Real Estate | Japan

The Morrison & Foerster/Ito & Mitomi Tokyo office has one of Japan’s leading real estate practices and is ranked Tier 1 for real estate in Japan by Chambers Asia Pacific. Ito & Mitomi lawyers provide all Japan law advice and Morrison & Foerster lawyers provide U.S. law advice for selected jurisdictions and work closely together to provide seamless service for a wide variety of transactions including those described below.

The office’s real estate group is unique in its depth and scope:

  • The Morrison & Foerster/Ito & Mitomi Tokyo office is the largest of any international firm in Tokyo, with more than 120 attorneys.

  • The office has the most substantial Japan-law capabilities of any international firm, with more than 45 Japanese-qualified attorneys.

  • The office’s real estate group draws on the strength of the office, representing many of the most substantial and active real estate companies in Japan and Asia on a wide range of transactions.

  • The real estate group consists of 20 full-time attorneys, including fifteen Japan-qualified lawyers. More than two-thirds of our lawyers are proficient in both Japanese and English and we work regularly in both languages.

  • Ranked Tier 1 for Real Estate in Japan by the current editions of Chambers Asia Pacific and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific.

  • Four real estate partners are highly ranked in the 2019 edition of Chambers Asia Pacific, including one partner named in the elite Star Individuals category.

  • Three real estate partners are selected as Leading Individuals in the 2019 edition of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific.

The real estate group represents clients at all stages of the real estate investment cycle, from fund formation, to project acquisition and financing, to project and portfolio sales, to public offering of real estate vehicles.

For instance:

  • Acquisitions:

    • We represented Asia Pacific Land, who led an international consortium of investors, in the acquisition of the Tokyo Shiba Park Building. As of closing, this was considered the largest single asset transaction in Japan since the Global Financial Crisis. The deal was awarded Asia Deal of the Year by the Global PERE (Private Equity Real Estate) Awards 2013.

    • We represented GLP Pte. Ltd., Asia's largest industrial and logistics infrastructure provider, in its $1.6 billion 50/50 joint venture with China Investment Corporation for the acquisition of 15 logistics properties in Japan from a fund managed by LaSalle Investment Management – one of Japan’s largest-ever property deals and largest since 2009. The deal was awarded Real Estate Deal of the Year by Asian Legal Business (ALB) Japan Law Awards 2012.

    • We represented Evergreen Real Estate Partners LLC, a global real estate investment partnership affiliated with M3 Capital Partners, in its acquisition of Quraz (Japan’s largest self storage company) and all of Quraz’s self storage properties. In connection with the acquisition, Evergreen secured ¥20 billion non-recourse, long-term debt financing from Prudential Financial, believed to be the first non-recourse, long-term debt financing in the self storage sector in Japan.

    • We represented a leading real estate fund manager in its ¥200 billion acquisition of an office unit in Tokyo – one of the largest single asset deals in Asia.

  • Acquisition Finance: We represented large financial institution in providing ¥125 billion series of financings to a U.S. opportunity fund to acquire portfolios of hard assets and non-performing loans.

  • Fund Formation: We represented AMB (Prologis), a NYSE listed REIT, in the formation of  a yen-denominated real estate opportunity fund with approximately ¥50 billion of equity capital from institutional investors, and which plans to invest up to ¥247 billion on a leveraged basis in distribution facilities near high volume airports, highway systems and seaports in Japan’s major metropolitan areas.

  • Public Offerings: We represented the underwriters in the initial public offering of Japan Retail Fund Investment Corporation, a Japan-focused REIT, as well as follow on offerings raising over $1 billion for the company.

  • Workouts and Restructurings: We represented ING Real Estate Investment Management in connection with its taking over management and control of a US$772,000,000 pan-Asia real estate fund (with investments in Japan, China and Korea) from New City Corporation.

Some of the other transactions that we have handled include:

  • Represented a global real estate/private equity fund in their investment in connection with the ¥150 billion sale and leaseback of 184 Japan dealership outlets of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation.

  • Represented a leading Japanese real estate investment and management company in the formation of its fund with approximately ¥56.5 billion of equity capital from institutional investors, and which plans to invest up to ¥230 billion on a leveraged basis in office buildings and residential properties in Japan’s major metropolitan areas.

  • Represented a large institutional fund in their ¥60 billion joint venture acquisition of a large well-known mixed use property in Tokyo.

  • Represented a joint venture between two opportunity funds in their ¥23.75 billion acquisition and TMK financing of a residential property in Tokyo.   

  • Represented a leading global real estate investment company in multiple acquisitions and financings, including recent acquisitions of two prime commercial properties in Tokyo with a value of over ¥125 billion.

  • Represented a U.S. based real estate opportunity fund in a series of acquisitions and financings of multiple portfolios of commercial, resort, retail and residential properties located in Japan totaling over ¥60 billion in aggregate acquisition value.

  • Represented a U.S.-based investment bank in the syndication financing of a major hotel at a tourist site in the Kansai region.

  • Represented an institutional lender in providing ¥70 billion in bond financing to acquire a Tokyo office building and a portfolio of hotel properties in Japan.

  • Represented a Japanese institutional investor in its acquisition of a ¥15.5 billion office building in Osaka.

  • Represented a Japanese investor in its ¥20 billion disposition of a portfolio of over 30 properties.

  • Represented a U.S.-based investment bank in a $325 million credit facility extended to a global opportunity fund and secured by multiple performing and non-performing assets in Japan.

  • Represented Japanese investment banks in connection with underwriting of domestic offerings by six J-REITs.

  • Represented international investment banks in connection with underwriting domestic, European, and 144A offerings by a J-REIT.

  • Represented a NYSE listed REIT in connection with a ¥4.5 billion bond financing for the acquisition of a portfolio of industrial properties in Japan.

  • Represented a financial institution in providing ¥18 billion in refinancing to a management company owning multiple golf courses throughout Japan.

  • Represented a Japan bank in financing the Kyoto Hyatt hotel.

  • Represented a Japanese investor in the formation of a fund to invest in amusement facilities.

Chambers Asia Pacific 2019
Japan: Real Estate (Band 1)

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019
Japan: Real Estate: International Firms (Tier 1)

Here is what they say about us:

"Any firm comes down to the people - the partners I've worked with have been very impressive. With them, the more complex it gets, the better they are."
(Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014)

"Wonderful. Great execution and strategies to suit a client's business."
(Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014)

"They are very knowledgeable, and this was one of the pioneering international firms in real estate."
(Chambers Asia Pacific 2013)

"They are very client-focused, with a businesslike mind, which I consider to be very important."
(Chambers Asia Pacific 2013)

"My experience with the team has been overwhelmingly positive. It is a go-to firm for real estate, particularly for investment related work. The lawyers are capable of responding to any query extremely quickly."
(Chambers Asia Pacific 2012)

"The deepest bench of real estate attorneys among the foreign law firms in Japan. Particularly impressive is the balance between US trained counsel and Japanese bengoshi."
(Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2012)

Top Tier Law Firm 2018 - Legal 500

“They are the top firm for real estate in Japan and the service is the best I have ever used.”

“They are the best in the market. They are very quick to respond and provide the best solutions to issues that come up.”
(Chambers Asia Pacific 2017)

“They are great, fabulous and incredibly creative.”

“Morrison & Foerster is a one-stop shop with top-tier expertise.”

“Their service is responsive and accurate, and they are well-experienced.”
(Chambers Asia Pacific 2016)

“Any firm comes down to the people - the partners I've worked with have been very impressive. With them, the more complex it gets, the better they are.”
(Chambers Asia Pacific 2014)

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