James Emerson is a Partner of our Firm, a leader of our Cross-Border Transactions Group and a core member of our Energy Practice. Mr. Emerson was previously associated with Skadden, Arps in New York and Cleary Gottlieb in New York, as well as Morrison & Foerster in Tokyo. He is experienced running cross-border transactions around the world, including Japan, the United States, England, Australia, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Brazil. Mr. Emerson regularly represents Japanese and non-Japanese buyers and sellers in large, complex cross-border transactions, including stock acquisitions, asset acquisitions, real estate transactions, liquid petroleum and natural gas agreements, private equity and venture capital investments, manufacturing and supply agreements, aerospace agreements, intellectual property agreements, joint ventures and strategic alliances.

Mr. Emerson’s academic background includes a law degree from Harvard Law School, a master’s degree from Cambridge University, and he has proficiency in Japanese with a Japanese language certification from Stanford University’s Inter-University Center. He has written numerous articles on a variety of legal and scholarly topics, and interned for best-selling American novelist, T. Coraghessan Boyle. Over the years, Mr. Emerson has earned the nickname, “The Shark,” as a highly-skilled negotiator. His accomplishments include representing clients as a lead attorney on several public and private multi-Billion-dollar transactions.

Recent activities


Asian Law Firm of the Year at the Asia Legal Awards 2021



The Asia Legal Awards 2021



COVID-19 and Material Adverse Change Clauses under Japanese Law


Professional experience

2014 - 2015
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, New York
2005 - 2008
Morrison & Foerster LLP, Tokyo
2003 - 2005
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, New York