Chris Hodgens has over 20 years of experience in cross-border M&A and other corporate and commercial transactions in Japan.
Chris’ real estate-related experience includes advising international operators on hotel management, leasing and franchise projects in Japan and throughout Asia Pacific. He has also acted on some of the largest hotel investment transactions in Japan, including the largest single asset transaction globally in 2019. Chris has also advised on data center M&A and development projects in Japan.
Chris received the ALB Real Estate Deal of the Year Award for his work as lead lawyer on the IHG ANA hotel transaction, and was recognized as a Leading Individual, Corporate M&A and Private Equity, in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers. He is fluent in Japanese.
Chris focuses on M&A and joint ventures, private equity, general corporate law, corporate restructuring, hotels, resorts and tourism and real estate.
His practice focuses on cross-border corporate transactions involving the acquisition, establishment and divestment of Japanese businesses. His transactional experience covers a wide range of sectors, including the hotel, retail, medical device, insurance and telecommunications industries. He also regularly advises on hotel transactions in Japan and hotel management agreements throughout Asia Pacific.
Representative Legal Matters
- Represented Wyndham Vacation Resorts in its acquisition of Resort Frontier Co., Ltd. — manager of the Sundance Resort Club — as well as its portfolio of 16 resort properties in Japan and its outstanding inventory.
- Represented a leading Japanese real estate developer in its negotiation of hotel management agreements with a global luxury hotel company for the development of two new luxury hotel properties in Japan.
- Represented Daiwa Securities SMBC Principal Investments in the acquisition of the HMV Japan business, comprising 62 entertainment retail stores throughout Japan, from HMV Group plc.
- Represented InterContinental Hotels Group in the formation of a hotel management joint venture with All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. and in the co-branding of a portfolio of 13 hotels.
- Represented Australian-based fund managers and financial institutions with investments in Japanese real property portfolios and related asset management issues.
- Represented a Fortune 500 retail group in the acquisition of a listed Japanese retail group.
- Represented Prudential plc in its acquisition of a Japanese life insurance company.
- Leading Individual, Corporate M&A and Private Equity, The Best Lawyers, 2020
- Recognized as "In-House Community Commended External Counsel of the Year, 2016"
- Led the Baker McKenzie team that received the Asia Legal Business "Real Estate Deal of the Year" Award in 2007 for the InterContinental Hotels Group joint venture with All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Former member of the Japanese Law Translation Council, Ministry of Justice
- Tokyo Bar Association - Foreign Special Member, International Committee Member
- Japan Federation of Bar Associations - Foreign Special Member
- Foreign Registered Lawyer ~Japan (2001)
- Victoria~Australia (1996)
- New South Wales~Australia (1996)
- Monash University (LL.B.) (1994)
- University of Tsukuba (Fellowship) (1983)
- Monash University (B.A., Honors) (1980)
- Co-Author and Editor, Mergers and Acquisitions: Japan, Baker McKenzie, 2000 to 2010
- Co-Author, Hotel Investments in Japan: Legal and Structural Issues, joint publication with Jones Lang LaSalle, 2011 and 2016
- Co-Author, "Triangular Mergers - Road Testing the New Law," Guide to Japan, International Financial Law Review, 2008
- Co-Author, "Ten Hot Management Agreement Issues in Japan," Hotels, Resorts & Tourism Newsletter, Baker McKenzie, September 2007
- Co-Author, "Sweeping Company Law Reforms Expected to Enter into Effect in 2006," World Securities Law Report, Bloomberg BNA, May 2005