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Paul Lee


Associate in our Corporate practice, based in Tokyo.

Paul is a native English speaker and fluent in Japanese, with significant experience advising Japanese and international clients on their cross-border corporate transactions, focusing on M&A and capital markets. Before relocating to Tokyo in 2018, he worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital Markets and Financial Institutions practices in our New York office.

Paul is Chair of the Alternative and Foreign Direct Investment Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

Experience highlights

M&A / Private Equity
  • KOITO on its preferred stock investment in Cepton
  • Relo Group on the business combination of BGRS with SIRVA
  • A Ferrero affiliated company on its acquisition of Ferrara Candy Company Holdings
  • ABB on its $2.6 billion acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions
  • Comcast on its acquisition of SportsEngine
  • Anacor Pharmaceuticals on its $5.2 billion acquisition by Pfizer
  • Atairos Group on its acquisitions of Bowlmor AMF and Learfield Communications
  • Metalmark Capital on its minority investment in preferred interests of Reliance Gathering

Selected M&A matters before joining Davis Polk:

  • Eppendorf on its acquisition of the centrifuge business of Japan’s Koki Holdings
  • Toray Industries on its acquisition of Alva Sweden
  • Knorr-Bremse on its acquisition of Hitachi’s integral power steering business for commercial vehicles
  • Seiyo Food-Compass Group on the spinoff of its catering operations at sports and leisure facilities
Capital Markets

The issuer in:

  • Mitsubishi HC Capital and Mitsubishi HC Finance America’s senior notes offerings
  • Money Forward’s follow-on offering
  • PLAID’s global IPO
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank’s GMTN program and offerings of senior notes, including its inaugural issuances of green bonds and SOFR-linked bonds
  • SEC-registered offerings of senior notes by a Japanese issuer
  • A solicitation of noteholder consents by a Japanese issuer
  • A PIPE of stock and warrants by a US biotech issuer

The initial purchasers/underwriters in:

  • Global IPOs by Noile-Immune Biotech, TMS, Net Protections, PHC Holdings and Visional
  • Recruit Holdings’ ¥373.9 billion secondary offering
  • Olympus’ debut senior notes offering
  • NTT Finance’s concurrent $8 billion and €2 billion offerings of senior notes guaranteed by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone and offering of unguaranteed green bonds
  • Nissan Motor’s concurrent $8 billion and €2 billion offerings of senior notes
  • SEC-registered offerings by Mizuho Financial Group, Editas Medicine and Kinsale Capital
View more experience




IFLR1000 – M&A – Foreign, Japan, Rising Star


J.D., Harvard Law School
  • cum laude
B.M., Composition, Economics and Philosophy, University of British Columbia

Professional history

  • Davis Polk, 2015-2017 and 2020-present
  • Tokyo office, 2020-present
  • New York office, 2015-2017
  • Freshfields (Tokyo), 2018-2020

Qualifications and admissions

  • Japan, Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi, Dai-Ni Tokyo
  • State of California
  • State of New York
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