TOKYO –Pillsbury has recruited Jeff Schrepfer, an established M&A lawyer in Japan with significant experience in the energy sector, as a partner in the firm’s Tokyo office. He comes to Pillsbury from Morrison & Foerster.

Schrepfer represents publicly and privately held Japanese companies on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, as well as providing counsel on their general corporate matters. He has more than two decades of experience working in Tokyo, serving first as an analyst in the Corporate Planning Department of a major Japanese manufacturing company and then as a financial derivatives broker/analyst at a large French bank before returning to Japan as a lawyer in 2004. With virtually native fluency in spoken and written Japanese, he has been described by Legal 500 Asia Pacific as “an experienced corporate adviser” and “a complete professional.”

“Jeff has achieved incredible success on behalf of his clients and is absolutely deserving of the terrific reputation he has earned as one of the go-to outbound M&A lawyers in Tokyo,” said local Office Managing Partner Fusae Nara. “His arrival strengthens our practice offering substantially, and greatly enhances our ability to serve the needs of Japanese companies doing business abroad.” 

Firmwide Corporate group leader Jeffrey J. Delaney added: “Despite recent challenges brought on by the pandemic, we are optimistic that the Japan M&A market is primed for a new heyday. Working with our other Tokyo-based practitioners—and members of our Corporate team around the world—we believe Jeff is perfectly suited to help our clients capitalize on the opportunities before them.”

Japanese deal activity is already on the rebound and many project that it will accelerate rapidly in the coming months. As cited by S&P Global, M&A advisory firm Refco Corp. recently found that during the first four months of 2021, Japanese companies were involved in more deals than they were in the first four months of 2019—the country’s strongest year on record for M&A activity. At the same time, the Nikkei Stock Average has climbed almost 6% since January and is projected by some to exceed 30,000 as early as this summer.

“With almost 100 years of experience working with Japanese clients, Pillsbury offers an incredible platform from which I can help clients,” Schrepfer said. “The firm has a renowned practice in the energy sector—which is critical in light of Japan’s Carbon-Neutral 2050 initiative—and an ascendant M&A practice that is advising on high-profile deals around the world. I’m very excited to be a part of this impressive team.”

Pillsbury advises market-leaders, innovators and financial sponsors on M&A and Private Equity transactions in the Technology, Life Sciences, Energy and Financial industries. With more than 650 lawyers located in key deal markets across the U.S., Europe and Asia, Pillsbury is consistently ranked by Bloomberg, Factset, Refinitiv and others as one of the Top-20 most active law firms for M&A, and the firm’s lawyers have been cited by Chambers and The Legal 500 as preeminent advisers in the field.