Atsumi & Sakai


IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate

Atsumi & Sakai was formed in 1994 as Atsumi & Usui before adopting its current name in 2010 following the acquisition of a practice group from TMI Associates. The firm has close to 150 lawyers and offices in Tokyo, London and Frankfurt. It was the first Japanese law firm to register as a joint venture between Japanese and foreign lawyers in 2005, and in 2013, it formed a joint venture with the German law practice of Markus Janssen. 

The firm is best known for its structured finance and securitisation work, but also has a strong project development and finance practice.

Key clients include Photovolt Development Partners, Anchor Ship Partners, Mitsubishi Research Institute, Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting, CBRE Global Investors and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

The firm was very active over the research period in a range of confidential securitisation mandates and the M&A practice acted in acquisitions, joint ventures and investments in pharmaceuticals, private equity and technology. 

The banking practice was preoccupied with fintech matters, and financings in shipping, renewable energy and real estate; while the projects team were busy advising in PPPs, PFIs, and projects in solar, offshore wind, biomass, oil and gas, aviation, logistics, real estate and hydropower.  

Atsumi & Sakai bolstered its finance, projects, funds and capital markets capabilities with the hires of partners Hiroshi Maeda, Mihoko Shima, Akio Kawamura and Yukihito Machida from Nishimura & Asahi. It also brought in of counsel Rie Kishida from Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu.

Deal highlights

-Anchor Ship Partners $562 million structured ship financing

-Kawanishi-machi 50 MW Photovoltaic Power Plant

-International MICE PFI project in Nagoya

-Ukujima 480 MW Photovoltaic Power Plant

-Visa $25 million investment in PayMate India

Client feedback

Financial services regulatory

“The firm and our lawyer is very knowledgeable about the regulations and always gives us advice on how we can make things happen with a very positive mindset, rather than a ‘this is what you should not do’ mentality.”


“Excellent industry knowledge and access to both public and private sector players. Commerciality of advice.”

Project development

“Very good service, good reactions and good understanding.”

Project finance

“The bills accurately reflect the quality of service and effort involved in my case.”

Real estate

“We liked that the firm had an eye for detail. Each and every step was well analysed and made easy for us to understand.”

“Quick responses, creative advice and full experience of real estate transactions.”

Naoki Kanehisa 

“Reachable and responsive, very positive mindset, proactive to give us advice, great knowledge about the industry act, and cares about the cost.”

Takafumi Uematsu 

“Responsive, high quality service and business understanding.”

“Takafumi gives time to understand each problem in-depth and provides a bespoke solution which is unparalleled. He makes things very smooth for others to understand.”

“He provides creative advice, and quick responses. Even though he is really busy, his communication is great.”

Yutaka Sakai 

“Consistently maintains high quality of work.”