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Japan > Antitrust and competition law > International firms and joint ventures > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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)

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

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Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

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Who Represents Who

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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.

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