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Editorial

Independent local firms

Index of tables

  1. Antitrust and competition law: independent local firms
  2. Leading individuals: bengoshi
  3. Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (within independent local firms)
  4. Next generation lawyers: bengoshi

Leading individuals: bengoshi

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Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (within independent local firms)

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Next generation lawyers: bengoshi

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Anderson Mori & Tomotsune represents clients before major antitrust authorities, including the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), the European Commission and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). Atsushi Yamada is well regarded for cartel, unilateral conduct and merger control matters, which is also a strength of regulatory expert Yusuke Nakano. Also recommended are senior foreign counsel Vassili Moussis and Hideto Ishida. The practice continued to defend Qualcomm in a JFTC proceeding relating to its alleged violation of The Antimonopoly Act (AMA). Other clients include Bunka Shutter and NXP Semiconductors.

Atsumi & Sakaicombines knowledge and skills like no other’ in cross-border cartel investigations, merger control issues, AMA matters, domestic bid rigging and abuse of dominance cases. Senior partner Setsuko Yufu heads the practice and ‘has a very good understanding of European business culture and law’; Saori Hanada also has extensive knowledge in this area. JFTC expert Tatsuo Yamashima is ‘one of the top competition lawyers’, and Masayuki Matsuura is ‘very skilled and dedicated’. Atsushi Iritani is now counsel at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu.

The ‘excellent’ Kozo Kawai leads Nishimura & Asahi’s practice, which has been active in major cartel and bid rigging matters, including acting as global counsel to K Line in defending against cartel allegations. Kawai and Kazuho Nakajima advised Osaka Steel on a merger review relating to its acquisition of Tokyo Kohtetsu. Other clients include Japan Post Service and Idemitsu Kosan. Ryutaro Nakayama is recommended.

The six-partner team at Mori Hamada & Matsumoto excels in cross-border merger filing and handling investigations into cartels and other antitrust violations. Kenji Ito has been active in merger filings and with Hideki Utsunomiya advised FamilyMart on its integration with UNY Group Holdings. JFTC negotiations, dawn raids and appeals of competition authority decisions form part of the practice’s caseload.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu’s ‘stellar team has high levels of expertise and experience’ in industries such as pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and financial services. Former JFTC deputy director Eriko Watanabe heads the practice and ranks ‘among the premierJapanese competition law practitioners’. Koki Yanagisawa and Kaoru Hattori have ‘deep expertise’, as does Yoshitoshi Imoto, who is highly regarded for merger control, cartel investigations, leniency applications and JFTC proceedings.

TMI Associates’ practice includes former JFTC employees and handles the full gamut of matters, including monopolisation, merger control and abuse of dominance cases. Investigations initiated by the JFTC and DOJ were among its recent cases, especially cartel matters. Yusuke Kashiwagi advised Teva Pharmaceuticals on forming a joint venture between its generic drugs business and Takeda, and helped obtain clearance from competition authorities in several jurisdictions.

Toshiaki Tada is the main contact at boutique firm Hibiya Sogo Law Offices.

Iwata Godo’s caseload includes abuse of dominance cases, merger control and cartel claims before the JFTC and foreign agencies. Yoshihiro Toji primarily handles contentious work and heads the practice with Shinya Tago, Atsushi Izumi and Manabu Eiguchi.

Momo-o, Matsuo & Namba’s Nobuaki Mukai defends corporations and individuals in administrative and criminal proceedings, and handles multi-jurisdictional merger filings. Takashi Kobayashi and Rin Moriguchi recently made partner.

Known for JFTC hearings and investigations, Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners excels in abuse of dominant bargaining position, collusive bidding and cartel matters. Counsel Takashi Ishii is the main contact.


International firms and joint ventures

Index of tables

  1. Antitrust and competition law: international firms and joint ventures
  2. Leading individuals: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)
  3. Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)
  4. Next generation lawyers: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)
  5. Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Leading individuals: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)

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Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

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Next generation lawyers: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

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Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)’s Akira Inoue and Junya Ae undertook cartel investigations initiated by the JFTC, US DOJ, European Commission (EC) and other authorities. Ae represented Okaya Electric in global investigations concerning its alleged involvement in cartels for capacitor products, and advised Meiji Yasuda Life on merger control relating to its acquisition of StanCorp Financial Group. FedEx, Mitsubishi Electric and Abbott Laboratories feature on the impressive client roster. Inoue and Ae now head the practice following Shinichiro Abe’s departure to launch Kasumigaseki International Law Office; Fumio Koma left to establish Koma Glocal Law Office.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s ‘expertise and experience is overwhelming’ in defending cases before the JFTC and global authorities, and in handling cross-border merger filings. Practice head Takeshi Nakao and counsel Kaori Yamada were instructed by Sumitomo Metal Mining to advise on merger filing relating to its $1bn acquisition of a stake in a mine owned by Freeport-McMoRan. Yamada – who understands ‘business points of view and what clients really need’ – has been active in cartel investigations launched by overseas regulators. ‘Providing one-stop services on a global level’ is the team’s key selling point.

Under former JFTC-investigator Kei Amemiya, Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi’s expertise includes cartel, monopolisation and unfair trade matters. James Robinson leads advice to Japanese clients for EU antitrust law in cartels and merger reviews. At of counsel level, Kentaro Hirayama and Kazuyasu Yoneyama are highly recommended. Amemiya represented Air Liquide Japan in a JFTC investigation into its alleged cartel involvement with three companies in industrial gas, and assisted ON Semiconductor with obtaining merger clearance for its ongoing acquisition of Fairchild. The ‘excellent’ practice acts for Fujifilm, Intel, Hitachi and other blue-chip clients.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ practice works closely with the Brussels and Hong Kong offices to provide seamless, international advice on EU cartel investigations and merger filings in China, among other matters. Practice head Alexis Papasolomontos leads non-contentious and transactional mandates, while David Gilmore focuses on contentious work, including cartel and compliance cases. The practice handled merger analysis for Horiba, regarding its acquisition of MIRA (now HORIBA MIRA). Other clients include Furukawa Electric and JFE Steel.

Jones Day provides a ‘high level of service’ to clients in the full panoply of sectors, ranging from manufacturing to telecoms. ‘Client-oriented’ Hiromitsu Miyakawa heads the practice, which has been active in complex investigations involving cartels, bid-rigging and price fixing allegations. Of counsel Shinya Watanabe acts before the JFTC and foreign governmental agencies, including the EC and US DOJ. Cross-border merger and acquisitions, joint venture advice, litigation and IP-related cases form part of the broad caseload.

As well as advising Panasonic on merger clearance for its acquisition of Hussmann, White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) also defended Toys R Us Japan in a JFTC investigation and appeal relating to the AMA and the company’s alleged abuse of its dominant bargaining position. The practice is led by Toshio Dokei and senior counselor Arthur Mitchell, who have expertise in unfair trade practice and investment-related matters, respectively.

Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise’s Daiske Yoshida acts in large-scale Japanese, European and US investigations into antitrust, anticorruption and securities law. Yoshida undertakes defensive and offensive claims in cartel cases, including immunity and leniency proceedings. He also handles M&A transactions, and was part of the global team assisting The Carlyle Group with merger control for its acquisition of Veritas Technologies.

Ropes & Gray LLP experienced an uptick in mandates from US-based clients seeking advice on internal investigations and compliance. Kaede Toh made partner and ‘has a lot of experience in this field’, including enforcement actions brought by the DOJ and other foreign agencies, and anti-corruption risk assessments. The practice receives praise for its its ‘excellent’ service and its coordination with the firm’s US offices.

Japanese corporations retain Shearman & Sterling LLP’s Masahisa Ikeda for cartel cases before US and European regulators. The practice’s caseload includes private antitrust litigation, class actions and government investigations into price-fixing.


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