Hiroki Kobayashi advises high-profile international and Japanese companies on all aspects of corporate transactions and project development and finance with a Japan nexus.

Mr. Kobayashi leverages more than two decades of experience guiding clients on Japanese legal issues relating to:

  • Inbound mergers and acquisitions
  • Employment
  • Antitrust
  • Bankruptcy
  • Government regulatory matters

He helps non-Japanese clients understand Japan’s cultural best practices and navigate the country’s complex legal regime. Mr. Kobayashi builds trusted relationships with clients to support their business objectives within the region.

Mr. Kobayashi also assists Japanese clients engaging in mergers and acquisitions outside Japan together with Latham colleagues in relevant jurisdictions.

Mr. Kobayashi provides strategic and legal advice to Japanese sponsors and lenders in project development and finance matters, including in the oil and gas and power sectors.

He frequently lectures on US/Japan corporate law matters at business seminars, providing practical solutions for Japanese expatriate candidates and managers of US subsidiaries and operations.

Mr. Kobayashi is a member of the Dai-Ichi Tokyo Bar Association in Japan and the New York State Bar Association. He maintains an active pro bono practice, including advising Ashoka, a nonprofit organization that identifies and supports the world’s leading social entrepreneurs.

Mr. Kobayashi’s experience includes representing:

Inbound M&A

  • ARA Asset Management in its US$1.3 billion joint buyout, together with Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing, of Kenedix, one of Japan’s leading real estate fund managers (ALB Japan Law Awards’ Real Estate Deal of the Year)
  • SK Capital Partners on its acquisition of Saint-Gobain’s scintillation and photonic crystals business 
  • Cadence Design Systems in its acquisition of Future Facilities, a leading provider of electronics cooling analysis and energy performance optimization solutions for data center design and operations using physics-based 3D digital twins
  • Sensata Technologies in its sale of Qinex, its Netherlands-based semiconductor and thermal test and control business, to entities affiliated with Boyd Corp.
  • Landon Capital Partners, and Nova Capital Management in acquiring Walbro Co., a Japan-based manufacturing company
  • DXC Technology in selling its 54% majority stake in Japan Systems, a Japan-based provider of system solutions for enterprises and public services, to Longreach
  • Houlihan Lokey in its US$591 million acquisition of GCA, an M&A advisory firm listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, in a two-step merger including a tender offer and statutory squeeze-out
  • Genesis MedTech in its acquisition of Delawave, a Japanese developer of medical devices for coronary arteries
  • Syneos Health in the acquisition by its wholly owned Japanese subsidiary (Syneos Health Clinical K.K.) of 100% shares in Persol Pharma Partners, a wholly owned subsidiary of Persol Tempstaff

Outbound M&A

  • Nippon Life Insurance Company on the proposed acquisition of a 20% equity interest in Corebridge, a retirement solutions and insurance products company
  • A consortium of Japanese buyers, including Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. and Sumitomo Corporation, in connection with their US$370 million strategic investment in AG&P LNG Marketing Pte. Ltd., I Squared Capital’s platform for investing in companies that develop city gas distribution networks in India
  • Teijin in acquiring Inapal Plasticos, a leading automotive composite supplier in Portugal, from the Portuguese venture capital fund ECS Capital
  • JERA in acquiring a 50% equity interest in Linden Cogen, an owner and operator of a 972-MW natural gas-fired thermal power cogeneration project in New Jersey, United States
  • Sumitomo Electric Industries in acquiring Keystone Powdered Metal Company, a US manufacturer of powdered metal components
  • Fuji Heavy Industries in selling US$497 million of common stock shares to automotive manufacturer Polaris Industries Inc.
  • Recruit in its:
    • US$410 million acquisition of Advantage Resourcing America (United States) and Advantage Resourcing Europe (Netherlands)
    • US$295 million acquisition of Staffmark Holdings (United States) 
  • The Marubeni/GDF Suez-led consortium in the US$2.7 billion acquisition of Senoko Power Limited, the largest power company in Singapore
  • Fuso Chemical Co. in the acquisition of the North America gluconic acid business of Purac America 

Joint Venture

  • Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., a leading Japanese automotive group listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, on its negotiation and execution of a binding framework agreement with Renault Group and subsequent definitive agreements in connection with Nissan’s proposed investment in Ampere, Renault Group’s new EV and software entity in Europe, and the rebalancing and restructuring of the parties’ alliance
  • Pharmaceutical Product Development on the joint venture with Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories to form PPD-SNBL, a provider of clinical development services in Japan
  • Saputo Dairy Australia, an Australia-based producer and distributor of dairy products on the joint venture with Mori International
  • One Concern on the joint venture between with Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, a Japan-based insurance company, to create a localized disaster preparedness and mitigation system
  • Nissan Motor Co. in establishing a strategic alliance with Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan’s related US$2.3 billion acquisition of 34% of the shares in Mitsubishi Motors

Project Finance 

  • The ECAs and lenders on the project financing of the proposed Papua LNG Project in Papua New Guinea
  • The Japanese sponsors, including Mitsui & Co. and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), on a landmark US$20 billion financing for Mozambique’s first onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) development 
  • Export credit agencies and commercial bank lenders in the US$3.35 billion project financing of the 2x1,000 MW Tanjung Jati B 5 & 6 coal-fired power project expansion in Central Java, Indonesia.
  • Export credit agencies (JBIC and NEXI) in the project financing of the Cameron LNG project in the US, sponsored by Sempra Energy, GDF Suez, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, Mitsubishi, and Mitsui & Co.
  • Lenders in the US$20 billion financing and development of the offshore Ichthys LNG Project in Western Australia, with JBIC as lender and NEXI as export insurer
  • Export credit agencies including JBIC and NEXI, commercial banks, and underwriters in the US$14 billion financing of the PNG LNG project in Papua New Guinea

Bar Qualification

  • Japan
  • New York


  • Certificate in Business Administration, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2006
  • LLM, Northwestern University School of Law, 2006
  • Diploma, The Legal Training and Research Institute of Japan, 1999
  • LLB, University of Tokyo, 1995

Languages Spoken

  • Japanese
  • English