Eric Marcks

Admissions  California State Bar, 2000
Registered Foreign Attorney in Japan (Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi), 2008
Education JD, University of Texas at Austin, with Honors, 2000
Kyushu University, Japan,
Japanese Ministry of Education Scholarship, 1997
MA, Harvard University, 1995
BA, Middlebury College, 1991
Languages English, French, Japanese

Eric Marcks, a co-founder of southgate, advises on corporate and commercial matters, with a focus on cross-border M&A, venture capital financings, and joint ventures.

Eric began his legal career in 2000 in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices of an international firm, representing start-up companies and the VC funds that finance them. He worked with start-ups in all stages of their growth, from incorporation and commercial transactions to financings and exits.

Eric joined the Tokyo office of White & Case in 2007, where he represented Japanese companies in their overseas investments and commercial transactions around the world and global companies in their activities in Japan.

Eric is ranked in the Asia-Pacific and Global Chambers guides (Corporate/M&A: International – the only lawyer at a domestic firm ranked in this category) (2019-24),  recognized as a “Leading Individual” in the Legal 500 guide (Corporate/M&A Independent Local Firms (2019-24) and TMT (2024) – the only international attorney recognized in these categories), and as a “Notable Practitioner” in the IFLR 1000 (2023), he is listed in the Best Lawyers guide in the categories of Corporate/M&A (2020-24) and International Business Transactions (2023-24), and he was recognized as a “Leading Corporate & Commercial Lawyer of the Year – Japan” in 2023 by Acquisition International – Leading Advisor Awards.

Clients describe Eric as not only “a superb technical lawyer with a very sharp mind,” but “also a real pleasure to work with” (Asia-Pacific Chambers guide 2021),  “an excellent lawyer” who is “very experienced in handling cross-border matters” (Global Chambers guide 2022), and “an excellent draftsman” who “provides business-focused and practical advice” (Global Chambers guide 2020).

Eric is a part-time lecturer at Keio University Law School, where he teaches courses on venture capital and M&A, and he is a Vice-Chair of the Cross-Border Investment Committee of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association.

  • Quoted in “Foreign Funds Find New Opportunities in Japan’s Growing Startup World,” published in March 2024 on JETRO website
  • Co-author, “Venture Capital 2024” as part of Lexology’s Panoramic series, March 2024
  • Co-author, “Q&A: process for venture capital investments in Japan,” as part of Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through series, March 2023
  • Co-author, “Snapshot: economic terms for venture capital investments in Japan,” as part of Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through series, March 2023
  • Co-author, “Venture Capital Investment in Japan,” as part of Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through series, March 2023
  • Quoted in the March 8, 2023 Asian Business Law Journal cover story “Business Blossoms”
  • Co-author, “Cross-Border CVC: a Comparison of Key Investment Trends and Legal Practices in Japan, the US, the UK, German, India, and Israel,” September 2022 issue of Junkan Keiri Jouhou (in Japanese)
  • Co-author, “Venture Capital Investment in Japan,” in the Japan M&A Practice Guide published by Lexology as part of this Getting the Deal Through series, May 2021 and May 2022
  • Co-author, “Understanding the Use of Plain English in Contract Drafting through Concrete Examples,” January 2019 issue of Business Homu (in Japanese)
  • Co-author, “Addressing the Risk of Post-closing Challenge by US Antitrust Authorities to ‘Cleared’ Deals,” Mergers & Acquisitions Research Report Online, December 2017 (in Japanese)
  • First installment in series of articles by foreign attorneys practicing in Japan, Business Homu, July 2017 (in Japanese)
  • Co-author, “Seeking Innovation Through Corporate Venture Capital,” Japan SPOTLIGHT, September/October 2016
  • Co-author, “Recent Delaware Supreme Court Decision: Liability for Negotiating Terms Significantly Different from Those in Non-Binding Term Sheet,” Mergers & Acquisitions Research Report Online, September 2016 (in Japanese)
  • Co-author, “Recent Trends regarding US Regulatory Authorities’ Review of M&A Transactions,” Mergers & Acquisitions Research Report Online, June 2016 (in Japanese)
  • Quoted about CFIUS in an article appearing in the June 26, 2016 issue of Nikkei Veritas regarding China’s growing appetite for cross-border acquisitions
  • Featured in an article in the April 7, 2016 Nikkei Business Daily in relation to increased scrutiny, on national security grounds, by CFIUS of acquisitions by foreign buyers of US targets
  • Co-author, “Strategic Use of CVC Programs in the US,” Mergers & Acquisitions Research Report Online, April 2015 (in Japanese)
  • Co-author, “The Future of Corporate Venture Capital – Strategies for Japanese Companies in a Resurgent US Market,” Business Homu, February 2015 (in Japanese)
  • Co-author, “Recent Trends in Use of Representations and Warranties Insurance Policies in M&A Transactions,” Mergers & Acquisitions Research Report Online, September 2014 (in Japanese)
  • “Effective Use of Representations and Warranties Insurance Policies in M&A Transactions,” 28 CEB Cal. Bus. L. Prac. 33, Spring 2013
  • Moderated a panel on “Choosing your Camp in an Increasingly Multipolar World” at the Annual Conference of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, April 2024 (Tokyo)
  • Chaired a panel on “Rewarding and Oppressing Founders at Startups” at the Annual Conference of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, March 2023 (Dubai)
  • Spoke on key issues facing startup founders in Japan at an event organized by the Digital Transformation Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ), February 2023
  • “Selling Your Privately Held Business,” webinar sponsored by American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ), October 2021
  • “M&A for In-house Counsels,” seminar hosted by Japan In-House Counsel Network (JICN), September 2021
  • Spoke on various aspects of electronic commerce between Japan and the U.S. at a webinar hosted by the Japan Bar Association, June 2021 (in Japanese)
  • Participated in a panel on “Deal Performance and Post-execution Risks” at the annual meeting of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, June 2021 (Virtual)
  • Chaired panels on venture capital at the annual meeting of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, March 2018 (Manila) and April 2019 (Singapore)
  • Spoke on “RPA & AI: How Technology is Changing the Way We Work,” at Innovation Night at Accenture Digital Hub, sponsored by French Chamber of Commerce in Japan and Accenture, July 5, 2017 (Tokyo, Japan)
  • Spoke on M&A in technology industry at a conference hosted by the Japan Patent Office on January 29, 2017 (Tokyo, Japan)
  • “Innovation through Corporate Venture Capital,” at the Asian Development Bank Institute Finance and Innovation Conference, December 9, 2016 (Tokyo, Japan)
  • “Corporate Venture Capital in the US – recent trends and typical pitfalls for Japanese investors,” seminar sponsored by Financial Management Forum, July 8, 2016 (Tokyo, Japan) (in Japanese)
  • Spoke on a panel on representations and warranties insurance at the annual meeting of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, April 15, 2016 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
  • “Recent Trends in US M&A,” Financial Management Forum, June and July 2015 (Tokyo, Japan) (in Japanese)
  • Spoke on a panel on alternative funding for private companies at the Annual Meeting of the International Bar Association, October 2014 (Tokyo, Japan)
  • Spoke on legal issues facing start-up companies in the US at a conference on venture capital and start-up companies at Kyoto University, June 2014 (Kyoto, Japan) (in Japanese)
  • “Overview of Representations and Warranties Insurance” (with the insurer Beazley), webinar hosted by the US-based Business Development Academy, March 2014
  • “Effective Use of Representation and Warranty Insurance in M&A Deals” at an event sponsored by the Japan In-House Counsel Network, November 2012 (Tokyo, Japan)
  • “Representation and Warranty Insurance in Overseas Deals” (with the insurance broker Marsh), September 2012 (Tokyo, Japan)
  • “Starting Up a Company in Japan”, sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, November 2010

Gaku Yoneyama

Admissions Japan Bar, 2008
New York State Bar, 2014
Education LL.M., Columbia Law School, 2013
LLB, University of Tokyo, 2004
Languages Japanese, English

Gaku Yoneyama’s practice focuses on cross-border and domestic M&A, joint ventures, overseas expansions, particularly in Asia, and other general corporate matters. He is recognized as a “Recommended Individual” in the Legal 500 guide (Corporate/M&A – Domestic) (2023-24).

Backed by his experience in management consulting and private equity investment, Gaku provides insightful advice based on an in-depth understanding of each client’s business, operations and strategy.

Gaku began his career in 2008 at a major Japanese law firm, where he represented both Japanese and international clients on cross-border and domestic M&A and joint venture transactions.  In 2014, he launched that firm’s branch office in Yangon, Myanmar as the sole resident lawyer.  He also worked in the Washington D.C. office of an international law firm following completion of his LLM.

In 2015, Gaku joined the Boston Consulting Group, where he acted as project leader on a number of M&A, private equity and strategy projects.  Before joining southgate, Gaku worked at the private equity/buyout arm of Development Bank of Japan Group as an investment professional.

  • Comment in “New Ways of Working” Thomson Reuter’s online magazine Asian Legal Business (ALB), October 2021
  • Co-author, “Guide to Adopting Electronic Contracts [Overseas Contracts],” October 2020 issue of Shoji Homu (in Japanese)
  • Co-author, “Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Practical Responses – Global Compliance for Companies Expanding Overseas,” Shoji Homu, November 2014 (in Japanese)
  • Co-author, “Takeover Laws and Regulations in Asia,” Shoji Homu, January 2012 (in Japanese)
  • Participated in a panel on “Rewarding and Oppressing Founders at Startups” at the Annual Conference of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, March 2023 (Dubai)
  • “The Basics of M&A and Joint Ventures,” webinar sponsored by Global Business Knowledge Supply, January 2021 (in Japanese)

Takeshi Iitani

Admissions Japan Bar, 2008
New York State Bar, 2015
Education LL.M., University of Virginia School of Law, 2014
J.D., University of Tokyo, cum laude, 2007
Sophia University, 1998
Languages Japanese, English

Takeshi Iitani focuses on domestic and cross border M&A, joint ventures, strategic alliances and start-up investment, while also handling corporate governance, securities, insolvency, competition, intellectual property, employment, privacy and other general corporate matters involving daily business operations. Takeshi also has extensive experience in dispute resolution. He is recognized as a “Recommended Individual” in the Legal 500 guide (Corporate/M&A – Domestic) (2023-24), and recognized in the category of Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions Law in the 2024 edition of Best Lawyers awards for Japan.

Takeshi started his career at a major Japanese consumer product manufacturer in 1998, where he worked in the human resources and legal departments. Thanks to his in-house experience, Takeshi understands the importance of providing concrete, practical, and relevant advice to clients.

Takeshi was admitted to the Japanese Bar in 2008 and began his career at the Tokyo office of O’Melveny & Myers. He then moved to White & Case, and then joined Mangyo and Eric to establish southgate. He rejoined the firm in April 2021 after spending two years practicing in a wide variety of general corporate matters and M&A for domestic and international clients at a Japanese firm with strong expertise in employment law.

Takeshi is currently an outside audit & supervisory board member of AsiaQuest Co., Ltd.

  • Co-author, “Venture Capital 2024” as part of Lexology’s Panoramic series, March 2024
  • Co-author, “the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Proposed Regulations regarding Non-compete Clauses,” October 2023 issue of Business Homu (in Japanese)
  • Co-author, “Q&A: process for venture capital investments in Japan,” as part of Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through series, March 2023
  • Co-author, “Snapshot: economic terms for venture capital investments in Japan,” as part of Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through series, March 2023
  • Quoted in the March 8, 2023 Asian Business Law Journal cover story “Business Blossoms”
  • Comment in “New Ways of Working,” Thomson Reuter’s online magazine Asian Legal Business (ALB), October 2021
  • Co-author, “Drafting of Termination Clause in English Contracts,” August 2019 issue of Business Homu (in Japanese)
  • Co-author, “Recent Delaware Supreme Court Decision: Liability for Negotiating Terms Significantly Different from Those in Non-Binding Term Sheet,”  Mergers & Acquisitions Research Report Online, September 2016 (in Japanese)
  • “Stock-for-Stock Acquisitions of Foreign Companies by Third-Party Allotment,” August 2016 issue of Business Homu (in Japanese)
  • Featured in an article in the May 18, 2016 Nikkei Business Daily in relation to force majeure and related legal doctrines in connection with natural disasters such as the Kumamoto Earthquake (in Japanese)
  • Co-Author, “No Remedy for Financial Companies That Trusted Illegal Ministry Orders?” May 2012 issue of CREDIT AGE (in Japanese)
  • “Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) Practice – Points to keep in mind as a CLO,” webinar hosted by Japan Association for Chief Legal Officers (JACLO), April 2023 (in Japanese)
  • Spoke on key issues facing startup founders in Japan at an event organized by the Digital Transformation Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ), February 2023

A. Reid Monroe-Sheridan

Admissions  New York State Bar, 2010
Registered Foreign Attorney in Japan (Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi), 2014
Education J.D., Harvard Law School, cum laude, 2009
B.A., Carleton College, summa cum laude, 2006
Languages English, Japanese

Reid has experience spanning international mergers and acquisitions, venture financings, U.S. securities law matters, and international commercial agreements such as core technology licensing contracts. Fluent in Japanese, Reid regularly advises public and private Japanese and American companies in these areas. Prior to joining southgate, Reid practiced as an independent registered foreign lawyer in Japan through Monroe-Sheridan Foreign Law Office from 2014 to 2024. Reid began his career as an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York and Tokyo, where he negotiated contracts and prepared other documentation for derivatives instruments, M&A transactions, and billions of dollars of securities issuances.

Reid is also an Associate Professor at Keio Law School, one of Japan’s top-ranked law schools. Reid’s current and past courses have covered cross-border M&A, startup and venture capital law, international capital markets, and international business contracts.

  • “Convertible Equity in the Japanese Startup Ecosystem,” University of Pennsylvania Asian Law Review, Vol. 19, No. 1 (2023)
  • The Woman Next Door,” Kuniko Mukoda (translation by A. Reid Monroe-Sheridan), Kurodahan Press (May 2021)
  • Legal Risks and Mitigation Strategies Relating to Insolvent American Startups,” New Business Law, Vol. 1170 (May 15, 2020) (in Japanese)
  • Promoting Legal Innovation in Japanese Startup Financing,” George Mason Journal of International Commercial Law, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Spring 2019)
  • The Role of a Registered Foreign Lawyer,” Jiyū to Seigi [Freedom and Justice] (Oct. 2018), Japan Federation of Bar Associations (in Japanese)
  • Presentation on the Establishment of the LL.M. in Global Legal Practice at Keio University Law School (with Koji Tsurumi),” in Hōsō Yōsei to Rinshō Kyōiku [Lawyers and Clinical Education] No. 10, pp. 87-92 (March 2018), Nihon Kajo Publishing Co., Ltd. (in Japanese)
  • Analytical Versus Substantive Approaches in American and Japanese Law Schools,” in Comparative Legal Education from Asian Perspective, Keio University Press (2017)
  • Unifying Legal Departments in Global Companies,” Interview with Koji Tsurumi, Mita Hyōron (Dec. 2016), Keio University Press (in Japanese)
  • “Substance Overload: A Comparative Examination of Japanese Corporate Governance Law Through the Lens of the Daiwa Bank Case,” Washington International Law Journal, Vol. 24, No. 2 (April 2015)
  • Startups’ Goals for Expansion into the U.S.: Specific Steps for Business Expansion,” Moon Creative Lab Tokyo (Hosted by Stripe, Inc.) (Tokyo, Japan), September 8, 2023 (in Japanese)
  • Careers for US Lawyers in Asia,” Harvard Law School (hosted by Harvard Asia Law Society), online, Nov. 10, 2021
  • Guest Lecture on Japanese Law, “Advanced Readings in Japanese Human Rights,” Harvard Law School (Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., via videoconference), November 17, 2020
  • Basic Legal Knowledge for Seed Funding in Silicon Valley,” Online Seminar (Japan), June 29, 2020
  • Key Legal Knowledge for International Founders in Tokyo,” Tokyo Founders (Tokyo, Japan), November 24, 2019
  • Promoting Legal Innovation in Japanese Startup Financing,” Harvard Law School (Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.), September 28-29, 2018 (research presentation)
  • Presentation on the Establishment of the LL.M. in Global Legal Practice at Keio University Law School (with Koji Tsurumi),” Meiji University (Tokyo, Japan), “Symposium: From Bridge-Building to Integration: Going Beyond the Philosophy of the Justice System Reform of 2001” (Organized by the Japan Clinical Legal Education Association), Apr. 23, 2017 (in Japanese)
  • A Comparative View of Japanese Corporate Governance and the Daiwa Bank Case,” Melbourne Law School (Melbourne, Australia), February 14, 2017
  • Challenges in Japan-America Crossborder Business Combinations: A Case Study of Tokyo Electron,” Hitotsubashi Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy (Tokyo, Japan), November 2015

Takahito Fujii

Admissions Japan Bar, 2011
Education LL.M., Duke University School of Law, Business Law Certificate, 2023
JD, Waseda Law School, 2009
LLB, The University of Tokyo, 2006
Languages Japanese, English

Takahito Fujii focuses on domestic and cross-border M&A, strategic alliances, corporate, and securities matters. He is ranked as a rising star in the TMT ranking of Legal500 (2023-24).

Takahito began his career at a Japanese firm, where he practiced in these areas for seven years. He combines his legal experience with strong business skills developed during a four-year secondment to the M&A advisory department of a major Japanese securities company and refined while employed for nearly three years in the business development team of a Tokyo-based global consumer products company, where he handled cross-border M&A and new investments.

  • Co-author, “Venture Capital Investment in Japan,” as part of Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through series, March 2023
  • Co-author, “Venture Capital Investment in Japan,” in the Japan M&A Practice Guide published by Lexology as part of this Getting the Deal Through series, May 2021 and May 2022
  • “Investment Practices of Corporate Venture Capital,” seminar hosted by the Financial Management Forum, May 9, 2024 (in Japanese)

Akira Kawashiro

Admissions Japan Bar, 2013
Illinois State Bar, 2021
Education LL.M., Duke University School of Law, 2020
JD, University of Tokyo, School of Law, 2012
LLB, Waseda University, 2010
Languages Japanese, English

Akira Kawashiro focuses on domestic and cross-border M&A, joint ventures, start-up related matters, disclosure regulations under Japanese securities laws, and other general corporate matters. He is recognized in the categories of Antitrust/Competition Law, Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions Law and International Business Transactions in the 2024 edition of Best Lawyers awards for Japan: Ones to Watch, and highlighted in the TMT ranking of Legal500 (2023) as a key lawyer.

Akira began his career in 2013 at a major Japanese law firm, where he engaged in domestic and cross-border M&A and anti-trust matters. He has also been seconded to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Akira is currently an outside audit & supervisory board member of Qualicaps Co.,Ltd.

  • Co-author, “Venture Capital Investment in Japan,” as part of Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through series, March 2023
  • Co-author, “Venture Capital Investment in Japan,” in the Japan M&A Practice Guide published by Lexology as part of this Getting the Deal Through series, May 2021 and May 2022
  • Quoted in an article in the May 19, 2021 Nihon Keizai Shimbun “the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s unusual reaction to Seven & i Holdings’ acquisition of Speedway”
  • Quoted in an article in the January 13, 2021 Nihon Keizai Shimbun “the Softbank Group’s sale of Arm, a British semiconductor design giant”
  • Co-author, “Handbook for Capital and Business Alliances,” Shoji Homu, February 2020 (in Japanese)
  • “Akron v. Fresenius: US Court Allows Termination of Purchase Agreement based on MAE, in the December 2018 issue of Mergers & Acquisitions Research Report, December 2018 (in Japanese)
  • “Key considerations when making timely disclosures – from the perspective of the stock exchange,” Securities Analyst Journal, March 2016 (in Japanese)
  • “Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) Practice – Points to keep in mind as a CLO,” webinar hosted by Japan Association for Chief Legal Officers (JACLO), April 2023 (in Japanese)
  • “Investment Practices of Corporate Venture Capital,” webinar sponsored by Financial Management Forum, 3-4 presentations per year, since 2021 (in Japanese)
  • “The Basics of M&A and Joint Ventures,” webinar sponsored by Global Business Knowledge Supply, January 2021 (in Japanese)
  • “Best Practices in Establishing and Operating Japanese-German Joint Ventures in Germany,” webinar sponsored by the Japanische Industrie- und Handelskammer zu Düsseldorf e.V. (JIHK), November 2020 (in Japanese)

Kyoko Mogi

Admissions Japan Bar, 2011
California State Bar, 2022
Education LL.M., University of California Berkeley School of Law, 2022
JD, Waseda Law School, 2009
BA, Literature, Waseda University, 2006
Languages Japanese, English

Kyoko Mogi focuses on domestic and cross-border M&A, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and finance, while also advising on corporate law, intellectual property and securities regulations. Kyoko also has extensive experience in dispute resolution. She was identified in the Corporate and M&A; Independent Local Firms ranking of Legal500 (2022).

Before joining southgate, Kyoko worked at domestic corporate and finance firms assisting domestic and international clients in their business ventures inside and outside Japan.

Kyoko is currently an outside director (a member of audit and supervisory committee) of Adastria Co., Ltd.

  • Co-author, “Understanding the Use of Plain English in Contract Drafting through Concrete Examples,” January 2019 issue of Business Homu (in Japanese)
  • Co-author, “Tips for Formation and Management of Corporate Venture Capital Funds: Pitfalls for Japanese Corporates,” July 2018 issue of Junkan Keiri Jouhou (in Japanese)
  • “Investment Practices of Corporate Venture Capital,” seminar/webinar sponsored by Financial Management Forum, 3-4 presentations per year, since 2018 (in Japanese)

Haruya Suzuki

Admissions Japan Bar, 2014
Education JD, Keio University Law School, 2013
LLB, Meiji University, 2010
Languages Japanese, English

Haruya Suzuki practices in the areas of domestic and cross border M&A and start-up investments, general corporate matters, employment, insolvency, compliance matters, and dispute resolution. Haruya currently acts as a bankruptcy trustee at the Tokyo District Court.

Haruya was admitted to the Japanese Bar in 2014 and was a partner at a domestic law firm before joining southgate.

  • Co-author, “Venture Capital 2024” as part of Lexology’s Panoramic series, March 2024
  • Co-author, “Q&A: process for venture capital investments in Japan,” as part of Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through series, March 2023
  • Co-author, “Snapshot: economic terms for venture capital investments in Japan,” as part of Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through series, March 2023

Yu Mizutani

Admissions New York State Bar, 2015
(Not admitted in Japan)
Education J.D., Cornell Law School, magna cum laude, 2014
B.S., Cornell University, 2010
Languages English, Japanese