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On 19th September 2019, The Legal 500 hosted GC Summit Japan at The Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo.

With over 130 of the region’s leading in-house lawyers participating, the event underscored the importance that the legal function can make to domestic and international businesses.

Japan has seen a tail off in trade volumes, with the trade disagreements between China and the United States having a trickle-down effect, the signs for the Japanese economy are uncertain. Public sector investment has been strong, but that is offset against a weaker private sector.

Future uncertainty in trade and supply chains will present increasing challenges for businesses, as does the potential easing of the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy. What will this mean for Japan’s international business? This was just one of the questions posed to some of the country’s senior in-house counsel.

The event benefited from the support and insight provided by some of the leading law firms and consultancies active in Japan, namely: Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, Atsumi & Sakai, Herbert Smith Freehills, Allen & Overy, Peerpoint, Greenberg Traurig, Dentons, AlixPartners, Kentaro Hirayama and Chien Yeh Law Offices.

Over the course of eight panel discussions and presentations, the conference covered the most topical issues in Japan today, ranging from data privacy and managing international disputes to advanced delivery, anti-trust amendments and the rise of E-sports.

Please scroll down to see the panel sessions in full and photos of the event:

Opening keynote

Naosuke Fujita Co-Representative Director, Co-Founder, LLAN

Crisis & Risk Management in Japan

Akihisa Shiozaki, Partner, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Yoshihiko Matake, Partner, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

John Lane, Foreign lawyer, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Cross-Border M&A Dynamics


Graeme Preston, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills


Andrew Blacoe, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills, Tokyo


Damien Roberts, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills, Tokyo

Joseph Fisher, Senior Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills, Tokyo

Innovating the legal function – an introduction to Advanced Delivery


Nick Wall, Partner, Allen & Overy, Tokyo


David Armsworth-Maw, Head of Project Management Office - Asia Pacific, Allen & Overy


Carolyn Aldous, Managing Director, Peerpoint by Allen & Overy

Kuda Chirambadoro, associate, Allen & Overy Tokyo

Effective Dispute Resolution Mechanisms


Christopher Hunt, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills


Craig Shepherd, Global Head of Contentious Construction and Infrastructure, Herbert Smith Freehills


Yosuke Homma, senior associate, Herbert Smith Freehills

Hajime Seki, Corporate Officer, Head of Legal Department, Attorney at Law (NY), Amgen Astellas BioPharma KK

The rise of e-sports in Japan


Koji Ishikawa, Office Managing Partner, Greenberg Traurig Tokyo


Steven Walkowiak, Co-chair of the Video Game and Esports Group and Litigation Partner, Greenberg Traurig LLP


Baro Hyun, Senior Manager, KPMG Consulting, Japan

Hirokazu Hamamura, Senior Adviser to the Board of Kadokawa Corporation, Vice President of the Japan eSports Union

Outbound investment: challenges and opportunities when investing into the EMEA region


Takura Kawai, Partner, Dentons


Tomihisa Kato, Senior Manager, Legal Department, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd


Pirouzan Parvine, Partner, Dentons Consulting, Japan

Daisuke Tsutsumi, Deputy General Manager, Machinery & infrastructure Legal Dept, Mitsui & Co Ltd

Dr. Shigeo Yamaguchi, Partner, ARQIS Rechtsanwaelte

Changing landscape: amendments to Japanese antitrust law, enforcement trends and their implication to businesses

Kentaro Hirayama, Hirayama Law Offices

Keita Fukunaga, AlixPartners Asia

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity: an update on the latest trends in Japan


Go Hashimoto, Partner, Atsumi & Sakai


Takeshi Yanaike, Global Privacy Manager and Data Protection Officer, Rakuten


Masatoshi Adachi, Security and Privacy Counsel, LINE Consulting, Japan

Steven Howard, Senior Legal Counsel, Global Privacy Officer for Sony Mobile Communications

Takayuki Kitajima, General Counsel, Representative Director, Unilever Japan Holdings