Three key deals

Vodafone acquires a 15 per cent stake in Japan Telecom for $2.2bn (£1.54bn), January 2001

This is the second-largest foreign investment in Japan after Renault's deal with Nissan two years earlier. Herbert Smith, which has been in Tokyo for less than a year, and Tokyo Marunouchi Law Office advised Japan Telecom's two founding companies, which were selling their stakes. Andersen Mori acted for Vodafone.

Y125bn (£0.7bn) financing on behalf of Universal Studios Japan to build a theme park in Osaka, January 2000

This was the largest project financing deal in the country's history. It is made more unusual, however, because limited recourse financing for such projects is still a new concept; the government only introduced public finance initiative-related legislation in 1999. The park will open later this year and was financed through syndicated loans. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett advised Universal along with Oh-ebashi Law Office. Baker & McKenzie represented the arrangers.

Cable & Wireless acquires International Digital Communications (IDC), July 1999

This deal was the first publicly contested takeover battle in Japan, with Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation (NTT) the losing bidder. US firms Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and White & Case acted for Cable & Wireless (lead partner Hisao Hirose has since quit White & Case's associated firm to join Citibank). IDC was advised by local firms Tomotsune Kimura & Mitomi and Hibiya Park Law Office. NTT was advised by Nishimura & Partners.