/19port” has been a reliable ranking as evaluation criteria in the legal community, especially in Europe. e fact that the Financial Times has recently implemented a simi-lar project in the Asia-Pacic region indicates that the demand for legal services in the region is increasingly stronger than in the past.Asia-Pacic Headquartered Firms Award Since the rst “Asia-Pacic Innovative Lawyers Re-port” announced in June 2014, Mori Hamada & Mat-sumoto has been ranked as the highest ranking Japanese law rm among the 25 FT Law: Asia Pacic headquar-tered rms. Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is the only Japanese law rm which has been ranked among top 25 ve years in a row. e rm was also placed rst in the category of “Protecting & Unlocking Value”, and also placed second in the category of “Enabling Busi-ness Growth” in 2017. Taro Omoto, Partner said “One of our clients is a leading resort management company. is company, having over 100 years of history, was formerly a Japanese hot spring inn. Now, it is also well known for its involvement in restructuring of resort fa-cilities and hot spring inns. is client entered the real estate investment trust (REIT) market in 2013. In gen-eral, REITs mainly invest in oce buildings, but our client also aims to expand its investment portfolio into hot spring inns and resort facilities, and our rm helped create a model to access the capital markets for its -nancing needs, whilst keeping the operating company private.” e Japanese market is showing signs of being open through deregulation in recent years. e Compa-nies Act has been gradually globalizing and has become “friendly” to potential investors. While the protracted economic downturn in Japan has made a number of resort facilities and hot spring inns in Japan non-per-forming assets, the example described earlier indicates that it is possible to revitalize them successfully with maximum utilization of knowledge and experience in corporate, real estate and nance. Hideaki Umetsu, Partner added “Conversely, it can also be considered that there are a variety of investment opportunities buried within Japan. ese situations attract more at-tention from overseas companies than from Japanese companies. In order to help inbound deals successfully, it is essential for any law rm to have an in-depth un-derstanding of Japanese corporate culture, in addition to the (taken as read) good knowledge and experience in corporate law, international nancial and real estate investment.” In this respect, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has gained the condence of a wide variety of corporate cli-ents over many years due to its strong focus on the Jap-anese market and since we have a deep understanding of corporate culture in Japan, our rm is usually seen as a perfect advisor for overseas companies.Acve in internaonal acvies Mori Hamada & Matsumoto proactively partici-pates in activities with various international groups such as the International Bar Association (IBA) and the Inter-Pacic Bar Association (IPBA). Matsumura said “Mori Hamada & Matsumoto have been heavily involved in Inter-Pacic Bar Association (IPBA), Inter-national Bar Association (IBA) and other international organizations.” Mori Hamada & Matsumoto played a central role on the host committee in “IBA Tokyo 2014” that was held in October. e rm also supported the secretariat as well as the Japan Federation of Bar Associ-ations in hosting the IBA Tokyo 2014. IBA Tokyo 2014 was concluded with great success and the contributions by Mori Hamada & Matsumoto were highly appreci-ated by more than 6,000 participants from all over the world. Takeno said “ere are two reasons why Mori Hamada & Matsumoto actively participates in the IBA. One reason is that we will attend as panelists for the an-nual meeting that will be held in various sections, such as Mergers and Acquisitions, Competition law, Securi-ties law and Investment Funds, with the aim of explain-ing the actual situation in Japan. e other is to fulll the role of sharing the lessons and knowhow gained from our past experiences in the Japanese market. We believe that the knowhow that has been accumulated over the decades from the bubble period, through the recession period up to the current recovery period will serve as a useful reference.”Social Contribuon Acvies One of the specic features of Mori Hamada & Mat-sumoto is its commitment to public interest activities. Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

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