Skip to Main Content
Our Commitment to Diversity



Toranomon Hills Mori Tower 28F
1-23-1 Toranomon, Minato-ku
Tokyo, 105-6328

K&L Gates established the Tokyo office in 2010 to provide full-service Japanese legal services, in addition to cross-border transactional advice to our domestic and international clients.

Lawyers and patent lawyers in our Tokyo office are well-versed in advising on domestic and international deals, disputes, and complex regulatory matters. They have trained and qualified in a variety of jurisdictions in addition to Japan, including the United States, England, and Germany. They are also fluent in English and Japanese, as all Tokyo-based lawyers are either Japanese nationals or long-standing local residents. Working closely with lawyers in Asia and through our firm’s integrated global network, our Tokyo office is able to provide robust coverage and a coordinated approach to: 

  • Advising domestic and international companies on cross-border deals, foreign direct investment in Japan and overseas, aircraft and shipping finance and other international finance matters, cross-border mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures, real estate acquisitions, and finance, as well as on Japanese regulatory matters, including financial services (Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Law), renewable energy, pharmaceutical, and health care.
  • Advising clients on complex disputes in Japanese courts, including complex commercial and employment disputes, as well as with mediation and domestic and international arbitration.
  • Advising on Japanese and international intellectual property (patent and trademark) prosecution matters.

We have comprehensive industry experience, having worked with clients operating across the energy, trading, technology, and transportation sectors. We also regularly instruct export credit agencies, multilateral banks, commercial banks, international private equity firms, securities companies, and other financial institutions. Our particular strengths include aircraft and equipment leasing, equipment finance, project finance, oil and gas upstream projects, sovereign lending, licensing and distribution arrangements, real estate finance, and high-tech ventures.


  • Banking and asset finance
  • Corporate/Mergers and acquisitions
  • Finance
  • Financial services
  • Health care
  • Intellectual property (including Japanese patents and trademarks)
  • Labor, employment, and workplace safety
  • Litigation and dispute resolution (domestic and international arbitration and mediation)
  • Policy and regulatory
  • Project finance
  • Real estate
  • Restructuring and insolvency
  • The firm was ranked among leaders in Japan in the areas of Banking & Finance, Dispute Resolution, and Labor and Employment in the 2020 Asia-Pacific Legal 500 guide.

Robert Melson is based in Tokyo and is widely held up as an aviation finance specialist. Sources report that "his expertise on this is really valuable."

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021

K&L Gates exclusively represents employer clients; private and public employers, multinational companies and local corporates instruct the Tokyo-based team on the full spectrum of employment issues. The team particularly stands out for contentious matters. Former Tokyo District Court judge and experienced international labour litigator Takahiro Hoshino co-heads the practice alongside Ryan Dwyer, who focuses on labour issues arising from cross-border M&A. Nobuki Wada is a key contact for contentious work including restructuring claims, dismissals, mental health cases and overtime pay litigation.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021

Sought-after asset finance team with specialist knowledge of the aviation industry and extensive experience in JOLCO structures. Frequently advises leasing companies as well as financial institutions on cross-border financing deals, especially those involving the purchase or leasing of aircraft and aircraft parts. Also assists with securities arrangements. The team is also knowledgeable and experienced in handling rail, shipping and container finance transactions. Acts for both lessors and lessees on asset financings.

Clients turn to the department for its experienced aircraft finance lawyers, one noting that "the service is excellent, and the value for money is great."
Another interviewee states: "They do a great job on the work."

Work highlights Assisted JP Lease Products & Services and Stratos Aircraft Management on an aircraft leasing transaction financed by a combination of ABS and JOL equity.

Robert Melson is widely extolled as a top-calibre aviation finance specialist. Sources "can't deny he's a leading name" and report that "his expertise on this is really valuable."

Interviewees know and highlight Sebastian Smith for his activity and heavy involvement in the aviation finance sphere.

Return to top of page

Email Disclaimer

We welcome your email, but please understand that if you are not already a client of K&L Gates LLP, we cannot represent you until we confirm that doing so would not create a conflict of interest and is otherwise consistent with the policies of our firm. Accordingly, please do not include any confidential information until we verify that the firm is in a position to represent you and our engagement is confirmed in a letter. Prior to that time, there is no assurance that information you send us will be maintained as confidential. Thank you for your consideration.

Accept Cancel