Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Japan > Antitrust and competition law > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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: foreign lawyers (within independent local firms)

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers: bengoshi

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Independent local firms clients in Japan using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has ‘one of the best antitrust teams in Japan’, which advised JX Holdings and Showa Shell Sekiyu on widely publicised acquisitions in the Japanese oil industry; the former acquired TonenGeneral Sekiyu, and Idemitsu Kosan acquired 31.3% of the shares of the latter. Hideki Utsunomiya and counsel Tsuyoshi Ikeda are ‘excellent antitrust lawyers’, as is Kenji Ito, who has ‘cool-headed pragmatism’ and acted for Mitsubishi Motors during Nissan’s acquisition of 34% of its shares. Hitachi and FamilyMart are other clients.

The team at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, headed by Eriko Watanabe, is ‘extremely knowledgeable’ and ‘extraordinarily responsive, providing strong substantive and practical advice’. Antitrust work undertaken by the firm covers sectors such as energy, financial services, telecoms, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. Kaoru Hattori is a ‘real star’, the ‘fantastic’ Yusuke Kaeriyama was promoted to partner, and Ryohei Tanaka is an associate to note.

Nishimura & Asahi is ‘the very top in the field, particularly for antitrust merger investigations’. Kozo Kawai heads the sizeable practice and led the advice to Nippon Paper during its acquisition of Weyerhaeuser NR Company’s Liquid Packaging Board business in the US; he also handled a large merger deal between Western Digital and Sandisk. Other clients include Nippon Steel Sumitomo Metal Corporation, Furukawa Electric, Google Japan and Amazon Japan.

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune’s workload includes international cartel investigations and merger control matters. The practice represents clients before the major antitrust authorities, including the Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the European Commission, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Atsushi Yamada is representing Qualcomm and Bunka Shutter in two separate JFTC administrative hearings. Yusuke Nakano is strong in merger control filings, particularly involving foreign jurisdictions; he and Vassili Moussis assisted A.P. Moller – Maersk A/S and MSC Mediterranean Shipping with file amendments to their notifications under the Maritime Transportation Act of Japan. Other clients include Marriott International and Samsung Electronics. Takeshi Suzuki has been promoted to partner and Yoshiharu Usuki is a key associate.

The team at Atsumi & Sakai has ‘extensive knowledge and experience’ with regards to domestic and cross-border antitrust matters for clients across a range of sectors, including manufacturing, energy and transport. Practice head Setsuko Yufuunderstands European business culture very well’ and is ‘a star in the field’ with ‘a hands-on approach and a strategic mind’. Saori Hanada and Tatsuo Yamashima are also recommended as ‘very bright, highly responsive and easy to work with’.

TMI Associates is strong in matters related to monopolisation, merger control and abuse of dominance. Practice head Yusuke Kashiwagi advised UNY Group Holdings on its merger with Family Mart, while Hidehiro Utsumi worked on a number of cross-border matters across the EU, the UK and the US, advising clients such as Sumitomo Rubber Industries and DENSO. Koichiro Hanamoto was promoted to partner.

Antitrust boutique Hibiya Sogo Law Offices is particularly focused on competition and cartel investigations. Toshiaki Tada is recommended.

Iwata Godo assists corporate clients, financial institutions and their boards of directors with complex antitrust matters both at the domestic and cross-border level, including merger control matters and dominance abuse-related litigation. Yoshihiro Toji, who mostly handles contentious work, Shinya Tago, Atsushi Izumi and Manabu Eiguchi are key contacts.

Momo-o, Matsuo & Namba specialises in contentious work and cartel investigations. For example, Nobuaki Mukai handles antitrust cases in the construction, manufacturing, retail and transportation sectors.

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners handles domestic and international cartel work. Abuse of dominance is another key area for the team. Tetsuya Nagasawa is an ‘authority in this field’.


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. Next generation lawyers: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)
  4. Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

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

  1. 1

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

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which International firms and joint ventures clients in Japan using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

The ‘excellent’ team at Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) focuses on domestic and international cartel work. Recent work includes representing Japanese manufacturing company KYB in an investigation into suspected cartels conducted by the DoJ and the JFTC, and advising Okaya Electric Industries on global cartel investigations for capacitor products, following damage claims in the US and Canada. Mitsubishi Electric, FedEx, Asahi Glass and Ube Industries are other key clients. The practice is headed by Akira Inoue and the ‘reliable and knowledgeable’ Junya Ae. Michio Suzuki is an associate to note.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer provides the ‘highest level’ services to Japanese and international clients, including defending before the JFTC and overseas regulators, and coordinating multi-jurisdictional transactions and investigations. Kaori Yamada, who has ‘a deep understanding of antitrust regulations in multiple countries’, was made up to partner. She was part of a team that advised Japanese petroleum and metals conglomerate JXTG Holdings on its business integration with TonenGeneral Sekiyu, and also assisted Hapag-Lloyd with the global antitrust aspects related to its merger with United Arab Shipping. Other clients include Mitsui, Sawai Pharmaceutical and JX Energy.

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s ‘excellent’ services include advice on cartels, monopolisation issues, merger reviews, unfair trade matters and administrative cases. The practice acted for Panasonic before the European Commission in the headline automotive parts cartel investigation and assisted SoftBank with the £24bn acquisition of UK-based semiconductor and software design company ARM Holdings. Other clients include Air Liquide Japan and Fujifilm. The ‘totally reliable’ Kei Amemiya is the key contact and Kentaro Hirayama a name to note at of counsel level.

With ‘many antitrust and competition specialistsJones Day fields a practice that is ‘very convenient and helpful’, handling a range of antitrust matters, including complex domestic and cross-border cartel investigations, strategic litigation, patent-related matters, mergers and other regulatory issues. ‘Expert’ practice head Hiromitsu Miyakawa advised Linear Technology on its sale to Analog Devices. The practice also assisted TonenGeneral Sekiyu, the third largest oil refiner in Japan, with its business integration with JX Holdings. ‘Experienced’ of counsel in antitrust matters and JFTC filings Shinya Watanabe is another name to note.

White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association) is strong in M&A related matters and cases of abuse of superior bargaining positions. The practice assisted HNA Ecotech with its $700m acquisition of BCP (Singapore) VI Cayman, and provides ongoing advice to PhRMA, a trade group representing companies in the US pharmaceutical industry, on antitrust compliance standards. The ‘excellent’ Toshio Dokei leads the team, Seiji Niwa was promoted to counsel and Takako Onoki is a key associate.

The ‘extremely responsive’ and ‘very reliable’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills provides ‘invaluable guidance’ and ‘up-to-date advice’ on competition-related work, focusing on merger filings, cartel and non-cartel antitrust investigations, and competition litigation. The practice assisted IDEC with various competition matters related to its acquisition APEM from Intermediate Capital Group Luxembourg. SoftBank, Mitsui and Sumitomo are other key clients. David Gilmore, Graeme Preston and Brussels-based Kyriakos Fountoukakos are recommended. Alexis Papasolomontos relocated to London.

Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise’s client portfolio includes many leading Japanese corporations, such as Toshiba, Toyo Denso and Nitsuko Electronics. The practice advised Nissan on the establishment of a strategic alliance with Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan’s related $2.3bn acquisition of a controlling 34% equity stake in Mitsubishi Motors. Practice head Daiske Yoshida is ‘excellent’.

The team at Shearman & Sterling works with colleagues in the US and Europe to advise Japanese corporations and financial institutions on complex antitrust matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, class actions, private antitrust litigation, cartels and civil government investigations. Masahisa Ikeda is the main contact.

Ropes & Gray LLP handle contentious, compliance and anti-corruption issues in antitrust field. The practice has been assisting Hitachi-LG Data Storage, the Japanese-South Korean joint venture manufacturer of DVD and Blu-ray disk drives, with civil class actions alleging price fixing in the optical drive industry. Kaede Toh is the main contact.


Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in Japan

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Taking control of a Japanese publicly listed company:

    Introductory notes for successfully completing an M&A
  • Yuasa and Hara Business Law News

    Contents of the Issue Law on liability for breach of contract Review on the amendment to the cabinet office order on Corporate Disclosure
  • NEW WHITE COLLAR CRIME BILL

    The Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter (“the Minister”), has published the Criminal Justice Bill 2011 (“the Bill”). The main purpose of the Bill is stated to be “…to amend the criminal law to improve certain procedural matters and strengthen Garda investigative powers. The intention is that such improvements will assist in reducing the delays associated with the investigation and prosecution of complex crime, in particular white collar crime.”
  • Japan: New legislative framework for Sukuk

    The new framework passed in May 2011 will provide a solid legal platform for issuing Sukuk Ijarah under Japanese law. NAOKI ISHIKAWA highlights key legal structures and tax treatment in respect of the anticipated Sukuk issuances in Japan.
  • Yakult Bottle Acquired Distinctiveness

    Do you know about Yakult's delicious lactic acid drink which is contained in a small bottle? Yakult's lactic acid drink (hereafter referred to as "Yakult drink") is the most famous lactic acid drink in Japan and today is also being sold in many countries around the world. When you are enjoying Yakult drink, please keep in mind the case mentioned below.
  • Tax: Japan: International Joint Ventures

    Tax on international joint ventures. Country Q&A (Japan).
  • Japan: Recent Developments in Practice and Law

    The successful closing of two Islamic fi nance transactions which was announced in July 2010 by Nomura Holdings have paved a concrete path for Japanese corporations to consider overseas Islamic fi nance markets for their fund raising activities. The fi rst transaction was in Asia for the issuance of Sukuk Ijarah and the second was in the Middle East for the establishment of a Commodity Murabahah facility (Nomura Deals).
  • Renewable energy takes off in Japan

    Like many other countries, Japan has decided to reform its renewable energy (RE) policy, to dramatically increase the use of renewable energy. The core policy mechanism is a feed-in tariff (FIT). This chapter summarises the contemplated Japanese FIT and its practical impact on existing and future investment in this sector, providing an overview of:
  • Licensing - 2010

    Q & A on Licensing in Japan 
  • Law on the Civil Jurisdiction of Japanese Courts over Foreign Countries, etc.

    The Law has been enacted to clarify the scope of application of the civil jurisdiction of Japanese courts over foreign countries, etc., and set exceptions to civil preocedings involving foreign countries, etc., based on the United Nations Convention on the Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their property (UN Convention on Immunities) (see Article 1). 

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to