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  1. Dispute resolution: independent local firms
  2. Leading individuals: bengoshi

Leading individuals: bengoshi

  1. 1

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Anderson Mori & Tomotsune provides ‘an exceptionally high level of service’ thanks to its ‘deep industry knowledge, professionalism and client-oriented approach’, which makes it ‘one of the top dispute firms in the country’. Hiroki Wakabayashi and Yoshimasa Furuta jointly head the group and are recommended for advising financial institutions and handling international disputes respectively. Clients also single out the ‘earnest and reliable’ Kenichi Sadaka, who leads the firm’s cross-border litigation practice and regularly advises on fraud issues, litigation relating to transactions and white-collar crime. The ‘excellent’ Shinji Kusakabe is head of the international arbitration team. Aoi Inoue made partner in 2017.

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto’s ‘pragmatic, professional and commercial’ group is jointly led by Mugi Sekido, who is recommended for international arbitration and litigation, and the ‘skilled and knowledgeable’ Kana Manabe, who has a niche strength in contentious antitrust issues. Other key practitioners include Koichiro Iida, Shinichiro Yokota, Shiho Ono and Yoichi Okuda; Okuda recently represented members of an underwriting syndicate in a dispute relating to the accounting irregularities surrounding the IPO of FOI Corporation and its subsequent bankruptcy. Eksportfinans, Tokyo Boeki Steel and Materials, and SoftBank are also clients. Junichi Tobimatsu left to establish Tobimatsu Law.

Norimitsu Arai heads up the ‘leading’ department at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, which ‘provides a truly great service, especially in terms of responsiveness and business acumen’. With a key strength in international arbitration, the group also handles litigation in the labour and employment space (a key area of focus of Arai), IP (through Ryoichi Mimura), and product liability and environmental tort matters (thanks to the experience of the ‘responsive and thoughtfulHisaya Kimura). Recent highlights include representing Tepco in a shareholders derivative dispute relating to the Fukushima earthquake and power plant disaster, and acting for multiple banks in a suit for damages against Olympus relating to the losses incurred by its filing of false financial reports. Further clients include Merrill Lynch Japan Securities, Samsung and IBM.

As ‘one of the firms at the highest level nationally’, Nishimura & Asahi fields an ‘exceptional’ team, which includes practice head Hiroyuki Tezuka and Akihiro Hironaka. Recent work for Hironaka includes handling a product liability class action, representing a client in international arbitration proceedings and acting in a domestic contract dispute. The practice also represented a Japanese pharmaceutical company in a tax dispute against the National Tax Authority and acted for GEO Holdings in litigation against its former directors relating to breach of directors duties. Sun Chlorella and Best Bridal are also clients.

Recent highlights for Atsumi & Sakai include representing 62 non-Japanese institutional investors and pension funds in a damages claim arising from the high-profile 2011 Olympus scandal, and acting for CAICA in an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) accusing the client of making false statements in its annual securities reports. Tatsuya Fukui and Toyoki Emoto jointly lead the department, which advises domestic and international clients in litigation, arbitration and mediation. Kunihiro Sumida is recommended for labour disputes, London-based Ryuichi Nozaki handles international litigation, Masataka Hayakawa is the key name for corporate regulatory compliance issues and investigations, and Teruhisa Toyama is experienced in securities litigation.

Ryosuke Ito heads up the practice at TMI Associates, which counts tax expert Hidetoshi Masunaga, insolvency specialist Mitsue Aizawa and Tomoki Yanagisawa as key practitioners and saw six individuals promoted to the partnership in 2017. In a recent highlight, Naomichi Chiba defended Yahoo! Japan in a case relating to whether the list of results in search engines violates privacy and reputation rights and rights to be forgotten. Further work includes defending Cremovision and Nihon EVE in separate patent infringement litigation and representing an individual in obtaining a provisional injunction. The team also acts for clients in the pharmaceuticals, electronics, technology and chemical sectors.

At Ushijima & Partners, Osamu Inoue regularly handles construction disputes, Hiroshi Watanabe is highly regarded for his securities litigation expertise, Hiroyasu Kageshima has notable experience in internet infringement matters, and Motohiro Kuroki is recommended for real estate litigation. Watanabe and name partner Shin Ushijima lead the team, which counts Urban Renaissance Agency as a notable client; Inoue represented it in a construction defect case resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Rikisuke Yamanaka is also recommended for his employment, transactional and technology-related litigation expertise.

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