Stikeman Elliott
Japan Practice

Japan Practice

Stikeman Elliott has enjoyed a number of strong relationships with Japanese companies operating, or seeking to operate, in Canada. We have been involved in many of the most noteworthy acquisitions and corporate transactions in Canada by Japanese companies in the last 25 years, and we frequently act as corporate and litigation counsel to the Canadian subsidiaries of leading Japanese companies such as Sony, Mazda, Itochu, Mitsubishi, Marubeni, Nissan, Toyota, NGK, Hitachi and YKK. In particular, we have acted for many companies with a mature Canadian presence as they undertake mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and joint ventures, and raise capital. Our expertise in business law is complemented by our capabilities in regulatory matters and government relations, including foreign investment approval and antitrust.

Our longstanding partnerships with many of Japan's largest companies are testament to our experience and our understanding of our clients' goals when establishing or expanding business in Canada. Among these historical relationships, we have acted for Honda Canada and Nissan Canada in connection with all of their securitization offerings related to auto lease receivables and we have been intellectual property counsel to the Canadian subsidiaries of many of Japan's largest companies for over 20 years.

Most recently we have been involved in a number of transactions focused on Canada's burgeoning energy sector, including both oil sands and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects. 

A selection of our recent experience includes acting for:

Corporate Transactions

  • AltaGas Idemitsu Joint Venture Limited Partnership in its C$880M acquisition of a two-thirds ownership interest in Petrogas Energy Corp.
  • Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharmaceutical in its $15M non-dilutive loan agreement with Medicago Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing vaccines.
  • Lixil Group Corp. as Canadian counsel in its US$542M (¥53.1B) acquisition of ASD Americas Holding Corp.
  • AltaGas Ltd. in the formation of a joint venture limited partnership with Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. to pursue opportunities involving exports of liquefied petroleum gas and liquefied natural gas from Canada to Asia.
  • Aurora Solar Corporation (a joint venture of, among others, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corporation), in the purchase of nine photovoltaic generating facilities in Ontario, Canada.
  • Toshiba Tec Corp. as Canadian counsel in its acquisition of the point-of-sale terminal business from International Business Machines Corp. for approximately US$850M.
  • Sithe Global Power, LLC in its sale of the 875-MW Goreway Station, to Chubu Electric Power Company, Inc. and Toyota Tsusho Corporation.
  • Marubeni Metals & Minerals (Canada) Inc. in connection with its purchase of 50% of Investissement Québec's interest in Aluminerie Alouette.
  • The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd., and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation in connection with the US$322M project finance agreements executed by Similco Mines for the Copper Mountain Project in southern British Columbia.
  • Panasonic Corporation as Canadian counsel in its US$9B acquisition of Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
  • INPEX Holdings Inc. in its acquisition of a 10% interest in the Joslyn Oil Sands Upstream Project, through its subsidiary INPEX Canada, Ltd. 

Litigation & Class Actions

  • Hitachi, Ltd. as the designer, manufacturer and installer of a power generation turbine installed in Alberta in an action brought by the owner relating to a blade failure in the turbine.
  • Sony of Canada in class actions commenced in Ontario and Quebec alleging defects in DVD players; in class actions alleging defects in video game consoles; and in a class action alleging defects in rear projection televisions.
  • Sony of Canada with respect to a price maintenance class action brought on behalf of purchasers of specific consumer electronics. Stikeman Elliott successfully argued before the Ontario Superior Court that the claims for punitive damages should be struck as being unavailable as a matter of law.
  • Ajinomoto Co. in a series of class actions commenced across Canada alleging conspiracy and price-fixing with respect to various food additives: lysine in one set of cases, and MSG and nucleotides in another.
  • Mazda Canada Inc. in a class action taken by Union des Consommateurs against eight car manufacturers and five credit companies, alleging that the defendants have misrepresented the costs of credits and rebates for all the cars they have sold, rented or financed for the last three years (alleged to be more than 750,000 cars).
  • Eisai Co. in several class actions commenced across Canada alleging conspiracy and price-fixing.

Stikeman Elliott has also represented a variety of Japanese corporations with respect to intellectual property matters in Canada for over 20 years, including C Itoh (now Itochu), Sony Kabushiki Kaisha/Sony Corporation, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Electronics, Sony of Canada, Sony Music and Mazda.

Our Presence in Asia and the Pacific Rim

For over twenty years, Stikeman Elliott has been the dominant Canadian legal presence in Asia and the Pacific Rim, including Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Singapore. Today, reflecting the position of Canada as a target for rapidly expanding Asian economies and significant sources of capital, the firm, through its Canadian and Sydney offices, provides advice on a large number of significant transactions from Asia and the Pacific Rim into Canada. Practice leaders of the firm regularly travel throughout the Asia-Pacific region, making frequent visits to Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and India.

Related Practices
Key Contacts

Erik Richer La Flèche

Jim Harbell
William A. Scott

Keith R. Chatwin
Geoffrey D. Holub

David R. Brown
Rachel V. Hutton

Justine M. Whitehead

Related Publications