John Y. Sasaki
John received his Juris Doctor from Boalt Hall at the University of California in 1991, and became licensed as a member of the State Bar of California in the same year.
From 1991 to 1994, John worked at Whitman & Ransom in Los Angeles (which later became Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan, and is now Holland & Knight), where he engaged in a general corporate and commercial practice in the representation of multinational and domestic corporations, including M&A, joint ventures, and distributorship, dealer and licensing relationships. From 1994 to 1997, he worked in Japan at two leading Japanese law firms, Komatsu & Koma and Anderson Mori (which is now Anderson Mori & Tomotsune).
In 1997, John joined Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR) in Palo Alto, California. At WSGR, John represented private and public technology and life science companies in all aspects of their operations, including venture capital financing, M&A and public offerings. He also was heavily involved in U.S.-Japan transactions as the operational leader of the firm’s Japan practice, including joint ventures and international restructurings.
In 2002, John joined Morgan Lewis in Tokyo as a partner, where he continued his practice from Silicon Valley and also expanded his practice to focus more on technology transactions and fund formation matters. In 2003, John obtained his license as a foreign-licensed lawyer in Japan (gaikokuho-jimu-bengoshi).
In 2006, John established JSV Foreign Law Office. In addition to continuing his practice from Morgan Lewis, John has served as an in-house counsel for two large Japanese companies, and a biotech venture which he helped to take public in 2007. Among his responsibilities in his in-house role are M&A, intellectual property licensing and strategy, technology licensing, corporate finance, labor matters, general corporate and contracts advice, and litigation support.
John has spoken several times in Japan on venture-related issues, most notably as the keynote speaker at a symposium entitled, “Venture Business Support Symposium ・Searching for a New Japanese Business Model beyond the Silicon Valley Model”, at the height of the technology bubble in Japan in March 2000. This symposium was co-sponsored by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc., and was attended by over 1,000 participants.
He is also a co-author of “Law and Finance of Venture Companies in Japan”, which was published by Shouji Houmu in 2010.
John is also currently an Adjunct Professor at Keio University, where he co-teaches a class entitled" Drafting International Agreements". From 2010 to 2012, he also taught a class entitled "International Business and Law" at the Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy.
John is fluent in both English (his native language) and Japanese.