Follow us

Leading global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Mitsui & Co., Ltd. on its strategic acquisition of a 10% interest in JSC R-Pharm, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Russia.

The investment will help R-Pharm contribute to the Russian government's policy to produce more and higher quality drugs domestically, with Mitsui helping R-Pharm to enhance its manufacturing technology and using its networks to accelerate R-Pharm's licensing of new drugs from Japanese, European and American manufacturers.

The firm advised Mitsui on all aspects of the transaction, including due diligence (including on IP rights, distribution arrangements and regulatory approvals), competition law, structuring, and transaction documents.

The team was led from Tokyo by partner Graeme Preston and senior associate James Hearne, and from Moscow by partner Oleg Konnov, senior associate Artjom Tamaev and associate Bogdana Shtoma.

"We're delighted to have assisted Mitsui again on such a strategic transaction," said Graeme. "Deals between Asia and Russia have increased greatly over the past three years, and we're now seeing activity increase between Tokyo and Moscow as well, following bilateral government initiatives to drive trade growth. This was a perfect transaction to showcase the seamless teamwork of our market-leading corporate M&A practices in Tokyo and Moscow."

Oleg said: "This is a major Russian-Japanese transaction in the pharma sector that hopefully will encourage more Japanese investments in Russian hi-tech projects where Japanese companies are particularly strong".



  • One of Japan's largest trading houses, Mitsui's businesses ranges from product sales, worldwide logistics and financing, through to the development of major international infrastructure and other projects.
  • Founded in 2001, R-Pharm sells pharmaceutical products throughout Russia and CIS countries and is one of the largest Russian pharmaceutical companies.
  • Operating from 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. We provide many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including energy, natural resources, infrastructure, technology and financial services.   
  • Herbert Smith Freehills has some 1,500 lawyers in Asia Pacific, advising clients on complex corporate, disputes and finance matters, currently from offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta*, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo, and in Australia, from Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. The firm is due to open in Kuala Lumpur in May 2017.
    *In Jakarta, Herbert Smith Freehills' international counsel practise alongside our affiliate firm, Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung, one of Indonesia’s leading commercial and corporate law firms.

Media contact

For further information on this article please contact

Sally Greig

Head of Communications, Asia

Hong Kong